Bill Summaries: H235 Utilities Comm'n Tech. and Add'l Changes.-AB (NEW).

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Jun 26 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Section 2

    Eliminates the proposed changes to the definition of broadband service set forth in GS 62-3.

    Section 25

    Extends the date by which the Utilities Commission must contract with a consultant and complete a study of the appropriate job classifications and salaries for employees of the Commission and Public Staff, now requiring the study to be completed by February 1, 2020 (was, October 1, 2019).


  • Summary date: May 29 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Deletes the provision that gave the Utilities Commission (Commission) and Public Staff, for 2019-20, sole authority and discretion to take the specified actions concerning the classification of positions of and the salaries for employees of the Utilities Commission and Public Staff. Instead, allows the Commission and Public Staff to make legislative recommendations on whether they should be given flexibility to (1) classify new positions or reclassify existing positions within the classification system adopted by the State Human Resources Commission or as otherwise provided by law, (2) determine the appropriate salary for employees if funding is available and the salary remains within the required salary range, or (3) make hiring decisions based on the flexibility to determine appropriate job classifications and salaries. Limits the scope of the report by the Commission and Public Staff that is due March 1, 2020, to the results of the study on the appropriate job classification and salaries for employees of the Commission and Public Staff; also changes a report recipient from the House Committee on Energy and Public Utilities to the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy. Makes conforming changes the act's long title. Makes an additional technical change.


  • Summary date: Mar 19 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Changes the act's long and short titles.

    Amends GS 62-3 by amending the definition of broadband service so that it means any service that consists of or includes a high-speed access capability to transmit at a rate of not less than the current threshold for broadband service established by the Federal Communications Commission (was, not less than 200 kilobits per second in either the upstream or downstream direction) and that either (1) is used to provide internet access, or (2) provides computer processing, information storage, information content, or protocol conversion.

    Makes clarifying changes to the proposed changes to GS 62-15, regarding the duty of the executive director of the Utilities Commission (Commission) to hire public staff, as provided by law.

    Further amends GS 62-81, concerning the special procedure in hearing and deciding rate cases. The previous edition proposed requiring that all cases or proceedings that are general rate cases or which will substantially affect any utility's overall level of earnings or rate of return, be set for trial or hearing by the Commission, which must be set to commence within 180 days (was six months) of the institution or filing thereof. Amends the requirement of notice to affected customers of public utilities filing or applying for a rate increase to make a conforming change to include in the notice that the Commission must set and conduct a trial or hearing on the filing or application within 180 days (rather than six months) of the filing date. 

    Further amends GS 62-110.1, adding intervenors (previously only added the Commission's Public Staff) to those that may attend any formal conference on developing a plan for the future requirements of electricity in the state or region. Modifies the existing requirement for the Commission to conduct one or more public hearings in the course of making the analysis of and developing a long-range need for facility expansion, to now require the Commission to conduct a public hearing on the plan in the year a biennial integrated resource plan is filed, and permit the Commission to conduct a public hearing on the plan in a year that an annual update of an integrated resource plan is filed.

    Authorizes the Revisor of Statutes to substitute "rate-making" for "rate making" wherever the term appears in GS Chapter 62.

    Provides that the proposed changes to GS 62-300, which increased from $25 to $250 the application fee for a person (other than Class A, B, C, or D utilities) seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity, are effective July 1, 2019.

    Enacts GS 62-110(j) to authorize the Commission to allow a lessor of a multi-unit apartment building, with approval of the Commission, to use a master meter to charge each tenant for the electricity or natural gas used by a central system on each tenant's metered or measured share. Provides for additional provisions of the statute that apply to electricity used by a central system and natural gas used by a central system. Makes conforming changes to GS 42-42.1, and amends the statute to prohibit a landlord from terminating a lessee's receipt of the benefits of the use of a central system due to the lessee's nonpayment of the amount due for electric service, water or sewer services, or natural gas service. Makes conforming changes to GS 143-151.42 concerning the prohibition of master meters for electric and natural gas service, and amends the statute to exempt from the statute's provisions a multi-unit residential building or building complex where natural gas service is delivered to a master meter for use by the occupants of the units is limited to cooking, ventless fireplaces, or other ancillary purposes. Effective October 1, 2019.

    Makes organizational and clarifying changes to the act.


  • Summary date: Feb 27 2019 - More information

    Amends GS 20-398 concerning the marking of vehicles transporting household goods to make the provisions applicable to attempts to operate. Adds that any law enforcement officer with territorial jurisdiction is authorized to enforce the statute.  

    Amends GS 62-3 by amending the definitions used in GS Chapter 62 (Public Utilities) as follows. Provides that a certificate of public convenience and necessity can be issued to a person. Provides that public utility does not include any person or company whose sole operation consists of sewer service to less than 15 residential customers. Also excludes from public utility the State, Department of Information Technology, or the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina in the provision or sharing of broadband telecommunications services (was, switched broadband telecommunications services) with non-state entities or organizations of the kind set out in GS 143B-1371 (was, in GS 143B-426.39).

    Amends GS 62-15 to require that the Utilities Commission's public staff be hired (was, appointed) by the executive director. Amends the duties of the public staff to: (1) include petitioning to initiate proceeds to review and take appropriate actions with respect to the operations and management of public utilities; (2) delete investigating and making recommendations with respect to application for certificates by radio common carriers; and (3) add appearing before courts and agencies in matters affecting public utility service when deemed necessary by the executive director.

    Amends GS 62-60 by providing that only upon request must the Utilities Commission give the Attorney General copies of all applications, petitions, pleasings, orders, and decisions filed with or entered by the Commission. 

    Amends GS 62-34 by adding that the Public Staff has the right to examine confidential information in exercising any power or performing any duty authorized by GS Chapter 62. Prohibits the Public Staff from disclosing confidential information except as authorized by specified entities. Subjects any information not designated in writing as confidential to disclosure. 

    Amends GS 62-39 concerning crossings of telephone, telegraph, electric power lines and pipelines and right of way of railroads and other utilities by another utility by no longer specifying that the statute does not limit the right and duty conferred by law with respect to railroad crossing railroads.

    Amends GS 62-49 to no longer require the biennial supplements to the publication of utility laws. 

    Amends GS 62-74 to clarify that public utilities have the right to file a complaint against any other public utility or another person. 

    Amends GS 62-79 to require that copies of final orders or decisions be served in the manner prescribed by the Commission (was, by registered or certified mail).

    Amends GS 62-81 by requiring that all cases or proceedings that are general rate cases or which will substantially affect any utility's overall level of earnings or rate of return, be set for trial or hearing by the Commission which must be set to commence within 180 days (was six months) of the institution or filing thereof. Deletes the required timing of the issuance of a final order. Requires a public utility applying for an increase in rates for sewer service to notify customers within the specified timeline and through the listed procedure.  Updates statutory references. No longer sets out the requirements for determining applications for permission to adjust utility rates and charges based only on the cost of fuel used in general or production of electric power. 

    Amends GS 62-110.1 to require that the Commission confer and consult with the specified entities when developing a long-range need for facility expansion analysis only as the Commission deems necessary. Adds the Public Staff to those that may attend any formal conference on developing a plan for the future requirements of electricity in the state or region.

    Amends GS 62-111 by clarifying that a person may not obtain a franchise certificate for the purpose of transferring the  same to another and that an offer of such transfer within one year after the same was obtained, prima facie evidence that such franchise or certificate was obtained for the purpose of sale.

    Repeals GS 62-130(c), which allowed the Commission to make, require or approve, after public hearing, for intrastate shipments what are known as milling-in-transit, processing-in-transit, or warehousing-in-transit rates on grain, lumber to be dressed, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, or such other commodities as the Commission may designate.

    Amends GS 62-140 by deleting outdated language.

    Amends GS 62-280.1 to make it a Class 3 misdemeanor to knowingly aid and abet another person in taking to the specified actions to falsely represent a household goods carrier certificate. Gives any law enforcement officer with territorial jurisdiction authority to enforce the statute. 

    Amends GS 62-300 to increase from $25 to $250 the application fee for a person (other than Class A, B, C, or D utilities) seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

    Amends GS 143-166.13 by no longer making Utilities Commission Transportation Inspectors and Special Investigators subject to the Criminal Justice Training and Standards.

    Amends GS 143B-963 to allow the Utilities Commission to provide the information obtained under subsection (a) of the statute (concerning the criminal history of any applicant for or current holder of a certificate to transport household goods) to the Public Staff for use in proceedings before the Commission and requires the Public Staff to keep that information confidential.

    Amends GS 156-91 by deleting the provision addressing when the superintendent of construction and the railroad company are able to agree as to the exact time at which such work can be done, leading to an investigation and determination by the Commission.

    Gives the Utilities Commission and Public Staff, for 2019-20, sole authority and discretion to take the specified actions concerning the classification of positions of and the salaries for employees of the Utilities Commission and Public Staff. Allows the Commission to use available funds to contract with a qualified consultant to study the appropriate job classifications and salaries for employees of the Commission and Public Staff to determine whether current employees are classified and compensated appropriately. Requires study completion by October 1, 2019. Requires a report by March 1, 2020, to the specified NCGA committee and division on the study and actions taken.

    Authorizes the Revisor of Statutes substitute "Public Staff" for "public staff" wherever the term appears in GS Chapter 62.


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