Chapter 062
2015 -- S 0081
Enacted 06/16/2015

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, Conley, Walaska, and Goldin
Date Introduced: January 22, 2015

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Section 39-26.6-24 of the General Laws in Chapter 39-26.6 entitled "The
Renewable Energy Growth Program" is hereby amended to read as follows:
     39-26.6-24. Rate design review by the commission. -- (a) On or after July 1, 2015, the
commission shall open a docket to consider rate design and distribution cost allocation among
rate classes in light of net metering and the changing distribution system that is expected to
include more distributed-energy resources, including, but not limited to, distributed generation.
The commission will determine the appropriate cost responsibility and contributions to the
operation, maintenance, and investment in the distribution system that is relied upon by all
customers, including, without limitation, non-net metered non net-metered and net-metered
customers. In that docket, the commission shall require the electric-distribution company to file a
revenue-neutral allocated cost of service study for all rate classes and a proposal for new rates for
all customers in each rate class. The electric-distribution company shall use the distribution
revenue requirement upon which the then-current distribution rates were set. The electric-
distribution company may use the allocated cost of service that was filed with the compliance
filing from the rate case when the then-current distribution rates were set. The commission may
also address the rate design for the equitable recovery of costs associated with energy efficiency
and any renewable-energy programs that are recovered in rates.
      (b) In establishing any new rates the commission may deem appropriate, the commission
shall take into account and balance the following factors:
      (1) The benefits of distributed-energy resources;
      (2) The distribution services being provided to net-metered customers when the
distributed generation is not producing electricity;
      (3) Simplicity, understandability, and transparency of rates to all customers, including
non-net metered and net-metered customers;
      (4) Equitable ratemaking principles regarding the allocation of the costs of the
distribution system;
      (5) Cost causation principles;
      (6) The general assembly's legislative purposes in creating the distributed-generation
growth program; and
      (7) Any other factors the commission deems relevant and appropriate in establishing a
fair rate structure. The rates shall be designed for each proposed rate class in accordance with
industry-standard, cost; cost-allocation principles. The commission may consider any reasonable
rate design options, including without limitation, fixed charges, minimum-monthly charges,
demand charges, volumetric charges, or any combination thereof, with the purpose of assuring
recovery of costs fairly across all rate classes.
      (c) The commission shall issue an order in the docket by no later than December 1, 2015
March 1, 2016. Any new rates shall take effect for usage on and after January 1, 2016 April 1,
2016; provided, however, that the electric-distribution company may seek an extension if
necessary to make the billing system changes necessary to implement a new rate structure. After
new, revenue-neutral rates are set in the docket specified above, the commission may approve
changes to the rate design in any future distribution-base rate cases when a fully allocated
embedded cost of service study is being reviewed in the rate case, subject to the principles set
forth in subsection (b) of this section.
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.