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e-CFR data is current as of September 24, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1710Subpart C → §1710.114


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1710—GENERAL AND PRE-LOAN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES COMMON TO ELECTRIC LOANS AND GUARANTEES
Subpart C—Loan Purposes and Basic Policies


§1710.114   TIER, DSC, OTIER and ODSC requirements.

(a) General. Requirements for coverage ratios are set forth in the borrower's mortgage, loan contract, or other contractual agreements with RUS. The requirements set forth in this section apply to borrowers that receive a loan approved by RUS on or after February 10, 1992. Nothing in this section, however, shall reduce the coverage ratio requirements of a borrower that has contractually agreed with RUS to a higher requirement.

(b) Coverage ratios. (1) Distribution borrowers. The minimum coverage ratios required of distribution borrowers whether applied on an annual or average basis, are a TIER of 1.25, DSC of 1.25, OTIER of 1.1, and ODSC of 1.1. OTIER and ODSC shall apply to distribution borrowers that receive a loan approved on or after January 29, 1996.

(2) The minimum coverage ratios required of power supply borrowers, whether applied on an annual or average basis, are a TIER of 1.05 and DSC of 1.00.

(3) When new loan contracts are executed, the Administrator may, case by case, increase the coverage ratios of distribution and power supply borrowers above the levels cited in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2), respectively, of this section if the Administrator determines that the higher ratios are required to ensure reasonable security for and/or the repayment of loans made or guaranteed by RUS. Also, the Administrator may, case by case, reduce said coverage ratios if the Administrator determines that the lower ratios are required to ensure reasonable security for and/or the repayment of loans made or guaranteed by RUS. Policies for coverage ratios following certain mergers, consolidations, and transfers of systems substantially in their entirety are in 7 CFR 1717.155.

(4) If a distribution borrower has in service or under construction a substantial amount of generation and associated transmission plant financed at a cost of capital substantially higher than the cost of funds under section 305 of the RE Act, then the Administrator may establish, in his or her sole discretion, blended levels for TIER, DSC, OTIER, and ODSC based on the respective shares of total utility plant represented by said generation and associated transmission plant and by distribution and other transmission plant.

(c) Requirements for loan feasibility. To be eligible for a loan, borrowers must demonstrate to RUS that they will, on a pro forma basis, earn the coverage ratios required by paragraph (b) of this section in each of the years included in the borrower's long-range financial forecast prepared in support of its loan application, as set forth in subpart G of this part.

(d) Requirements for maintenance of coverage ratios—(1) Prospective requirement. Borrowers must design and implement rates for utility service to provide sufficient revenue (along with other revenue available to the borrower in the case of TIER and DSC) to pay all fixed and variable expenses, to provide and maintain reasonable working capital and to maintain on an annual basis the coverage ratios required by paragraph (b) of this section. Rates must be designed and implemented to produce at least enough revenue to meet the requirements of this paragraph under the assumption that average weather conditions in the borrower's service territory will prevail in the future, including average system damage and outages due to weather and the related costs. Failure to design and implement rates pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph shall be an event of default upon notice provided in accordance with the terms of the borrower's mortgage or loan contract.

(2) Retrospective requirement. The average coverage ratios achieved by a borrower in the 2 best years out of the 3 most recent calendar years must meet the levels required by paragraph (b) of this section. If a borrower fails to achieve these average levels, it must promptly notify RUS in writing. Within 30 days of such notification or of the borrower being notified in writing by RUS, whichever is earlier, the borrower, in consultation with RUS, must provide a written plan satisfactory to RUS setting forth the actions that will be taken to achieve the required coverage ratios on a timely basis. Failure to develop and implement a plan satisfactory to RUS shall be an event of default upon notice provided in accordance with the terms of the borrower's mortgage or loan contract.

(3) Fixed and variable expenses, as used in this section, include but are not limited to: all taxes, depreciation, maintenance expenses, and the cost of electric power and energy and other operating expenses of the electric system, including all obligations under the wholesale power contract, all lease payments when due, and all principal and interest payments on outstanding indebtedness when due.

(e) Requirements for advance of funds. (1) If a borrower applying for a loan has failed to achieve the coverage ratios required by paragraph (b) of this section during the latest 12 month period immediately preceding approval of the loan, or if any of the borrower's average coverage ratios for the 2 best years out of the most recent 3 calendar years were below the levels required in paragraph (b) of this section, RUS may withhold the advance of loan funds until the borrower has adopted an annual financial plan and operating budget satisfactory to RUS and taken such other action as RUS may require to demonstrate that the required coverage ratios will be maintained in the future and that the loan will be repaid with interest within the time agreed. Such other action may include, for example, increasing system operating efficiency and reducing costs or adopting a rate design that will achieve the required coverage ratios, and either placing such rates into effect or taking action to obtain regulatory authority approval of such rates. If failure to achieve the coverage ratios is due to unusual events beyond the control of the borrower, such as unusual weather, system outage due to a storm or regulatory delay in approving rate increases, then the Administrator may waive the requirement that the borrower take the remedial actions set forth in this paragraph, provided that such waiver will not threaten loan feasibility.

(2) With respect to any outstanding loan approved by RUS on or after February 10, 1992, if, based on actual or projected financial performance of the borrower, RUS determines that the borrower may not achieve its required coverage ratios in the current or future years, RUS may withhold the advance of loan funds until the borrower has taken remedial action satisfactory to RUS.

[60 FR 67404, Dec. 29, 1995, as amended at 61 FR 66871, Dec. 19, 1996; 65 FR 51748, Aug. 25, 2000]

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