480-07-500  <<  480-07-505 >>   480-07-510

WAC 480-07-505

General rate proceedingsDefinitionTariff suspension.

(1) Filings that initiate general rate proceedings. Except as otherwise provided in this rule or RCW 80.04.130 (2)(a) (governing rate decreases for telecommunications companies), the commission will initiate a general rate proceeding in response to a filing by any public service company identified in WAC 480-07-500 requesting to change its rates if that filing meets any of the following criteria:
(a) The rates a company requests would alter its gross annual revenue from activities the commission regulates by three percent or more.
(b) Tariffs would be restructured such that the gross revenue provided by any customer class would increase by three percent or more.
(c) The company requests a change in its authorized rate of return on common equity or a change in its capital structure.
(d) The company is a solid waste collection company regulated under chapter 81.77 RCW.
(e) Any petition filed by a person with a substantial interest to change the rates, charges, or rules of a marine pilotage services tariff.
(2) Filings under Title 80 RCW that will not initiate general rate proceedings. The commission generally will not initiate general rate proceedings in response to the following filings, even though the revenue the company requests may vary by three percent or more from the company's current gross annual revenue from Washington regulated operations:
(a) Periodic rate adjustments the commission has generally authorized for electric and natural gas companies (e.g., power cost adjustments, purchased gas cost adjustments, or decoupling adjustments);
(b) Emergency or other rate increases a company requests on short notice as a result of disasters, adverse weather, or other causes beyond the company's control that unexpectedly and substantially increase a public service company's expenses; or
(c) Rate changes designed to recover only the costs a company incurs to comply with government actions that directly impact the company's costs to provide regulated service (e.g., changes to tax laws or local fees) or to comply with federal or state rules concerning the level of rates for telecommunications companies.
(3) Filings under chapter 81.77 RCW that will not initiate general rate proceedings. The commission generally will not initiate general rate proceedings in response to the following filings by solid waste collection companies regulated under chapter 81.77 RCW even though the request may meet one or more criteria identifying general rate proceedings:
(a) Filings by companies:
(i) That provide specialized hauling services restricted to certain specific waste products that are limited to specific customers; or
(ii) That provide only on-call or nonscheduled service (i.e., Class C companies, as defined in WAC 480-70-041).
(b) Filings seeking only to pass through a change in fees unilaterally established and imposed by governmental or unaffiliated private entities, including disposal, recycling, yard waste, or processing fees, or to pass through changes to fees charged by affiliated entities if the public service company demonstrates that the total cost of transfer, transport, and fees at the affiliate's facilities is equal to or lower than other reasonable and currently available alternatives;
(c) Filings for rate changes designed to recover only the costs a company incurs to comply with government actions that directly impact the company's costs to provide regulated service (e.g., changes to state or local fees, charges, or taxes directly related to the collection or disposal of solid waste);
(d) Filings implementing new solid waste collection programs; or
(e) Filings for periodic rate adjustments through a cost adjustment mechanism the commission has generally authorized for solid waste collection companies (e.g., fuel or recycling commodity adjustments).
(4) Filings under chapter 81.116 RCW that will not initiate general rate proceedings. The following filings are not considered general rate proceedings for pilotage services regulated under chapter 81.116 RCW:
(a) Filings by a countywide port district located in part or in whole within the Grays Harbor pilotage district, as defined by RCW 88.16.050 that meets the filing requirements in RCW 53.08.390;
(b) Filings to fund the stipend the board of pilotage commissioners is authorized to pay to pilot trainees and to use in its pilot training program under RCW 88.16.035;
(c) Filings to reflect any automatic periodic or annual adjustment to pilotage rates previously established and approved by the commission in a general rate proceeding;
(d) Any filing to collect by a countywide port district the cost of the commission for setting tariff rates; and
(e) Any filing to collect tariff surcharges authorized by the legislature or rate changes designed to recover only the costs to comply with government actions that directly impact the costs to provide regulated pilotage services.
(5) Commission discretion. The commission retains discretion to determine whether to initiate a general rate proceeding in response to any filing described in this section or to convert any rate proceeding to a general rate proceeding, following notice and an opportunity to comment, if the commission finds that such action is consistent with the public interest. The commission may require that any filing or proposal by a public service company to change rates for any customer class, or to restructure rates, be subject to the procedures and protections in subpart B of these rules.
(6) Suspension of tariffs. The commission may take action at a regularly scheduled open public meeting to suspend the tariff sheets included in any filing that seeks to change rates. A company may waive its right to commission consideration of the filing at an open meeting and request immediate suspension of the tariffs, either in the cover letter accompanying the filing or in a subsequent document. If commission staff confirms that the filing is complete and complies with the applicable rules in subpart B of these rules, the commission may enter a complaint and order suspending the tariffs without further process. The company and statutory parties may engage in discovery pursuant to WAC 480-07-400 through 480-07-415 after the commission issues a notice of prehearing conference prior to the commission entering a prehearing conference order.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.160, 81.116.020, and 81.116.900. WSR 19-11-012 (Docket TP-180402, General Order R-596), § 480-07-505, filed 5/3/19, effective 6/3/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160. WSR 18-18-041 (Docket A-130355, General Order R-592), § 480-07-505, filed 8/29/18, effective 9/29/18; WSR 03-24-028 (General Order R-510, Docket No. A-010648), § 480-07-505, filed 11/24/03, effective 1/1/04.]
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