§ 46-4-155. Regulation of unbundled services; peaking service; customer services; interstate capacity assets.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 46. PUBLIC UTILITIES AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Chapter 4. DISTRIBUTION, STORAGE, AND SALE OF GAS

Article 5. NATURAL GAS COMPETITION AND DEREGULATION ACT

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 46-4-155. Regulation of unbundled services; peaking service; customer services; interstate capacity assets

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this article, an electing distribution company which offers firm distribution service remains subject to the jurisdiction of the commission under this title. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the commission shall have general supervision of such company pursuant to Code Section 46-2-20, and the rates of an electing distribution company for firm distribution service and the ancillary services which are subject to the rate jurisdiction of the commission shall be established in accordance with the provisions of this article and Code Section 46-2-23.1.
(b) An electing distribution company shall offer liquefied natural gas peaking service to marketers at rates and on terms approved by the commission, subject however to the following:
(1) If a marketer which is not affiliated with an electing distribution company obtains a peaking service in a delivery group from a person other than the electing distribution company, the rate for liquefied natural gas peaking service by the electing distribution company in such delivery group shall not be subject to approval by the commission but shall be capped at 120 percent of the rate for such service previously established by the commission; and
(2) If the commission determines pursuant to a filing by the electing distribution company or otherwise, and based upon the factors listed in subsection (c) of this Code section, that reasonably available alternatives for such peaking services exist in the delivery group, the rate for such services in a delivery group shall not be subject to regulation by the commission and the plant and equipment of the electing distribution company which is used and useful for receiving gas for liquefaction, liquefying gas, storing liquefied natural gas, and re-gasifying liquefied natural gas, including the land upon which such plant and equipment is located, shall be removed from the rate base for rate-making purposes of the electing distribution company in an amount which is the lower of the fair market value or the depreciated book value of such facilities. In addition, the rates for firm distribution service of the electing distribution company shall be adjusted to eliminate any applicable recovery of the operation and maintenance expenses associated with such facilities and gas in storage in such facilities, as well as the return on investment attributable to the amount removed from the rate base. For purposes of such review and determination, the fact that such services have been obtained by a marketer which is not affiliated with the electing distribution company shall create a presumption that there are reasonably available alternatives for such peaking services in the delivery group.
(c) An electing distribution company shall offer each type of customer service to marketers at rates and on terms approved by the commission in accordance with this article and Code Section 46-2-23.1 until such time as the commission determines that marketers have reasonably available alternatives to purchasing such service from the electing distribution company. The commission shall make a separate determination for each type of service. In making such determinations, the commission shall consider the following factors:
(1) The number and size of alternative providers of the service;
(2) The extent to which the service is available from alternative providers in the relevant market;
(3) The ability of alternative providers to make functionally equivalent or substitute services readily available at competitive prices, terms, and conditions; and
(4) Other indicators of market power which may include market share, growth in market share, ease of entry, and the affiliation of providers of a service.
(d) For each delivery group for which the commission has not determined pursuant to Code Section 46-4-156 that adequate market conditions exist, and thus has not initiated customer assignment, an electing distribution company shall:
(1) Offer interruptible distribution service and balancing services at rates and on terms approved by the commission in accordance with the provisions of this article and Code Section 46-2-23.1 to retail customers and marketers, subject to the rules, regulations, and general terms and conditions of the electing distribution company as approved by the commission;
(2) Offer firm distribution service at rates and on terms approved by the commission in accordance with the provisions of this article and Code Section 46-2-23.1 to retail customers and marketers, subject to the rules, regulations, and general terms and conditions of the electing distribution company as approved by the commission; and
(3) Offer in conjunction with such firm distribution service a commodity sales service; provided, however, that the rates for such commodity sales service shall be established pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 46-2-26.5, relating to the filing and adoption of a gas supply plan; and provided, further, that the rates for such commodity sales service shall not be subject to the provisions of Code Section 46-2-26.5 nor subject to the approval of the commission if at least five marketers, excluding any marketer which is an affiliate of the electing distribution company, have been granted certificates of authority to serve in the delivery group.
(e)
(1) As used in this subsection, the term "interstate capacity assets" means interstate transportation and out-of-state gas storage capacity.
(2) If, pursuant to the provisions of this article, the rates for commodity sales service of an electing distribution company within a delivery group or groups become no longer subject to the approval of the commission nor to the provisions of Code Section 46-2-26.5, the electing distribution company nevertheless shall continue to be responsible for acquiring and contracting for the interstate capacity assets necessary for gas to be made available on its system, whether directly or by assignment to marketers, for firm distribution service to retail customers within such delivery group or groups unless determined otherwise by the commission in accordance with this subsection.
(3) At least every third year following the date when the rates for commodity sales service within a delivery group or groups become no longer subject to commission approval nor to the provisions of Code Section 46-2-26.5, the electing distribution company shall file, on or before August 1 of such year, a capacity supply plan which designates the array of available interstate capacity assets selected by the electing distribution company for the purpose of making gas available on its system for firm distribution service to retail customers in such delivery group or groups.
(4) Not less than ten days after any such filing by an electing distribution company, the commission shall conduct a public hearing on the filing. The electing distribution company's testimony shall be under oath and shall, with any corrections thereto, constitute the electing distribution company's affirmative case. At any hearing conducted pursuant to this subsection, the burden of proof to show that the proposed capacity supply plan is appropriate shall be upon the electing distribution company.
(5) Following such a hearing, the commission shall issue an order approving the capacity supply plan filed by the electing distribution company or adopting a capacity supply plan for the electing distribution company that the commission deems appropriate. Should the commission fail or refuse to issue an order by the ninetieth day after the electing distribution company's filing which either approves the capacity supply plan filed by the electing distribution company or adopts a different capacity supply plan for the electing distribution company, the capacity supply plan proposed by the electing distribution company shall thereupon be deemed approved by operation of law.
(6) Any capacity supply plan approved or adopted by the commission shall:
(A) Specify the range of the requirements to be supplied by interstate capacity assets;
(B) Describe the array of interstate capacity assets selected by the electing distribution company to meet such requirements;
(C) Describe the criteria of the electing distribution company for entering into contracts under such array of interstate capacity assets from time to time to meet such requirements; provided, however, that a capacity supply plan approved or adopted by the commission shall not prescribe the individual contracts to be executed by the electing distribution company in order to implement such plan; and
(D) Specify the portion of the interstate capacity assets which must be retained and utilized by the electing distribution company in order to manage and operate its system.
(7) When interstate capacity assets that are contained in a capacity supply plan approved or adopted by the commission are allocated by the electing distribution company to a marketer pursuant to the provisions of this article, all of the costs of the interstate capacity assets thus allocated shall be borne by such marketer.
(8) The provisions of law relating to parties, intervention, and discovery in proceedings before the commission shall apply with respect to proceedings under this subsection.
(9) All commission orders issued pursuant to this subsection shall contain the commission's findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which the commission's action is based. Any such order shall be deemed a final order subject to judicial review under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
(10) Prior to the approval or adoption of a capacity supply plan pursuant to this subsection, the interstate capacity assets of the electing distribution company in the most current gas supply plan of such company approved or adopted by the commission pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 46-2-26.5 shall be treated as a capacity supply plan that is approved or adopted by the commission for purposes of this subsection.
(11) After a capacity supply plan has become effective pursuant to provisions of this subsection as a result of a proceeding before the commission, the commission shall retain jurisdiction of the proceeding for the purposes set forth in this subsection. Upon application of the affected electing distribution company or upon its own initiative, the commission may, after affording due notice and opportunity for hearing to the affected electing distribution company and the intervenors in the proceeding, amend the capacity supply plan of the affected electing distribution company. Any such amendment shall not adversely affect rights under any contract entered into pursuant to such plan without the consent of the parties to such contracts. If an amendment proceeding is initiated by the affected electing distribution company and the commission fails or refuses to issue an order by the ninetieth day after the electing distribution company's filing, the amended capacity supply plan proposed by the electing distribution company shall thereupon be deemed approved by operation of law.
(12) After an electing distribution company has no obligation to provide commodity sales service to retail customers pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 46-4-156 and upon the petition of any interested person and after notice and opportunity for hearing afforded to the electing distribution company, all parties to the most current proceeding establishing a capacity supply plan for such electing distribution company, all marketers who have been issued a certificate of authority pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153, and all owners or operators of interstate gas pipelines that are a part of said capacity supply plan, the commission may issue an order eliminating the responsibility of the electing distribution company for acquiring and contracting for interstate capacity assets necessary for gas to be made available on its system as well as the obligation of such electing distribution company to file any further capacity supply plans with the commission pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, if the commission determines that:
(A) Marketers can and will secure adequate and reliable interstate capacity assets necessary to make gas available on the system of the electing distribution company for service to firm retail customers;
(B) Adequate, reliable, and economical interstate capacity assets will not be diverted from use for service to retail customers in Georgia;
(C) There is a competitive, highly flexible, and reasonably accessible market for interstate capacity assets for service to retail customers in Georgia;
(D) Elimination of such responsibility on the part of the electing distribution company would not adversely affect competition for natural gas service to retail customers in Georgia; and
(E) Elimination of such responsibility on the part of the electing distribution company is otherwise in the public interest.

If the commission eliminates the responsibility of an electing distribution company for acquiring and contracting for interstate capacity assets and filing further capacity supply plans in accordance with this subsection, the commission shall annually review the assignment of interstate capacity assets.

(13) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this Code section to the contrary, no later than July 1, 2003, the commission shall, after notice afforded to the electing distribution company, all marketers who have been issued a certificate of authority in accordance with Code Section 46-4-153, and all owners or operators of interstate gas pipelines that are a part of said capacity supply plan, hold a hearing regarding a plan for assignment of interstate assets. After such hearing, the commission may adopt a plan for assignment of interstate capacity assets held by the electing distribution company, except for those interstate capacity assets reasonably required for balancing. If adopted, the plan shall provide for interstate capacity assets to be assigned to certificated marketers who desire assignment and who are qualified technically and financially to manage interstate capacity assets. Marketers who accept assignment of interstate capacity assets shall be required by the commission to use such assets primarily to serve retail customers in Georgia and shall be permitted to use such assets outside Georgia so long as the reliability of the system is not compromised. Thereafter, the commission shall annually review the assignment of interstate capacity assets.
(14) Any order eliminating the responsibility of the electing distribution company for acquiring and contracting for interstate capacity assets pursuant to paragraph (12) of this subsection and any plan for assignment of interstate capacity assets pursuant to paragraph (13) of this subsection shall, at a minimum, ensure that:
(A) Shifts in market share are reflected in an orderly reassignment of interstate capacity assets;
(B) Marketers hold sufficient interstate capacity assets to meet the needs of retail customers;
(C) Before any such assignment is authorized, the assignee demonstrates to the commission that such assignment will result in financial benefits to firm retail customers;
(D) Before any marketer discontinues service in the Georgia market, it assigns its contractual rights for interstate capacity assets used to serve Georgia retail customers in a manner designated by the commission;
(E) In the event that the commission imposes temporary directives in accordance with Code Section 46-4-157, interstate capacity assets assigned to marketers are subject to reassignment by the commission to protect the interests of retail customers; and
(F) Any other requirement that the commission finds to be in the public interest is imposed upon assignees as a condition of the assignment of interstate capacity assets.
(15) After notice and an opportunity for hearing, the commission may authorize, subject to reasonable terms and conditions, an electing distribution company or its designee to utilize or monetize excess interstate capacity assets available to the electing distribution company.

Cite as OCGA § 46-4-155

History. Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 187, §37, eff. 7/1/2015.

Amended by 2002 Ga. Laws 499, §11, eff. 4/25/2002.