§ 53.66. Filing requirements for small gas utilities.
(a) A small gas utility seeking recovery of purchased gas costs under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(a) or (b) (relating to sliding scale of rates; adjustments) shall comply with the following procedures:
(1) Gas cost rate (GCR) tariffs filed by small gas utilities for the purpose of recovery of gas costs under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307 include the following schedules:
(i) Schedule 1: Calculation of the GCR.
(ii) Schedule 2: Projected Supply and Sales Volumes.
(iii) Schedule 3: Projected Supplier Rates.
(iv) Schedule 4: Calculated Projected Gas Cost.
(v) Schedule 5: Summary of E-Factor.
(vi) Schedule 6: 1307(e) Statement of Over/Under Collections.
(vii) Schedule 7: Actual Supply Volumes.
(viii) Schedule 8: Actual Supply Rates.
(ix) Schedule 9: Actual Supply Costs.
(x) Schedule 10: Reconciliation of E-Factor.
(xi) Schedule 11: Effect of Rate Changes on Residential Customer.
(2) A small gas utility seeking recovery of its gas costs under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(a) or (b) shall annually submit a preliminary and a final GCR filing to the Commission to be effective November 1, with notice to the public at the time of its initial filing as required under § 53.68 (relating to notice requirements). The preliminary filing is to be made by September 2, and shall contain as much actual data as is then available. The final filing shall be made on October 2 and shall contain actual data and any updates or corrections to the data contained in the initial filing. Both the preliminary and the final filings shall be based on forecasted costs for the subsequent 12-month period ending August 31. The GCR computation is to follow a formula designated by the Commission. Upon Commission approval, a tariff shall be filed reflecting rates as approved.
(3) The provision of information required by this section does not preclude use of discovery to obtain additional information.
(4) No GCR rates are to be implemented without express prior Commission approval. The approval shall constitute only tentative approval for collection of the GCR charges from ratepayers and not a final approval of the as yet unaudited projections of the utility, which have not yet been subjected to scrutiny concerning the reasonableness of underlying transactions.
(5) Utilities have the burden of pursuing a least cost purchasing policy consistent with 66 Pa.C.S. § § 1316 and 1317 (relating to recovery of advertising expenses; and regulation of natural gas costs) and shall be accountable for failure to comply with these standards and those of 66 Pa.C.S. § 1301 (relating to rates to be just and reasonable).
(b) In addition to the statements and supporting data filed as required under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(e), small gas utilities shall file the information and data as may be required by the Bureau of Audits or other bureau as the Commission may direct. Both the preliminary and the final filing shall be served upon the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, and the Office of Small Business Advocate and shall be provided to intervenors, upon request. This evidence will be considered by the Commission in formulating its audit review under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(d) or in other proceedings as described in subsection (c) and may be supplemented by submissions from interested persons. The audit under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(d) and the review of procurement policies will not be the subject of the Commissions statutorily required reconciliation hearings under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(e), which are governed by strict time limits.
(c) Small gas utilities shall file a reconciliation statement under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(e) for the 12-month period running from September 1 through August 31 by October 1. Questions on the underlying propriety of a utilitys procurement policies, and the like, can be raised in a separately docketed complaint proceeding filed by a party, by Commission investigation or in a proceeding arising from audit findings under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(d).
(d) Overcollections are subject to refund with interest applied at the prime rate for commercial borrowing. Undercollections may be recovered from ratepayers. When undercollections are recovered, interest shall be applied at the prime rate for commercial borrowing. Adjustments to the E-Factor for correction of prior reported over/under collections or as recommended by the Bureau of Audits may include interest. Unless directed otherwise by the Commission, the adjustment for interest is the difference between the amount of interest originally reported on the applicable over/under collection and the amount of interest applicable to the adjusted over/under collection.
(e) Utilities recovering fuel costs under the GCR shall state the following information about fuel costs on customers bills:
This bill includes
per MCF which is our average cost of gas acquired for your use.
The cost of gas shall be calculated exclusive of taxes and current base costs-nonfuel costs. The cost of gas must include the direct costs paid by the natural gas distribution company for the purchase and delivery of natural gas to its system to supply its customers. The GCR must include 100% of the gas costs and be shown as a separate line item on the customer bill. Gas costs included in the GCR are subject to refund and reconciliation under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(e). The E-Factor of Gas Adjustment Charge is a mechanism to refund or recoup over/under collected amounts under 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(e). The E-Factor rate or Gas Adjustment Charge may be combined with the GCR or shown as a separate rate.
(f) Small gas utilities shall pay interest on pipeline refunds from the time received until disbursed at a 6% annual interest rate. The refunds are to be refunded through recomputation of the E-factor of the GCR formula.
(g) Small gas utilities should monitor GCR activity to avoid becoming materially over/under collected. In the event a small gas utility anticipates a material over/under collection that would result in a change in the current GCR greater than 2%, the small gas utility may submit an interim GCR tariff filing to become effective, unless otherwise provided for in its tariff, on 10 days notice. The interim filing shall be subject to audit in accordance with 66 Pa.C.S. § 1307(d).
The provisions of this § 53.66 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § § 501, 504, 1301, 1304, 1307, 1317, 1318 and 1501.
The provisions of this § 53.66 adopted February 22, 1985, effective February 23, 1985, 15 Pa.B. 672; amended April 14, 1995, effective June 14, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 1411; amended January 22, 2016, effective January 23, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 449. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (213686) to (213688).
This section cited in 52 Pa. Code § 53.61 (relating to purpose); 52 Pa. Code § 53.63 (relating to categories of gas utilities); and 52 Pa. Code § 53.64 (relating to filing requirements for natural gas distributors with gross intrastate annual operating revenues in excess of $40 million).
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