Report Title:

Public Utilities Commission; Electricity; Profits

Description:

Allows the public utilities commission to establish rates of return for electric utilities based on the number of accounts established by each utility and not from the amount of electricity consumed by the utility's customers. Requires electricity to be charged at cost.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1548

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to public utilities.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"269- Electric utilities; cost-based charges. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all available power sold by an electric utility to a residential or commercial customer shall be sold at cost."

SECTION 2. Section 269-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) No rate, fare, charge, classification, schedule, rule, or practice, other than one established pursuant to an automatic rate adjustment clause previously approved by the commission, shall be established, abandoned, modified, or departed from by any public utility, except after thirty days' notice as prescribed in section 269-12(b) to the commission and prior approval by the commission for any increases in rates, fares, or charges. The commission [may], in its discretion and for good cause shown, may allow any rate, fare, charge, classification, schedule, rule, or practice to be established, abandoned, modified, or departed from upon notice less than that provided for in section 269-12(b). A contested case hearing shall be held in connection with any increase in rates and such hearing shall be preceded by a public hearing as prescribed in section 269-12(c), at which the consumers or patrons of the public utility may present testimony to the commission concerning the increase. The commission, upon notice to the public utility, may [suspend]:

(1) Suspend the operation of all or any part of the proposed rate, fare, charge, classification, schedule, rule, or practice or any proposed abandonment or modification thereof or departure therefrom and after a hearing by order regulate, fix, and change all such rates, fares, charges, classifications, schedules, rules, and practices, so that [the same] they shall be just and reasonable and prohibit rebates and unreasonable discrimination between localities, or between users or consumers, under substantially similar conditions[, regulate]; provided that, with respect to electric utilities, a just and reasonable charge or rate shall be one that is based on cost;

(2) Regulate the manner in which the property of every public utility is operated with reference to the safety and accommodation of the public[, prescribe];

(3) Prescribe its form and method of keeping accounts, books, and records, and its accounting system[, regulate];

(4) Regulate the return upon its public utility property, the incurring of indebtedness relating to its public utility business, and its financial transactions; and [do]

(5) Do all things in addition which are necessary and in the exercise of such power and jurisdiction, all of which as so ordered, regulated, fixed, and changed shall be just and reasonable, and such as shall provide a fair return on the property of the utility actually used or useful for public utility purposes[.]; provided that, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, in determining what constitutes a fair return on the property of electric utilities in this State, the commission shall base the return on the number of accounts established by each electric utility and not on the amount of electricity consumed by customers of the utility."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.

INTRODUCED BY:

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