§ 46-4-166. Selection by proposal of regulated provider to service low-income residential consumers and certain firm natural gas consumers; rates; annual review.

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 Chapter 321

§ 46-4-166. Selection by proposal of regulated provider to service low-income residential consumers and certain firm natural gas consumers; rates; annual review

(a) By July 1, 2002, the commission shall select a regulated provider of natural gas to serve:
(1) Group 1, low-income residential consumers; and
(2) Group 2, firm natural gas consumers:
(A) Who have been unable to obtain or maintain natural gas commodity service; or
(B) Whose utility payment history was cited by the regulated provider as reason for transfer from Group 1 to Group 2.
(b) The selection shall be made through a competitive request for proposal process. Certificated marketers shall be eligible to submit proposals. Selection criteria for the regulated provider shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Financial viability, as defined in Code Section 46-4-153 ;
(2) Technical expertise, as defined in Code Section 46-4-153 ;
(3) The amount of the proposed deposit requirements, proposed price structure, proposed customer charge, and cost recovery;
(4) The terms and conditions proposed for transfers of consumers from Group 1 to Group 2 and from Group 2 to Group 1; and
(5) The terms and conditions proposed for termination of service for Group 1 consumers and Group 2 consumers.
(c) If no acceptable proposals are filed with the commission to become the regulated provider of natural gas, the commission shall designate the electing distribution company or any other gas or electric utility holding a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the commission if it consents to serve as the regulated provider of natural gas. A regulated provider who is not a certificated marketer shall not be authorized to provide natural gas commodity service to any consumer not included in subsection (a) of this Code section.
(d) The regulated provider selected by the commission shall establish two rates for consumers served by the regulated provider of natural gas, which rates shall be approved by the commission as a part of the selection process for the regulated provider:
(1) The rate for a low-income residential consumer shall be based upon actual commodity cost, a reasonable rate of return, and an equitable share of the cost of the transportation and distribution system over which such consumer receives distribution. Any low-income residential consumer may transfer to the regulated provider without being required to pay in full any debt to a marketer for previous service and without termination in service due to failure to pay such a debt. The regulated provider shall have access to the universal service fund to recover bad debt arising from service to low-income residential consumers in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commission and designed to encourage efficient debt collection practices by the regulated provider. The electing distribution company shall waive any customer charge for each low-income residential consumer whose age exceeds 65 years. A low-income residential consumer served by the regulated provider at this rate shall be subject to transfer to Group 2 for failure to pay distribution or commodity charges under the terms and conditions specified in the proposal and accepted by the commission; and
(2) The rate for Group 2 consumers shall be set to incorporate risks associated with these customers. The regulated provider shall be authorized to terminate service to a Group 2 consumer for failure to pay for commodity or distribution service. The regulated provider shall not have access to the universal service fund to recover bad debt arising from service to such consumers. A Group 2 consumer shall be eligible to transfer to Group 1 if such a consumer is eligible by income for Group 1 and meets criteria specified in the proposal and accepted by the commission.
(e) The commission is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement this Code section.
(f) The commission shall annually review the performance of the regulated provider. The commission shall utilize the process set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section to select a regulated provider of natural gas every two years. If the commission determines, in its discretion, that such an action is in the public interest, the commission may extend the service of a regulated provider for a third year, or may terminate the service of a regulated provider after one year.

Cite as OCGA § 46-4-166

History. Added by 2002 Ga. Laws 499, §21, eff. 4/25/2002.