Public Utilities and Carriers

Regulatory Powers of Administration

SECTION 39-3-11

§ 39-3-11. Notice of change in rates – Suspension of change – Hearings.

(a) No change shall be made in the rates, tolls, and charges which have been filed and published by any public utility in compliance with the requirements of § 39-3-10, except after thirty (30) days notice to the commission and to the public published as provided in § 39-3-10, which shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made in the schedule then in force, and the time when the changed rates, tolls, or charges will go into effect. Whenever the commission receives notice of any change or changes proposed to be made in any schedule filed under the provisions of § 39-3-10, the commission shall hold a public hearing and make investigation as to the propriety of the proposed change or changes. After notice of any investigation, the commission shall have power, by any order served upon the public utility affected, to suspend the taking effect of the change or changes pending the decision thereof, but not for a longer period than eight (8) months beyond the time when the change or changes would otherwise take effect. Each hearing and investigation shall be conducted as expeditiously as may be practicable, and with a minimum of delay. Within ninety (90) days after the completion of any hearing, the commission shall make such order in reference to any proposed rate, toll, or charge as may be proper. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the commission shall periodically hold a public hearing and make investigation as to the propriety of rates when charged by any public utility and shall make such order in reference to the rate, toll, or charge as may be just. The hearing prescribed by this section may be held simultaneously with the hearing prescribed by § 39-3-7. In the event of an appeal from an order of the commission in any hearing under this section, the order shall remain in full force and effect during the pendency of said appeal.

(b) Upon receipt from a common carrier of persons and/or property upon water of a notice of any change proposed to be made in any schedule filed pursuant to § 39-3-10, the commission shall give notice as it may prescribe of the pendency of the proposal and of the time and place of the hearing thereon to the mayor and also any city manager of each city, and to the president of the town council and also any town manager of each town in which the carrier picks up or discharges passengers. The commission shall also publish a notice of the hearing at least ten (10) days prior to the date thereof in a newspaper of general circulation in each city or town in which the carrier picks up or discharges passengers. In all other respects, hearings and investigations with respect to the proposals by the carriers shall be governed by the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The Kent County water authority shall provide notice by certified mail of rate increase requests to the several fire districts which purchase water from the authority.

(d) Costs incurred by electric distribution companies for filing rates, tolls and charges, for participating in hearings and investigations prior to December 31, 2000 or for appealing commission decisions rendered prior to December 31, 2000 pursuant to this section shall not be included in the rates, tolls or charges established by the commission pursuant to this section.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1912, ch. 795, § 48; P.L. 1918, ch. 1651, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 253, § 48; G.L. 1938, ch. 122, § 45; P.L. 1949, ch. 2172, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 39-3-11; P.L. 1969, ch. 240, § 5; P.L. 1977, ch. 236, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 48, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 504, § 2; P.L. 1995, ch. 291, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 316, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 106; P.L. 2009, ch. 56, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 79, § 1.)