25-30.455. Staff Assistance in Rate Cases  

Effective on Tuesday, June 12, 2018
  • 1(1) Water and wastewater utilities whose total gross annual operating revenues are $300,000 or less for water service or $300,000 or less for wastewater service, or $600,000 or less on a combined basis, may petition the Commission for staff assistance in rate applications by submitting a completed staff assisted rate case application. Reasonable and prudent rate case expense shall be 64eligible for recovery 67through the rates developed by staff. 73Recovery of attorney fees and outside consultant fees related to the rate case shall be determined based on the requirements set forth in section 97367.0814(3), F.S. 99A utility that chooses not to exercise the option of staff assistance may file for a rate increase under the provisions of rule 12225-30.443, 123F.A.C.

    124(2) 125The appropriate application form, Commission Form PSC/AFD 2-W (11/86) (Rev. 06/14), entitled “Application for a Staff Assisted Rate Case,” is incorporated into this rule by reference and is available at: 156http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-04415158. 159The form may also be obtained from the Commission’s Division of Accounting and Finance, 2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850.

    180(3) Upon completion of the form, the 187applicant shall file it with 192the Office of Commission Clerk, Florida Public Service Commission, 2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0870.

    208(4) Within 30 days of receipt of the completed application, the Commission will evaluate the application and determine the applicant’s eligibility for staff assistance.

    232(a) If the Commission has received four or more applications in the previous 30 days; or, if the Commission has 20 or more docketed staff assisted rate cases in active status on the date the application is received, the Commission will deny initial evaluation of an application for staff assistance and close the docket. When an application is denied under the provisions of this paragraph, the Commission will notify the applicant of the date on which the application may be resubmitted.

    313(b) Initially, determinations of eligibility will be conditional, pending an examination of the condition of the applicant’s books and records.

    333(5) 334Upon making its final determination of eligibility, the Commission will notify the applicant in writing as to whether the application is officially accepted or denied. If the application is accepted, a staff assisted rate case will be initiated. If the application is denied, the notification of application denial will state the deficiencies in the application with reference to the criteria set out in subsection (7) of this rule.

    402(6) The official date of filing will be 30 days after the date of the written notification to the applicant of the Commission’s official acceptance of the application.

    430(7) In determining whether to grant or deny the application, the 441Commission will consider the following criteria447:

    448(a) Whether the applicant qualifies for staff assistance pursuant to subsection (1) of this rule;

    463(b) Whether the applicant’s books and records are organized consistent with rule 47525-30.110, 476F.A.C., so as to allow Commission personnel to verify costs and other relevant factors within the 30-day time frame set out in this rule;

    500(c) Whether the applicant has filed annual reports;

    508(d) Whether the applicant has paid applicable regulatory assessment fees;

    518(e) Whether the applicant has at least one year of experience in utility operation;

    532(f) Whether the applicant has filed additional relevant information in support of eligibility, together with reasons why the information should be considered; and,

    555(g) 556Whether the utility was granted a rate case increase within the 2-year period prior to the receipt of the application under review.

    578(8) The Commission will deny the application if the utility does not remit the filing fee, as provided by paragraph 59825-30.020(2)(f), 599F.A.C., within 30 days after official acceptance.

    606(9) An aggrieved applicant may request reconsideration of the application denial, which will be decided by the full Commission.

    625(10) A substantially affected person may file a petition to protest the Commission’s proposed agency action in a staff assisted rate case within 21 days of issuance of the Notice of Proposed Agency Action Order, as set forth in rule 66528-106.111, 666F.A.C.

    667(11) A petition to protest the Commission’s proposed agency action shall conform to rule 68128-106.201, 682F.A.C.

    683(12) In the event of a protest of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Agency Action Order in a staff assisted rate case, the utility shall:

    708(a) Provide prefiled direct testimony in accordance with the Order Establishing Procedure issued in the case. At a minimum, that testimony shall adopt the Commission’s Proposed Agency Action Order;

    737(b) Sponsor a witness to support source documentation provided to the Commission staff in its preparation of the staff audit, the staff engineering and accounting report and the staff proposed agency action recommendation in the case;

    773(c) Include in its testimony the necessary factual information to support its position on any issue that it chooses to take a position different than that contained in the Commission’s Proposed Agency Action Order; and,

    808(d) Meet all other requirements of the Order Establishing Procedure.

    818(13) Failure to comply with the dates established in the Order Establishing Procedure, or to timely file a request for extension of time for good cause shown, may result in dismissal of the staff assisted rate case and closure of the docket.

    860(14) In the event of a protest of the Commission’s Proposed Agency Action Order in a staff assisted rate case, the Commission staff shall:

    884(a) File prefiled direct testimony to explain its analysis in the staff proposed agency action recommendation. In the event the staff wishes to alter its position on any issue, it shall provide factual testimony to support its changed position;

    923(b) Meet all other requirements of the Order Establishing Procedure; and,

    934(c) Provide to the utility materials to assist the utility in the preparation of its testimony and exhibits. This material shall consist of an example of testimony filed by a utility in another case, an example of testimony that would support the Proposed Agency Action Order in this case, an example of an exhibit filed in another case, and examples of prehearing statements and briefs filed in other cases.

    1003Rulemaking Authority 1005350.127(2), 1006367.0814, 1007367.121 FS. 1009Law Implemented 1011367.0814 FS. 1013History–New 12-8-80, Formerly 25-10.180, Amended 11-10-86, 8-26-91, 11-30-93, 1-31-00, 12-16-08, 8-10-14, 2-19-17, 6-12-18.