SB 270
Modifies provisions relating to public utilities
LR Number:
Last Action:
1/19/2017 - Second Read and Referred S Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2017

Current Bill Summary

SB 270 - This act modifies provisions relating to public utilities.

TERMINATION OF UTILITY SERVICE (Sections 250.236, 393.015, 393.016, and 393.108) - Currently, water, sewer, electric and gas utilities may terminate utility service for nonpayment of a delinquent utility bill, except when the Hot Weather Rule and Cold Weather Rule is in effect for electrical and gas corporations. This act repeals all termination of service provisions for nonpayment of a delinquent utility bill, and instead prohibits utilities from terminating service due to nonpayment of a delinquent utility bill.

BURDEN OF PROOF (Section 386.430) - Currently, in all proceedings before the Public Service Commission, the burden of proof shall be upon the adverse party. Under this act, in any proceeding involving a formal complaint by an individual consumer against a public utility, the burden of proof shall be upon the utility.

ASSESSMENTS BY THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC COUNSEL (Sections 386.715 & 620.010) - This act requires the Office of Public Counsel to make available to the Public Service Commission an estimate of the expenses to be incurred during the upcoming fiscal year. Such estimate shall separately estimate the amount of expenses directly attributed to responsibilities with respect to certain groups of public utilities as set forth in this act. The Public Counsel shall then allocate such expenses to each respective public utility group, and the Public Service Commission shall then assess such amounts so long as assessed amounts do not exceed 1/8 of 1%, as set forth in this act. Payment schedules for public utilities remitting such assessment and documents required to be submitted to the Public Service Commission by the public utilities are set forth in this act.

Any assessment payments made by the Public Service Commission on behalf of the Office of Public Counsel shall be credited to The Public Counsel Fund created under this act. The Fund shall be used to pay expenditures incurred by the Office of Public Counsel. Further, the Public Service Commission may adopt rules establishing fees for certain items as set forth in this act, and such fees shall also be remitted to The Public Counsel Fund.

Until tariffs are filed in compliance with a public utility's next general rate proceeding, any utility assessed an amount under this act greater than assessed in fiscal year 2017 may file rate adjustments outside a general rate proceeding in an amount to reimburse the utility.

Currently, funding for the Office of Public Counsel general counsel's office shall be by general revenue. This act repeals this provision.

This provision is identical to a provision contained in SB 1130 (2016).