A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO PERMIT WATER UTILITIES TO ADJUST RATES FOR CHANGES IN COSTS BASED ON THIRD-PARTY RATES AND TO AUTHORIZE THE UTILITIES COMMISSION TO APPROVE A RATE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM FOR WATER AND SEWER UTILITIES TO RECOVER COSTS FOR WATER AND SEWER SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS.
Enacts new GS 62-133.1 to require the Utilities Commission (Commission) to allow a water or sewer public utility to adjust its rates to reflect changes in costs based solely upon changes in the rates imposed by third-party suppliers of purchased water or sewer service. Requires the Commission to issue an order approving, denying, or approving with modifications a requested rate adjustment within 60 days of the date of filing of a completed petition, unless that time is for good cause extended up to a maximum of 90 days.
Enacts new GS 62-133.12 to allow the Commission to approve a rate adjustment mechanism in a general rate proceeding to allow a water or sewer public utility to recover through a system improvement charge the incremental depreciation expense and capital costs associated with the utility's reasonable and prudently incurred investment in eligible water and sewer system improvements. The adjustment mechanism may be approved only upon a finding that the mechanism is in the public interest and allows for the elimination or modification of the rate adjustment mechanism if it finds that it is not in the public interest. Defines eligible water system improvements and eligible sewer system improvements. Caps cumulative system improvement charges for a water or sewer utility pursuant to a rate adjustment mechanism at 5% of the total annual service revenues approved by the Commission in the water or sewer utility's last general rate case.
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