Senate Study Bill 1157 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to the regulation of specified gas and electric
2utilities.
3BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 476.1A, Code 2023, is amended to read as
2follows:
   3476.1A  Applicability of authority — certain electric
4utilities.
   51.  Electric public utilities having fewer than ten
6thousand customers and electric cooperative corporations and
7associations are not subject to the regulation authority of the
8board, except for regulatory action pertaining to all of the
9following:
   10a.  Assessment of fees for the support of the division and
11the office of consumer advocate, pursuant to section 476.10.
   12b.  Safety standards and engineering standards for equipment,
13operations, and procedures
.
   14c.  Assigned area areas of service, as set forth in sections
15476.22 through 476.26
.
   16d.  Pilot projects of the board Public utility railroad
17crossings, as set forth in 476.27
.
   18e.  Filing alternate energy purchase program plans with the
19board, and offering such programs to customers, pursuant to
20section 476.47.
   212.  However, sections 476.20, subsections 1 through 4,
22476.21, 476.51, 476.56, 476.58, 476.62, and 476.66 and chapters
23476A and 478, to the extent applicable, apply to such electric
24utilities.
   253.  Electric cooperative corporations and associations
26and electric public utilities exempt from rate regulation
27under this section shall not make or grant any unreasonable
28preferences or advantages as to rates or services to any
29person or subject any person to any unreasonable prejudice or
30disadvantage.
   314.  The board of directors or the membership of an electric
32cooperative corporation or association otherwise exempt
33from rate regulation may elect to have the cooperative’s
34rates regulated by the board. The board shall adopt rules
35prescribing the manner in which the board of directors or the
-1-1membership of an electric cooperative may so elect. If the
2board of directors or the membership of an electric cooperative
3has elected to have the cooperative’s rates regulated by the
4board, after two years have elapsed from the effective date of
5such election the board of directors or the membership of the
6electric cooperative may elect to exempt the cooperative from
7the rate regulation authority of the board, provided, however,
8that if the membership elected to have the cooperative’s rates
9regulated by the board, only the membership may elect to exempt
10the cooperative from the rate regulation authority of the
11board.
   125.  An electric utility subject to regulatory action
13pursuant to this section is subject to complaints and
14investigations as set forth in section 476.3, but only with
15regard to matters within the regulatory authority of the board
16as set forth in subsections 1 and 2.
   176.  As used in this section:
   18a.  “Engineering standards” means standards adopted by the
19American national standards institute, or the institute of
20electrical and electronics engineers, rural utilities service,
21or comparable engineering organization or engineering standards
22adopted by the board.
   23b.  “Rates” means the same as defined in section 384.80
24and includes all charges or fees imposed or collected for the
25provision of or incidental to utility service.
   26c.  “Safety standards” means applicable regulations
27promulgated by the United States occupational safety and health
28administration and by Iowa occupational safety and health by
29the administration. Safety standards for electric utilities
30subject to this section also include outage notifications,
31safety standards contained in the national electric safety
32code, as published by the institute of electrical and
33electronic engineers, inc., and electric safety standards
34approved by the American national standards institute.
35   Sec. 2.  Section 476.1B, Code 2023, is amended to read as
-2-1follows:
   2476.1B  Applicability of authority — municipally owned
3utilities.
   41.  Unless otherwise specifically provided by statute, a
5
 A municipally owned utility furnishing gas or electricity is
6not subject to the regulation by authority of the board under
7this chapter
, except for regulatory action pertaining to the
8following
:
   9a.  Assessment of fees for the support of the division
10and the office of consumer advocate, as set forth in section
11476.10.
   12b.  Safety standards.
   13c.  Assigned areas of service, as set forth in sections
14476.22 through 476.26.
   15d.  Enforcement of civil penalties pursuant to section
16476.51.
   17e.  Disconnection of service, as set forth in section 476.20,
18subsections 1 through 4.
   19f.  Encouragement of alternate energy production facilities,
20as set forth in sections 476.41 through 476.45.
   21g.  Enforcement of section 476.56.
   22h.  Enforcement of section 476.66.
   23i.  Enforcement of section 476.62.
   24d.  Public utility railroad crossings, as set forth in
25section 476.27.
   26j.    e.  An electric power agency as defined in chapter
2728F and section 390.9 that includes as a member a city or
28municipally owned utility that builds transmission facilities
29after July 1, 2001, is subject to applicable transmission
30reliability rules or standards adopted by the board for those
31facilities.
   32k.    f.  Filing alternate energy purchase program plans with
33the board, and offering such programs to customers, pursuant
34to section 476.47.
   352.  The board may waive all or part of the energy efficiency
-3-1filing and review requirements for municipally owned utilities
2which demonstrate superior results with existing energy
3efficiency efforts
 Sections 476.20, subsections 1 through 4,
4476.51, 476.56, 476.58, 476.62, and 476.66 and chapters 476A
5and 478, to the extent applicable, apply to such electric and
6gas utilities
.
   73.  Unless otherwise specifically provided by statute, a A
8 municipally owned utility providing local exchange services
9is not subject to the regulation by authority of the board
10under this chapter except for regulatory action pertaining to
11the enforcement of sections 476.10, 476.95, 476.95A, 476.95B,
12476.100, and 476.102, and 476.103.
   134.  An electric utility subject to regulatory action
14pursuant to this section is subject to complaints and
15investigations as set forth in section 476.3, but only with
16regard to matters within the regulatory authority of the board
17as set forth in subsections 1 and 2.
18   Sec. 3.  Section 476.20, subsection 3, paragraph a, Code
192023, is amended to read as follows:
   20a.  The board shall establish adopt rules which shall be
21uniform with respect to all rate-regulated public utilities
22furnishing gas or electricity relating to disconnection
23of service. The board shall adopt rules with respect to
24electric and gas utilities subject to sections 476.1A and
25476.1B that prescribe the procedures and notice requirements
26for the disconnection of service consistent with the rules
27for rate-regulated public utilities, but such rules shall
28not regulate the rates of such utilities.
This subsection
29applies both to regulated rate-regulated utilities, utilities
30subject to regulation under sections 476.1A and 476.1B,
and to
31municipally owned utilities and unincorporated villages which
32own their own distribution systems, and violations. Violations
33 of this subsection may subject the utilities a utility to civil
34penalties under section 476.51.
35   Sec. 4.  Section 476.20, subsection 5, paragraph a,
-4-1unnumbered paragraph 1, Code 2023, is amended to read as
2follows:
   3The board shall establish rules which shall be uniform with
4respect to all rate-regulated public utilities furnishing gas
5or electricity relating to deposits which may be required by
6the public utility for the initiation or reinstatement of
7service. This subsection shall not apply to utilities subject
8to section 476.1A, or to
municipally owned utilities, which
9shall be governed by the provisions of section 384.84 with
10respect to deposits and payment plans for delinquent amounts
11owed. Municipally owned utilities and electric utilities
12that are not required to be rate-regulated
 utilities subject
13to section 476.1A
shall not be subject to the board’s rules
14in regards regard to deposits, rates and charges for the
15disconnection or reinstatement of service,
and payment plans
16for delinquent amounts owed and repayment of past due debt.
17Municipally owned utilities and electric utilities that are
18not required to be rate-regulated
 utilities subject to section
19476.1A
shall be subject to the board’s rules in regards to
20payment plans made prior to the disconnection of services.
21   Sec. 5.  Section 592.9, Code 2023, is amended to read as
22follows:
   23592.9  City waterworks utilities and utility boards.
   24All proceedings taken prior to January 1, 1961 the effective
25date of this Act
purporting to provide for the establishment,
26organization, formation, operation, or maintenance of a city
27waterworks utility or utility board and not previously declared
28invalid by any court, are legalized, validated and confirmed.
29All such proceedings are declared to be legally sufficient to
30create, establish and authorize the maintenance and operation
31of a city waterworks as a city utility, as defined in section
32362.2, subsection 6.
33EXPLANATION
34The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
35the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
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   1This bill relates to the regulation of specified gas and
2electric utilities.
   3The bill provides that electric public utilities having
4fewer than 10,000 customers and electric cooperative
5corporations and associations are subject to regulatory action
6from the Iowa utilities board (board) regarding public utility
7railroad crossings. The bill removes regulation authority
8from the board for electric public utilities having fewer
9than 10,000 customers and electric cooperative corporations
10and associations regarding pilot projects of the board. The
11bill provides that such utilities are subject to complaint and
12investigation procedures set forth in Code section 476.3. The
13bill provides definitions for “engineering standards”, “rates”,
14and “safety standards”.
   15With regard to municipally owned utilities furnishing gas or
16electricity, the bill similarly provides that such utilities
17are subject to regulation authority regarding public utility
18railroad crossings. The bill strikes provisions relating to
19waiver of energy efficiency filing and review requirements,
20civil penalties in Code section 476.51, disconnection
21of service, encouragement of alternate energy production
22facilities, enforcement of the energy costs provided in Code
23section 476.56, enforcement of the customer contribution
24fund provided in Code section 476.66, and enforcement of
25energy-efficient lighting requirements provided in Code
26section 476.62. The bill adds that the board has regulatory
27authority over a municipally owned utility providing local
28exchange services regarding Code section 476.10, relating
29to investigations, and Code section 476.103, relating to
30unauthorized change in service. The bill provides that
31disconnection of services in Code section 476.20, subsections
321 through 4, civil penalties in Code section 476.51,
33encouragement of alternate energy production facilities, energy
34cost requirements, safety of distributed generation facilities,
35customer contribution fund requirements, and energy-efficient
-6-1lighting requirements, Code chapter 476A relating to electric
2power generation and transmission, and Code chapter 478
3relating to electric transmission lines, also apply to
4municipally owned utilities furnishing gas or electricity. The
5bill provides that disconnection of services in Code section
6476.20, subsections 1 through 4, civil penalties in Code
7section 476.51, encouragement of alternate energy production
8facilities, energy cost requirements, safety of distributed
9generation facilities, customer contribution fund requirements,
10and energy-efficient lighting requirements, Code chapter 476A
11relating to electric power generation and transmission, and
12Code chapter 478 relating to electric transmission lines,
13also apply to municipally owned utilities furnishing gas or
14electricity.
   15The bill changes the applicability of deposit-related
16uniform rules established by the board from all public
17utilities furnishing gas or electricity to rate-regulated
18public utilities furnishing gas or electricity and excludes
19utilities subject to Code section 476.1A. The bill provides
20that municipally owned utilities and utilities subject to Code
21section 476.1A shall not be subject to the board’s rules in
22regards to deposits, rates, charges for the disconnection or
23reinstatement of service, and payment plans for delinquent
24amounts owed and repayment of past-due debt, but are subject to
25rules regarding payment plans made prior to the disconnection
26of services.
   27The bill provides that all proceedings taking place
28before the effective date of the bill for the establishment,
29organization, formation, operation, or maintenance of a city
30utility or utility board that were not previously declared
31invalid shall be determined to be legally sufficient to create,
32establish, and authorize the maintenance and operation of a
33city utility. Current law provides for the procedure to apply
34exclusively to city waterworks processed before January 1,
351961.
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