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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1714Subpart A → §1714.8


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1714—PRE-LOAN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR INSURED ELECTRIC LOANS
Subpart A—General


§1714.8   Hardship rate loans.

Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the Administrator shall make an insured electric loan for eligible purposes at the 5 percent hardship rate to a borrower primarily engaged in providing retail electric service if the borrower meets, at the time of loan approval, both the rate disparity test for hardship and the consumer income test described in paragraph (a) of this section; or the extremely high rates test set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. A loan at the 5 percent hardship rate may also be made to any borrower pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section who, in the sole discretion of the Administrator, has experienced a severe hardship. The Administrator may not require a loan from a supplemental source in connection with a hardship rate loan.

(a)(1) Rate disparity test for hardship. The borrower meets this test if its average revenue per kWh sold is not less than 120 percent of the average revenue per kWh sold by all electric utilities in the state in which the borrower provides service, and its average residential revenue per kWh is not less than 120 percent of the average residential revenue per kWh sold by all electric utilities in the state in which the borrower provides service. To determine whether a borrower meets this test, RUS will compare the borrower's average total revenue and average residential revenue with statewide data in the table of Average Revenue per Kilowatthour for Electric Utilities by Sector, Census Division and State, in the Electric Power Annual issued by the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy (DOE), or the successor to this table. The test will be based on the most recent calendar year for which full year DOE data are available at the time of loan approval and borrower data for the same year.

(2) Consumer income test. The borrower meets this test if either the average per capita income of the residents receiving electric service from the borrower is less than the average per capita income of the residents of the state in which the borrower provides service or the median household income of the residents receiving electric service from the borrower is less than the median household income of the households in the state. RUS will determine whether the borrower qualifies under this test according to the procedure set forth in §1714.7(b)(2).

(3) Borrowers serving 2 or more states. If a borrower serves consumers in 2 or more states, the rate disparity test and the consumer income tests will be determined on a weighted average based on the percentage of the borrower's total consumers that are served in each state.

(b) Extremely high rates test. Except as provided in this paragraph, the Administrator shall make an insured electric loan at the 5 percent hardship rate to any borrower whose residential revenue exceeds 15.0 cents per kWh sold. Residential revenue shall be calculated for the most recent full calendar year for which data are available and shall include sales to both seasonal and nonseasonal consumers. If, at the time of loan approval, the area to be served is an urbanized area (notwithstanding that the area must be deemed a rural area to qualify for a loan under this part (See the definition of “rural area” in 7 CFR 1710.2)), then the borrower must satisfy the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (d) of this section to qualify to the 5 percent hardship interest rate. If at the time of loan approval, such area is outside an urbanized area, the loan shall not be subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in paragraphs (a) and (d) of this section.

(c) Administrator's discretion. The Administrator may make a hardship rate loan if, in the sole discretion of the Administrator, the borrower has experienced a severe hardship. The Administrator shall consider, among other matters, whether factors beyond the control or substantial influence of the borrower have had severe adverse effect on the borrower's ability to provide service consistent with the purposes of the RE Act, and which prudent management could not reasonably anticipate and either prevent or insure against. Among the factors that may be considered are system damage due to unusual weather or other natural disasters or Acts of God, loss of substantial loads, extreme rate disparity compared to a contiguous utility, and other factors that cause severe financial hardship. The Administrator will also consider whether a hardship rate loan will provide significant relief to the borrower in dealing with the severe hardship.

(d) High density test. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, if the average number of consumers per mile of the borrower's total electric system exceeds 17, the 5 percent hardship rate will not apply to funds used for the purpose of furnishing or improving electric service to consumers located in an area that is an urban area at the time of loan approval, notwithstanding that the area must have been deemed a rural area for the purpose of qualifying for a loan under this part. (See the definition of “rural area” in 7 CFR 1710.2.) If the average number of consumers per mile of line of the borrower's total electric system exceeds 17, the borrower must include, as a note on RUS Form 740c, Cost Estimates and Loan Budget for Electric Borrowers, submitted as part of the loan application for a loan at the 5 percent hardship rate, a breakdown of funds included in the proposed loan to furnish or improve service to consumers located in urban areas. For such borrowers only funds for those facilities serving consumers located outside an urban area are eligible for the 5 percent hardship rate.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0572-1013)

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