Current Status Bill Number:
4545Ratification Number: 425Act Number: 348Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19960206Primary Sponsor: KlauberAll Sponsors: Klauber, Simrill, Askins, Chamblee, Mason, R. Smith, Limehouse, Young-Brickell, Koon, Wright, Herdklotz, Sharpe, Knotts, Tripp, Elliott, Fulmer, D. Smith, Gamble, Quinn, Kennedy, Vaughn, Rice, Cato, Bailey, Wofford, Davenport, Whatley, Haskins, Worley, J. Young, Littlejohn, Law, Allison, Riser, Witherspoon, Lanford and CarnellDrafted Document Number: bbm\10529jm.96Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19960510Date of Last Amendment: 19960501Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19960529Subject: Electric utilities, costs
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 19960606 Act No. A348 ------ 19960529 Signed by Governor ------ 19960523 Ratified R425 Senate 19960510 Read third time, enrolled for ratification Senate 19960509 Read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Friday, 19960510 Senate 19960508 Committee report: Favorable 11 SJ Senate 19960502 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee House 19960502 Read third time, sent to Senate House 19960501 Amended, read second time House 19960424 Committee report: Favorable with 26 HLCI amendment House 19960206 Introduced, read first time, 26 HLCI referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A348, R425, H4545)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-865, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ELECTRIC UTILITIES, RATES AND CHARGES, ESTIMATES OF FUEL COSTS, REPORTS, AND ADJUSTMENT OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACTUAL AND ESTIMATED COSTS, SO AS TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, DEFINE "FUEL COST" FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, DELETE CERTAIN LANGUAGE, AND PROVIDE THAT THERE SHALL EXIST A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION THAT AN ELECTRICAL UTILITY MADE EVERY REASONABLE EFFORT TO MINIMIZE COST ASSOCIATED WITH THE OPERATION OF ITS NUCLEAR GENERATION FACILITY OR SYSTEM, AS APPLICABLE, IF THE UTILITY ACHIEVED A NET CAPACITY FACTOR OF NINETY-TWO AND ONE-HALF PERCENT OR HIGHER DURING THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
"Fuel cost" defined; rebuttable presumption; etc.
SECTION 1. Section 58-27-865 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 58-27-865. (A) The words `fuel cost' as used in this section shall include the cost of fuel, fuel costs related to purchased power, and the cost of SO2 emission allowances as used and shall be reduced by the net proceeds of any sales of SO2 emission allowances by the utility.
(B) The commission shall direct each electrical utility which incurs fuel cost for the sale of electricity to submit to the commission, within such time and in such form as the commission may designate, its estimates of fuel costs for the next twelve months. The commission may hold a public hearing at any time between the twelve-month reviews to determine whether an increase or decrease in the base rate amount designed to recover fuel cost should be granted. Upon investigation of the estimate and conducting public hearings in accordance with law, the commission shall direct each company to place in effect in its base rate an amount designed to recover, during the succeeding twelve months, the fuel costs determined by the commission to be appropriate for that period, adjusted for the over-recovery or under-recovery from the preceding twelve-month period. The commission shall direct the electrical utilities to send notice to the utility customers with the antecedent billing of the time and place of the public hearings to be held every twelve months, and the commission shall again direct the electrical utilities to send notice to the utility customers with the next billing if the utility is granted a rate increase by the commission.
(C) The commission shall direct the electrical utilities to account monthly for the differences between the recovery of fuel costs through base rates and the actual fuel costs experienced, by booking the difference to unbilled revenues with a corresponding deferred debit or credit, the balance of which will be included in the projected fuel cost component of the base rates for the succeeding period. The commission shall direct the electrical utilities to submit monthly reports of fuel costs and monthly reports of all scheduled and unscheduled outages of generating units with a capacity of one hundred megawatts or greater.
(D) Upon request by the commission staff, the electrical utilities, or the Consumer Advocate, a public hearing must be held by the commission at any time between the twelve-month reviews to determine whether an increase or decrease in the base rate amount designed to recover fuel costs should be granted. If the request is by an electrical utility for a rate increase, the commission shall direct the utility to send notice of the request and hearing to all customers with the next billing, and if the commission grants the rate request subsequent to the request and hearing, the commission shall direct the utility to send notice of the amount of the increase or decrease to all customers with the next billing.
(E) The commission may offset, to the extent considered appropriate, the cost of fuel recovered through sales of power pursuant to interconnection agreements with neighboring electrical utilities against fuel costs to be recovered.
(F) The commission shall disallow recovery of any fuel costs that it finds without just cause to be the result of failure of the utility to make every reasonable effort to minimize fuel costs or any decision of the utility resulting in unreasonable fuel costs, giving due regard to reliability of service, economical generation mix, generating experience of comparable facilities, and minimization of the total cost of providing service. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that an electrical utility made every reasonable effort to minimize cost associated with the operation of its nuclear generation facility or system, as applicable, if the utility achieved a net capacity factor of ninety-two and one-half percent or higher during the period under review. The calculation of the net capacity factor shall exclude reasonable outage time associated with reasonable refueling, reasonable maintenance, reasonable repair, and reasonable equipment replacement outages; the reasonable reduced power generation experienced by nuclear units as they approach a refueling outage; the reasonable reduced power generation experienced by nuclear units associated with bringing a unit back to full power after an outage; Nuclear Regulatory Commission required testing outages unless due to the unreasonable acts of the utility; outages found by the commission not to be within the reasonable control of the utility; and acts of God. The calculation also shall exclude reasonable reduced power operations resulting from the demand for electricity being less than the full power output of the utility's nuclear generation system. If the net capacity factor is below ninety-two and one-half percent after reflecting the above specified outage time, then the utility shall have the burden of demonstrating the reasonableness of its nuclear operations during the period under review.
(G) The commission is authorized to promulgate, in accordance with the provisions of this section, all regulations necessary to allow the recovery by electrical utilities of all their prudently incurred fuel costs as precisely and promptly as possible, in a manner that tends to assure public confidence and minimize abrupt changes in charges to consumers."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 29th day of May, 1996.