SB 902
Modifies provisions relating to funding for the Office of Public Counsel and temporary rate adjustments for regulated utilities
LR Number:
Last Action:
3/8/2012 - Second Read and Referred S Veterans' Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2012

Current Bill Summary


The act requires the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) to, prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, inform the Public Service Commission (PSC) of its estimated expenses for the upcoming fiscal year. The OPC must specify how much of its estimated expenses are directly attributable to its work with each type of PSC-regulated public utility (i.e., electric, gas, water, heating, telephone, and sewer) as well as the amount of expenses that are not directly attributable to one specific type of utility. Costs for telephone companies may not exceed 3% of the total directly attributable costs. Costs not directly attributable to one specific type of utility must be proportionately attributed to each utility type based on each utility type's percentage of total gross intrastate operating revenues across all utilities.

The PSC must levy an assessment to each regulated public utility to cover its share of the OPC's costs. The total amount levied to all utilities must not exceed 400ths of 1% of the total gross intrastate operating revenues of all regulated utilities. The PSC must issue a statement of the assessment amount to each utility by July 1st of each year, which the utility may pay in full by July 15th or in 4 equal quarterly installments.

The payments are to be deposited in the Public Counsel Fund, created in the act, and may only be used to pay the expenses of the OPC. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year must be proportionately credited to the next year's assessments.

The act does not grant authority to the PSC to determine how the OPC estimates its expenses or how the OPC will spend the assessments collected from the utilities.

By March 31st of each year, each regulated utility must file a statement with the PSC of its gross intrastate operating revenues for the preceding calendar year.

This section is similar to provisions in SB 869 (2012), SS/SCS/HB 462 (2011), and SB 406 (2011).


The act requires the PSC to authorize temporary rate adjustments in any order it issues after concluding a rate case. The temporary rate adjustment covers the time period between when the utility's rates are trued-up in the rate case and the date the PSC's new rates as determined in the order go into effect. The temporary rates must be implemented over a one-year period. If the effect of the PSC's order is to lower the utility's rates, then the temporary rate adjustment will reflect an overcollection from the utility's customers during that time period. If the effect of the PSC's order is to raise the utility's rates, the temporary rate adjustment will reflect an undercollection from the customers during that timeframe.