December 4, 2007, Introduced by Reps. Clemente, Miller, Angerer, Mayes, Accavitti, Hopgood, Gaffney, LaJoy and Hune and referred to the Committee on Energy and Technology.
A bill to amend 1939 PA 3, entitled
"An act to provide for the regulation and control of public and
certain private utilities and other services affected with a public
interest within this state; to provide for alternative energy
suppliers; to provide for licensing; to include municipally owned
utilities and other providers of energy under certain provisions of
this act; to create a public service commission and to prescribe
and define its powers and duties; to abolish the Michigan public
utilities commission and to confer the powers and duties vested by
law on the public service commission; to provide for the
continuance, transfer, and completion of certain matters and
proceedings; to abolish automatic adjustment clauses; to prohibit
certain rate increases without notice and hearing; to qualify
residential energy conservation programs permitted under state law
for certain federal exemption; to create a fund; to provide for a
restructuring of the manner in which energy is provided in this
state; to encourage the utilization of resource recovery
facilities; to prohibit certain acts and practices of providers of
energy; to allow for the securitization of stranded costs; to
reduce rates; to provide for appeals; to provide appropriations; to
declare the effect and purpose of this act; to prescribe remedies
and penalties; and to repeal acts and parts of acts,"
by amending section 6a (MCL 460.6a), as amended by 1992 PA 37.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
Sec. 6a. (1) When a finding or order is sought by a gas or
electric utility to increase its rates and charges or to alter,
change, or amend any rate or rate schedules, the effect of which
will be to increase the cost of services to its customers, notice
shall be given within the service area to be affected. The utility
shall place in evidence facts relied upon to support the utility's
petition or application to increase its rates and charges, or to
change, or amend any rate or rate schedules.
After first having
given notice to the interested parties within the service area
to be affected and affording interested parties a reasonable opportunity
for a full and complete hearing, the commission, after submission
of all proofs by any interested party, may in its discretion
and upon written motion by the utility make a finding and
enter an order granting partial and immediate relief. A finding or
order shall not be authorized or approved ex parte, nor until the
commission's technical staff has made an investigation and report.
A utility may use projected
costs and revenues for a future
period in developing its requested rates and charges. If the
commission has not issued a final order within 90 days of the
filing of the application, the utility may implement the proposed
rates or charges. If a utility implements increased rates or
charges under this subsection before the commission issues the
final order, that utility shall refund to customers, with interest,
any portion of the rates or charges that produce total revenues
greater than those revenues produced by the rates or charges
subsequently ordered by the commission in its final order. The
commission shall determine a rate of interest for refunds equal to
the greater of the average short-term borrowing rate available to
the utility during the appropriate period, or the authorized rate
of return on the common stock of the utility during that same
period. The commission shall apportion the refunded amount of
revenues among customers using procedures it determines are
reasonable. An alteration or amendment in rates or rate schedules
applied for by a public utility that will not result in an increase
in the cost of service to its customers may be authorized and
approved without notice or hearing. There shall be no increase in
rates based upon changes in cost of fuel or purchased gas unless
notice has been given within the service area to be affected, and
there has been an opportunity for a full and complete hearing on
the cost of fuel or purchased gas. The rates charged by any utility
pursuant to an automatic fuel or purchased gas adjustment clause
shall not be altered, changed, or amended unless notice has been
given within the service area to be affected, and there has been an
opportunity for a full and complete hearing on the cost of the fuel
or purchased gas.
(2) The commission shall adopt rules and procedures for the
filing, investigation, and hearing of petitions or applications to
increase or decrease utility rates and charges as the commission
finds necessary or appropriate to enable it to reach a final
decision with respect to petitions or applications within a period
of 9 months from the filing of the petitions or applications. The
commission shall not authorize or approve adjustment clauses that
operate without notice and an opportunity for a full and complete
hearing, and all such clauses shall be abolished. The commission
may hold a full and complete hearing to determine the cost of fuel,
purchased gas, or purchased power separately from a full and
complete hearing on general rate case and may be held concurrently
with the general rate case. The commission shall authorize a
utility to recover the cost of fuel, purchased gas, or purchased
power only to the extent that the purchases are reasonable and
prudent. As used in this section:
(a) "Full and complete hearing" means a hearing that provides
interested parties a reasonable opportunity to present and cross-
examine evidence and present arguments relevant to the specific
element or elements of the request that are the subject of the
(b) "General rate case" means a proceeding initiated by a
utility in an application filed with the commission that alleges a
revenue deficiency and requests an increase in the schedule of
rates or charges based on the utility's total cost of providing
(3) If a final decision has not been reached upon a petition
or application to increase or decrease utility rates within the 9-
month period required by subsection (2), the commission shall give
to the case and shall take
other action as it
finds necessary or appropriate to expedite a final decision. If the
commission fails to reach a final decision with respect to a
petition or application to increase or decrease utility rates
within the 9-month period following the filing of the petition or
application, the commission, within 15 days after expiration of the
9-month period, shall submit a written report to the governor and
to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of
representatives stating the reasons a decision was not reached
within the 9-month period and the actions being taken to expedite
the decision. The commission shall submit a further report upon
reaching a final decision providing full details with respect to
the conduct of the case, including the time required for issuance
of the commission's decision following the conclusion of hearings.
(4) A utility shall not file a general rate case application
for an increase in rates earlier than 9 months after the date of
the filing of a prior general rate case application without first
seeking and obtaining the approval of the commission. If the
commission has not issued a final order within 9 months of the date
of the filing of a general rate case application, a utility may
file a new general rate case application.
Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take effect
unless all of the following bills of the 94th Legislature are
enacted into law:
(a) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5524(request no.
(b) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5521(request no.
(c) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5522(request no.
(d) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5520(request no.
(e) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No.____ (request no.
(f) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No.____ (request no.
(g) Senate Bill No.____ or House Bill No. 5525(request no.
(h) House Bill No. 5383.
(i) House Bill No. 5384.