TITLE XXXIV
PUBLIC UTILITIES

Chapter 363-A
EXPENSES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION AGAINST CERTAIN UTILITIES

Section 363-A:1

    363-A:1 Ascertainment of Expenses. – The department of energy shall annually, after the close of the fiscal year, ascertain the total of its expenses attributable to support of the public utilities commission and to performance of all duties and responsibilities transferred to the department from the public utilities commission, in addition to the total of the public utilities commission's expenses during such year incurred in the performance of its duties relating to public utilities as defined in RSA 362 and other entities subject to its regulatory and enforcement authority and relating to the office of the consumer advocate. In the determination of such expenses there shall be excluded the expenses which have been or may be charged and recovered under the provisions of RSA 365:37, RSA 365:38, and RSA 374-F:7, I.

Source. 1955, 203:1 par. 1. 1959, 242:1. 1971, 557:62. 1981, 568:118. 1987, 136:4, eff. May 7, 1987. 2014, 136:1, eff. July 1, 2014. 2021, 91:242, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 363-A:2

    363-A:2 Assessment. –
I. The expenses thus ascertained shall be assessed against the public utilities and other entities described in this section in the manner provided in this chapter. The assessment shall be calculated by using the following revenue percentages:
(a) 100 percent of the gross utility revenue of all public utilities, except as otherwise provided in this section;
(b) 33 percent of the gross utility revenue of rural electric cooperatives for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission;
(c) 33 percent of the gross utility revenue of all excepted local exchange carriers as defined in RSA 362:7, I(c), and 33 percent of the gross revenue of any affiliate of such a carrier received from New Hampshire retail customers for a VoIP service as defined in RSA 362:7, I(d) or an IP-enabled service as defined in RSA 362:7, I(e) that provides the voice capabilities described in RSA 362:7, I(d)(1) and (3), other than a cellular mobile radio communications service provider;
(d) 33 percent of all providers' gross revenue received from New Hampshire retail customers for a VoIP service as defined in RSA 362:7, I(d) or an IP-enabled service as defined in RSA 362:7, I(e) that provides the voice capabilities described in RSA 362:7, I(d)(1) and (3), other than a cellular mobile radio communications service provider or any entity to which subparagraph (c) applies; and
(e) 100 percent of the gross revenue of all competitive electric power suppliers and all competitive natural gas suppliers received from New Hampshire retail customers, except for any such revenue received from the members of an electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission, with respect to which the applicable revenue percentage shall be 33 percent.
II. To facilitate the revenue calculations required under this chapter, entities described in subparagraph I(d) or their registered telecommunications carrier affiliates shall file with the commission confidential annual reports of the retail telephone service revenue of such entities, and entities described in subparagraph I(e) shall file with the commission confidential annual reports of sales volume and revenues, by customer class, and separately identifying the total revenues received from the distribution customers of each electric or natural gas distribution utility or the members of each rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission. All other utilities and other assessed entities shall file information in accordance with applicable commission rules.
III. Each entity described in subparagraph I(e) shall be assessed the sum of $10,000 on an annual basis and shall pay such assessed sum to the department of energy. Each electric load aggregator, and each aggregator of natural gas customers shall be assessed the sum of $2,000 on an annual basis and shall pay such assessed sum to the department of energy. Each telecommunications carrier voluntarily registered with the commission shall be assessed the sum of $1,000 on an annual basis and shall pay such sum to the department of energy.
IV. The expenses of the department of energy and the public utilities commission, and the office of the consumer advocate, less the total of the assessed sums paid pursuant to paragraph III, shall be allocated to each utility and other assessed entity in direct proportion as the revenue calculation for such utility or other assessed entity relates to the total of all such revenue calculations as a whole, except as otherwise provided in paragraph V. Each such expense allocation shall be assessed against each public utility and other assessed entity in an amount equal to its proportionate share as determined under this section, except that the expense allocation attributed to each entity described in subparagraph I(e) shall be imputed to and included in the expense allocation to each electric or natural gas distribution utility or rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission, in correspondence to the revenue portion reported pursuant to paragraph II as having been received from the distribution customers of such distribution utility or the members of such rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission.
V. The expenses relating to the office of the consumer advocate shall be allocated to each utility or other assessed entity in direct proportion as its revenue calculation described in paragraph I bears to the total of all such revenue calculations as a whole. Each such expense allocation shall be assessed against each public utility and other assessed entity in an amount equal to its proportionate share as determined under this section, except that the expense allocation attributed to each entity described in subparagraph I(e) shall be imputed to and included in the expense allocation to each electric or natural gas distribution utility or rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission, in correspondence to the revenue portion reported pursuant to paragraph II as having been received from the distribution customers of such distribution utility or the members of such rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission. This paragraph shall not apply to any entity to which subparagraph I(c) or (d) applies or to any revenue of that entity.
VI. A minimum amount shall be assessed to utilities and other assessed entities described in paragraph I having minimal revenues in such proportion as the public utilities commission shall determine to be fair and equitable, provided that the minimum amount assessed to any entity to which subparagraphs I(c) or (d) applies shall not be less than $1,000.
VII. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to apply to any cellular mobile radio communications service or to any "information service" as defined in 47 U.S.C. section 153.

Source. 1955, 203:1, par. 2. 1959, 242:2. 1963, 322:1. 1971, 557:62. 1987, 136:5. 1997, 229:7, eff. Aug. 17, 1998. 2014, 136:2, eff. July 1, 2014. 2021, 91:243, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 363-A:3

    363-A:3 Certification of Assessment. – It shall be the duty of the department of energy to calculate the amount to be assessed against each such public utility and each other entity subject to assessment in accordance with RSA 363-A:1 and RSA 363-A:2. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the department of energy shall estimate the total expenses for the fiscal year, and then, based on such estimate, shall calculate the amount to be assessed quarterly on August 10, October 15, January 15, and April 15 of that fiscal year, against each such public utility and other assessed entity in accordance with RSA 363-A:1 and RSA 363-A:2. The department of energy shall then make a list showing the amount due on August 10, October 15, January 15, and April 15 of that fiscal year from each of the several public utilities and other entities assessed under the provisions hereof, and, together with a statement of the full name and mailing address of each such public utility and other assessed entity, shall certify the same. After the close of each fiscal year, the department of energy shall ascertain the actual total expenses in accordance with RSA 363-A:1 and RSA 363-A:2, and then shall adjust the assessment for the first quarterly payment of the new fiscal year for each such public utility or other assessed entity for any underpayment or overpayment by each such public utility or other assessed entity for the prior fiscal year.

Source. 1955, 203:1, par. 3. 1971, 557:62. 1995, 29:1. 1997, 208:14, eff. July 1, 1997. 2014, 136:3, eff. July 1, 2014. 2021, 91:244, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 363-A:4

    363-A:4 Collection. – Upon the completion of each such list, on or before August 10, October 10, January 10, and April 10 of each fiscal year, the department of energy shall bill each public utility and each other entity subject to assessment for the quarterly amount assessed against it within 10 working days. Such bill shall be sent registered mail, and shall constitute notice of assessment and demand for payment. Payment shall be made to the department of energy within 30 days after the receipt of the bill. After the expiration of 30 days from the receipt of an original bill, the department of energy may add to the assessment a late penalty fee and may commence an action at law for the recovery of the assessment. Within 30 days of the assessment for the first quarterly payment, each public utility or other assessed entity which has any objection to the amount assessed against it for the prior fiscal year shall file with the department its objection in writing, setting out in detail the grounds upon which it is claimed that said assessment is excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid. If such objections are filed, the department, after reasonable notice to the objecting public utility or other assessed entity, shall hold a hearing on such objections, and if the department finds that said assessment or any part thereof is excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid, the department shall reassess the amount to be paid by such public utility or other assessed entity, and shall order that an amended bill be sent to such public utility or other assessed entity in accordance with such reassessment. The department of energy shall not commence an action at law for recovery of any assessment for the first quarterly payment until any such objection has been resolved.

Source. 1955, 203:1, par. 4. 1971, 557:62. 1995, 29:2. 1997, 208:14. 2004, 148:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2005. 2014, 136:4, eff. July 1, 2014. 2021, 91:244, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 363-A:5

    363-A:5 Exemption From Assessment. – Any public utility or other assessed entity that is not an entity to which RSA 363-A:2, I(c) or (d) applies, and that earned less than $10,000 in gross revenue during the preceding fiscal year shall not be liable for any assessment pursuant to this chapter.

Source. 1995, 29:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. 2014, 136:5, eff. July 1, 2014.

Section 363-A:6

    363-A:6 Public Utility Recovery of Assessment Costs. –
I. Assessment amounts determined with reference to the revenues of competitive electric power suppliers and all assessments against regulated electric distribution utilities and electric cooperatives for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the department shall be collected from electric customers through the distribution rates of the respective electric distribution utility or rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the department; provided that an amount equal to the amount assessed directly to a competitive electric power supplier under RSA 363-A:2, III shall be collected from the energy service or default service customers of each electric distribution utility or rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the department.
II. Assessment amounts determined with reference to the revenues of competitive natural gas suppliers and all assessments against regulated natural gas distribution utilities shall be collected from natural gas customers through the distribution rates of the respective natural gas distribution utility.
III. The commission shall by order establish rate recovery mechanisms for any public utility that is not either an excepted local exchange carrier, as defined in RSA 362:7, I(c), or a rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission. Such rate recovery mechanisms shall adjust annually to recover any change in a utility's annual assessment.

Source. 2014, 136:6, eff. July 1, 2014. 2021, 91:245, eff. July 1, 2021.