807 KAR 5:068. Purchased water adjustment for water districts and water associations.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS 65.810, Chapter 74, 278.010, 278.012, 278.015

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 278.012, 278.015, 278.030(1), 278.040(3)

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 278.030(1) requires that all rates charged by a utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission shall be fair, just, and reasonable. This administrative regulation prescribes the requirements under which a water district or a water association may implement a purchased water adjustment to recover the cost of water purchased.

 

      Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Application" means:

      (a) A completed Purchased Water Adjustment Form 1;

      (b) A schedule listing current and proposed rates;

      (c) A copy of the supplier’s notice showing a change in supplier’s base rate;

      (d) The calculation and all supporting documents used to determine the change in purchased water costs sufficient to determine the accuracy of the calculation; and

      (e) A copy of the resolution or other document of the utility’s governing body authorizing the proposed rates.

      (2) "Changed rate" means the rate of a utility’s supplier after the most recent increase or decrease in the supplier’s base rate.

      (3) "Commission" is defined by KRS 278.010(15).

      (4) "Person" is defined by KRS 278.010(2).

      (5) "Supplier’s base rate" means the rate of a utility’s supplier in effect immediately prior to the most recent increase or decrease.

      (6) "Tariff" means the schedules of a utility’s rates, charges, regulations, rules, tolls, terms, and conditions of service over which the commission has jurisdiction.

      (7) "Utility" means:

      (a) A water association formed as a non-profit corporation, association, or cooperative corporation having as its purpose the furnishing of water service; or

      (b) A water district formed pursuant to KRS 65.810 and KRS Chapter 74.

      (8) "Web site" means an identifiable site on the Internet, including social media, which is accessible to the public.

 

      Section 2. Change in Supplier’s Base Rate. (1) Upon an increase in its supplier’s base rate, a utility may, without prior commission approval, increase each of its rate schedules by a purchased water adjustment factor determined in accordance with Section 3 of this administrative regulation to pass through its increased purchased water costs to its customers on a per unit basis regardless of customer classification.

      (2) Upon a decrease in the supplier’s base rate, a utility that has previously revised its rates pursuant to this administrative regulation shall decrease each of its rate schedules by a purchased water adjustment factor determined in accordance with Section 3 of this administrative regulation to pass through its decreased purchased water costs on a per unit basis regardless of customer classification.

 

      Section 3. Purchased Water Adjustment Factor. (1) The purchased water adjustment factor to adjust a utility’s rate to reflect a change in the utility’s base rate shall be determined using the following formula:

      (2) The purchased water adjustment factor shall be expressed in cents per gallons or cubic feet, depending upon the unit of measure that the utility bases its customers’ bills.

      (3) Total utility water purchases shall be determined based upon the level of water purchases for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months ending within ninety (90) days immediately prior to the effective date of the utility rate adjustment month period.

      (4)(a) Total utility water sales shall be determined based upon the level of water sales for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months ending within ninety (90) days immediately prior to the effective date of the utility rate adjustment month period.

      (b) If the utility bases its customer billings on a flat rate in lieu of a volumetric rate, the total number of customers or residential equivalents billed for the period shall be used.

      (5) The same twelve (12) month period shall be used to determine total utility water purchases and total water utility sales.

 

      Section 4. Submitting the Purchased Water Adjustment Application. (1) A utility adjusting its rates pursuant to this administrative regulation shall submit an application to the commission.

      (2) The application shall be submitted:

      (a) In accordance with 807 KAR 5:001, Sections 7 and 8; and

      (b) No earlier than thirty (30) days prior to the proposed effective date of the supplier’s changed rate and no later than twenty (20) days after the utility, without prior commission approval, adjusts its rates to reflect the change in its purchased water costs due to the supplier’s changed rate.

 

      Section 5. Notice. Upon filing an application for a purchased water adjustment resulting from a supplier’s increased rate, a utility shall provide notice as follows:

      (1) Public postings.

      (a) A utility shall post at its place of business a copy of the notice no later than the date the application is submitted to the commission or the date the utility adjusts its rates, whichever occurs first.

      (b) A utility that maintains a Web site shall, within five (5) business days of the date the application is submitted to the commission or the date the utility adjusts its rates, whichever occurs first, post on its Web sites:

      1. A copy of the public notice; and

      2. A hyperlink to the location on the commission’s Web site where the case documents are available.

      (c) The information required in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection shall not be removed until the commission issues a final decision on the application.

      (2) Customer Notice.

      (a) If a utility has twenty (20) or fewer customers, it shall mail a written notice to each customer no later than the issuance of the first bill at the increased rate.

      (b) If a utility has more than twenty (20) customers, it shall provide notice by:

      1. Including notice with customer bills mailed no later than the issuance of the first bill at the increased rate;

      2. Mailing a written notice to each customer no later than the issuance of the first bill at the increased rate;

      3. Publishing notice one (1) time in a prominent manner in a newspaper of general circulation in the utility’s service area no later than the issuance of the first bill at the increased rate; or

      4. Publishing notice in a trade publication or newsletter delivered to all customers no later than the issuance of the first bill at the increased rate.

      (c) A utility that provides service in more than one (1) county may use a combination of the notice methods listed in paragraph (b) of this subsection.

      (3) Proof of Notice. A utility shall file with the commission no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the commission’s order approving an adjustment to the utility’s rates pursuant to this administrative regulation:

      (a) If notice is mailed to its customers, an affidavit from an authorized representative of the utility verifying the contents of the notice, that notice was mailed to all customers, and the date of the mailing;

      (b) If notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the utility’s service area, an affidavit from the publisher verifying the contents of the notice, that the notice was published, and the date of the notice’s publication; or

      (c) If notice is published in a trade publication or newsletter delivered to all customers, an affidavit from an authorized representative of the utility verifying the contents of the notice, the mailing of the trade publication or newsletter, that notice was included in the publication or newsletter, and the date of mailing.

      (4) Notice Content. Each notice issued in accordance with this section shall contain:

      (a) The effective date;

      (b) The present rates and proposed rates for each customer classification to which the proposed rates will apply;

      (c) The amount of the change requested in both dollar amounts and percentage change for each customer classification to which the proposed rates will apply;

      (d) The amount of the average usage and the effect upon the average bill for each customer classification to which the proposed rates will apply;

      (e) A statement that a person may examine this application at the offices of (utility name) located at (utility address); and

      (f) A statement that a person may examine this application at the commission’s offices located at 211 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, Kentucky, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or through the commission’s Web site at http://psc.ky.gov.

 

      Section 6. Orders of the Commission. (1) Within thirty (30) days of the submission of an application in accordance with this administrative regulation, the commission shall enter its order approving or denying the proposed rates or establishing revised rates.

      (2) Within twenty (20) days of the date of the commission's order, the utility shall submit its revised tariff sheet in accordance with 807 KAR 5:011 establishing the rates approved by the commission.

      (3) If the utility publishes notice of the proposed rates and the commission enters an order requiring different rates, the utility shall publish notice of the commission ordered rates in the manner prescribed in Section 5(2) of this administrative regulation.

 

      Section 7. Refund from a Supplier. (1) A utility that receives a refund from its supplier for previously paid for water service due to a reduction in the supplier’s rate shall notify the commission in writing of this refund within twenty (20) days of receipt of the refund and shall distribute the refund to its customers by reducing each of its rate schedules by a refund factor determined in accordance with subsection (2) of this section. The notice to the commission shall include:

      (a) A description of the circumstances surrounding the refund;

      (b) A schedule showing the calculation of the refund factor;

      (c) A copy of the supplier’s notice of the refund; and

      (d) All supporting documents used to determine the refund factor in detail sufficient to determine the accuracy of the calculation.

      (2) Refund factor. (a) The refund factor shall be determined using the following formula:

Refund Factor

=

Refund Amount

Estimated Total Utility Water Sales

      (b) The refund factor shall be expressed in cents per gallons or cubic feet, depending upon the unit of measure that the utility bases its customers’ bills.

      (c) Estimated total utility water sales shall be determined based upon the estimated level of water sales for the two (2) month period beginning the first day of the month following the utility’s receipt of the refund. If the utility bases its customer billings on a flat rate in lieu of a volumetric rate, the estimated total number of customers or residential equivalents billed for the period shall be used.

      (3) Effective with meter readings taken on and after the first day of the second month following receipt of the refund, the utility shall reduce each of its rate schedules by the refund factor upon calculating customer bills for the next two (2) billing periods.

      (4) If the commission determines that the utility has inaccurately calculated the refund, the commission shall direct the utility to make revisions to the utility’s refund plan.

 

      Section 8. Deviations from Rules. In special cases, for good cause shown, the commission shall permit deviations from this administrative regulation.

 

      Section 9. Incorporation by Reference. (1) "Purchased Water Adjustment Form 1", July 2014, is incorporated by reference.

      (2) This material may be inspected, copied, or obtained, subject to applicable copyright law, at the commission’s offices located at 211 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, Kentucky, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or through the commission’s Web site at http://psc.ky.gov. (12 Ky.R. 1965; Am. 13 Ky.R. 235; eff. 7-2-86; 40 Ky.R. 488; 822; eff. 10-18-2013; 41 Ky.R. 148; 489; eff. 10-31-2014.)