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§ 4-207. Determinations relating to fair rates of return and additional revenues

West's Annotated Code of MarylandPublic UtilitiesEffective: October 1, 2017

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Public Utilities (Refs & Annos)
Division I. Public Services and Utilities [Titles 1-15] (Refs & Annos)
Title 4. Rate Regulation (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 2. Rate Setting Proceedings (Refs & Annos)
Effective: October 1, 2017
MD Code, Public Utilities, § 4-207
Formerly cited as MD PUBLIC UTIL COMP § 4-207
§ 4-207. Determinations relating to fair rates of return and additional revenues
Application of section
(a) This section applies only to a gas company, electric company, telephone company, water company, or sewage disposal company whose gross annual revenues, for the most recent calendar year for which data are available, are less than 3% of the total gross annual revenues of all public service companies in the State during the same calendar year.
Proceedings to determine necessity of additional revenues
(b)(1) When the Commission suspends a proposed new rate for a company subject to this section that is based on the existing authorized fair rate of return, the Commission promptly shall institute proceedings to determine if additional revenues are required to allow the company to earn the existing fair rate of return authorized in the previous base rate proceeding.
(2) The Commission shall:
(i) serve each of the parties to the previous base rate proceeding of that company with a copy of the suspension order; and
(ii) order the company to publish a display advertisement about the proposal in newspapers of general circulation in its service area.
(3) Proceedings under this section shall:
(i) account for revenues, expenses, and rate base in the same manner that the Commission employed in determining a just and reasonable rate in the previous base rate proceeding; and
(ii) exclude consideration of any increase in the rate of return, any change in rate structure, or any change in an accounting approach to any item pertaining to revenues, expenses, or rate base inconsistent with that used by the Commission in determining a just and reasonable rate in the previous base rate proceeding on the company.
(4) In proceedings under this section, the Commission may use a more recent past test period than that used in the previous base rate proceeding for the company.
(5) The Commission shall enter a final order as to the revenue requirement determined under this section within 90 days after the proposed new rate is filed.
(6) The final order shall:
(i) authorize a new rate distributing any change in the revenue requirement proportionally among the ratepayers without change in the rate structure; and
(ii) state whether further proceedings shall be held.
(7) If, in the final order, the Commission decides to conduct further proceedings under subsection (c) of this section, the final order may provide for refund, consistent with the provisions of § 4-204(c) of this subtitle, of any difference between the new rate authorized under this subsection and the rate the Commission sets under subsection (c) of this section.
Further proceedings by Commission
(c)(1) If the Commission decides to conduct further proceedings under subsection (b) of this section, the Commission, after a hearing, may:
(i) modify the rate structure;
(ii) lower the authorized fair rate of return; or
(iii) modify the accounting approach to an item that pertains to revenues, expenses, or rate base.
(2) The Commission shall take any action under this subsection within 120 days after entry of a final order under subsection (b) of this section.
Restrictions on new rate proposals
(d)(1) This section does not apply to a proposed new rate that is filed:
(i) less than 1 year after a previously proposed new rate under this section is filed; or
(ii) with a request for temporary rates under § 4-205 of this subtitle.
(2)(i) A company may not file a proposed new rate under this subtitle if any proposed new rate filed by the company under this section is pending, or a new rate filed by the company under this section has been in effect fewer than 90 days.
(ii) This paragraph does not preclude a company from filing a proposed new rate for a new service if the proposal does not affect the authorized rate of return.
(3) Unless the Commission provides otherwise, this section does not apply to a proposed new rate that is filed more than 3 years after the Commission enters a final order authorizing the existing fair rate of return in the previous base rate proceeding.

Credits

Added by Acts 1998, c. 8, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1998. Amended by Acts 2017, c. 535, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2017; Acts 2017, c. 536, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2017.
Formerly Art. 78, § 69B.
MD Code, Public Utilities, § 4-207, MD PUBLIC UTIL § 4-207
Current with all legislation from the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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