Regulation of water utilities
- • rules
(1) For the purposes of this section:
(b) “Service regulation” means regulation under this chapter, except for regulation under ORS 757.105 (Filing of budget) to 757.110 (Effect of budget orders), 757.140 (Depreciation accounts), 757.205 (Filing schedules with commission) to 757.220 (Notice of schedule changes required), 757.225 (Utilities required to collect for their services in accordance with schedules), 757.245 (Establishment of joint rates), 757.259 (Amounts includable in rate schedule), 757.355 (Costs of property not presently providing utility service excluded from rate base), 757.400 (“Stocks” defined for ORS 757.400 to 757.460) to 757.460 (Pledge of conservation investment assets as bond collateral), 757.485 (Purchase of property or stocks of one utility by another), 757.490 (Approval needed for certain contracts), 757.495 (Contracts involving utilities and persons with affiliated interests) and 757.500 (Contracts between certain public utilities).
(2) Except as provided in this section, water utilities are not subject to regulation under this chapter or required to pay the fee provided for in ORS 756.310 (Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers).
(3) The following utilities are subject to rate regulation and must pay the fee provided for in ORS 756.310 (Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers):
(a) A water utility that serves 500 or more customers.
(b) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers, if the water utility also provides wastewater services to the public inside the boundaries of a city.
(c) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers, if the Public Utility Commission grants a petition from the water utility requesting that the water utility be subject to rate regulation.
(d) A water utility that satisfies all of the following conditions:
(A) The water utility serves fewer than 500 customers;
(B) The water utility proposes to charge a rate for water service that exceeds the maximum rates established by the commission under subsection (5) of this section; and
(C) Twenty percent or more of the customers of the water utility file a petition with the commission requesting that the water utility be subject to rate regulation.
(4) The following utilities are subject to service regulation and must pay the fee provided for in ORS 756.310 (Annual fees payable by utilities and telecommunications providers):
(a) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers and that is found by the commission, pursuant to an investigation under ORS 756.515 (Investigations and hearings on commission’s own motion), to have provided inadequate or discriminatory service at any time.
(b) A water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers and that at any time charges an average annual residential rate of $24 per month or more.
(5)(a) The commission shall adopt rules establishing maximum rates for water utilities serving fewer than 500 customers for the purpose of determining whether a petition may be filed under subsection (3)(d)(C) of this section.
(b) To encourage metered water systems for water utilities serving fewer than 500 customers, the commission shall establish a higher maximum rate for water utilities with metered water systems than for water utilities with unmetered systems.
(6) Not less than 60 days before a water utility that serves fewer than 500 customers increases any rate to exceed any maximum rate prescribed under subsection (5) of this section, the water utility shall provide written notice to all of its customers advising the customers of their right to file a petition under subsection (3)(d)(C) of this section. The commission shall adopt rules prescribing the content of the written notice. [1989 c.403 §2; 1999 c.330 §1; 2003 c.82 §1; 2009 c.429 §1; 2011 c.76 §1; 2013 c.96 §4]
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