50 FR 37837, Sept. 18, 1985, unless otherwise noted.
(a) Except as otherwise provided herein, these regulations establish procedures for the development of power and transmission rates by the Administrators of the Alaska, Southeastern, Southwestern, and Western Area Power Administrations; for the providing of opportunities for interested members of the public to participate in the development of such rates; for the confirmation, approval, and placement in effect on an interim basis by the Secretary or his or her designee of such rates; and for the submission of such rates to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with or without prior interim approval. These regulations supplement Delegation Order No. 0204-108 of the Secretary of Energy, which was published in the Federal Register and became effective on December 14, 1983 (48 FR 55664), with respect to the activities of the Secretary or his or her designee and the Administrators.
(b) These procedures shall apply to all power and transmission rate adjustment proceedings for the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) which are commenced after these regulations become effective or were in process on the effective date of these regulations, but for which the FERC had not issued any substantive orders on or before December 14, 1983. These procedures supersede “Procedures for Public Participation in Power and Transmission Rate Adjustments and Extensions for the Alaska, Southeastern, Southwestern, and Western Area Power Administrations” published in 45 FR 86983 (December 31, 1980) and amended at 46 FR 6864 (January 22, 1981) and 46 FR 25427 (May 7, 1981).
(c) Except to the extent deemed appropriate by the Administrator in accordance with applicable law, these procedures do not apply to rates for short term sales of capacity, energy, or transmission service.
As used herein -
(a) Administrator means the Administrator of the PMA whose rate is involved in the rate adjustment, or anyone acting in such capacity.
(b) Department means the Department of Energy, including the PMAs but excluding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
(c) FERC means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
(d) Major rate adjustment means a rate adjustment other than a minor rate adjustment.
(e) Minor rate adjustment means a rate adjustment which
(1) will produce less than 1 percent change in the annual revenues of the power system or
(2) is for a power system which has either annual sales normally less than 100 million kilowatt hours or an installed capacity of less than 20,000 kilowatts.
(f) Notice means the statement which informs customers and the general public of Proposed Rates or proposed rate extensions, opportunities for consultation and comment, and public forums. The Notice shall be by and effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register. Whenever a time period is provided, the date of publication in the Federal Register shall determine the commencement of the time period, unless otherwise provided in the Notice. The Notice shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the person to contact if participation or further information is sought.
(g) Power Marketing Administration or PMA means the Alaska Power Administration, Southeastern Power Administration, Southwestern Power Administration, or Western Area Power Administration.
(h) Power system means a powerplant or a group of powerplants and related facilities, including transmission facilities, or a transmission system, that the PMA treats as one unit for the purposes of establishing rates and demonstrating repayment.
(i) Proposed Rate means a rate revision or a rate for a new service which is under consideration by the Department on which public comment is invited.
(j) Provisional Rate means a rate which has been confirmed, approved, and placed in effect on an interim basis by the Secretary or his or her designee.
(k) Rate means the monetary charge or the formula for computing such a charge for any electric service provided by the PMA, including but not limited to charges for capacity (or demand), energy, or transmission service; however, it does not include leasing fees, service facility charges, or other types of facility use charges. A rate may be set forth in a rate schedule or in a contract.
(l) Rate adjustment means a change in an existing rate or rates, or the establishment of a rate or rates for a new service. It does not include a change in rate schedule provisions or in contract terms, other than changes in the price per unit of service, nor does it include changes in the monetary charge pursuant to a formula stated in a rate schedule or a contract.
(m) Rate schedule means a document identified as a “rate schedule,” “schedule of rates,” or “schedule rate” which designates the rate or rates applicable to a class of service specified therein and may contain other terms and conditions relating to the service.
(n) Secretary means the Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.
(o) Short term sales means sales that last for no longer than one year.
(p) Substitute Rate means a rate which has been developed in place of the rate that was disapproved by the FERC.
The Administrator may announce that the development of rates for a new service or revised rates for an existing service is under consideration. The announcement shall contain pertinent information relevant to the rate adjustment. The announcement may be through direct contact with customers, at public meetings, by press release, by newspaper advertisement, and/or by Federal Register publication. Written comments relevant to rate policy and design and to the rate adjustment process may be submitted by interested parties in response to the announcement. Any comments received shall be considered in the development of Proposed Rates.
(a) The Administrator shall give Notice that Proposed Rates have been prepared and are under consideration. The Notice shall include:
(1) The Proposed Rates;
(2) An explanation of the need for and derivation of the Proposed Rates;
(3) The locations at which data, studies, reports, or other documents used in developing the Proposed Rates are available for inspection and/or copying;
(4) The dates, times, and locations of any initially scheduled public forums; and
(5) Address to which written comments relative to the Proposed Rates and requests to be informed of FERC actions concerning the rates may be submitted.
(b) Upon request, customers of the power system and other interested persons will be provided with copies of the principal documents used in developing the Proposed Rates.
All interested persons will have the opportunity to consult with and obtain information from the PMA, to examine backup data, and to make suggestions for modification of the Proposed Rates for a period ending (a) 90 days in the case of major rate adjustments, or 30 days in the case of minor rate adjustments, after the Notice of Proposed Rates is published in the Federal Register, except that such periods may be shortened for good cause shown; (b) 15 days after any answer which may be provided pursuant to § 903.15(b) hereof; (c) 15 days after the close of the last public forum; or (d) such other time as the Administrator may designate; whichever is later. At anytime during this period, interested persons may submit written comments to the PMA regarding the Proposed Rates. The Administrator may also provide additional time for the submission of written rebuttal comments. All written comments shall be available at a designated location for inspection, and copies also will be furnished on request for which the Administrator may assess a fee. Prior to the action described in § 903.21, the Administrator may, by appropriate announcement postpone any procedural date or make other procedural changes for good cause shown at the request of any party or on the Administrator's own motion. The Administrator shall maintain, and distribute on request, a list of interested persons.
(a) One or more public information forums shall be held for major rate adjustments, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c) of this section, and may be held for minor adjustments, to explain, and to answer questions concerning, the Proposed Rates and the basis of and justification for proposing such rates. The number, dates, and locations of such forums will be determined by the Administrator in accordance with the anticipated or demonstrated interest in the Proposed Rates. Notice shall be given in advance of such forums. A public information forum may be combined with a public comment forum held in accordance with § 903.16.
(b) The Administrator shall appoint a forum chairperson. Questions raised at the forum concerning the Proposed Rates and the studies shall be answered by PMA representatives at the forum, at a subsequent forum, or in writing at least 15 days before the end of the consultation and comment period. However, questions that involve voluminous data contained in the PMA records may be answered by providing an opportunity for consultation and for a review of the records at the PMA offices. As a minimum, the proceedings of the forum held at the principal location shall be transcribed. Copies of all documents introduced, and of questions and written answers shall be available at a designated location for inspection and copies will be furnished by the Administrator on request, for which a fee may be assessed. Copies of the transcript may be obtained from the transcribing service.
(c) No public information forum need be held for major rate adjustments if, after the Administrator has given Notice of a scheduled forum, no person indicates in writing by a prescribed date an intent to appear at such public forum.
(a) One or more public comment forums shall be held for major rate adjustments, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c) of this section, and may be held for minor rate adjustments, to provide interested persons an opportunity for oral presentation of views, data, and arguments regarding the Proposed Rates. The number, dates, and locations of such forums will be determined by the Administrator in accordance with the anticipated or demonstrated interest in the Proposed Rates. Notice shall be given at least 30 days in advance of the first public comment forum at each location and shall include the purpose, date, time, place, and other information relative to the forum, as well as the locations where pertinent documents are available for examination and/or copying.
(b) The Administrator shall designate a forum chairperson. At the forum, PMA representatives may question those persons making oral statements and comments. The chairperson shall have discretion to establish the sequence of, and the time limits for, oral presentations and to determine if the comments are relevant and noncumulative. Forum proceedings shall be transcribed. Copies of all documents introduced shall be available at a designated location for inspection, and copies shall be furnished on request for which the Administrator may assess a fee. Copies of the transcript may be obtained from the transcribing service.
(c) No public comment forum need be held for major rate adjustments if, after the Administrator has given notice of a scheduled forum, no person indicates in writing by a prescribed date an intent to appear at such public forum.
In lieu of public information or comment forums in conjunction with a minor rate adjustment, informal public meetings may be held if deemed appropriate by the Administrator. Such informal meetings will not require a Notice or a transcription.
During or after the consultation and comment period and review of the oral and written comments on the Proposed Rates, the Administrator may revise the Proposed Rates. If the Administrator determines that further public comment should be invited, the Administrator shall afford interested persons an appropriate period to submit further written comments to the PMA regarding the revised Proposed Rates. The Administrator may convene one or more additional public information and/or public comment forums. The Administrator shall give Notice of any such additional forums.
(a) Following completion of the consultation and comment period and review of any oral and written comments on the Proposed Rates, the Administrator may:
(1) Withdraw the proposal;
(2) develop rates which in the Administrator's and the Secretary's or his or her designee's judgment should be confirmed, approved, and placed into effect on an interim basis (Provisional Rates); or
(3) develop rates which in the Administrator's judgment should be confirmed, approved, and placed into effect by the FERC on a final basis without being placed into effect on an interim basis. A statement shall be prepared and made available to the public setting forth the principal factors on which the Secretary's or his or her designee's or the Administrator's decision was based. The statement shall include an explanation responding to the major comments, criticisms, and alternatives offered during the comment period. The Administrator shall certify that the rates are consistent with applicable law and that they are the lowest possible rates to customers consistent with sound business principles. The rates shall be submitted promptly to the FERC for confirmation and approval on a final basis.
(b) The Secretary or his or her designee shall set the effective date for Provisional Rates. The effective date shall be at least 30 days after the Secretary's or his or her designee's decision except that the effective date may be sooner when appropriate to meet a contract deadline, to avoid financial difficulties, to provide a rate for a new service, or to make a minor rate adjustment.
(c) The effective date may be adjusted by the Administrator to coincide with the beginning of the next billing period following the effective date set by the Secretary or his or her designee for the Provisional Rates.
(d) Provisional Rates shall remain in effect on an interim basis until:
(1) They are confirmed and approved on a final basis by the FERC;
(2) they are disapproved and the rates last previously confirmed and approved on a final basis become effective;
(3) they are disapproved and higher Substitute Rates are confirmed and approved on a final basis and placed in effect by the FERC;
(4) they are disapproved and lower Substitute Rates are confirmed and approved on a final basis by the FERC; or
(5) they are superseded by other Provisional Rates placed in effect by the Secretary or his or her designee, whichever occurs first.
(a) Any rate submitted to the FERC for confirmation and approval on a final basis shall be accompanied with such supporting data, studies, and documents as the FERC may require, and also with the transcripts of forums, written answers to questions, written comments, the Administrator's certification, and the statement of principal factors leading to the decision. The FERC shall also be furnished a listing of those customers and other participants in the rate proceeding who have requested they be informed of FERC action concerning the rates.
(b) If the FERC confirms and approves Provisional Rates on a final basis, such confirmation and approval shall be effective as of the date such rates were placed in effect by the Secretary or his or her designee, as such date may have been adjusted by the Administrator. If the FERC confirms and approves on a final basis rates submitted by the Administrator without interim approval, such confirmation and approval shall be effective on a date set by the FERC.
(c) If the FERC disapproves Provisional Rates or other submitted rates, the Administrator shall develop Substitute Rates which take into consideration the reasons given by the FERC for its disapproval. If, in the Administrator's judgment, public comment should be invited upon proposed Substitute Rates, the Administrator may provide for a public consultation and comment period before submitting the Substitute Rates. Whether or not such public consultation and comment periods are provided, the Administrator will, upon request, provide customers of the power system and other interested persons with copies of the principal documents used in the development of the Substitute Rates. Within 120 days of the date of FERC disapproval of submitted rates, including Substitute Rates, or such additional time periods as the FERC may provide, the Administrator will submit the Substitute Rates to the FERC. A statement explaining the Administrator's decision shall accompany the submission.
(d) A Provisional Rate that is disapproved by the FERC shall remain in effect until higher or lower rates are confirmed and approved by the FERC on a final basis or are superseded by other rates placed into effect by the Secretary or his or her designee on an interim basis: Provided, That if the Administrator does not file a Substitute Rate within 120 days of the disapproval or such greater time as the FERC may provide, and if the rate has been disapproved because the FERC determined that it would result in total revenues in excess of those required by law, the rate last previously confirmed and approved on a final basis will become effective on a date and for a period determined by the FERC and revenues collected in excess of such rate during such period will be refunded in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.
(e) If a Substitute Rate confirmed and approved on a final basis by the FERC is higher than the provisional rate which was disapproved, the Substitute Rate shall become effective on a subsequent date set by the FERC, unless a subsequent Provisional Rate even higher than the Substitute Rate has been put into effect. FERC confirmation and approval of the higher Substitute Rate shall constitute final confirmation and approval of the lower disapproved Provisional Rate during the interim period that it was in effect.
(f) If a Substitute Rate confirmed and approved by the FERC on a final basis is lower than the disapproved provisional rate, such lower rate shall be effective as of the date the higher disapproved rate was placed in effect.
(g) Any overpayment shall be refunded with interest unless the FERC determines that the administrative cost of a refund would exceed the amount to be refunded, in which case no refund will be required. The interest rate applicable to any refund will be determined by the FERC.
(h) A rate confirmed and approved by the FERC on a final basis shall remain in effect for such period or periods as the FERC may provide or until a different rate is confirmed, approved and placed in effect on an interim or final basis: Provided, That the Secretary or his or her designee may extend a rate on an interim basis beyond the period specified by the FERC.
(a) The following regulations shall apply to the extension of rates which were previously confirmed and approved by the FERC or the Federal Power Commission, or established by the Secretary of the Interior, and for which no adjustment is comtemplated:
(1) The Administrator shall give Notice of the proposed extension at least 30 days before the expiration of the prior confirmation and approval, except that such period may be shortened for good cause shown.
(2) The Administrator may allow for consultation and comment, as provided in these procedures, for such period as the Administrator may provide. One or more public information and comment forums may be held, as provided in these procedures, at such times and locations and with such advance Notice as the Administrator may provide.
(3) Following notice of the proposed extension and the conclusion of any consultation and comment period, the Secretary or his or her designee may extend the rates on an interim basis.
(b) Provisional Rates and other existing rates may be extended on a temporary basis by the Secretary or his or her designee without advance notice or comment pending further action pursuant to these regulations or by the FERC. The Secretary or his or her designee shall publish notice in the Federal Register of such extension and shall promptly advise the FERC of the extension.