RELATES TO: KRS 278.010, 278.030, 278.160, 278.180, 278.185, 278.190, 278.310, 278.380
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 278.040(3), 278.160(1), 278.180, 278.185(4)
NECESSITY, FUNCTION AND CONFORMITY: KRS 278.040(3) authorizes the commission to promulgate administrative regulations to implement KRS Chapter 278. This administrative regulation establishes a simplified and less expensive procedure for small utilities to use to apply to the commission for rate adjustments.
Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Annual report" means the financial and statistical report incorporated by reference in 807 KAR 5:006, which requires a utility to file the annual report with the commission.
(2) "Annual report for the immediate past year" means an annual report that covers the applicant’s operations for either:
(a) The calendar year period prior to the year in which the applicant’s application for rate adjustment is filed with the commission; or
(b) The most recent calendar year period that 807 KAR 5:006, Section 4(1), requires the applicant to have on file with the commission as of the date of the filing of its application for rate adjustment.
(3) "Applicant" means a utility that is applying for an adjustment of rates using the procedure established in this administrative regulation.
(4) "Gross annual revenue" means:
(a) The total revenue that a utility derived during a calendar year; or
(b) If the utility operates two (2) or more divisions that provide different types of utility service, the total amount of revenue derived from the division for which a rate adjustment is sought.
(5) "Sewage utility" means a utility that meets the requirements of KRS 278.010(3)(f).
(6) "Utility" is defined by KRS 278.010(3).
Section 2. Utilities Permitted to File Application. A utility may apply for an adjustment of rates using the procedure established in this administrative regulation if it:
(1) Had gross annual revenue in the immediate past calendar year of $5,000,000 or less;
(2) Maintained adequate financial records fully separated from a commonly-owned enterprise; and
(3) Filed with the commission fully completed annual reports for the immediate past year and for the two (2) prior years if the utility has been in existence that long.
Section 3. The Record upon which Decision Shall Be Made. The commission shall make its decision based on the:
(1) Applicant’s annual report for the immediate past year and the annual reports for the two (2) prior years, if the utility has been in existence that long;
(2) The application required by Section 4 of this administrative regulation;
(3) Information supplied by the applicant in response to requests for information submitted by other parties to the proceeding or the commission;
(4) Written reports submitted by commission staff;
(5) Stipulations and agreements between the parties and commission staff;
(6) Written comments and information that the parties to the proceeding submitted in response to the findings and recommendations contained in a written report that commission staff submitted; and
(7) If a hearing is held, the record of that hearing.
Section 4. Application. (1) An application for alternative rate adjustment shall consist of:
(a) A completed ARF Form-1 that is made under oath and signed by the applicant or an officer who is duly designated by the applicant and who has knowledge of the matters established in the application;
(b) A copy of all outstanding evidences of indebtedness, such as mortgage agreements, promissory notes, and bond resolutions;
(c) A copy of the amortization schedule for each outstanding bond issuance, promissory note, and debt instrument;
(d) A depreciation schedule of all utility plant in service;
(e) A copy of the most recent state and federal tax returns of the applicant, if the applicant is required to file returns;
(f) A detailed analysis of the applicant’s customers’ bills showing revenues from the present and proposed rates for each customer class;
(g) A copy of the notice of the proposed rate change that is provided to customers of the applicant;
(h) A completed ARF Form-3 for each member of the utility’s board of commissioners or board of directors, each person who has an ownership interest of ten (10) percent or more in the utility, and the utility’s chief executive officer; and
(i)1. If the applicant is a corporation, a certified copy of its articles of incorporation and all amendments thereto, or a written statement attesting that its articles and all amendments thereto have been filed with the commission in a prior proceeding and referencing the case number of the prior proceeding;
2. If the applicant is a limited liability company, a certified copy of its articles of organization and all amendments thereto, or a written statement attesting that its articles and all amendments thereto have been filed with the commission in a prior proceeding and referencing the case number of the prior proceeding; or
3. If the applicant is a limited partnership, a certified copy of its limited partnership agreement and all amendments thereto, or a written statement attesting that its partnership agreement and all amendments thereto have been filed with the commission in a prior proceeding and referencing the case number of the prior proceeding.
(2) Except as provided in Section 13 of this administrative regulation for electronic filings, the applicant shall:
(a) Submit one (1) original and five (5) paper copies of its application to the executive director of the commission; and
(b) Deliver or mail one (1) paper copy to the Office of Rate Intervention, Office of the Attorney General, 1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 200, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-8204 or transmit by electronic mail an electronic copy in portable document format to the Office of Rate Intervention at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(3)(a) If the application contains an individual’s Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, birth date, or a financial account number, the applicant shall redact the document so the following information cannot be read:
1. The digits of the Social Security number or taxpayer identification number;
2. The month and day of an individual’s birth; and
3. The digits of the financial account number.
(b) To redact the document, the applicant shall replace the identifiers with neutral placeholders or cover the identifiers with an indelible mark, that so obscures the identifiers that they cannot be read.
(4) The application shall not contain any request for relief from the commission other than an adjustment of rates.
(5) A utility may make written request to the executive director for commission staff assistance in preparing the application.
Section 5. Notice to Customers of Proposed Rate Changes. (1) If the applicant has twenty (20) or fewer customers or is a sewage utility, it shall:
(a) Mail written notice in accordance with subsection (3) of this section to each customer no later than the date on which the application is filed with the commission;
(b) Post at its place of business no later than the filed date of the application a sheet containing the information provided in the written notice to its customers; and
(c) Keep the notice posted until the commission has issued a final decision on the application.
(2) An applicant that has more than twenty (20) customers and is not a sewage utility shall post at its place of business a sheet containing the information required by subsection (3) of this section and shall:
(a) Include notice with customer bills mailed by the date the application is filed;
(b) Publish notice in a trade publication or newsletter going to all customers by the date the application is filed;
(c) Publish notice once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a prominent manner in a newspaper of general circulation in the applicant’s service area, the first publication to be made by the date the application is filed; or
(d) If it provides service in more than one (1) county, use a combination of the methods established in this subsection.
(3) Each notice shall state:
(a) The present rates and proposed rates for each customer class to which the proposed rates will apply;
(b) The amount of the change requested in both dollar amounts and percentage change for each customer classification to which the proposed rate change will apply;
(c) The amount of the average usage and the effect upon the average bill for each customer class to which the proposed rate change will apply;
(d) That the rates contained in this notice are the rates proposed by (name of utility) but that the Public Service Commission may order rates to be charged that differ from the proposed rates contained in this notice;
(e) That a corporation, association, or person may, within thirty (30) days after the initial publication or mailing of notice of the proposed rate change, submit a written request to intervene to the Public Service Commission, 211 Sower Boulevard, P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, Kentucky 40602, establishing the grounds for the request and including the status and interest of the party;
(f) That a person may examine this application at the main offices of (the name of the utility) located at (the utility’s address) and on the utility’s Web site at (the utility’s Web site address), if the utility maintains a public Web site; and
(g) That the application and all documents filed with the Public Service Commission may be viewed and downloaded at the Public Service Commission’s Web site at http://psc.ky.gov/.
(4) Proof of notice. An applicant shall file with the commission no later than forty-five (45) days from the filed date of the application:
(a) If its notice is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the applicant’s service area, an affidavit from the publisher verifying the notice was published, including the dates of the publication with an attached copy of the published notice;
(b) If notice is published in a trade publication or newsletter going to all customers, an affidavit from an authorized representative of the utility verifying the trade publication or newsletter was mailed; or
(c) If the notice is mailed, an affidavit from an authorized representative of the utility verifying the notice was mailed.
(5) If an applicant maintains a Web site, the applicant shall:
(a) Post on its Web site within seven (7) days of the filed date of the application:
1. A notice containing the information provided in the written notice to its customers; and
2. A hyperlink to a copy of its application posted on the commission’s Web site; and
(b) Keep both items posted until the commission has finally determined the utility’s rates.
Section 6. Except as provided in Section 13 of this administrative regulation, an applicant shall not be required to provide the commission with advance notice of its intent to file an application for rate adjustment using the procedure established in this administrative regulation.
Section 7. Effective Date of Proposed Rates. (1) An applicant shall not place the proposed rates into effect until the commission has issued an order approving those rates or six (6) months from the date of filing of its application, whichever occurs first.
(2) If the commission has not issued its order within six (6) months from the date of filing of the application, the applicant may place its proposed rates in effect subject to refund upon providing the commission with written notice of its intent to place the rates into effect.
(3) The applicant shall maintain its records in a manner to enable it, or the commission, to determine the amounts to be refunded and to whom is due a refund if the commission orders a refund.
Section 8. Test Period. The reasonableness of the proposed rates shall be determined using a twelve (12) month historical test period, adjusted for known and measureable changes, that coincides with the reporting period of the applicant’s annual report for the immediate past year.
Section 9. Discovery. (1) The minimum discovery available to intervening parties shall be as prescribed by this subsection.
(a) A party in the proceeding may serve written requests for information upon the applicant within twenty-one (21) days of an order permitting that party to intervene in the proceeding.
(b) Upon serving requests upon the applicant, the party shall file a copy of the party’s requests with the commission and serve a copy upon all other parties.
(c) Within twenty-one (21) days of service of timely requests for information from a party, the applicant shall serve its written responses upon each party and shall file with the commission one (1) original and five (5) copies.
(2) The commission may establish different arrangements for discovery if it finds different arrangements are necessary to evaluate an application or to protect a party’s rights to due process.
Section 10. Commission Staff Report. (1) Within thirty (30) days of the date that an application is accepted for filing, the commission shall enter an order advising the parties if commission staff will prepare a report on the application.
(2) If a commission staff report is prepared, the:
(a) Commission staff shall:
1. File the report with the commission; and
2. Serve a copy of the report on all parties of record; and
(b) Report shall contain the commission staff’s findings and recommendations regarding the proposed rates.
(3)(a) Each party shall file with the commission a written response to the commission staff report within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the report.
(b) This written response shall contain:
1. All objections to and other comments on the findings and recommendations of commission staff;
2. A request for hearing or informal conference, if applicable;
3. The reasons why a hearing or informal conference is necessary; and
4. If commission staff reports that the applicant’s financial condition supports a higher rate than the applicant proposed or recommends the assessment of an additional rate or charge not proposed in the application, the filing party’s position on if the commission should authorize the assessment of the higher rate or the recommended additional rate or charge.
(c) If a party’s written response fails to contain an objection to a finding or recommendation contained in the commission staff report, it shall be deemed to have waived all objections to that finding or recommendation. A party’s failure to request a hearing or informal conference in the party’s written response shall be deemed a waiver of all rights to a hearing on the application and a request that the case stand submitted for decision.
(d) If a party fails to file a written response with the commission within this time period, it shall be deemed to have waived all objections to the findings and recommendations contained in the report and all rights to a hearing on the application.
(e) Acceptance of the findings and recommendations contained in the commission staff report by all parties in a proceeding shall not preclude the commission from conducting a hearing on the application, taking evidence on the applicant’s financial operations, or ordering rates that differ from or conflict with the findings and recommendations established in the commission staff report.
(f) If commission staff reports that the applicant’s financial condition supports a higher rate than the applicant proposed or recommends the assessment of an additional rate or charge not proposed in the application and the proposed rates produce total revenues in excess of 115 percent of the total revenue that the applicant’s proposed rates will produce, the commission shall order the applicant to provide notice of the finding or recommendation to its customers.
Section 11. Notice of Hearing. (1) If the commission orders a hearing, the applicant shall publish in a newspaper or mail to the applicant’s customers notice of the hearing.
(2) The notice shall state the purpose, time, place, and date of the hearing.
(3) Newspaper notice shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the applicant's service area no fewer than seven (7) and no more than twenty-one (21) days prior to the hearing.
(4) Mailed notices shall be mailed at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the hearing.
Section 12. Utility Personnel Participation in Commission Proceedings. (1) An authorized official or employee of the applicant who is not licensed to practice law in Kentucky may, on behalf of an applicant that is a water district, corporation, partnership, or limited liability company, file the application, responses to commission orders and requests for information, as well as appear at conferences related to the application.
(2) An applicant that is a water district, corporation, partnership, or limited liability company shall, at a hearing conducted on the application, be represented by an attorney who is authorized to practice law in Kentucky.
Section 13. Use of Electronic Filing Procedures in lieu of Submission of Paper Documents. (1) Upon an applicant’s timely election of the use of electronic filing procedures, the procedures established in this section shall be used in lieu of other filing procedures established in this administrative regulation.
(2) At least seven (7) days prior to the submission of its application, an applicant shall:
(a) File with the commission written notice of the applicant’s election using the ARF Form-2; and
(b) If the applicant or its authorized agent does not have an account for electronic filing with the commission, register for an account at http://psc.ky.gov/Account/Register.
(3) Each pleading, document, and exhibit shall be filed with the commission by uploading an electronic version of the document using the commission’s E-Filing System at http://psc.ky.gov. In addition, the filing party shall file the original with the commission as required by subsection (11) of this section.
(4) Each file in an electronic submission shall be:
(a) In portable document format;
(c) Optimized for viewing over the Internet;
(d) Bookmarked to distinguish sections of the pleading or document; and
(e) If a scanned document, scanned at a resolution of no less than 300 dots per inch.
(5)(a) Each electronic submission shall include an introductory file in portable document format that is named "Read1st" and that contains a:
1. General description of the filing;
2. List of all materials not included in the electronic filing; and
3. Statement attesting that the electronically filed documents are a true representation of the original documents.
(b) The "Read1st" file and any other document that normally contains a signature shall contain a signature in the electronically submitted document.
(c) The electronic version of the cover letter accompanying the paper filing may be substituted for a general description.
(d) If the electronic submission does not include all documents contained in the paper version, the absence of these documents shall be noted in the "Read1st" document.
(6)(a) An electronic transmission or uploading session shall not exceed twenty (20) files.
(b) An individual file shall not exceed fifty (50) megabytes.
(c) If a filing party’s submission exceeds the limitations established in paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection, the filing party shall make its electronic submission in two (2) or more consecutive electronic transmission or uploading sessions.
(7) If filing a document with the commission, the filing party shall certify that:
(a) The electronic version of the filing is a true and accurate copy of each document filed in paper medium;
(b) The electronic version of the filing has been transmitted to the commission; and
(c) A copy of the filing in paper medium has been mailed to all parties that the commission has excused from participation by electronic means.
(8)(a) Upon completion of a party’s uploading of an electronic submission, the commission shall cause an electronic mail message to be sent to all parties of record advising that an electronic submission has been made to the commission.
(b) Upon a party’s receipt of this message, it shall be the receiving party’s responsibility to access the commission’s electronic file depository at http://psc.ky.gov and view or download a copy of the submission.
(9) Unless a party states an objection to the use of electronic filing procedures in its motion for intervention, a party granted leave to intervene shall:
(a) Be deemed to have consented to the use of electronic filing procedures and the service of all documents and pleadings, including orders of the commission, by electronic means; and
(b) File with the commission within seven (7) days of the date of an order of the commission granting the party’s intervention a written statement that:
1. The party waives the right to service of commission orders by United States mail; and
2. The party or the party’s authorized agent, possesses the facilities to receive electronic transmissions.
(10) If a party objects to the use of electronic filing procedures and if good cause exists to excuse that party from the use of electronic filing procedures, service of documents on that party and by that party shall be made in accordance with 807 KAR 5:001, Section 4(8).
(11)(a) A document shall be considered timely filed with the commission if the document:
1. Has been successfully transmitted in electronic medium to the commission within the time allowed for filing and meets all other requirements established in this administrative regulation and an order of the commission; and
2. Is filed, in paper medium at the commission’s offices no later than the second business day following the electronic filing.
(b) Each party shall attach to the top of the paper submission a paper copy of the electronic mail message from the commission confirming transmission and receipt of the party’s electronic submission.
(12) Except as expressly provided in this section, a party making a filing in accordance with the procedures established in this section shall not be required to comply with a provision of this administrative regulation that requires service of a document or material filed with the commission on other parties in the case.
Section 14. The provisions of 807 KAR 5:001, Sections 1 through 6, 9, 10, 11, and 13, shall apply to commission proceedings involving applications filed pursuant to this administrative regulation.
Section 15. Upon a showing of good cause, the commission may permit deviations from this administrative regulation. Requests for deviation shall be submitted in writing by letter to the commission.
Section 16. Incorporation by Reference. (1) The following material is incorporated by reference:
(a) "Application for Rate Adjustment before the Public Service Commission", ARF Form 1, September 2012;
(b) "Notice of Election of Use of Electronic Filing", ARF Form 2, September 2011; and
(c) "Statement of Disclosure of Related Party Transactions", ARF Form 3, September 2012.
(2) This material may be inspected, copied, or obtained, subject to applicable copyright law at the commission’s offices at 211 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or through the commission’s Web site at http://psc.ky.gov/.(8 Ky.R. 835; eff. 4-7-82; Am. 22 Ky.R. 994; 1312; 1-3-96; 38 Ky.R. 132; 629; 765; eff. 11-4-11; 39 Ky.R. 320, 1159; eff. 1-4-13.)