Oregon Public Utility Commission

Rule Rule 860-022-0047
Recovery of Certain Facility Relocation Costs


(1)

This rule provides a means for a utility to recover from its customers the unreimbursed costs of facility relocation activities required by a public body, as provided in ORS 758.025 (Relocation of utilities in highway right of way).

(2)

As used in this rule:

(a)

“Facility” or “facilities” refers to a utility’s tangible plant which ordinarily has a service life of more than one year that provides utility service, and is included in the utility’s books of account as Telecommunications Plant in Service (account 2001. 47 C.F.R. 32).

(b)

“Facility costs” represent the cost of materials installed because of a facility relocation required by a public body.

(c)

“Nonfacility costs” are those non-material costs (e.g. labor) incurred to place or move utility facilities and which are authorized for recovery by the utility under this rule.

(d)

“Public body” has the meaning given that term in ORS 174.109 (“Public body” defined).

(e)

“Recoverable relocation costs” has the meaning given in ORS 758.025 (Relocation of utilities in highway right of way)(5)(a).

(f)

“Undepreciated value of facilities replaced” represents the net book value (original cost minus accumulated depreciation) of the facilities removed or retired.

(g)

“Utility” means a telecommunications utility or competitive telecommunications provider, as those terms are defined in ORS 759.005 (Definitions).

(3)

A telecommunications utility that is not subject to rate-of-return regulation, including a utility regulated under ORS 759.255 (Setting prices without regard to return on utility investment) may, after participating in the process described in 758.025 (Relocation of utilities in highway right of way)(3), petition the Commission for approval to recover from its customers prudent costs incurred for the relocation of facilities required by a public body that are not otherwise paid or reimbursed from another source.

(4)

The utility’s petition must follow the requirements of filing for contested cases found in OAR Chapter 860, Division 001 and include:

(a)

The name of the utility as it appears on its certificate of authority.

(b)

The name, telephone number, electronic mail address, and mailing address of the person to be contacted for additional information about the petition.

(c)

The name, telephone number, electronic mail address, and mailing address of the person to be contacted for regulatory information, if different from the person specified in subsection (b) of this section.

(d)

A general description of the relocation project or projects including a statement as to why the relocation was necessary and unavoidable, and a description of the locations and public bodies involved.

(e)

A statement that, for each project identified in subsection (d) above, the utility participated in the planning and design process described in ORS 758.025 (Relocation of utilities in highway right of way)(3).

(f)

Evidence from each public body that the public body required the utility to relocate its facilities within the public body’s jurisdiction.

(g)

A general statement of the overall impact on the utility of the relocation project or projects.

(h)

One or more schedules of costs for which the utility seeks recovery. The utility must:

(A)

Include in its petition only those costs directly related to a relocation required by a public body.

(B)

Exclude any costs subject to reimbursement from other sources, such as state or federal highway funds.

(C)

Identify capital and expense costs separately.

(D)

Identify facility and nonfacility costs separately.

(E)

Exclude all costs related to improvements and upgrades, except that costs related to mandatory conversions ordered by a public body may be included.

(F)

Ensure that all schedules, plant records, and job costs meet FCC accounting requirements (47 C.F.R. 32).

(G)

Limit recoverable facility costs to the undepreciated value of the facilities replaced.

(i)

The utility’s proposed allocation of costs between services, customers, jurisdictions, or other groups as appropriate.

(j)

The utility’s proposed method of cost recovery.

(A)

Approved relocation costs may be recovered by one or more line items on customer bills.

(B)

The utility may propose alternative forms of cost recovery subject to Commission review and approval.

(C)

Line items must not be described on the customer’s bill as a tax or other mandatory government fee.

(k)

The utility’s proposed time period for cost recovery. A utility may recover its cost over no less than twelve months, subject to an annual true up.

(l)

A copy of the customer notice required by section (8) of this rule.

(m)

An affidavit of notice required by section (10) of this rule.

(5)

The petition may include any other relevant information the utility wishes the Commission to consider.

(6)

If the utility designates any portion of the petition to be confidential, it must provide an affidavit stating the legal basis for the claim of confidentiality and comply with the requirements of OAR 860-001-0070 (Confidential Information) or 860-001-0080 (Protective Orders).

(7)

The petition must be filed at least 90 days before the proposed effective date of the cost recovery.

(8)

The customer notice (notice) must include:

(a)

The name of the utility as it normally appears on a customer bill.

(b)

A statement that the utility has petitioned the Commission for recovery of certain mandatory facility relocation costs.

(c)

The proposed impact on the customer’s bill and the proposed duration of any cost recovery billing.

(d)

The proposed effective date of cost recovery billing.

(e)

A statement that customers may submit objections or comments regarding the petition to the Commission within 45 days of receipt of the notice.

(f)

The name, telephone number, electronic mail address, and mailing address of the utility’s contact person for more information.

(9)

The utility must provide the notice:

(a)

To all customers whose bills will be affected if the requested cost recovery is approved by the Commission.

(b)

To affected customers on or before the date the utility submits its petition for cost recovery to the Commission.

(c)

To persons who are not customers of the utility if the utility seeks cost recovery from those persons. The utility must explain in its petition why those persons should contribute to the utility’s cost recovery. The utility must provide notice to those persons at the same time as the utility provides notice to its customers.

(10)

The affidavit of notice must include:

(a)

A certificate of service stating when and by what means (for example, direct mail, bill message, bill insert, or electronic mail) the notice was provided to the persons identified in section (9) above.

(b)

A statement of efforts taken by the utility to provide notice in those instances when service was not completed.

(11)

The utility must identify in its petition its recoverable costs that are substantial and beyond the normal course of business, subject to Commission review and approval.

(12)

In its review of the petition under ORS 758.025 (Relocation of utilities in highway right of way)(5), the Commission will:

(a)

Verify the utility’s participation in the design and planning process described in ORS 758.025 (Relocation of utilities in highway right of way)(3).

(b)

Verify the relocation costs for which the utility requests recovery.

(c)

Determine the allocation of costs between interstate and intrastate services, geographic areas, customers and services.

(d)

Prescribe the method of cost recovery.

(13)

The Commission may audit any relocation costs or other information submitted by the utility.

(14)

The Commission may administratively approve an unopposed petition without a hearing. For good cause, the Commission may suspend the effective date of a petition (whether opposed or unopposed) without a hearing for a period not to exceed six months.

(15)

If opposition to the petition is filed with the Commission within 45 days of service of the notice, the Commission will schedule a conference to determine the schedule and proceedings necessary to complete its review of the petition. Contested cases will follow the procedures in OAR Chapter 860, Division 001.

(16)

The utility must file the approved surcharge (or other approved cost recovery mechanism) in its tariff and price list before it can bill the surcharge to its customers.

(17)

With respect to relocation of utility facilities required by a public body, this rule does not supersede any franchise agreement, ordinance, or applicable state law.

(18)

This rule applies to relocations for which construction began on or after January 1, 2010.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021