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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXVII
RAILROADS AND OTHER REGULATED UTILITIES
Chapter 367
WATER AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS
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F.S. 367.082
367.082 Interim rates; procedure.
(1) The commission may, during any proceeding for a change of rates, upon its own motion, upon petition from any party, or by a tariff filing of a utility or a regulated company, authorize the collection of interim rates until the effective date of the final order. Such interim rates may be based upon a test period different from the test period used in the request for permanent rate relief. Upon application by a utility, the commission may use the projected test-year rate base when determining the interim rates or revenues subject to refund. To establish a prima facie entitlement for interim relief, the commission, the petitioning party, the utility, or the regulated company shall demonstrate that the utility or the regulated company is earning outside the range of reasonableness on rate of return calculated in accordance with subsection (5).
(2)(a) In a proceeding for an interim increase in rates, the commission shall authorize, within 60 days of the filing for such relief, the collection of rates sufficient to earn the minimum of the range of rate of return calculated in accordance with subparagraph (5)(b)2. The difference between the interim rates and the previously authorized rates shall be collected under bond, escrow, letter of credit, or corporate undertaking subject to refund with interest at a rate ordered by the commission.
(b) In a proceeding for an interim decrease in rates, the commission shall authorize, within 60 days of the filing for such relief, the continued collection of the previously authorized rates; however, revenues collected under those rates sufficient to reduce the achieved rate of return to the maximum of the rate of return calculated in accordance with subsection (5) shall be placed under bond, escrow, letter of credit, or corporate undertaking subject to refund with interest at a rate ordered by the commission.
(c) The commission shall determine whether escrow, letter of credit, or corporate undertaking may be filed in lieu of the bond.
(3) In granting such relief, the commission may, in an expedited hearing but within 60 days of the commencement of the proceeding, upon petition or upon its own motion, preclude the recovery of any extraordinary or imprudently incurred expenditures or, for good cause shown, increase the amount of the bond, escrow, letter of credit, or corporate undertaking.
(4) Any refund ordered by the commission shall be calculated to reduce the rate of return of the utility or regulated company during the pendency of the proceeding to the same level within the range of the newly authorized rate of return which is found fair and reasonable on a prospective basis, but the refund shall not be in excess of the amount of the revenues collected subject to refund and in accordance with paragraph (2)(b). In addition, the commission may require interest on the refund at a rate established by the commission.
(5)(a) In setting interim rates or setting revenues subject to refund, the commission shall determine the revenue deficiency or excess by calculating the difference between the achieved rate of return of a utility or regulated company and its required rate of return applied to an average investment rate base or an end-of-period investment rate base.
(b) For purposes of this subsection:
1. “Achieved rate of return” means the rate of return earned by the company for the most recent 12-month period. The achieved rate of return shall be calculated by applying appropriate adjustments consistent with those which were used in the most recent individual rate proceeding of the utility or regulated company and annualizing any rate changes occurring during such period.
2. “Required rate of return” shall be calculated as the weighted average cost of capital for the most recent 12-month period, using the last authorized rate of return on equity of the utility or regulated company, the current embedded cost of fixed-rate capital, the actual cost of short-term debt, the actual cost of variable-cost debt, and the actual cost of other sources of capital which were used in the last individual rate proceeding of the utility or regulated company.
3. In a proceeding for an interim increase, the term “last authorized rate of return on equity” used in subparagraph 2. means the minimum of the range of the last authorized rate of return on equity established in the most recent individual rate proceeding of the utility or regulated company. In a proceeding for an interim decrease, the term “last authorized rate of return on equity” used in subparagraph 2. means the maximum of the range of the last authorized rate of return on equity established in the most recent individual rate proceeding of the utility or regulated company. The last authorized return on equity for purposes of this subsection shall be established only: in the most recent rate case of the utility; in a limited scope proceeding for the individual utility; by voluntary stipulation of the utility approved by the commission; or pursuant to s. 367.081(4)(f).
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the commission from authorizing interim rates for a utility which does not have an authorized rate of return previously established by the commission.
(7) If a utility becomes exempt from commission regulation during the pendency of a rate case, the request for rate relief pending before the commission is deemed to have been withdrawn. Interim rates, if previously approved, must be discontinued, and any money collected pursuant to interim rate relief must be refunded to the customers of the utility with interest.
History.ss. 11, 26, ch. 80-99; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 9, 15, ch. 82-25; ss. 10, 26, 27, ch. 89-353; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 9, ch. 93-35; s. 8, ch. 99-319.