Nebraska Revised Statute 66-1868

Chapter 66 Section 1868

66-1868.

Rural infrastructure development; rural infrastructure surcharge tariff; filing in additional filings; agreement; contents; gas supply cost adjustment tariff; collection; refund; billing.

(1) Prior to undertaking rural infrastructure development pursuant to sections 66-2101 to 66-2107, a jurisdictional utility shall file a rural infrastructure surcharge tariff with the commission consistent with the agreement negotiated pursuant to subsection (2) of this section. The filing may be a joint filing with other jurisdictional utilities and may affect more than one electing city. With the rural infrastructure surcharge tariff, the jurisdictional utility shall file:

(a) A map of the unserved or underserved area it proposes to serve;

(b) A description of the project;

(c) Information regarding support of the project from individuals, businesses, or government entities;

(d) An executed agreement with the electing city or cities; and

(e) The factors the jurisdictional utility has considered pursuant to section 66-2105.

(2) An agreement submitted pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section may include, but shall not be limited to, terms and conditions that address the following:

(a) Inclusion of representatives of the following possible parties: The electing city or cities; the jurisdictional utility; an interstate natural gas pipeline company; current and prospective customers; and any other interested parties;

(b) Impact on other cities, jurisdictional utilities, interstate natural gas pipeline companies, and current and prospective customers;

(c) The possibility of a joint filing with other jurisdictional utilities and agreements with other electing cities;

(d) The factors set forth in section 66-2105;

(e) The capacity of the project;

(f) The potential to enhance demand for natural gas capacity created by the project;

(g) Ownership of the project or parts of the project;

(h) Participation by the electing city or cities and other parties to determine the customer or customers which will receive the additional natural gas capacity created by the project;

(i) Any matters involving rights-of-way and easements and fees, taxes, and surcharges related thereto;

(j) The payment of costs of the rural infrastructure development, including, but not limited to: (i) Proposed rate increases for customers of the electing city or cities and within a city's extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction, including direct customers and residential or commercial customers; (ii) any city funds, including funds from the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act, which may be used to pay for consultants, issue bonds, lower proposed rate increases, or otherwise finance the rural infrastructure development project; and (iii) contributions from direct customers or other sources, including, but not limited to, state or federal grants or loans; and

(k) Reimbursement of costs to the electing city or cities or ratepayers of the electing city or cities, including ratepayers in a city's extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction.

(3) A jurisdictional utility may file a gas supply cost adjustment tariff with the commission, consistent with the agreement negotiated pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, that adjusts the jurisdictional utility's residential or commercial customer rates to provide for the recovery of, but not limited to, costs related to ongoing gas supply, transmission, pipeline capacity, storage, financial instruments, or interstate pipeline charges or other related costs for rural infrastructure development.

(4) A rural infrastructure surcharge tariff or gas supply cost adjustment tariff shall become effective immediately upon filing with the commission of all items required under this section.

(5) Any rural infrastructure surcharge tariff or gas supply cost adjustment tariff, and any future changes thereto, applied to high-volume customers obtaining direct service and to general system residential or commercial customers subject to jurisdiction of the commission shall be calculated and implemented in a manner proposed by the jurisdictional utility consistent with the agreement negotiated pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

(6) The rural infrastructure surcharge tariff or gas supply cost adjustment tariff, and any future changes thereto, shall first be applied to customers receiving direct service from the rural infrastructure development. If such resulting rates are uneconomic or commercially unreasonable to those customers, the jurisdictional utility shall recover the costs above the rates determined by the jurisdictional utility to be economical or commercially reasonable from general system residential or commercial customers in the electing city in a manner proposed by the jurisdictional utility consistent with the agreement negotiated pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

(7) A jurisdictional utility may collect a rural infrastructure surcharge or gas supply cost adjustment until costs are fully recovered even if the jurisdictional utility has not filed for or is the subject of a new general rate proceeding within that period of time.

(8) No more than once annually, the commission may initiate a proceeding and conduct a public hearing to determine whether the rural infrastructure surcharge of a jurisdictional utility reflects the actual costs of the rural infrastructure development and to reconcile any amounts collected from ratepayers with actual costs incurred by the jurisdictional utility. The commission shall make a decision as to whether the rural infrastructure surcharge reflects actual costs within ninety days after initiating the proceeding. The rural infrastructure surcharge shall be presumed to reflect the actual costs of the rural infrastructure development, unless the contrary is shown.

(9) Any refund, including interest thereon, shall be made to presently served ratepayers in the electing city by an appropriate adjustment shown as a credit on subsequent bills during a period selected by the jurisdictional utility, not to exceed twelve months, or by a cash refund at the option of the jurisdictional utility. The jurisdictional utility shall not be required to provide such refunds to ratepayers served at competitively set or negotiated rates or under alternative rate mechanisms when the ratepayer is paying less than the full rate determined pursuant to the gas supply cost adjustment rate schedule or under a customer choice or unbundling program.

(10) A jurisdictional utility is not required to proceed with rural infrastructure development in an unserved or underserved area unless required to do so under an agreement with an electing city or cities.

(11) A jurisdictional utility utilizing a rural infrastructure surcharge shall separately identify the surcharge on each customer's bill using language sufficiently clear to identify the purpose of the surcharge.

(12) For purposes of this section:

(a) City means a city of the first or second class or village;

(b) Electing city means a city that has elected through its governing body to benefit from additional natural gas supply made possible by a rural infrastructure development and has executed an agreement with the jurisdictional utility serving the city and the city's extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction to provide the additional natural gas supply in accordance with terms and conditions mutually acceptable to the city and jurisdictional utility consistent with the agreement negotiated pursuant to subsection (2) of this section;

(c) Rural infrastructure development means planning, financing, development, acquisition, construction, owning, operating, and maintaining a natural gas pipeline facility or entering into agreements with an interstate pipeline for existing, new, or expanded capacity on the interstate pipeline's system for the transportation of natural gas necessary to supply unserved or underserved areas; and

(d) Rural infrastructure surcharge means a surcharge through which a jurisdictional utility may recover costs for rural infrastructure development.

Cross References

  • Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act, see section 18-2701.