PUC Seeks Public Comment on Act 58 of 2018 and Future Implementation of New Law Permitting Alternative Rate Mechanisms for Utilities
Published on 8/23/2018
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a Tentative Implementation Order for Act 58 of 2018, which provides for alternative ratemaking for natural gas distribution, electric distribution and water/wastewater companies.
The Commission voted 5-0 to solicit comments on the Commission’s proposed interpretation and implementation of the new law, which allows public utilities to petition the PUC to consider various alternative ratemaking mechanisms as part of utilities’ base rate proceedings. Act 58 of 2018 permits utilities to seek PUC approval of alternative rates and rate mechanisms including, but not limited to: decoupling mechanisms, performance-based rates, formula rates, multiyear rate plans, or a combination of these alternatives.
On June 28, 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Act 58 of 2018, which amends Chapter 13 of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code – specifically, adding Section 1330, 66 Pa. C.S. §1330 (relating to alternative ratemaking for utilities) that permits the Commission to approve an application by a utility to establish alternative rates and rate mechanisms.
Interested parties may submit written comments on the Commission’s proposal up to 30 days from the date the Tentative Implementation Order is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and reply comments within 70 days of publication. Written comments are to be submitted to Secretary Rosemary Chiavetta, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 400 North St., Harrisburg, PA 17120. Comments may also be filed electronically through the PUC’s e-File System.
In the Tentative Implementation Order, the PUC has proposed that the alternative ratemaking mechanisms authorized under Act 58 be proposed within the confines of a utility base rate case under Chapter 13 of the Public Utility Code. The Commission has a well-established process for reviewing base rate cases, which provides for hearings concerning the lawfulness and appropriateness of proposed rates, including proposed alternative rate mechanisms.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No.: M-2018-3003269
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