Electric utility services, amendments to ch 20
Notice of Intended Action
Proposing rule making related to electric utility services and providing
an opportunity for public comment
The Utilities Board hereby proposes to amend Chapter 20, "Service Supplied by Electric Utilities," Iowa Administrative Code.
Legal Authority for Rule Making
This rule making is proposed under the authority provided in Iowa Code sections 474.5 and 476.2.
State or Federal Law Implemented
This rule making implements, in whole or in part, Iowa Code sections 476.2, 476.6, 476.8, 476.20, 476.54, 476.66, 478.18 and 546.7.
Purpose and Summary
The Board is conducting a comprehensive review of its administrative rules in accordance with Iowa Code section 17A.7(2). The purpose of this review is to identify and update or eliminate rules that are outdated or inconsistent with statutes and other administrative rules. Additionally, the Board is proposing to amend Chapter 20 by adding provisions regarding meter testing to eliminate the need for future waivers, updating its customer service rules, and addressing issues regarding master metering.
The Board issued an order commencing rule making on February 23, 2018. The order is available on the Board's electronic filing system, efs.iowa.gov, under Docket No. RMU-2016-0008.
After analysis and review of this rule making, the Board tentatively concludes that the amendments will have no effect on the expenditure of public moneys within the State of Iowa.
After analysis and review of this rule making, the Board tentatively concludes that the amendments will not have a detrimental effect on employment in Iowa.
Chapter-specific waiver provisions are unnecessary since any person may apply for waiver of any Board rule under rule 199—1.3(17A,474,476).
Any interested person may submit written comments concerning this proposed rule making. Written comments in response to this rule making must be received by the Board no later than 4:30 p.m. on May 1, 2018. Comments should be directed to:
Iowa Utilities Board
Electronic Filing System (EFS) at efs.iowa.gov
A public hearing at which persons may present their views orally or in writing will be held as follows:
May 16, 2018
Utilities Board Hearing Room
9 a.m. to 12 noon
1375 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Persons who wish to make oral comments at the public hearing may be asked to state their names for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of this proposed rule making.
Any persons who intend to attend a public hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the Board and advise of specific needs.
Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee
The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rule making by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rule making at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).
The following rule-making actions are proposed:
Item 1. Amend subrule 20.1(2) as follows:
20.1(2) Application of rules. The rules shall apply to any electric utility operating within the state of Iowa subject to Iowa Code chapter 476, and to the construction, operation and maintenance of electric transmission lines to the extent provided in Iowa Code chapter 478, and shall supersede all tariffs on file with the board which are in conflict with these rules.
These rules are intended to promote safe and adequate service to the public, to provide standards for uniform and reasonable practices by utilities, and to establish a basis for determining the reasonableness of such demands as may be made by the public upon the utilities.
The adoption of these rules shall in no way preclude the board from altering or amending them pursuant to statute or from making such modifications with respect to their application as may be found necessary to meet exceptional conditions.
These rules shall in no way relieve any utility from any of its duties under the laws of this state.
Item 2. Amend subrule 20.1(3) as follows:
20.1(3) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in these rules, shall have the meaning indicated below:
"Acid Rain Program" means the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides air pollution control program established pursuant to Title IV of the Act under 40 CFR Parts 72-78.
"Act" means the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 7401, et seq., as amended by Pub. L. 101-549, November 15, 1990.
"Affected unit" means a unit or source that is subject to any emission reduction requirement or limitation under the Acid Rain Program, the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) , or the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), or the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), or a unit or source that opts in under 40 CFR Part 74.
"Allowance" means an authorization, allocated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , to emit sulfur dioxide (SO2) under the Acid Rain Program , to emit sulfur dioxide (SO2), any or SO 2 and nitrogen oxide (NO X) emissions subject to under the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) , or mercury (Hg) emissions subject to the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR), and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) during or after a specified calendar year.
"Allowance forward contract" is an agreement between a buyer and seller to transfer an allowance on a specified future date at a specified price.
"Allowance futures contract" is an agreement between a futures exchange clearinghouse and a buyer or seller to buy or sell an allowance on a specified future date at a specified price.
"Allowance option contract" is an agreement between a buyer and seller whereby the buyer has the option to transfer an allowance(s) at a specified date at a specified price. The seller of a call or put option will receive a premium for taking on the associated risk.
"Board" means the utilities board.
"Clean Air Interstate Rule" or "CAIR" means the requirements EPA published in the Federal Register (70 Fed. Reg. 25161) on May 12, 2005.
"Clean Air Mercury Rule" or "CAMR" means the requirements EPA published in the Federal Register (70 Fed. Reg. 28605) on May 18, 2005.
"Complaint," as used in these rules, is a statement or question by anyone, whether a utility customer or not, alleging a wrong, grievance, injury, dissatisfaction, illegal action or procedure, dangerous condition or action, or utility obligation.
"Compliance plan" means the document submitted for an affected source to the EPA which specifies the methods by which each affected unit at the source will meet the applicable emissions limitation and emissions reduction requirements.
"Cross-State Air Pollution Rule" or "CSAPR" means the requirements established by EPA in 40 CFR 97 Subparts AAAAA, BBBBB, CCCCC, and DDDDD as amended by 81 FR 13275 (March 14, 2016).
"Customer" means any person, firm, association, or corporation, any agency of the federal, state or local government, or legal entity responsible by law for payment for the electric service or heat from the electric utility.
"Delinquent" or "delinquency" means an account for which a service bill or service payment agreement has not been paid in full on or before the last day for timely payment.
"Distribution line" means any single or multiphase electric power line operating at nominal voltage in either of the following ranges: 2,000 to 26,000 volts between ungrounded conductors or 1,155 to 15,000 volts between grounded and ungrounded conductors, regardless of the functional service provided by the line.
"Economy energy" is energy bought or sold in a transaction wherein the supplier's incremental cost is less than the buyer's decremental cost, and the differential in cost is shared in an equitable manner by the supplier and buyer.
"Electric plant" includes all real estate, fixtures and property owned, controlled, operated or managed in connection with or to facilitate production, generation, transmission, or distribution, in providing electric service or heat by an electric utility.
"Electric service" is furnishing to the public for compensation any electricity, heat, light, power, or energy.
"Emission for emission trade" is an exchange of one type of emission for another type of emission. For example, the exchange of SO2 emission allowances for NOX emission allowances.
"Energy" means electric energy measured in kilowatt hours.
"Firm power" is power and associated energy intended to be available at all times during the period covered by the commitment.
"Gains and losses from allowance sales" are calculated as the difference between the sale price of allowances sold during the month and the weighted average unit cost of inventoried allowances.
"Mercury and Air Toxics Standards" or "MATS" means the requirements established by EPA in 40 CFR Parts 60 and 63 regarding limits of power plant emissions of toxic air pollutants (February 16, 2012).
"Meter" means, unless otherwise qualified, a device that measures and registers the integral of an electrical quantity with respect to time.
"Meter shop" is a shop where meters are inspected, repaired and tested, and may be at a fixed location or may be mobile.
"Operating reserve" is a reserve generating capacity required to ensure reliability of generation resources.
"Operational control energy" is energy supplied by a selling utility to a buying utility for the improvement of electric system operation.
"Outage energy" is energy purchased during emergency or scheduled maintenance outages of generation or transmission facilities, or both.
"Participation power" means power and associated energy or energy which is purchased or sold from a specific unit or units on the basis that its availability is subject to prorate proration or other specified reduction if the units are not operated at full capacity.
"Peaking power" is power and associated energy intended to be available at all times during the commitment and which is anticipated to have low load factor use.
"Power" means electric power measured in kilowatts.
"Price hedging" means using futures contracts or options to guard against unfavorable price changes.
"Secondary line" means any single or multiphase electric power line operating at nominal voltage less than either 2,000 volts between ungrounded conductors or 1,155 volts between grounded and ungrounded conductors, regardless of the functional service provided by the line.
"Service limitation" means the establishment of a limit on the amount of power that may be consumed by a residential customer through the installation of a service limiter on the customer's meter.
"Service limiter" or "service limitation device" means a device that limits a residential customer's power consumption to 3,600 watts (or some higher level of usage approved by the board) and that resets itself automatically, or can be reset manually by the customer, and may also be reset remotely by the utility at all times.
"Speculation" means using futures contracts or options to profit from expectations of future price changes.
"Tariff" means the entire body of rates, tolls, rentals, charges, classifications, rules, procedures, policies, etc., adopted and filed with the board by an electric utility in fulfilling its role of furnishing service.
"Timely payment" is a payment on a customer's account made on or before the date shown on a current bill for service, or on a form which records an agreement between the customer and a utility for a series of partial payments to settle a delinquent account, as the date which determines application of a late payment charge to the current bill or future collection efforts.
"Transmission line" means any single or multiphase electric power line operating at nominal voltages at or in excess of either 69,000 volts between ungrounded conductors or 40,000 volts between grounded and ungrounded conductors, regardless of the functional service provided by the line.
"Utility" means any person, partnership, business association or corporation, domestic or foreign, owning or operating any facilities for providing electric service or heat to the public for compensation.
"Vintage trade" is an exchange of one vintage of allowances for another vintage of allowances with the difference in value between vintages being cash or additional allowances.
"Weighted average unit cost of inventoried allowances" equals the dollars in inventory at the end of the month divided by the total allowances available for use at the end of the month.
"Wheeling service" is the service provided by a utility in consenting to the use of its transmission facilities by another party for the purpose of scheduling delivery of power or energy, or both.
Item 3. Amend subrule 20.2(2) as follows:
20.2(2) Tariffs to be filed with the board. The schedules of rates and rules of rate-regulated electric utilities shall be filed with the board and shall be classified, designated, arranged and submitted so as to conform to the requirements of this chapter. Provisions of the schedules shall be definite and so stated as to minimize ambiguity or the possibility of misinterpretation. The form, identification and content of tariffs shall be in accordance with these rules. A rate-regulated electric utility's current tariff will be made available through the board's electronic filing system.
Utilities which are not subject to the rate regulation provided for by Iowa Code chapter 476 shall not be required to file schedules of rates, rules, or contracts primarily concerned with a rate schedule with the board and shall not be subject to the provisions related to rate regulations, but nothing contained in these rules shall be deemed to relieve any utility of the requirement of furnishing any of these same schedules or contracts which are needed by the board in the performance of the board's duties upon request to do so by the board.
Item 4. Amend subrule 20.2(3) as follows:
20.2(3) Form and identification. All tariffs shall conform to the following rules:
a. The tariff shall be printed, typewritten or otherwise filed electronically using the board's electronic filing system. The filed tariff shall be capable of being reproduced on 8½- × 11- inch sheets of durable white paper so as to result in a clear and permanent record consumers may readily view and reproduce copies of the tariff. The sheets of the tariff should be ruled or spaced to set off a border on the left side suitable for binding. In the case of utilities subject to regulation by any federal agency the format of sheets of A tariff as filed with the board may be the same format as is required by the a federal agency provided that the rules of the board as to title page; identity of superseding, replacing or revision sheets; identity of amending sheets:; identity of the filing utility, issuing official, date of issue, effective date; and the words "Tariff with board" shall apply in the modification of the federal agency format for the purposes of filing with this board.
b. The title page of every tariff and supplement shall show:
(1)The first page shall be the title page which shall show:
(Name of Public Utility)
Iowa Utilities Board
(This requirement does not apply to tariffs or amendments filed with the board prior to July 1, 1981.)
(2)When a tariff is to be superseded or replaced in its entirety, the replacing tariff shall show on the upper right corner of its title page that it supersedes a tariff on file and the number being superseded or replaced, for example:
supersedes tariff no.
(This requirement does not apply to tariffs or amendments filed with the board prior to July 1, 1981.)
(3)When a new part of a tariff eliminates an existing part of a tariff it shall so state and clearly indicate the part eliminated.
(4)Any tariff modifications as defined above shall be marked in the right-hand margin of the replacing tariff sheet with symbols as here described to indicate the place, nature and extent of the change in text.
(D)—Discontinued rate or regulation
(I)—Increase in rate or new treatment resulting in increased rate
(N)—New rate, treatment or regulation
(R)—Reduction in rate or new treatment resulting in reduced rate
(T)—Change in text only
c. All sheets except the title page shall have, in addition to the above-stated requirements, the following information:
(1)Name of utility under which shall be set forth the words "Filed with board." If the utility is not a corporation, and a trade name is used, the name of the individual or partners must precede the trade name.
(2)Issuing official and issue date.
(3)Effective date (to be left blank by rate-regulated utilities).
d. All sheets except the title page shall have the following form:
(This sheet identification)
Filed with board
(Canceled sheet identification, if any)
(Content or tariff)
Issued by: (Name, title)
(Proposed Effective Date:)
The issued date is the date the tariff or the amended sheet content was adopted by the utility.
The effective date will be left blank by rate-regulated utilities and shall be determined by the board. The utility may propose an effective date.
Item 5. Amend subrule 20.2(5) as follows:
20.2(5) Annual, periodic and other reports to be filed with the board.
a. System map verification. The utility shall file annually a verification that it has a currently correct set of utility system maps in accordance with general requirement the general requirements of subrule 20.3(11) and a statement as to the location of the utility's offices where such maps, except those deemed confidential by the board, are accessible and available for examination by the board or its agents. The verification and map location information shall also be reported to the board upon other occasions when significant changes occur in either the maps or location of the maps.
b. to e. No change.
f. A copy of the The utility's current rules, if any, published or furnished by the utility for the use of engineers, architects, electrical contractors, etc., covering meter and service installations shall be filed with maintained and made available to the board upon request.
g. to k. No change.
Item 6. Amend subparagraph 20.3(1)"a"(2) as follows:
(2)For temporary service installations not otherwise metered.
Item 7. Amend paragraph 20.3(1)"b" as follows:
b. The amount of all electricity delivered to multioccupancy premises within a single building, where units are separately rented or owned, shall be measured on the basis of individual meter measurement for each unit, except in the following instances:
(1)Where electricity is used in centralized heating, cooling, water-heating, or ventilation systems;
(2)Where a facility is designated for elderly or handicapped persons;
(3)Where submetering or resale of service was permitted prior to 1966; or
(4)Where individual metering is impractical. "Impractical" means: (1) where conditions or structural barriers exist in the multioccupancy building that would make individual meters unsafe or physically impossible to install; (2) where the cost of providing individual metering exceeds the long-term benefits of individual metering; or (3) where the benefits of individual metering (reduced and controlled energy consumption) are more effectively accomplished through a master meter arrangement.
1.Conditions or structural barriers exist in the multioccupancy building that would make individual meters unsafe or physically impossible to install; or
2.The cost of providing individual metering exceeds the long-term benefits of individual metering; or
(5)Where the benefits of individual metering (reduced and controlled energy consumption) are more effectively accomplished through a master meter arrangement in which the predicted annual energy use for a new multioccupancy building would result in at least a 30 percent energy savings compared to the predicted annual energy use of a new building meeting the requirements of the State of Iowa Energy Code and operating with equipment, fixtures, and appliances meeting federal energy standards for manufactured devices for a new building. An existing multioccupancy building qualifies for master metering under this subparagraph when the predicted annual energy use would result in at least a 30 percent energy savings compared to the building's current annual energy usage levels. Credits for on-site renewable energy generation shall not be taken into account when determining the predicted energy savings.
If a multioccupancy building is master-metered, the end-user occupants may be charged for electricity as an unidentified portion of the rent, condominium fee, or similar payment, or, if some other method of allocating the cost of the electric service is used, the total charge for electric service shall not exceed the total electric bill charged by the utility for the same period.
Item 8. Rescind and reserve subrule 20.3(4).
Item 9. Amend subrule 20.3(5) as follows:
20.3(5) Meter register. If it is necessary to apply a multiplier to the meter readings, the multiplier must be marked on the face of the meter register or stenciled in weather resistant weather-resistant paint upon the front cover of the meter. Customers shall have continuous visual access to meter registers as a means of verifying the accuracy of bills presented to them and for implementing such energy conservation initiatives as they desire, except in the individual locations where the utility has experienced vandalism to windows in the protective enclosures. Where remote meter reading is used, whether outdoor on premises or off premises automated, the customer shall also have readable meter registers at the meter. A utility may comply with the requirements of this subrule by making the required information available via the Internet or other equivalent means.
Where magnetic tape or other a delayed processing means is used, the utility may comply by having readable kWh registers only, visually accessible.
In instances in which the utility has determined that readable access, to locations existing July 1, 1981, will create a safety hazard, the utility is exempted from the access provisions above.
In instances when a building owner has determined that unrestricted access to tenant metering installation would create a vandalism or safety hazard, the utility is exempted from the access provision above.
Continuing efforts should be made to eliminate or minimize the number of restricted locations. The utility should assist affected customers in obtaining meter register information.
Item 10. Amend subrule 20.3(6) as follows:
20.3(6) Meter reading and billing interval. Readings of all meters used for determining charges and billings to customers shall be scheduled at least monthly and for the beginning and termination of service. Bills to larger customers may, for good cause, be rendered provided weekly or daily for a period not to exceed one month. Intervals other than monthly shall not be applied to smaller customers, or to larger customers after the initial month provided above, without a waiver from the board. A waiver request must include sufficient information to comply with 199—1.3(17A,474,476,78GA,HF2206) 199—1.3(17A,474,476). If the board denies a waiver, or if a waiver is not sought with respect to a high demand high-demand customer after the initial month, that customer's meter shall be read monthly for the next 12 months. The group of larger customers to which shorter billing intervals may be applied shall be specified in the utility's tariff sheets, but shall not include residential customers.
An effort shall be made to obtain readings of the meters on corresponding days of each meter-reading meter reading period. When the meter reading date causes a given billing period to deviate by more than 10 percent (counting only business days) from the normal meter reading period, such bills shall be prorated on a daily basis.
The utility may permit the customer to supply the meter readings by telephone, by electronic means, or on a form supplied by the utility. The utility may arrange for customer meter reading forms to be delivered to the utility by United States mail, electronically, or by hand delivery. The utility may arrange for the meter to be read by electronic means. Unless the utility has a plan to test check meter readings, a utility representative shall physically read the meter at least once each 12 months.
In the event that the utility leaves a meter reading form with the customer when access to meters cannot be gained and the form is not returned in time for the billing operation, an estimated bill may be rendered provided.
If an actual meter reading cannot be obtained, the utility may render provide an estimated bill without reading the meter or supplying a meter reading form to the customer. Only in unusual cases or when approval is obtained from the customer shall more than three consecutive estimated bills be rendered provided.
Item 11. Amend subrule 20.3(8) as follows:
20.3(8) Service areas. Service areas are defined by the boundaries on service area maps ,. Paper maps are available for viewing during regular business hours at the board's offices , and available for purchase at the cost of reproduction. Maps are also available for viewing on the board's website. These service area maps are adopted as part of this rule and are incorporated in this rule by this reference.
Item 12. Amend paragraph 20.3(11)"b" as follows:
b. All maps, except those deemed confidential by the board, shall be available for examination at the utility's designated offices during the utility's regular office hours. The maps shall be drawn with clean, uniform lines to a scale of one inch per mile. A large scale shall be used where it is necessary to clarify areas where there is a heavy concentration of facilities. All cartographic details shall be clean cut, and the background shall contain little or no coloration or shading.
Item 13. Adopt the following new subrule 20.3(12):
20.3(12) Prepayment meters. Prepayment meters shall not be geared or set so as to result in the charge of a rate or amount higher than would be paid if a standard type meter were used, except under tariffs approved by the board.
Item 14. Amend paragraph 20.3(13)"a," definition of "Contribution in aid of construction," as follows:
"Contribution in aid of construction," as used in this subrule, means a nonrefundable cash payment grossed-up for the income tax effect of such revenue covering the costs of an electrical line extension or a service line that are in excess of costs paid by the utility. The amount of tax shall be reduced by the present value of the tax benefits to be obtained by depreciating the property in determining the tax liability.
Item 15. Amend subparagraph 20.3(13)"c"(5) as follows:
(5)Refunds. When the customer is required to make an advance for construction, the utility shall refund to the depositor for a period of ten years from the date of the original advance a pro-rata share for each service line attached to the electrical line extension. The pro-rata refund shall be computed in the following manner:
1.If the combined total of three times estimated base revenue, or the amount allowed by the feasibility model, for the electrical line extension and each service line attached to the electrical line extension exceeds the total estimated constriction construction cost to provide the electrical line extension, the entire amount of the advance for construction provided shall be refunded.
2. and 3. No change.
Item 16. Amend paragraph 20.3(13)"e" as follows:
e. Extensions not required. Utilities shall not be required to make electrical line extensions or install service lines as described in this subrule, unless the electrical line extension or service line shall be of a permanent nature. When the utility provides a temporary service to a customer, the utility may require that the customer bear all the cost of installing and removing the service in excess of any salvage realized.
Item 17. Amend subrule 20.4(1) as follows:
20.4(1) Customer information. Each utility shall:
a. and b. No change.
d. Post a notice in a conspicuous place in each office of the utility where applications for service are received, informing the public that copies of the rate schedules and rules relating to the service of the utility, as filed with the board, are available for public inspection. If the utility has provided access to its rate schedules and rules for service on its Web site website, the notice should shall include the Web site website address.
e. No change.
f. State, on the bill form, that tariff and rate schedule information is available upon request at the utility's local business office. If the utility provides access to its tariff and rate schedules on its website, the bill form should include the website address.
g. and h. No change.
Item 18. Amend subrule 20.4(2) as follows:
20.4(2) Customer contact employee qualifications. Each utility shall promptly and courteously resolve inquiries for information or complaints. Employees who receive customer telephone calls and office visits shall be qualified and trained in screening and resolving complaints, to avoid a preliminary recitation of the entire complaint to employees without ability and authority to act. The employee shall provide identification to the customer that will enable the customer to reach that employee again if needed.
Each utility shall notify its customers, by bill insert or notice on the bill form, of the address and telephone number where a utility representative qualified to assist in resolving the complaint can be reached. The bill insert or notice shall also include the following statement: "If (utility name) does not resolve your complaint, you may request assistance from the Iowa Utilities Board by calling (515)725-7321, or toll-free 1-877-565-4450, or by writing to 1375 E. Court Avenue, Room 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069, or by E-mail email to firstname.lastname@example.org."
The bill insert or notice for municipal utilities shall include the following statement: "If your complaint is related to service disconnection, safety, or renewable energy, and (utility name) does not resolve your complaint, you may request assistance from the Iowa Utilities Board by calling (515)725-7321, or toll-free 1-877-565-4450, by writing to 1375 E. Court Avenue, Room 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069, or by E-mail email to email@example.com."
The bill insert or notice for non-rate-regulated rural electric cooperatives shall include the following statement: "If your complaint is related to the (utility name) service rather than its rates, and (utility name) does not resolve your complaint, you may request assistance from the Iowa Utilities Board by calling (515)725-7321, or toll-free 1-877-565-4450, by writing to 1375 E. Court Avenue, Room 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069, or by E-mail email to firstname.lastname@example.org."
The bill insert or notice on the bill shall be provided monthly by utilities serving more than 50,000 Iowa retail customers and no less than annually by all other electric utilities. Any utility which does not use the standard statement described in this subrule shall file its proposed statement in its tariff for approval. A utility that bills by postcard may place an advertisement in a local newspaper of general circulation or a customer newsletter instead of a mailing. The advertisement must be of a type size that is easily legible and conspicuous and must contain the information set forth above.
Item 19. Amend subrule 20.4(9) as follows:
20.4(9) Customer bill forms. Each customer shall be informed as promptly as possible following the reading of the customer's meter, on bill form or otherwise, of the following:
a. The reading of the meter at the beginning and at the end of the period for which the bill is rendered provided.
b. and c. No change.
d. The applicable rate schedule, or with the identification of the applicable rate schedule classification.
e. No change.
f. The last date for timely payment shall be clearly shown and shall be not less than 20 days after the bill is rendered provided.
g. to j. No change.
Item 20. Amend subrule 20.4(11) as follows:
20.4(11) Payment agreements.
a. and b. No change.
c. Terms of payment agreements.
(1)First payment agreement. The utility shall offer customers who have received a disconnection notice or have been disconnected 120 days or less and who are not in default of a payment agreement the option of spreading payments evenly over at least 12 months by paying specific amounts at scheduled times. The utility shall offer customers who have been disconnected more than 120 days and who are not in default of a payment agreement the option of spreading payments evenly over at least 6 months by paying specific amounts at scheduled times. The utility shall offer the following conditions to customers who have received a disconnection notice or who have been previously disconnected and are not in default of a payment agreement:
1.The agreement shall also include provision for payment of the current account. The agreement negotiations and periodic payment terms shall comply with tariff provisions which are consistent with these rules. The utility may also require the customer to enter into a level payment plan to pay the current bill.
2.When the customer makes the agreement in person, a signed copy of the agreement shall be provided to the customer.
3.The utility may offer the customer the option of making the agreement over the telephone or through electronic transmission. When the customer makes the agreement over the telephone or through electronic transmission, the utility shall render to the customer a written document reflecting the terms and conditions of the agreement within three days of the date the parties entered into the oral agreement or electronic agreement. The document will be considered rendered to the customer when addressed to the customer's last-known address and deposited in the U.S. mail with postage prepaid. If delivery is by other than U.S. mail, the document shall be considered rendered to the customer when delivered to the last-known address of the person responsible for payment for the service. The document shall state that unless the customer notifies the utility within ten days from the date the document is rendered, it will be deemed that the customer accepts the terms as reflected in the written document. The document stating the terms and agreements shall include the address and a toll-free or collect telephone number where a qualified representative can be reached. By making the first payment, the customer confirms acceptance of the terms of the oral agreement or electronic agreement.
4.Each customer entering into a first payment agreement shall be granted at least one late payment that is made four days or less beyond the due date for payment and the first payment agreement shall remain in effect.
1.For customers who received a disconnection notice or who have been disconnected less than 120 days and are not in default of a payment agreement, the utility shall offer an agreement with at least 12 even monthly payments. For customers who have been disconnected more than 120 days and are not in default of a payment agreement, the utility shall offer an agreement with at least 6 even monthly payments. The utility shall inform customers they may pay off the delinquency early without incurring any prepayment penalties.
2.The agreement shall also include a provision for payment of the current account.
3.The utility may also require the customer to enter into a budget billing plan to pay the current bill.
4.When the customer makes the agreement in person, a signed copy of the agreement shall be provided to the customer.
5.The utility may offer the customer the option of making the agreement over the telephone or through electronic transmission.
6.When the customer makes the agreement over the telephone or through electronic transmission, the utility shall provide to the customer a written document reflecting the terms and conditions of the agreement within three days of the date the parties entered into the oral agreement or electronic agreement.
7.The document will be considered provided to the customer when addressed to the customer's last-known address and deposited in the U.S. mail with postage paid. If delivery is by other than U.S. mail, the document shall be considered provided to the customer when delivered to the last-known address of the person responsible for payment for the service.
8.The document shall state that unless the customer notifies the utility otherwise within ten days from the date the document is provided, it will be deemed that the customer accepts the terms as stated in the written document. The document stating the terms and conditions of the agreement shall include the address and a toll-free or collect telephone number where a qualified representative can be reached.
9.Once the first payment required by the agreement is made by the customer or on behalf of the customer, the oral or electronic agreement is deemed accepted by the customer.
10.Each customer entering into a first payment agreement shall be granted at least one late payment that is four days or less beyond the due date for payment, and the first payment agreement shall remain in effect.
11.The initial payment is due on the due date for the next regular bill.
(2)Second payment agreement. The utility shall offer a second payment agreement to a customer who is in default of a first payment agreement if the customer has made at least two consecutive full payments under the first payment agreement.
1.The second payment agreement shall be for the same term as or longer than a term at least as long as the term of the first payment agreement.
2.The customer shall be required to pay for current service in addition to the monthly payments under the second payment agreement and may be required to make the first payment up-front as a condition of entering into the second payment agreement.
3.The utility may also require the customer to enter into a level payment budget billing plan to pay the current bill.
(3)Additional payment agreements. The utility may offer additional payment agreements to the customer.
d. Refusal by utility. A customer may offer the utility a proposed payment agreement. If the utility and the customer do not reach an agreement, the utility may refuse the offer orally, but the utility must render provide a written refusal to the customer, stating the reason for the refusal, within three days of the oral notification. The written refusal shall be considered rendered provided to the customer when addressed to the customer's last-known address and deposited in the U.S. mail with postage prepaid. If delivery is by other than U.S. mail, the written refusal shall be considered rendered provided to the customer when handed to the customer or when delivered to the last-known address of the person responsible for the payment for the service.
A customer may ask the board for assistance in working out a reasonable payment agreement. The request for assistance must be made to the board within ten days after the rendering of the written refusal is provided. During the review of this request, the utility shall not disconnect the service.
Item 21. Amend subrule 20.4(12) as follows:
20.4(12) Bill payment terms. The bill shall be considered rendered provided to the customer when deposited in the U.S. mail with postage prepaid. If delivery is by other than U.S. mail, the bill shall be considered rendered provided when delivered to the last-known address of the party responsible for payment. There shall not be less than 20 days between the rendering providing of a bill and the date by which the account becomes delinquent. Bills for customers on more frequent billing intervals under subrule 20.3(6) may not be considered delinquent less than 5 days from the date of rendering the bill is provided. However, a late payment charge may not be assessed if payment is received within 20 days of the date the bill is rendered provided.
a. The date of delinquency for all residential customers or other customers whose consumption is less than 3,000 kWh per month, shall be changeable for cause in writing; such as, but not limited to, 15 days from approximate date each month upon which income is received by the person responsible for payment. In no case, however, shall the utility be required to delay the date of delinquency more than 30 days beyond the date of preparation of the previous bill.
b. to d. No change.
e. Level payment Budget billing plan. Utilities shall offer a level payment budget billing plan to all residential customers or other customers whose consumption is less than 3,000 kWh per month. A level payment budget billing plan should be designed to limit the volatility of a customer's bill and maintain reasonable account balances. The level payment budget billing plan shall include at least the following:
(1)Be offered to each eligible customer when the customer initially requests service. The plan may be estimated if there is insufficient usage history to create a budget billing plan based on actual use.
(2)Allow for entry into the level payment budget billing plan anytime during the calendar year.
(3)Provide that a customer may request termination of the plan at any time. If the customer's account is in arrears at the time of termination, the balance shall be due and payable at the time of termination. If there is a credit balance, the customer shall be allowed the option of obtaining a refund or applying the credit to future charges. A utility is not required to offer a new level payment budget billing plan to a customer for six months after the customer has terminated from a level payment budget billing plan.
(4)Use a computation method that produces a reasonable monthly level payment budget billing amount, which may take into account forward-looking factors such as fuel price and weather forecasts, and that complies with requirements in 20.4(12)"e"(4) of this subrule. The computation method used by the utility shall be described in the utility's tariff and shall be subject to board approval. The utility shall give notice to customers when it changes the type of computation method in the level payment budget billing plan.
The amount to be paid at each billing interval by a customer on a level payment budget billing plan shall be computed at the time of entry into the plan and shall be recomputed at least annually. The level payment budget billing amount may be recomputed monthly, quarterly, when requested by the customer, or whenever price, consumption, or a combination of factors results in a new estimate differing by 10 percent or more from that in use.
When the level payment budget billing amount is recomputed, the level payment budget billing plan account balance shall be divided by 12, and the resulting amount shall be added to the estimated monthly level payment budget billing amount. Except when a utility has a level payment budget billing plan that recomputes the level payment budget billing amount monthly, the customer shall be given the option of applying any credit to payments of subsequent months' level payment budget billing amounts due or of obtaining a refund of any credit in excess of $25.
Except when a utility has a level payment budget billing plan that recomputes the level payment budget billing amount monthly, the customer shall be notified of the recomputed payment amount not less than one full billing period prior to the date of delinquency for the recomputed payment. The notice may accompany the bill prior to the bill that is affected by the recomputed payment amount.
(5)Irrespective of the account balance, a delinquency in payment shall be subject to the same collection and disconnection procedures as other accounts, with the late payment charge applied to the level payment budget billing amount. If the account balance is a credit, the level payment budget billing plan may be terminated by the utility after 30 days of delinquency.
Item 22. Amend subrule 20.4(13) as follows:
20.4(13) Customer records. The utility shall retain records as may be necessary to effectuate compliance with 20.4(14) and 20.6(6), but not less than three five years. Records for customer shall show where applicable:
a. kWh meter reading.
b. kWh consumption.
c. kW meter reading.
d. kW measured demand.
e. kW billing demand.
f. Total amount of bill.
Item 23. Amend paragraph 20.4(14)"d" as follows:
d. Back billing. A utility may not back bill due to underregistration unless a minimum back bill amount is specified in its tariff. The minimum amount specified for back billing shall not be less than, but may be greater than, $5 for an existing customer or $10 for a former customer. All recalculations resulting in an amount due equal to or greater than the tariff specified minimum shall result in issuance of a back bill.
Back billings shall be rendered provided no later than six months following the date of the metering installation test.
Item 24. Amend paragraph 20.4(15)"a" as follows:
a. The utility shall give written notice of pending disconnection except as specified in paragraph 20.4(15)"b." The notice shall set forth the reason for the notice and the final date by which the account is to be settled or specific action taken. The notice shall be considered rendered provided to the customer when addressed to the customer's last-known address and deposited in the U.S. mail with postage prepaid. If delivery is by other than U.S. mail, the notice shall be considered rendered provided when delivered to the last-known address of the person responsible for payment for the service. The date for disconnection of service shall be not less than 12 days after the notice is rendered provided. The date for disconnection of service for customers on shorter billing intervals under subrule 20.3(6) shall not be less than 24 hours after the notice is posted at the service premises.
One written notice, including all reasons for the notice, shall be given where more than one cause exists for disconnection of service. In determining the final date by which the account is to be settled or other specific action taken, the days of notice for the causes shall be concurrent.
Item 25. Amend subparagraph 20.4(15)"d"(3) as follows:
(3)The summary of the rights and responsibilities must be approved by the board. Any utility providing electric service and defined as a public utility in Iowa Code section 476.1 which does not use the standard form set forth below for customers billed monthly shall submit to the board an original and six copies of electronically its proposed form for approval. A utility billing a combination customer for both gas and electric service may modify the standard form to replace each use of the word "electric" with the words "gas and electric" in all instances.
CUSTOMER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES TO AVOID SHUTOFF OF ELECTRIC SERVICE FOR NONPAYMENT
1. What can I do if I receive a notice from the utility that says my service will be shut off because I have a past due bill?
a. Pay the bill in full; or
b. Enter into a reasonable payment plan with the utility (see #2 below); or
c. Apply for and become eligible for low-income energy assistance (see #3 below); or
d. Give the utility a written statement from a doctor or public health official stating that shutting off your electric service would pose an especial health danger for a person living at the residence (see #4 below); or
e. Tell the utility if you think part of the amount shown on the bill is wrong. However, you must still pay the part of the bill you agree you owe the utility (see #5 below).
2. How do I go about making a reasonable payment plan? (Residential customers only)
a. Contact the utility as soon as you know you cannot pay the amount you owe. If you cannot pay all the money you owe at one time, the utility may offer you a payment plan that spreads payments evenly over at least 12 months. The plan may be longer depending on your financial situation.
b. If you have not made the payments you promised in a previous payment plan with the utility and still owe money, you may qualify for a second payment agreement under certain conditions.
c. If you do not make the payments you promise, the utility may shut off your utility service on one day's notice unless all the money you owe the utility is paid or you enter into another payment agreement.
3. How do I apply for low-income energy assistance? (Residential customers only)
a. Contact the local community action agency in your area (see attached list) ; or visit humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply.
b. Contact the Division of Community Action Agencies at the Iowa Department of Human Rights, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319; telephone (515)281-0859. To prevent disconnection, you must contact the utility prior to disconnection of your service.
c. b. To avoid disconnection, you must apply for energy assistance or weatherization before your service is shut off. Notify your utility that you may be eligible and have applied for energy assistance. Once your service has been disconnected, it will not be reconnected based on approval for energy assistance.
d. c. Being certified eligible for energy assistance will prevent your service from being disconnected from November 1 through April 1.
d. If you have additional questions, contact the Division of Community Action Agencies at the Iowa Department of Human Rights, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319; telephone (515)281-3861.
4. What if someone living at the residence has a serious health condition? (Residential customers only)
Contact the utility if you believe this is the case. Contact your doctor or a public health official and ask the doctor or health official to contact the utility and state that shutting off your utility service would pose an especial health danger for a person living at your residence. The doctor or public health official must provide a written statement to the utility office within 5 days of when your doctor or public health official notifies the utility of the health condition; otherwise, your utility service may be shut off. If the utility receives this written statement, your service will not be shut off for 30 days. This 30-day delay is to allow you time to arrange payment of your utility bill or find other living arrangements. After 30 days, your service may be shut off if payment arrangements have not been made.
5. What should I do if I believe my bill is not correct?
You may dispute your utility bill. You must tell the utility that you dispute the bill. You must pay the part of the bill you think is correct. If you do this, the utility will not shut off your service for 45 days from the date the bill was mailed while you and the utility work out the dispute over the part of the bill you think is incorrect. You may ask the Iowa Utilities Board for assistance in resolving the dispute. (See #9 below.)
6. When can the utility shut off my utility service because I have not paid my bill?
a. Your utility can shut off service between the hours of 6 a.m.and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
b. The utility will not shut off your service on nights, weekends, or holidays for nonpayment of a bill.
c. The utility will not shut off your service if you enter into a reasonable payment plan to pay the overdue amount (see #2 above).
d. The utility will not shut off your service if the temperature is forecasted to be 20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder during the following 24-hour period, including the day your service is scheduled to be shut off.
e. If you have qualified for low-income energy assistance, the utility cannot shut off your service from November 1 through April 1. However, you will still owe the utility for the service used during this time.
f. The utility will not shut off your service if you have notified the utility that you dispute a portion of your bill and you pay the part of the bill that you agree is correct.
g. If one of the heads of household is a service member deployed for military service, utility service cannot be shut off during the deployment or within 90 days after the end of deployment. In order for this exception to disconnection to apply, the utility must be informed of the deployment prior to disconnection. However, you will still owe the utility for service used during this time.
7. How will I be told the utility is going to shut off my service?
a. You must be given a written notice at least 12 days before the utility service can be shut off for nonpayment. This notice will include the reason for shutting off your service.
b. If you have not made payments required by an agreed-upon payment plan, your service may be disconnected with only one day's notice.
c. The utility must also try to reach you by telephone or in person before it shuts off your service. From November 1 through April 1, if the utility cannot reach you by telephone or in person, the utility will put a written notice on the door of or another conspicuous place at your residence to tell you that your utility service will be shut off.
8. If service is shut off, when will it be turned back on?
a. The utility will turn your service back on if you pay the whole amount you owe or agree to a reasonable payment plan (see #2 above).
b. If you make your payment during regular business hours, or by 7 p.m.for utilities permitting such payment or other arrangements after regular business hours, the utility must make a reasonable effort to turn your service back on that day. If service cannot reasonably be turned on that same day, the utility must do it by 11 a.m.the next day.
c. The utility may charge you a fee to turn your service back on. Those fees may be higher in the evening or on weekends, so you may ask that your service be turned on during normal utility business hours.
9. Is there any other help available besides my utility?
If the utility has not been able to help you with your problem, you may contact the Iowa Utilities Board toll-free at 1-877-565-4450. You may also write the Iowa Utilities Board at 1375 E. Court Avenue, Room 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069, or by E-mail at email@example.com. Low-income customers may also be eligible for free legal assistance from Iowa Legal Aid, and may contact Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275.
Item 26. Amend subparagraph 20.4(15)"d"(5) as follows:
(5)When disconnecting service to a residence, made a diligent attempt to contact, by telephone or in person, the customer responsible for payment for service to the residence to inform the customer of the pending disconnection and the customer's rights and responsibilities. During the period from November 1 through April 1, if the attempt at customer contact fails, the premises shall be posted at least one day prior to disconnection with a notice informing the customer of the pending disconnection and rights and responsibilities available to avoid disconnection.
If an attempt at personal or telephone contact of a customer occupying a rental unit has been unsuccessful, the utility shall make a diligent attempt to contact the landlord of the rental unit, if known, shall be contacted to determine if the customer is still in occupancy and, if so, the customer's present location. The landlord shall also be informed of the date when service may be disconnected. The utility shall make a diligent attempt to inform the landlord at least 48 hours prior to disconnection of service to a tenant.
If the disconnection will affect occupants of residential units leased from the customer, the premises of any building known by the utility to contain residential units affected by disconnection must be posted, at least two days prior to disconnection, with a notice informing any occupants of the date when service will be disconnected and the reasons for the disconnection.
Item 27. Amend subparagraph 20.4(15)"d"(6) as follows:
(6)Disputed bill. If the customer has received notice of disconnection and has a dispute concerning a bill for electric utility service, the utility may require the customer to pay a sum of money equal to the amount of the undisputed portion of the bill pending settlement and thereby avoid disconnection of service. A utility shall delay disconnection for nonpayment of the disputed bill for up to 45 days after the rendering providing of the bill if the customer pays the undisputed amount. The 45 days shall be extended by up to 60 days if requested of the utility by the board in the event the customer files a written complaint with the board in compliance with 199—Chapter 6.
Item 28. Amend subparagraph 20.4(15)"d"(8) as follows:
(8)Severe cold weather. A disconnection may not take place where electricity is used as the only source of space heating or to control or operate the only space heating equipment at the a residence on any day when the actual temperature or the 24-hour forecast of the National Weather Service forecast for the following 24 hours covering the area in which the residence is located includes a forecast that the temperature will residence's area is predicted to be 20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. In any case where If the utility has properly posted a disconnect notice in compliance with subparagraph 20.4(15)"d"(5) but is precluded from disconnecting service because of a National Weather Service forecast severe cold weather, the utility may immediately proceed with appropriate disconnection procedures, without further notice, when the temperature in the residence's area where the residence is located rises above 20 degrees Fahrenheit and is forecasted to be remain above 20 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 24 hours, unless the customer has paid in full the past due amount or is otherwise entitled to postponement of disconnection under some other provision of paragraph 20.4(15)"d.".
Item 29. Amend subparagraph 20.4(15)"d"(10) as follows:
(10)Winter energy assistance (November 1 through April 1). If the utility is informed that the customer's household may qualify for winter energy assistance or weatherization funds, there shall be no disconnection of service for 30 days from the date the utility is notified to allow the customer time to obtain assistance. Disconnection shall not take place from November 1 through April 1 for a resident who is a head of household and who has been certified to the public utility by the community action agency as eligible for either the low-income home energy assistance program or weatherization assistance program. A utility may develop an incentive program to delay disconnection on April 1 for customers who make payments throughout the November 1 through April 1 period. All such incentive programs shall be set forth in tariffs approved by the board.
Item 30. Amend subrule 20.4(16) as follows:
20.4(16) Insufficient reasons for denying service. The following shall not constitute sufficient cause for refusal of service to a customer:
a. to d. No change.
e. Failure to pay the back bill rendered provided in accordance with paragraph 20.4(14)"d" (slow meters).
f. Failure to pay a bill rendered provided in accordance with paragraph 20.4(14)"f."
g. Failure of a residential customer to pay a deposit during the period November 1 through April 1 for the location at which the customer has been receiving service in the customer's name.
h. No change.
i. Delinquency in payment for service arising more than ten years prior, as measured from the most recent of:
(1)The last date of service for the account giving rise to the delinquency,
(2)Physical disconnection of service for the account giving rise to the delinquency, or
(3)The last voluntary payment or voluntary written promise of payment made by the customer, if made before the ten-year period described in this paragraph has otherwise lapsed.
j. Delinquency in payment for service that arose on or before September 4, 2010, pursuant to an oral contract, except in cases of fraud or deception that prevented the utility from timely addressing such delinquencies with the customer.
Item 31. Rescind and reserve subrule 20.4(21).
Item 32. Amend subrule 20.4(22), introductory paragraph, as follows:
20.4(22) Change in type of service. If a change in the type of service, such as from 25- to 60-cycle or from direct or alternating current, or a change in voltage to a customer's substation, is effected at the insistence of the utility and not solely by reason of increase in the customer's load or change in the character thereof, the utility shall share equitably in the cost of changing the equipment of the customer affected as determined by the board in the absence of agreement between utility and customer. In general, the customer should be protected against or reimbursed for the following losses and expenses to an appropriate degree:
Item 33. Rescind and reserve subrule 20.5(5).
Item 34. Amend paragraph 20.6(3)"a" as follows:
a. American National Standard Code for Electricity Metering, ANSI C12.1- 2008 2014.
Item 35. Adopt the following new subrule 20.6(8):
20.6(8) Comprehensive meter upgrade programs.
a. A utility may forego the meter testing procedures required under the utility's own inspection and testing program and subrule 20.6(2) if:
(1)The meters are removed or scheduled to be removed as part of a comprehensive meter upgrade program;
(2)The meters being removed have not previously been shown to be inaccurate or otherwise faulty; and
(3)The utility either retains the removed meters for a period of one year from the removal date to allow customers the opportunity to challenge a meter's accuracy or tests a representative sample of 10 percent of each type of meter being removed as part of the program and maintains the removed meters for a period of at least six months.
b. A utility foregoing its testing procedures under this subrule shall notify the board that the utility is engaging in a comprehensive meter upgrade program and state the option the utility is electing to pursue under subparagraph 20.6(8)"a"(3).
c. A utility shall continue to follow the meter testing procedures for meters removed for any reason unrelated to the comprehensive meter upgrade program.
Item 36. Amend subrule 20.7(7) as follows:
20.7(7) Each utility shall make a sufficient number of voltage measurements , using recording voltmeters, in order to determine if voltages are in compliance with the requirements as stated in 20.7(2), 20.7(3), and 20.7(4). All voltmeter records obtained under 20.7(7) this subrule shall be retained by the utility for at least two years and shall be available for inspection by the board's representatives. Notations on each chart shall indicate the following:
a. The location where the voltage was taken.
b. The time and date of the test.
c. The results of the comparison with a working standard indicating voltmeter.
Item 37. Amend subrule 20.9(3) as follows:
20.9(3) Optional energy clause for a rate-regulated utility which does not own generation. A rate-regulated utility which does not own generation may adopt the energy adjustment clause of this subrule in lieu of that set forth in subrule 20.9(2). Prior to each billing cycle it, the rate-regulated utility shall determine and file for board approval the adjustment amount to be charged for each energy unit consumed under rates set by the board. The filing shall include all journal entries, invoices (except invoices for fuel, freight, and transportation), worksheets, and detailed supporting data used to determine the amount of the adjustment. The estimated amount of fossil fuel should be detailed to reflect the amount of fuel, transportation, and other costs.
The journal entries should reflect the following breakdown for each type of fuel: actual cost of fuel, transportation, and other costs. Items The items identified as other costs should be described and their inclusion as fuel energy costs should be justified. The utility shall also file detailed supporting data:
1.To show the actual amount of sales of energy by month for which an adjustment was utilized, and
2.To support the energy cost adjustment balance utilized in the monthly energy adjustment clause filings.
a. to e. No change.
Item 38. Amend subrule 20.9(4) as follows:
20.9(4) Annual review Review of energy clause. On or before each May 1 At least biennially, but no more than annually, the board will notify require each utility as to the that owns generation and utilizes an energy adjustment clause to provide fuel, freight, and transportation invoices from two months of the previous calendar year for which fuel, freight, and transportation invoices will be required. The board will notify each utility by May 1 as to which two months' invoices will be required. Two copies of these invoices shall be filed with the board no later than the subsequent November 1.
Item 39. Amend rule 199—20.9(476), implementation sentence, as follows:
Item 40. Rescind rule 199—20.11(476) and adopt the following new rule in lieu thereof:
199—20.11(476) Customer notification of peaks in electric energy demand.
20.11(1) Pursuant to Iowa Code section 476.17, each investor-owned utility shall have available for board inspection upon request a plan to notify its customers of an approaching peak demand on the day when peak demand is likely to occur.
20.11(2) The plan shall include, at a minimum, the following:
a. A description and explanation of the condition(s) that will prompt a peak alert.
b. A provision for a general notice to be given to customers prior to the time when peak demand is likely to occur and an explanation of when and how notice of an approaching peak in electric demand will be given to customers.
c. The text of the message or messages to be given in the general notice to customers. The message shall include the name of the utility providing the notice, an explanation that conditions exist which indicate a peak in electric demand is approaching, and an explanation of the significance of reductions in electricity use during a period of peak demand and the potential benefits of energy efficiency.
Item 41. Rescind rule 199—20.13(476) and adopt the following new rule in lieu thereof:
199—20.13(476) Procurement plan. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 476.6(12), the board shall periodically conduct a contested case proceeding for the purpose of evaluating the reasonableness and prudence of a rate-regulated public utility's practices related to procurement of and contracting for fuel used in generating electricity. When it determines to conduct a contested case proceeding, the board shall notify a rate-regulated utility that it will be required to file an electric fuel procurement plan. The notification to the utility shall include a detailed list of what the board will be examining as part of the review and what should be filed by the utility. The utility shall file its plan not later than 105 days after notification unless otherwise directed by the board.
Item 42. Amend paragraph 20.14(3)"c" as follows:
c. The floor for the discount rate shall be equal to the energy costs and customer costs of serving the specific customer.
Item 43. Amend subrule 20.15(1) as follows:
20.15(1) Applicability and purpose. This rule applies to each electric public utility, as defined in Iowa Code sections 476.1, 476.1A, and 476.1B. Each Pursuant to Iowa Code section 476.66, each utility shall maintain a program plan to assist the utility's low-income customers with weatherization and to supplement assistance received under the federal low-income home energy assistance program for the payment of winter heating bills.
Item 44. Rescind and reserve subrule 20.15(2).
Item 45. Amend subrule 20.15(3), introductory paragraph, as follows:
20.15(3) Notification. Each utility shall notify all customers of the customer contribution fund at least twice a year. The method of notice which will ensure the most comprehensive notification to the utility's customers shall be employed. Upon commencement of service and at least once a year, the notice shall be mailed or personally delivered to all customers , or provided by electronic means to those customers who have consented to receiving electronic notices. The other required notice may be published in a local newspaper(s) of general circulation within the utility's service territory. A utility serving fewer than 6 ,000 customers may publish their its semiannual notices locally in a free newspaper, utility newsletter or shopper's guide instead of a newspaper. At a minimum, the notice shall include:
Item 46. Amend subrule 20.15(4) as follows:
20.15(4) Methods of contribution. The utility shall provide for contributions as monthly pledges, as well as one-time or periodic contributions. A pledge by a customer or other party shall not be construed to be a binding contract between the utility and the pledger. The pledge amount shall not be subject to delayed payment charges by the utility. Each utility may allow persons or organizations to contribute matching funds.
Item 47. Rescind and reserve subrule 20.15(6).
Item 48. Amend subrule 20.17(1) as follows:
20.17(1) Applicability and purpose. This rule applies to all rate-regulated utilities providing electric service in Iowa. Under Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, each electric utility is required to hold sufficient emission allowances to offset emissions at all affected and new units. The acquisition and disposition of emission allowances will be treated for ratemaking purposes as defined in this rule.
Item 49. Amend subrule 20.17(2) as follows:
20.17(2) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this rule, shall have the meaning indicated below:
"Allowance futures contract" is an agreement between a futures exchange clearinghouse and a buyer or seller to buy or sell an allowance on a specified future date at a specified price.
"Allowance option contract" is an agreement between a buyer and seller whereby the buyer has the option to transfer an allowance(s) at a specified date at a specified price. The seller of a call or put option will receive a premium for taking on the associated risk.
"Auction allowances" are allowances acquired or sold through EPA's annual allowance auction.
"Boot" means something acquired or forfeited to equalize a trade.
"Direct sale allowances" are allowances purchased from the EPA in its annual direct sale.
"Emission for emission trade" is an exchange of one type of emission for another type of emission. For example, the exchange of SO2 emission allowances for NOx emission allowances.
"Fair market value" is the amount at which an allowance could reasonably be sold in a transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller other than in a forced or liquidation sale.
"Historical cost" is the amount of cash or its equivalent paid to acquire an asset, including any direct acquisition expenses. Any commissions paid to brokers shall be considered a direct acquisition expense.
"Original cost" is the historical cost of an asset to the person first devoting the asset to public service.
"Statutory allowances" are allowances allocated by the EPA at no cost to affected units under the Acid Rain Program Clean Air Act either through annual allocations as a matter of statutory right and those for which a utility may qualify by using certain compliance options or effective use of conservation and renewables.
"Vintage trade" is an exchange of one vintage of allowances for another vintage of allowances with the difference in value between vintages being cash or additional allowances.
Item 50. Amend subrule 20.18(1) as follows:
20.18(1) Applicability. Rule 199—20.18(476,478) This rule is applicable to investor-owned electric utilities and electric cooperative corporations and associations operating within the state of Iowa subject to Iowa Code chapter 476 and to the construction, operation, and maintenance of electric transmission lines by electric utilities as defined in subrule 20.18(4) to the extent provided in Iowa Code chapter 478.
Item 51. Amend subrule 20.18(2) as follows:
20.18(2) Purpose and scope. Reliable electric service is of high importance to the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Iowa. The purpose of this rule 199—20.18(476,478) is to establish requirements for assessing the reliability of the transmission and distribution systems and facilities that are under the board's jurisdiction. This rule establishes reporting requirements to provide consumers, the board, and electric utilities with methodology for monitoring reliability and ensuring quality of electric service within an electric utility's operating area. This rule provides definitions and requirements for maintenance of interruption data, retention of records, and report filing.
Item 52. Amend paragraph 20.18(3)"g" as follows:
Item 53. Amend subrule 20.18(4), introductory paragraph, as follows:
20.18(4) Definitions. Terms and formulas when used in this rule 199—20.18(476,478) are defined as follows:
Item 54. Amend subrule 20.18(4), definition of "Customer," as follows:
"Customer" means (1) any person, firm, association, or corporation, (2) any agency of the federal, state, or local government, or (3) any legal entity responsible by law for payment of the electric service from the electric utility which has a separately metered electrical service point for which a bill is rendered provided. Electrical service point means the point of connection between the electric utility's equipment and the customer's equipment. Each meter equals one customer. Retail customers are end-use customers who purchase and ultimately consume electricity.
Item 55. Amend subrule 20.18(7), introductory paragraph, as follows:
20.18(7) Annual reliability and service quality report for utilities with more than 50,000 Iowa retail customers. Each electric utility with over 50,000 Iowa retail customers shall submit to the board and consumer advocate on or before May 1 of each year an annual reliability report for the previous calendar year for the Iowa jurisdiction. The report shall include the following information:
Item 56. Amend paragraph 20.18(7)"f" as follows:
f. Plans and status report.
(1) A plan for service quality improvements, including costs, for the electric utility's transmission and distribution facilities that will ensure quality, safe, and reliable delivery of energy to customers.
1.The plan shall cover not less than the three years following the year in which the annual report was filed. A copy of the electric utility's documents and databases supporting capital investment and maintenance budget amounts required in 20.18(7)"g"(1) and 20.18(7)"h"(1), respectively, (including but not limited to transmission and distribution facilities, transmission and distribution control and communication facilities, and transmission and distribution planning, maintenance, and reliability-related computer hardware and software) shall be maintained in the utility's principal Iowa business location and shall be available for inspection by the board and office of consumer advocate. The utility's plan may reference said budget documents and databases, instead of duplicating or restating the detail therein. Copies of capital budgeting documents shall be maintained for five years.
2.The plan shall identify reliability challenges and may describe specific projects and projected costs. The filing of the plan shall not be considered as evidence of the prudence of the utility's reliability expenditures.
3.The plan shall provide an estimate of the timing for achievement of the plan's goals.
(2)A progress report on plan implementation. The report shall include identification of significant changes to the prior plan and the reasons for the changes.
Item 57. Amend paragraph 20.18(7)"i" as follows:
i. The annual reliability report, starting with the reliability report for calendar year 2008, shall include the number of poles inspected, the number rejected, and the number replaced.
Item 58. Amend subrule 20.18(8) as follows:
20.18(8) Annual report for all electric utilities not reporting pursuant to 20.18(7).
a. By July 1, 2003, each Each electric utility shall adopt and have approved by its board of directors or other governing authority a reliability plan and shall file an informational copy of the plan with the board. The plan shall be updated not less than annually and shall describe the following:.
(1)The utility's current reliability programs, including:
1.Tree trimming cycle, including descriptions and explanations of any changes to schedules and procedures reportable in accordance with 199 IAC 25.3(3)"c";
2.Animal contact reduction programs, if applicable;
3.Lightning outage mitigation programs, if applicable; and
4.Other programs the electric utility may identify as reliability-related.
(2)Current ability to track and monitor interruptions.
(3)How the electric utility plans to communicate its plan with customers/consumer owners.
b. By April 1 , 2004, and each April 1 thereafter of each year, each electric utility shall prepare for its board of directors or other governing authority a reliability report. A copy of the annual report shall be filed with the board for informational purposes, shall be made publicly available in its entirety to customers/consumer owners, and shall report on at least the following: the reliability indices in 20.18(5)"b"(3) for each of the five previous calendar years.
(1)Measures of reliability for each of the five previous calendar years, including reliability indices if required in 20.18(5)"b"(3). These measures shall start with data from the year covered by the first Annual Reliability Report so that by the fifth Annual Reliability Report submittal reliability measures will be based upon five years of data.
(2)Progress on any reliability programs identified in its plan, but not less than the applicable programs listed in 20.18(8)"a"(1).
Item 59. Adopt the following new paragraph 20.19(2)"c":
c. The utility shall notify the board once service is fully restored to all customers after an outage meeting the requirements of subrule 20.19(1).