SB 215 - Natural Gas Competition & Deregulation Act - enact

First Reader Summary

A bill to amend Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, so as to provide for a definition of "gas company"; to provide for a method of establishing just and reasonable rates for gas companies through an alternative form of regulation; to provide for the allocation of certain revenues; to enact the "Natural Gas Competition and Deregulation Act"; to provide a short title; to provide for legislative findings and intent.

Perdue, Sonny (18th) Oliver, Mary M (42nd) Starr, Terrell (44th)
Status Summary HC: Ind SC: F&PU LA: 04/14/97 Signed by Governor
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 18/ 19/ 20/ 21/ 22/ 23/ 24/ 25/ 26/ 27/ 28/ 29/ 30/ 31/ 32/ 33/ 34/ 35
Code Sections - 46-2-23.1/ 46-4-150/ 46-4-151/ 46-4-152/ 46-4-153/ 46-4-154/ 46-4-155/ 46-4-156/ 46-4-157/ 46-4-158/ 46-4-159/ 46-4-160/ 46-4-161/ 46-4-162/ 46-4-163/ 46-4-164/ 46-4-165
Recorded Votes
Senate Action House
2/6/97 Read 1st time 2/27/97
2/21/97 Favorably Reported 3/20/97
Sub Committee Amend/Sub Sub
2/24/97 Read 2nd Time 2/28/97
2/25/97 Read 3rd Time 3/25/97
2/25/97 Passed/Adopted 3/25/97
CS Comm/Floor Amend/Sub CS
3/28/97 Amend/Sub Agreed To
4/3/97 Sent To Governor
4/14/97 Signed by Governor
292 Act/Veto Number
4/14/97 Effective Date

SB 215 97                                            SB215/AP 
 
      SENATE BILL 215 
 
      By:  Senators Perdue of the 18th, Oliver of the 42nd, 
           Starr of the 44th and others 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1- 2  relating to public utilities and public transportation, so 
  1- 3  as to provide for a definition of "gas company"; to provide 
  1- 4  for a method of establishing just and reasonable rates for 
  1- 5  gas companies through an alternative form of regulation; to 
  1- 6  provide for the allocation of certain revenues; to provide 
  1- 7  for discovery in certain cases before the Public Service 
  1- 8  Commission; to enact the "Natural Gas Competition and 
  1- 9  Deregulation Act"; to provide a short title; to provide for 
  1-10  legislative findings and intent; to define certain terms; to 
  1-11  provide for the certification of marketers of certain 
  1-12  natural gas services; to provide a mechanism by which a gas 
  1-13  company may elect to be governed by the provisions of the 
  1-14  "Natural Gas Competition and Deregulation Act"; to establish 
  1-15  certain rate-making and other requirements for a gas company 
  1-16  which makes such an election; to provide for continued rate 
  1-17  and other regulation of firm distribution service offered by 
  1-18  an electing distribution company; to provide for 
  1-19  deregulation of certain natural gas services upon certain 
  1-20  findings by the Public Service Commission; to provide for 
  1-21  review and approval of capacity supply plans; to provide for 
  1-22  the issuance of temporary emergency directives under certain 
  1-23  circumstances; to establish certain obligations of an 
  1-24  electing distribution company; to establish standards of 
  1-25  conduct for an electing distribution company; to provide for 
  1-26  regulation by the Public Service Commission of marketers of 
  1-27  certain natural gas services and for the application of 
  1-28  certain laws to such marketers; to provide for the creation, 
  1-29  funding, and administration of a universal service fund for 
  1-30  each electing distribution company; to provide for the 
  1-31  effect of the "Natural Gas Competition and Deregulation Act" 
  1-32  on certain powers of the Public Service Commission, certain 
  1-33  powers of political subdivisions of this state, and certain 
  1-34  contracts; to provide for reports to the General Assembly; 
  1-35  to provide for related matters; to provide an effective 
  1-36  date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  2- 2                           SECTION 1. 
 
  2- 3  Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
  2- 4  to public utilities and public transportation, is amended by 
  2- 5  inserting following paragraph (6) of Code Section 46-1-1, 
  2- 6  relating to definitions, the following new paragraph, to be 
  2- 7  designated paragraph (6.1), to read as follows: 
 
  2- 8      "(6.1) 'Gas company' means any person certificated under 
  2- 9      Article 2 of Chapter 4 of this title to construct or 
  2-10      operate any pipeline or distribution system, or any 
  2-11      extension thereof, for the transportation, distribution, 
  2-12      or sale of natural or manufactured gas." 
 
  2-13                           SECTION 2. 
 
  2-14  Said title is further amended in Article 2 of Chapter 2, 
  2-15  relating to the jurisdiction, powers, and duties of the 
  2-16  Public Service Commission, by inserting the following new 
  2-17  Code section, to be designated Code Section 46-2-23.1, to 
  2-18  read as follows: 
 
  2-19    "46-2-23.1. 
 
  2-20    (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'alternative 
  2-21    form of regulation' means a method of establishing just 
  2-22    and reasonable rates and charges for a gas company by 
  2-23    performance based regulation without regard to methods 
  2-24    based strictly upon cost of service, rate base, and rate 
  2-25    of return. Performance based regulation may include 
  2-26    without limitation one or more of the following features: 
  2-27    earnings sharing, price caps, price-indexing formulas, 
  2-28    ranges of authorized rates of return, and the reduction or 
  2-29    suspension of regulatory requirements. 
 
  2-30    (b) A gas company may from time to time file an 
  2-31    application with the commission to have its rates, 
  2-32    charges, classifications, and services regulated under an 
  2-33    alternative form of regulation.  Within ten days of the 
  2-34    filing, the gas company shall publish a notice generally 
  2-35    describing the application in a newspaper or newspapers 
  2-36    with general circulation in its service territory. 
 
  2-37    (c) After notice and hearing the commission may approve 
  2-38    the plan, or approve it with modifications, if the 
  2-39    commission determines that the application is in the 
  2-40    public interest and will produce just and reasonable 
 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1    rates, after taking into consideration the extent to which 
  3- 2    the application: 
 
  3- 3      (1) Is designed to and is likely to produce lower prices 
  3- 4      for consumers of natural gas in Georgia; 
 
  3- 5      (2) Will provide incentives for the gas company to lower 
  3- 6      its costs and rates; 
 
  3- 7      (3) Will provide incentives to improve the efficiency 
  3- 8      and productivity of the gas company; 
 
  3- 9      (4) Will foster the long-term provision of natural gas 
  3-10      service in a manner that will improve the quality and 
  3-11      choices of service; 
 
  3-12      (5) Is consistent with maintenance and enhancement of 
  3-13      safe, adequate, and reliable service and will maintain 
  3-14      or improve preexisting service quality and consumer 
  3-15      protection safeguards; 
 
  3-16      (6) Will not result in cross-subsidization among or 
  3-17      between groups of gas company customers; 
 
  3-18      (7) Will not result in cross-subsidization among or 
  3-19      between the portion of the gas company's business or 
  3-20      operations subject to the alternative form of regulation 
  3-21      and any unregulated portion of the business or 
  3-22      operations of the gas company or of any of its 
  3-23      affiliates; 
 
  3-24      (8) Will reduce regulatory delay and cost; and 
 
  3-25      (9) Will tend to enhance economic activity in the 
  3-26      affected service territory. 
 
  3-27    (d) Performance based regulation adopted by the commission 
  3-28    as an alternative form of regulation shall provide for the 
  3-29    following: 
 
  3-30      (1) Equal and symmetric opportunities to earn above and 
  3-31      below the performance standard; 
 
  3-32      (2) Performance incentives based upon conditions within 
  3-33      the control of the management of the gas company; and 
 
  3-34      (3) Adjustments from time to time for the net effect of 
  3-35      changes in tax rates, other costs imposed by law, and 
  3-36      the cost of capital. 
 
  3-37    (e) Where an application for an alternative form of 
  3-38    regulation has been filed by a gas company and the 
  3-39    commission determines that the proposal does not satisfy 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1    the requirements of this Code section, it may either 
  4- 2    reject the proposal or issue an order approving an 
  4- 3    alternative with such modifications as the commission 
  4- 4    deems necessary to satisfy the requirements of this Code 
  4- 5    section. The commission shall determine and prescribe in 
  4- 6    any such order establishing rates and charges the revenue 
  4- 7    requirements of the gas company filing the application. 
 
  4- 8    (f) An order adopting an alternative form of regulation 
  4- 9    may include: 
 
  4-10      (1) Terms and conditions for establishing new services, 
  4-11      withdrawing services, price changes to services, and 
  4-12      services by contract to individual customers; 
 
  4-13      (2) Terms and conditions necessary to achieve the 
  4-14      objectives contained in subsection (c) of this Code 
  4-15      section; 
 
  4-16      (3) General or specific authorization for changes in 
  4-17      rates, charges, classifications, or services such that 
  4-18      the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 46-2-25 
  4-19      do not require 30 days' notice and commission approval 
  4-20      before such change or changes may go into effect; and 
 
  4-21      (4) Other rates, terms, and conditions that are 
  4-22      consistent with the objectives and requirements of 
  4-23      subsection (c) of this Code section. 
 
  4-24    (g) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, the 
  4-25    provisions of this title relating to the rates, charges, 
  4-26    and terms of service of a gas company shall apply to 
  4-27    rates, charges, and terms of service established pursuant 
  4-28    to this Code section. 
 
  4-29    (h) Any special or negotiated contract between a gas 
  4-30    company and a retail customer approved by the commission 
  4-31    shall not be invalidated or modified by the provisions of 
  4-32    this Code section. 
 
  4-33      (i)(1) Neither the provisions of this Code section nor 
  4-34      the provisions of Article 5 of Chapter 4 of this title 
  4-35      shall prohibit a gas company from releasing interstate 
  4-36      pipeline capacity available to it from time to time and 
  4-37      not required to serve the requirements of its retail 
  4-38      customers and marketers and from making sales of gas 
  4-39      with or without interstate transportation capacity to 
  4-40      municipal corporations, other local gas distribution 
  4-41      companies, or marketers and end users connected to an 
  4-42      interstate pipeline company or connected to another 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1      local distribution company; provided, however, that 
  5- 2      where net benefits to the firm retail customers who are 
  5- 3      receiving commodity sales service from the gas company 
  5- 4      accrue: 
 
  5- 5        (A) Twenty percent of the revenues from the release of 
  5- 6        interstate pipeline capacity for the purposes of 
  5- 7        transporting gas to end users in Georgia shall be 
  5- 8        allocated to the gas company, and the remaining 80 
  5- 9        percent of such revenues shall be credited to the 
  5-10        costs of gas sold by the gas company to firm retail 
  5-11        customers; 
 
  5-12        (B) Ten percent of the revenues from the release of 
  5-13        interstate pipeline capacity for the purpose of 
  5-14        transporting gas to end users outside of Georgia shall 
  5-15        be allocated to the gas company, and the remaining 90 
  5-16        percent of such revenues shall be credited to the 
  5-17        costs of gas sold by the gas company to firm retail 
  5-18        customers; and 
 
  5-19        (C) Fifty percent of the net margin from the sale of 
  5-20        gas, with or without interstate capacity, to municipal 
  5-21        corporations, other local gas distribution companies, 
  5-22        or marketers and end users connected to an interstate 
  5-23        pipeline company or connected to another local 
  5-24        distribution company shall be allocated to the gas 
  5-25        company, and the remaining 50 percent of such net 
  5-26        margins shall be credited to the costs of gas sold by 
  5-27        the gas company to firm retail customers; provided, 
  5-28        however, that if as a result of such sale, the then 
  5-29        existing natural gas requirements of retail customers 
  5-30        in Georgia cannot be supplied physically, all of such 
  5-31        net margin shall be credited to the costs of gas.  The 
  5-32        net margin shall be calculated by subtracting all 
  5-33        variable costs associated with the transaction from 
  5-34        the revenues generated by the transaction.  The costs 
  5-35        recovered by the gas company through such transactions 
  5-36        shall be credited to the gas costs payable by retail 
  5-37        customers of the gas company. 
 
  5-38      (2) Where a universal service fund has been created by 
  5-39      the commission pursuant to Code Section 46-4-161 for a 
  5-40      gas company which is an electing distribution company, 
  5-41      as defined in paragraph (10) of Code Section 46-4-152, 
  5-42      the shares that are to be credited to the costs of gas 
  5-43      sold to firm retail customers under subparagraphs (A), 
  5-44      (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall 
 
 
                                 -5- 
 
 
 
  6- 1      be allocated to such fund, and the costs recovered 
  6- 2      through a transaction described in subparagraph (C) of 
  6- 3      this subsection shall be allocated to such company. 
 
  6- 4      (3) Any gas company which engages in a transaction of a 
  6- 5      type described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, 
  6- 6      which results in the allocation to the gas company of a 
  6- 7      share of the revenues or net margin therefrom, shall 
  6- 8      make a report to the commission annually describing each 
  6- 9      such transaction and explaining the benefits resulting 
  6-10      to firm retail customers from each such transaction. 
  6-11      Such report shall be served on the consumer's utility 
  6-12      counsel division of the Governor's Office of Consumer 
  6-13      Affairs." 
 
  6-14                           SECTION 3. 
 
  6-15  Said title is further amended in Article 3 of Chapter 2, 
  6-16  relating to investigations and hearings before the Public 
  6-17  Service Commission, by striking in their entirety 
  6-18  subsections (a) and (b) of Code Section 46-2-57, relating to 
  6-19  obtaining of discovery, and inserting in lieu thereof the 
  6-20  following new subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows: 
 
  6-21    "(a) In any case pending before it, the commission, in 
  6-22    addition to its now existing authority to do so, is 
  6-23    authorized to issue an order permitting its employees and 
  6-24    agents to take depositions and otherwise obtain discovery 
  6-25    of any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the 
  6-26    subject matter involved in the investigation, proceeding, 
  6-27    or petition before the commission, in the same manner 
  6-28    prescribed in Chapter 11 of Title 9 for discovery in civil 
  6-29    actions. In any case involving an application of a gas 
  6-30    company to establish just and reasonable rates pursuant to 
  6-31    Code Section 46-2-23.1 or 46-4-154, intervenors who are 
  6-32    granted party status pursuant to Code Section 46-2-59, as 
  6-33    well as the gas company subject to the particular 
  6-34    proceeding, shall have all discovery rights available 
  6-35    under Chapter 11 of Title 9. 
 
  6-36    (b) The commission, as well as its agents and employees as 
  6-37    directed by the commission, and intervenors and gas 
  6-38    companies which are granted discovery rights under 
  6-39    subsection (a) of this Code section, is are authorized to 
  6-40    petition the Superior Court of Fulton County for all 
  6-41    orders, injunctions, and subpoenas necessary to carry out 
  6-42    the provisions of this Code section which would otherwise 
  6-43    be authorized or necessary under Chapter 11 of Title 9; 
 
 
 
                                 -6- 
 
 
 
  7- 1    and the judges and clerks of the court are authorized to 
  7- 2    issue all such orders, injunctions, and subpoenas and to 
  7- 3    take all other actions necessary to carry out this Code 
  7- 4    section which would otherwise be authorized or necessary 
  7- 5    under Chapter 11 of Title 9." 
 
  7- 6                           SECTION 4. 
 
  7- 7  Said title is further amended in Chapter 4, relating to the 
  7- 8  distribution, storage, and sale of gas, by adding following 
  7- 9  Article 4 a new Article 5 to read as follows: 
 
 
 
  7-10    46-4-150. 
 
  7-11    This article shall be known and may be cited as the 
  7-12    'Natural Gas Competition and Deregulation Act.' 
 
  7-13    46-4-151. 
 
  7-14    (a) The General Assembly finds: 
 
  7-15      (1) It is in the public interest to establish a new 
  7-16      regulatory model for the natural gas industry in Georgia 
  7-17      to reflect the transition to a reliance on market based 
  7-18      competition as the best mechanism for the selection and 
  7-19      provision of natural gas services at the most efficient 
  7-20      pricing; and 
 
  7-21      (2) In order to ensure the implementation of this new 
  7-22      reliance on market based competition, any regulatory 
  7-23      impediments, whether statutory or administrative, to 
  7-24      competition for natural gas services must be removed in 
  7-25      those areas of the natural gas industry where 
  7-26      competition actually exists. 
 
  7-27    (b) It is the intent of this article to: 
 
  7-28      (1) Promote competition in the natural gas industry; 
 
  7-29      (2) Protect the consumer during and after the transition 
  7-30      to a competitive natural gas market; 
 
  7-31      (3) Maintain and encourage safe and reliable natural gas 
  7-32      service; 
 
  7-33      (4) Deregulate those components of the natural gas 
  7-34      industry subject to actual competition; 
 
  7-35      (5) Continue to regulate those natural gas services 
  7-36      subject to monopoly power; 
 
 
 
 
                                 -7- 
 
 
 
  8- 1      (6) Promote an orderly and expeditious transition of the 
  8- 2      natural gas industry toward fully developed competition; 
 
  8- 3      (7) Provide for rate-making methods which the General 
  8- 4      Assembly finds appropriate for the provision of natural 
  8- 5      gas services, including without limitation the use of 
  8- 6      straight fixed variable rate design, the recovery of 
  8- 7      certain stranded costs, and the use of alternative forms 
  8- 8      of rate regulation; and 
 
  8- 9      (8) Allow gas companies the opportunity to compete 
  8-10      effectively in a competitive marketplace. 
 
  8-11    46-4-152. 
 
  8-12    As used in this article, the term: 
 
  8-13      (1) 'Adequate market conditions' means the existence of 
  8-14      market conditions in relation to distribution service 
  8-15      within a particular delivery group that have been 
  8-16      determined pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 
  8-17      46-4-156 to warrant customer assignment. 
 
  8-18      (2) 'Affiliate' means another person which controls, is 
  8-19      controlled by, or is under common control with such 
  8-20      person. 
 
  8-21      (3) 'Ancillary service' means a service that is 
  8-22      ancillary to the receipt or delivery of natural gas, 
  8-23      including without limitation storage, balancing, 
  8-24      peaking, and customer services. 
 
  8-25      (4) 'Commodity sales service' means the sale of natural 
  8-26      gas exclusive of any distribution or ancillary service. 
 
  8-27      (5) 'Control' includes without limitation the 
  8-28      possession, directly or indirectly and whether acting 
  8-29      alone or in conjunction with others, of the authority to 
  8-30      direct or cause the direction of the management or 
  8-31      policies of a person.  A voting interest of 10 percent 
  8-32      or more creates a rebuttable presumption of control.  A 
  8-33      voting interest of 25 percent or more is deemed to 
  8-34      constitute control.  The term control includes the terms 
  8-35      controlling, controlled by, and under control with. 
 
  8-36      (6) 'Customer assignment' means the process described in 
  8-37      subsection (e) of Code Section 46-4-156 whereby retail 
  8-38      customers within a particular distribution group who are 
  8-39      not under contract for distribution service from a 
  8-40      marketer are randomly assigned to certificated 
  8-41      marketers. 
 
 
                                 -8- 
 
 
 
  9- 1      (7) 'Customer service' means a function related to 
  9- 2      serving a retail customer including without limitation 
  9- 3      billing, meter reading, turn-on service, and turn-off 
  9- 4      service. 
 
  9- 5      (8) 'Delivery group' means a set of individual delivery 
  9- 6      points on one or more interstate pipeline suppliers to a 
  9- 7      gas company that may be aggregated and utilized for the 
  9- 8      distribution of gas to a particular set of retail 
  9- 9      customers. 
 
  9-10      (9) 'Distribution service' means the delivery of natural 
  9-11      gas by and through the intrastate instrumentalities and 
  9-12      facilities of a gas company or of a marketer 
  9-13      certificated pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153, 
  9-14      regardless of the party having title to the natural gas. 
 
  9-15      (10) 'Electing distribution company' means a gas company 
  9-16      which elects to become subject to the provisions of this 
  9-17      article and satisfies the requirements of Code Section 
  9-18      46-4-154. 
 
  9-19      (11) 'Firm' means a type of distribution service which 
  9-20      ordinarily is not subject to interruption or 
  9-21      curtailment. 
 
  9-22      (12) 'Interruptible' means a type of distribution 
  9-23      service which is subject to interruption or curtailment. 
 
  9-24      (13) 'Marketer' means any person certificated by the 
  9-25      commission to provide commodity sales service or 
  9-26      distribution service pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153 
  9-27      or ancillary services incident thereto. 
 
  9-28      (14) 'Person' means any corporation, whether public or 
  9-29      private; company; individual; firm; partnership; or 
  9-30      association. 
 
  9-31      (15) 'Retail customer' or 'retail purchaser' means a 
  9-32      person who purchases commodity sales service or 
  9-33      distribution service and such purchase is not for the 
  9-34      purpose of resale. 
 
  9-35      (16) 'Straight fixed variable' means a rate form in 
  9-36      which the fixed costs of providing distribution service 
  9-37      are recovered through one or more fixed components and 
  9-38      the variable costs are recovered through one or more 
  9-39      variable components. 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -9- 
 
 
 
 10- 1      (17) 'Winter heating season' means the calendar days 
 10- 2      from October 1 of one year through March 31, inclusive, 
 10- 3      of the following year. 
 
 10- 4    46-4-153. 
 
 10- 5      (a)(1) No person other than a gas company shall sell or 
 10- 6      offer to sell in intrastate commerce to any retail 
 10- 7      customer who receives primarily firm service within this 
 10- 8      state any commodity sales service or distribution 
 10- 9      service without first obtaining a certificate of 
 10-10      authority from the commission covering the territory 
 10-11      where such retail customer is located. 
 
 10-12      (2) The commission shall have the authority to issue 
 10-13      multiple certificates of authority with respect to a 
 10-14      particular territory upon a showing that the applicant: 
 
 10-15        (A) Possesses satisfactory financial and technical 
 10-16        capability to render the certificated service; 
 
 10-17        (B) Has a sufficient gas supply to meet the 
 10-18        requirements of such service; and 
 
 10-19        (C) Will offer such service pursuant to rules and 
 10-20        contract terms which the commission finds economically 
 10-21        viable for the territory which the marketer proposes 
 10-22        to serve. 
 
 10-23      (3) A showing of public convenience and necessity is not 
 10-24      a condition for the issuance of a competing certificate 
 10-25      of authority. 
 
 10-26      (4) A certificate of authority shall authorize the 
 10-27      marketer to use intrastate capacity available to it from 
 10-28      a gas company to provide interruptible distribution 
 10-29      service when not required by the marketer to provide 
 10-30      firm distribution service. 
 
 10-31    (b) A person who seeks a certificate of authority shall 
 10-32    make an application to the commission which contains the 
 10-33    information required by this Code section. 
 
 10-34      (c)(1) No later than December 31, 1997, the commission 
 10-35      shall promulgate regulations describing the information 
 10-36      to be included in an application for certification under 
 10-37      this Code section and the criteria it will use in 
 10-38      determining an applicant's financial and technical 
 10-39      capability.  Such criteria shall seek to ensure the 
 10-40      reliability and high quality of gas service provided to 
 10-41      consumers, while imposing no unnecessary barriers to 
 
 
                                 -10- 
 
 
 
 11- 1      entry, including without limitation administrative 
 11- 2      barriers to entry. 
 
 11- 3      (2) No such application shall be filed with respect to 
 11- 4      territory covered by the certificate of public 
 11- 5      convenience and necessity of a gas company until such 
 11- 6      gas company has filed a notice of election pursuant to 
 11- 7      the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 
 11- 8      46-4-154. 
 
 11- 9      (3) Until the expiration of 15 days following the 
 11-10      effective date of rates approved by the commission 
 11-11      pursuant to Code Section 46-4-154 for an electing 
 11-12      distribution company, the commission shall not approve 
 11-13      or disapprove any complete application for a certificate 
 11-14      of authority covering territory certificated to such 
 11-15      electing distribution company which application is filed 
 11-16      prior to such expiration date, and all applications for 
 11-17      certificates of authority filed prior to such expiration 
 11-18      date shall be considered by the commission 
 11-19      simultaneously. 
 
 11-20      (4) Within 60 days following such expiration date, the 
 11-21      commission shall conduct a public hearing or hearings on 
 11-22      all complete applications filed prior to such expiration 
 11-23      date.  Within 90 days following such expiration date, 
 11-24      the commission shall issue its orders approving or 
 11-25      disapproving each of such applications for a certificate 
 11-26      of authority. 
 
 11-27      (5) The commission shall conduct a public hearing on any 
 11-28      application for a certificate of authority filed 
 11-29      subsequent to such expiration date within 60 days 
 11-30      following the filing of such application; and within 90 
 11-31      days following such filing, the commission shall issue 
 11-32      its order approving or disapproving such application. 
 
 11-33    (d) Any certificate of authority issued by the commission 
 11-34    is subject to revocation, suspension, or adjustment where 
 11-35    the commission finds upon complaint and hearing that a 
 11-36    marketer has failed repeatedly or has failed willfully to 
 11-37    meet obligations to its retail customers which are imposed 
 11-38    by this article, regulations issued pursuant to this 
 11-39    article, or the marketer's certificate of authority; has 
 11-40    engaged in unfair competition; or has abused its market 
 11-41    position. 
 
 11-42    (e) The commission may deny an application upon a showing 
 11-43    that the applicant or anyone acting in concert with the 
 
 
                                 -11- 
 
 
 
 12- 1    applicant has a history of violations of laws, rules, or 
 12- 2    regulations designed to protect the public.  The 
 12- 3    commission may revoke any certificate issued pursuant to 
 12- 4    this Code section where it finds that the marketer or 
 12- 5    anyone acting in concert with the marketer has such a 
 12- 6    history, that any information on the application was 
 12- 7    falsified or forged, that the marketer has acted 
 12- 8    unlawfully to the detriment of the public while 
 12- 9    certificated, or for any other good and valid reason where 
 12-10    activities of the marketer are serving or could serve to 
 12-11    mislead, deceive, or work a fraud upon members of the 
 12-12    public.  The commission shall be authorized to adopt rules 
 12-13    and regulations to implement this subsection.  In any case 
 12-14    where it is asserted in good faith that the marketer is, 
 12-15    has been, or may be about to become involved in activities 
 12-16    described in this subsection, any deadline imposed under 
 12-17    this Code section regarding the granting of certification 
 12-18    shall be null and void until such time as such assertions 
 12-19    can be addressed. 
 
 12-20    46-4-154. 
 
 12-21    (a) A gas company may elect to become subject to the 
 12-22    provisions of this article by filing a notice of election 
 12-23    with the commission and by filing an application to 
 12-24    establish just and reasonable rates, including separate 
 12-25    rates for unbundled services. Pursuant to such 
 12-26    application, the commission shall: 
 
 12-27      (1) Maintain rates for interruptible distribution 
 12-28      service at the levels set forth in the rate schedules 
 12-29      approved by the commission and in effect on the day the 
 12-30      gas company files a notice of election as provided for 
 12-31      in this Code section; 
 
 12-32      (2) Establish rates for firm distribution service using 
 12-33      the straight fixed variable method of rate design, 
 12-34      subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code 
 12-35      section; 
 
 12-36      (3) Establish separate rates and charges, which may be 
 12-37      based on market value, for each type of ancillary 
 12-38      service which is classified separately; 
 
 12-39      (4) Provide for the recovery in rates of those costs 
 12-40      which the commission determines are prudently incurred 
 12-41      and used and useful in providing utility service; and 
 
 
 
 
                                 -12- 
 
 
 
 13- 1      (5) Provide for recovery of costs found by the 
 13- 2      commission to be stranded and necessary to provide a 
 13- 3      reasonable return, provided that only prudently incurred 
 13- 4      stranded costs that cannot be mitigated may be 
 13- 5      recovered. 
 
 13- 6    (b) If the commission determines that inefficiencies in 
 13- 7    the rate design or other causes in existence immediately 
 13- 8    preceding the implementation of the straight fixed 
 13- 9    variable rate design will result in a material fluctuation 
 13-10    of rates for firm distribution service to a group of 
 13-11    retail customers upon implementation of straight fixed 
 13-12    variable rate design, the commission may make such 
 13-13    adjustments to the rates for firm distribution service as 
 13-14    it deems appropriate to phase in the straight fixed 
 13-15    variable rate design for firm distribution service: 
 
 13-16      (1) Over a 12 month period from the date the rates filed 
 13-17      by the electing distribution company would otherwise be 
 13-18      effective if such material fluctuation will be less than 
 13-19      10 percent of the total gas charges for a group of 
 13-20      retail customers; or 
 
 13-21      (2) Over a 24 month period from the date the rates filed 
 13-22      by the electing distribution company would otherwise be 
 13-23      effective if such material fluctuation will be equal to 
 13-24      or greater than 10 percent of the total gas charges for 
 13-25      a group of retail customers. 
 
 13-26    However, in no event shall any such adjustment be made if 
 13-27    the adjustment results in cross-subsidization between 
 13-28    retail customers receiving firm distribution service and 
 13-29    retail customers receiving interruptible distribution 
 13-30    service or if the adjustment reduces the revenues to the 
 13-31    electing distribution company for firm distribution 
 13-32    service below those that would be recovered by the 
 13-33    electing distribution company under the straight fixed 
 13-34    variable rate without such adjustment. 
 
 13-35    (c) In any proceeding before the commission to establish 
 13-36    rates as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, 
 13-37    the commission shall prescribe rates for the services and 
 13-38    cost recovery purposes specified in paragraphs (2), (3), 
 13-39    (4), and (5) of subsection (a) of this Code section at 
 13-40    levels which are designed to recover the costs of service 
 13-41    of the electing distribution company as established by the 
 13-42    commission in such proceeding. In such proceeding, the 
 13-43    commission shall also prescribe a mechanism by which 90 
 
 
 
                                 -13- 
 
 
 
 14- 1    percent of the revenues to the electing distribution 
 14- 2    company from rates for interruptible distribution service 
 14- 3    shall be credited to the universal service fund 
 14- 4    established for that electing distribution company 
 14- 5    pursuant to Code Section 46-4-161.  Each electing 
 14- 6    distribution company is authorized to retain for the 
 14- 7    benefit of its shareholders or owners 10 percent of the 
 14- 8    revenues the electing distribution company received from 
 14- 9    rates for interruptible service.  Each electing 
 14-10    distribution company which retains 10 percent of such 
 14-11    revenues shall make a report to the commission annually 
 14-12    describing the benefits resulting to firm retail customers 
 14-13    from interruptible distribution service revenues. 
 
 14-14    (d) In addition to any other applicable filing 
 14-15    requirements, any such application by a gas company shall 
 14-16    include the following: 
 
 14-17      (1) An identification of each component of natural gas 
 14-18      service, including but not limited to commodity sales 
 14-19      service, distribution service, and ancillary services, 
 14-20      which are to be unbundled and offered under separate 
 14-21      rates, together with the total costs to provide each 
 14-22      such service by the electing distribution company 
 14-23      including a return on investment; 
 
 14-24      (2) Provisions for offering each unbundled service on an 
 14-25      equal access, nondiscriminatory basis; 
 
 14-26      (3) A description of the method by which the electing 
 14-27      distribution company proposes to allocate its intrastate 
 14-28      capacity for firm distribution service to a marketer 
 14-29      based upon the peak requirements of the firm retail 
 14-30      customers served by the marketer; 
 
 14-31      (4) A description of the method by which the electing 
 14-32      distribution company proposes to allocate its rights to 
 14-33      interstate pipeline and underground storage to a 
 14-34      marketer based upon the peak requirements of the firm 
 14-35      retail customers served by the marketer; and 
 
 14-36      (5) A plan for establishing and operating an electronic 
 14-37      bulletin board by which the electing distribution 
 14-38      company will provide marketers with equal and timely 
 14-39      access to information relevant to the availability of 
 14-40      firm distribution service. 
 
 14-41    (e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the 
 14-42    commission shall hold a hearing regarding an application 
 
 
 
                                 -14- 
 
 
 
 15- 1    filed pursuant to this Code section and may suspend the 
 15- 2    operation of the proposed schedules and defer the use of 
 15- 3    the proposed rates, charges, classifications, or services 
 15- 4    for a period of not longer than six months. 
 
 15- 5    46-4-155. 
 
 15- 6    (a) Except as otherwise provided by this article, an 
 15- 7    electing distribution company which offers firm 
 15- 8    distribution service remains subject to the jurisdiction 
 15- 9    of the commission under this title. Without limiting the 
 15-10    generality of the foregoing, the commission shall have 
 15-11    general supervision of such company pursuant to Code 
 15-12    Section 46-2-20, and the rates of an electing distribution 
 15-13    company for firm distribution service and the ancillary 
 15-14    services which are subject to the rate jurisdiction of the 
 15-15    commission shall be established in accordance with the 
 15-16    provisions of this article and Code Section 46-2-23.1. 
 
 15-17    (b) An electing distribution company shall offer liquefied 
 15-18    natural gas peaking service to marketers at rates and on 
 15-19    terms approved by the commission, subject however to the 
 15-20    following: 
 
 15-21      (1) If a marketer which is not affiliated with an 
 15-22      electing distribution company obtains a peaking service 
 15-23      in a delivery group from a person other than the 
 15-24      electing distribution company, the rate for liquefied 
 15-25      natural gas peaking service by the electing distribution 
 15-26      company in such delivery group shall not be subject to 
 15-27      approval by the commission but shall be capped at 120 
 15-28      percent of the rate for such service previously 
 15-29      established by the commission; and 
 
 15-30      (2) If the commission determines pursuant to a filing by 
 15-31      the electing distribution company or otherwise, and 
 15-32      based upon the factors listed in subsection (c) of this 
 15-33      Code section, that reasonably available alternatives for 
 15-34      such peaking services exist in the delivery group, the 
 15-35      rate for such services in a delivery group shall not be 
 15-36      subject to regulation by the commission and the plant 
 15-37      and equipment of the electing distribution company which 
 15-38      is used and useful for receiving gas for liquefaction, 
 15-39      liquefying gas, storing liquefied natural gas, and 
 15-40      re-gasifying liquefied natural gas, including the land 
 15-41      upon which such plant and equipment is located, shall be 
 15-42      removed from the rate base for rate-making purposes of 
 15-43      the electing distribution company in an amount which is 
 
 
 
                                 -15- 
 
 
 
 16- 1      the lower of the fair market value or the depreciated 
 16- 2      book value of such facilities.  In addition, the rates 
 16- 3      for firm distribution service of the electing 
 16- 4      distribution company shall be adjusted to eliminate any 
 16- 5      applicable recovery of the operation and maintenance 
 16- 6      expenses associated with such facilities and gas in 
 16- 7      storage in such facilities, as well as the return on 
 16- 8      investment attributable to the amount removed from the 
 16- 9      rate base. For purposes of such review and 
 16-10      determination, the fact that such services have been 
 16-11      obtained by a marketer which is not affiliated with the 
 16-12      electing distribution company shall create a presumption 
 16-13      that there are reasonably available alternatives for 
 16-14      such peaking services in the delivery group. 
 
 16-15    (c) An electing distribution company shall offer each type 
 16-16    of customer service to marketers at rates and on terms 
 16-17    approved by the commission in accordance with this article 
 16-18    and Code Section 46-2-23.1 until such time as the 
 16-19    commission determines that marketers have reasonably 
 16-20    available alternatives to purchasing such service from the 
 16-21    electing distribution company.  The commission shall make 
 16-22    a separate determination for each type of service.  In 
 16-23    making such determinations, the commission shall consider 
 16-24    the following factors: 
 
 16-25      (1) The number and size of alternative providers of the 
 16-26      service; 
 
 16-27      (2) The extent to which the service is available from 
 16-28      alternative providers in the relevant market; 
 
 16-29      (3) The ability of alternative providers to make 
 16-30      functionally equivalent or substitute services readily 
 16-31      available at competitive prices, terms, and conditions; 
 16-32      and 
 
 16-33      (4) Other indicators of market power which may include 
 16-34      market share, growth in market share, ease of entry, and 
 16-35      the affiliation of providers of a service. 
 
 16-36    (d) For each delivery group for which the commission has 
 16-37    not determined pursuant to Code Section 46-4-156 that 
 16-38    adequate market conditions exist, and thus has not 
 16-39    initiated customer assignment, an electing distribution 
 16-40    company shall: 
 
 16-41      (1) Offer interruptible distribution service and 
 16-42      balancing services at rates and on terms approved by the 
 
 
 
                                 -16- 
 
 
 
 17- 1      commission in accordance with the provisions of this 
 17- 2      article and Code Section 46-2-23.1 to retail customers 
 17- 3      and marketers, subject to the rules, regulations, and 
 17- 4      general terms and conditions of the electing 
 17- 5      distribution company as approved by the commission; 
 
 17- 6      (2) Offer firm distribution service at rates and on 
 17- 7      terms approved by the commission in accordance with the 
 17- 8      provisions of this article and Code Section 46-2-23.1 to 
 17- 9      retail customers and marketers, subject to the rules, 
 17-10      regulations, and general terms and conditions of the 
 17-11      electing distribution company as approved by the 
 17-12      commission; and 
 
 17-13      (3) Offer in conjunction with such firm distribution 
 17-14      service a commodity sales service; provided, however, 
 17-15      that the rates for such commodity sales service shall be 
 17-16      established pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 
 17-17      46-2-26.5, relating to the filing and adoption of a gas 
 17-18      supply plan; and provided, further, that the rates for 
 17-19      such commodity sales service shall not be subject to the 
 17-20      provisions of Code Section 46-2-26.5 nor subject to the 
 17-21      approval of the commission if at least five marketers, 
 17-22      excluding any marketer which is an affiliate of the 
 17-23      electing distribution company, have been granted 
 17-24      certificates of authority to serve in the delivery 
 17-25      group. 
 
 17-26      (e)(1) As used in this subsection, the term 'interstate 
 17-27      capacity assets' means interstate transportation and 
 17-28      out-of-state gas storage capacity. 
 
 17-29      (2) If, pursuant to the provisions of this article, the 
 17-30      rates for commodity sales service of an electing 
 17-31      distribution company within a delivery group or groups 
 17-32      become no longer subject to the approval of the 
 17-33      commission nor to the provisions of Code Section 
 17-34      46-2-26.5, the electing distribution company 
 17-35      nevertheless shall continue to be responsible for 
 17-36      acquiring and contracting for the interstate capacity 
 17-37      assets necessary for gas to be made available on its 
 17-38      system, whether directly or by assignment to marketers, 
 17-39      for firm distribution service to retail customers within 
 17-40      such delivery group or groups. 
 
 17-41      (3) At least every third year following the date when 
 17-42      the rates for commodity sales service within a delivery 
 17-43      group or groups become no longer subject to commission 
 
 
 
                                 -17- 
 
 
 
 18- 1      approval nor to the provisions of Code Section 
 18- 2      46-2-26.5, the electing distribution company shall file, 
 18- 3      on or before August 1 of such year, a capacity supply 
 18- 4      plan which designates the array of available interstate 
 18- 5      capacity assets selected by the electing distribution 
 18- 6      company for the purpose of making gas available on its 
 18- 7      system for firm distribution service to retail customers 
 18- 8      in such delivery group or groups. 
 
 18- 9      (4) Not less than ten days after any such filing by an 
 18-10      electing distribution company, the commission shall 
 18-11      conduct a public hearing on the filing.  The electing 
 18-12      distribution company's testimony shall be under oath and 
 18-13      shall, with any corrections thereto, constitute the 
 18-14      electing distribution company's affirmative case.  At 
 18-15      any hearing conducted pursuant to this subsection, the 
 18-16      burden of proof to show that the proposed capacity 
 18-17      supply plan is appropriate shall be upon the electing 
 18-18      distribution company. 
 
 18-19      (5) Following such a hearing, the commission shall issue 
 18-20      an order approving the capacity supply plan filed by the 
 18-21      electing distribution company or adopting a capacity 
 18-22      supply plan for the electing distribution company that 
 18-23      the commission deems appropriate.  Should the commission 
 18-24      fail or refuse to issue an order by the forty-fifth day 
 18-25      after the electing distribution company's filing which 
 18-26      either approves the capacity supply plan filed by the 
 18-27      electing distribution company or adopts a different 
 18-28      capacity supply plan for the electing distribution 
 18-29      company, the capacity supply plan proposed by the 
 18-30      electing distribution company shall thereupon be deemed 
 18-31      approved by operation of law. 
 
 18-32      (6) Any capacity supply plan approved or adopted by the 
 18-33      commission shall: 
 
 18-34        (A) Specify the range of the requirements to be 
 18-35        supplied by interstate capacity assets; 
 
 18-36        (B) Describe the array of interstate capacity assets 
 18-37        selected by the electing distribution company to meet 
 18-38        such requirements; 
 
 18-39        (C) Describe the criteria of the electing distribution 
 18-40        company for entering into contracts under such array 
 18-41        of interstate capacity assets from time to time to 
 18-42        meet such requirements; provided, however, that a 
 18-43        capacity supply plan approved or adopted by the 
 
 
                                 -18- 
 
 
 
 19- 1        commission shall not prescribe the individual 
 19- 2        contracts to be executed by the electing distribution 
 19- 3        company in order to implement such plan; and 
 
 19- 4        (D) Specify the portion of the interstate capacity 
 19- 5        assets which must be retained and utilized by the 
 19- 6        electing distribution company in order to manage and 
 19- 7        operate its system. 
 
 19- 8      (7) When interstate capacity assets that are contained 
 19- 9      in a capacity supply plan approved or adopted by the 
 19-10      commission are allocated by the electing distribution 
 19-11      company to a marketer pursuant to the provisions of this 
 19-12      article, all of the costs of the interstate capacity 
 19-13      assets thus allocated shall be borne by such marketer. 
 
 19-14      (8) The provisions of law relating to parties, 
 19-15      intervention, and discovery in proceedings before the 
 19-16      commission shall apply with respect to proceedings under 
 19-17      this subsection. 
 
 19-18      (9) All commission orders issued pursuant to this 
 19-19      subsection shall contain the commission's findings of 
 19-20      fact and conclusions of law upon which the commission's 
 19-21      action is based.  Any such order shall be deemed a final 
 19-22      order subject to judicial review under Chapter 13 of 
 19-23      Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' 
 
 19-24      (10) Prior to the approval or adoption of a capacity 
 19-25      supply plan pursuant to this subsection, the interstate 
 19-26      capacity assets of the electing distribution company in 
 19-27      the most current gas supply plan of such company 
 19-28      approved or adopted by the commission pursuant to the 
 19-29      provisions of Code Section 46-2-26.5 shall be treated as 
 19-30      a capacity supply plan that is approved or adopted by 
 19-31      the commission for purposes of this subsection. 
 
 19-32      (11) After a capacity supply plan has become effective 
 19-33      pursuant to provisions of this subsection as a result of 
 19-34      a proceeding before the commission, the commission shall 
 19-35      retain jurisdiction of the proceeding for the purposes 
 19-36      set forth in this subsection.  Upon application of the 
 19-37      affected electing distribution company or the consumers' 
 19-38      utility counsel division of the Governor's Office of 
 19-39      Consumer Affairs or upon its own initiative, the 
 19-40      commission may, after affording due notice and 
 19-41      opportunity for hearing to the affected electing 
 19-42      distribution company and the intervenors in the 
 19-43      proceeding, amend the capacity supply plan of the 
 
 
                                 -19- 
 
 
 
 20- 1      affected electing distribution company. Any such 
 20- 2      amendment shall not adversely affect rights under any 
 20- 3      contract entered into pursuant to such plan without the 
 20- 4      consent of the parties to such contracts.  If an 
 20- 5      amendment proceeding is initiated by the affected 
 20- 6      electing distribution company and the commission fails 
 20- 7      or refuses to issue an order by the forty-fifth day 
 20- 8      after the electing distribution company's filing, the 
 20- 9      amended capacity supply plan proposed by the electing 
 20-10      distribution company shall thereupon be deemed approved 
 20-11      by operation of law. 
 
 20-12      (12) After an electing distribution company has no 
 20-13      obligation to provide commodity sales service to retail 
 20-14      customers pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 
 20-15      46-4-156 and upon the petition of any interested person 
 20-16      and after notice and opportunity for hearing afforded to 
 20-17      the electing distribution company, all parties to the 
 20-18      most current proceeding establishing a capacity supply 
 20-19      plan for such electing distribution company, the 
 20-20      consumers' utility counsel division of the Governor's 
 20-21      Office of Consumer Affairs, and all marketers who have 
 20-22      been issued a certificate of authority pursuant to Code 
 20-23      Section 46-4-153, the commission may issue an order 
 20-24      eliminating the responsibility of the electing 
 20-25      distribution company for acquiring and contracting for 
 20-26      interstate capacity assets necessary for gas to be made 
 20-27      available on its system as well as the obligation of 
 20-28      such electing distribution company to file any further 
 20-29      capacity supply plans with the commission pursuant to 
 20-30      the provisions of this subsection, if the commission 
 20-31      determines that: 
 
 20-32        (A) Marketers can and will secure adequate and 
 20-33        reliable interstate capacity assets necessary to make 
 20-34        gas available on the system of the electing 
 20-35        distribution company for service to firm retail 
 20-36        customers; 
 
 20-37        (B) Adequate, reliable, and economical interstate 
 20-38        capacity assets will not be diverted from use for 
 20-39        service to retail customers in Georgia; 
 
 20-40        (C) There is a competitive, highly flexible, and 
 20-41        reasonably accessible market for interstate capacity 
 20-42        assets for service to retail customers in Georgia; 
 
 
 
 
                                 -20- 
 
 
 
 21- 1        (D) Elimination of such responsibility on the part of 
 21- 2        the electing distribution company would not adversely 
 21- 3        affect competition for natural gas service to retail 
 21- 4        customers in Georgia; and 
 
 21- 5        (E) Elimination of such responsibility on the part of 
 21- 6        the electing distribution company is otherwise in the 
 21- 7        public interest. 
 
 21- 8    46-4-156. 
 
 21- 9    (a) No later than December 31, 1997, the commission shall 
 21-10    promulgate regulations which prescribe a methodology for 
 21-11    the random assignment to each marketer certificated within 
 21-12    a delivery group of each firm retail customer who has not 
 21-13    contracted for distribution service from a marketer.  This 
 21-14    methodology shall further provide that the percentage of 
 21-15    such firm retail customers assigned to a given marketer 
 21-16    shall be based upon the percentage at the time of such 
 21-17    assignment of all firm retail customers within the 
 21-18    delivery group served by such marketer. 
 
 21-19    (b) Any person may file a petition requesting that the 
 21-20    commission determine that adequate market conditions exist 
 21-21    for a particular delivery group. If the commission makes 
 21-22    such a determination, the procedures that precede customer 
 21-23    assignment shall begin.  The commission shall enter a 
 21-24    decision as to whether adequate market conditions exist 
 21-25    within the earlier of 120 days after the close of the 
 21-26    record in the proceeding on such petition or 180 days from 
 21-27    the filing of such petition under this subsection.  The 
 21-28    commission shall determine that adequate market conditions 
 21-29    exist within a specific delivery group as follows: 
 
 21-30      (1) If the petition is filed before September 30, 2001, 
 21-31      upon a showing that: 
 
 21-32        (A) At least five marketers, excluding any marketer 
 21-33        which is an affiliate of an electing distribution 
 21-34        company, have been granted a certificate to serve 
 21-35        within the delivery group and are actively marketing 
 21-36        within the delivery group area; and 
 
 21-37        (B) In the aggregate, no less than one-third of the 
 21-38        peak day requirements for firm distribution service is 
 21-39        served through marketers.  In determining whether such 
 21-40        percentage has been satisfied, marketers who are not 
 21-41        affiliates of the electing distribution company must 
 21-42        serve no less than 18 percent of the peak day 
 
 
 
                                 -21- 
 
 
 
 22- 1        requirements for firm distribution service in the 
 22- 2        delivery group; or 
 
 22- 3      (2) If the petition is filed on or after September 30, 
 22- 4      2001, upon a showing that adequate market conditions 
 22- 5      exist based upon consideration of the following factors: 
 
 22- 6        (A) The number and size of alternative providers of 
 22- 7        the distribution service; 
 
 22- 8        (B) The extent to which the distribution service is 
 22- 9        available from alternative providers in the delivery 
 22-10        group; 
 
 22-11        (C) The ability of alternative providers to make 
 22-12        functionally equivalent or substitute services readily 
 22-13        available at competitive prices, terms, and 
 22-14        conditions; and 
 
 22-15        (D) Other indicators of market power which may include 
 22-16        market share, growth in market share, ease of entry, 
 22-17        and the affiliation of providers of a distribution 
 22-18        service. 
 
 22-19    (c) If the commission issues an order pursuant to 
 22-20    subsection (b) of this Code section determining that 
 22-21    adequate market conditions exist, it shall prescribe in 
 22-22    such order the contents of notices to be furnished 
 22-23    pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e) of this Code 
 22-24    section. Subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of 
 22-25    this Code section, on the one hundred twentieth day 
 22-26    following the issuance of an order for a particular 
 22-27    delivery group: 
 
 22-28      (1) The rates and terms of service of an electing 
 22-29      distribution company for interruptible distribution 
 22-30      service and balancing service shall not be subject to 
 22-31      approval by the commission, provided that all firm 
 22-32      retail customers have contracted with or have been 
 22-33      assigned to marketers as provided for in this Code 
 22-34      section; 
 
 22-35      (2) The rates and terms of service for commodity sales 
 22-36      service provided by an electing distribution company to 
 22-37      retail purchasers of firm distribution service shall not 
 22-38      be subject to approval by the commission, provided that 
 22-39      all firm retail customers have contracted with or have 
 22-40      been assigned to marketers as provided for in this Code 
 22-41      section; and 
 
 
 
                                 -22- 
 
 
 
 23- 1      (3) Subject to subsection (d) of this Code section, an 
 23- 2      electing distribution company has no obligation to 
 23- 3      provide commodity sales service to retail customers. 
 
 23- 4    (d) If the one hundred twentieth day following the 
 23- 5    issuance of such order falls during a winter heating 
 23- 6    season, the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code 
 23- 7    section and customer assignment shall become effective on 
 23- 8    the day following the end of the winter heating season. 
 
 23- 9    (e) Within 45 days following the issuance of an order 
 23-10    pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, and again 
 23-11    within 80 days following such an order, an electing 
 23-12    distribution company shall send a notice regarding the 
 23-13    commission's order to each of its retail customers 
 23-14    receiving firm distribution service or commodity sales 
 23-15    service within such delivery group.  Such notices shall 
 23-16    inform the retail customer in plain language that: 
 
 23-17      (1) The electing distribution company will not provide 
 23-18      firm distribution service or commodity sales service to 
 23-19      such customer, as of the date determined under 
 23-20      subsection (c) or (d) of this Code section; 
 
 23-21      (2) Such customer may contract with a marketer 
 23-22      certificated under Code Section 46-4-153 to furnish such 
 23-23      services; and 
 
 23-24      (3) If the customer does not contract with a marketer 
 23-25      within 100 days from the date of such order, the 
 23-26      commission will assign, on a random basis, a marketer to 
 23-27      furnish such services to said customer. 
 
 23-28      (f)(1) If the commission issues an order pursuant to 
 23-29      subsection (b) of this Code section before September 30, 
 23-30      2001, any affected party may petition the commission to 
 23-31      stay the process of customer assignment. 
 
 23-32      (2) Any such petition shall be filed with the commission 
 23-33      no earlier than 80 days from the date of such order and 
 23-34      no later than 105 days from the date of such order. 
 
 23-35      (3) The commission shall hold an expedited hearing 
 23-36      within 14 days of the filing of the petition.  Within 
 23-37      three days of the filing of said petition, the 
 23-38      commission shall cause notice to be given of said 
 23-39      hearing to the affected electing distribution company, 
 23-40      all marketers certificated within the delivery group, 
 23-41      and such other persons as the commission deems 
 23-42      appropriate. 
 
 
                                 -23- 
 
 
 
 24- 1      (4) In any proceeding upon such a petition, the 
 24- 2      commission may stay the assignment process if it 
 24- 3      determines upon the basis of clear and convincing 
 24- 4      evidence introduced in support of the petition that, 
 24- 5      notwithstanding the adequacy of the showing under the 
 24- 6      provisions of subparagraphs (b)(1)(A) and (b)(1)(B) of 
 24- 7      this Code section, the market will not be competitive 
 24- 8      and the prices for distribution service to residential 
 24- 9      customers will not be constrained by market forces and 
 24-10      will be significantly higher than such prices would be 
 24-11      if they were constrained by market forces. 
 
 24-12      (5) The commission shall render a decision in any such 
 24-13      proceeding within the earlier of ten days after the 
 24-14      close of the record in the proceeding on such petition 
 24-15      or 30 days from the filing of such petition under this 
 24-16      subsection. 
 
 24-17    (g) At any time that the electing distribution company 
 24-18    determines that any deadline or the expiration of any time 
 24-19    period prescribed by this article may result in an adverse 
 24-20    impact upon the overall effective implementation of this 
 24-21    article, upon the emergence of effective competition, or 
 24-22    upon the public interest, it may petition the commission 
 24-23    to extend such deadline or period for a time certain. If 
 24-24    the commission finds that strict enforcement of any 
 24-25    deadline or time period prescribed by this article may 
 24-26    result in an adverse impact upon the overall effective 
 24-27    implementation of this article, upon the emergence of 
 24-28    effective competition, or upon the public interest, it may 
 24-29    extend such deadline or period for any period of time up 
 24-30    to or equal to the time extension requested in the 
 24-31    petition. 
 
 24-32    46-4-157. 
 
 24-33    If, in an expedited hearing: 
 
 24-34      (1) The commission determines for a specific delivery 
 24-35      group, as to which the commission has issued an order 
 24-36      pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 46-4-156, 
 24-37      that the prices for natural gas paid by retail customers 
 24-38      in such delivery group are not constrained by market 
 24-39      forces and are significantly higher than such prices 
 24-40      would be if they were constrained by market forces; or 
 
 24-41      (2) The commission determines for a specific delivery 
 24-42      group, as to which the commission has not issued an 
 24-43      order pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 
 
 
                                 -24- 
 
 
 
 25- 1      46-4-156, that the prices charged by an electing 
 25- 2      distribution company to residential customers for 
 25- 3      commodity sales services, which prices have not been 
 25- 4      approved by the commission pursuant to Code Section 
 25- 5      46-2-26.5, are generally not constrained by market 
 25- 6      forces and are significantly higher than such prices 
 25- 7      would be if they were constrained by market forces, 
 
 25- 8    then the commission, on an emergency basis, may by order 
 25- 9    temporarily impose such directives on gas companies 
 25-10    subject to its jurisdiction as are required to protect the 
 25-11    interests of retail customers in such delivery group 
 25-12    including but not limited to price regulations and the 
 25-13    imposition upon the electing distribution company of the 
 25-14    obligation to serve retail customers in such delivery 
 25-15    group under the same or similar conditions to those under 
 25-16    which such customers were served prior to customer 
 25-17    assignment in such delivery group.  In no event shall such 
 25-18    emergency directives extend beyond the first day of July 
 25-19    immediately following the next full annual session of the 
 25-20    General Assembly after the imposition of such directives. 
 25-21    In its order the commission shall provide for recovery of 
 25-22    all costs reasonably incurred by the electing distribution 
 25-23    company in complying with the directives. Any such 
 25-24    directives shall be drawn as narrowly as possible to 
 25-25    accomplish the purpose of protecting the public on an 
 25-26    interim basis.  No such directive shall impose any 
 25-27    condition upon the electing distribution company which 
 25-28    unreasonably burdens the company.  Such directives shall 
 25-29    be immediately reviewable in the Superior Court of Fulton 
 25-30    County in the same manner and subject to the same 
 25-31    procedures as the review of any other contested case under 
 25-32    the provisions of Code Section 50-13-19.  The provisions 
 25-33    of this Code section shall not apply to a delivery group 
 25-34    for which customer assignment occurred more than four 
 25-35    years prior to the date of notice of the expedited 
 25-36    hearing. 
 
 25-37    46-4-158. 
 
 25-38    (a) An electing distribution company which provides firm 
 25-39    distribution service under this article must: 
 
 25-40      (1) Offer an allocation of such distribution service to 
 25-41      marketers separately from any commodity sales service or 
 25-42      other service; 
 
 
 
 
                                 -25- 
 
 
 
 26- 1      (2) Provide such allocation of such distribution service 
 26- 2      to marketers without undue discrimination or preference, 
 26- 3      including undue discrimination or preference in the 
 26- 4      quality of service provided, the duration of service, 
 26- 5      the categories, prices, or volumes of natural gas to be 
 26- 6      distributed, customer classification, or other undue 
 26- 7      discrimination or preference of any kind; and 
 
 26- 8      (3) Provide all marketers with equal and timely access 
 26- 9      to information relevant to the availability of such 
 26-10      service, including without limitation the availability 
 26-11      of capacity at delivery points, through the use of an 
 26-12      electronic bulletin board. 
 
 26-13    (b) An electing distribution company may impose reasonable 
 26-14    operational conditions on any firm distribution service 
 26-15    provided to marketers under this article.  Such conditions 
 26-16    must be filed by the electing firm distribution company as 
 26-17    part of its firm distribution tariff. 
 
 26-18    (c) An electing distribution company which allocates firm 
 26-19    distribution service to marketers under this article is 
 26-20    not required to provide any requested firm distribution 
 26-21    service for which capacity is not available or that would 
 26-22    require the construction or acquisition of any new 
 26-23    facilities. 
 
 26-24    46-4-159. 
 
 26-25    (a) As used in this Code section and notwithstanding any 
 26-26    other provision of this article, the term: 
 
 26-27      (1) 'Control' includes without limitation the 
 26-28      possession, directly or indirectly and whether acting 
 26-29      alone or in conjunction with others, of the authority to 
 26-30      direct or cause the direction of the management or 
 26-31      policies of a person.  A voting interest of 10 percent 
 26-32      or more creates a rebuttable presumption of control. 
 26-33      The term control includes the terms controlling, 
 26-34      controlled by, and under control with. 
 
 26-35      (2) 'Electing distribution company' includes any agent 
 26-36      of or consultant to the electing distribution company. 
 
 26-37      (3) 'Marketer' means any person who engages in selling 
 26-38      gas: 
 
 26-39        (A) To retail customers connected to the facilities of 
 26-40        an electing distribution company; or 
 
 
 
 
                                 -26- 
 
 
 
 27- 1        (B) To other marketers for resale to such customers; 
 27- 2        provided, however, that the term marketer shall not 
 27- 3        mean a person who only makes sales beyond the electing 
 27- 4        distribution company's system to other marketers for 
 27- 5        resale when the transportation capacity for the 
 27- 6        distribution of the gas to the electing distribution 
 27- 7        company's system is obtained from a person or entity 
 27- 8        which is not an affiliate of the electing distribution 
 27- 9        company. 
 
 27-10    (b) An electing distribution company must conduct its 
 27-11    business to conform to the following standards, which are 
 27-12    intended to prevent any advantage or disadvantage accruing 
 27-13    to a marketer, including a marketer which is an affiliate 
 27-14    of the electing distribution company, in relation to other 
 27-15    marketers and their customers and which standards shall be 
 27-16    applied to accomplish this intent: 
 
 27-17      (1) An electing distribution company must apply the 
 27-18      terms and conditions of its tariff and other tariff 
 27-19      provisions related to the distribution of gas in the 
 27-20      same manner to all marketers and to all customers 
 27-21      without respect to their supplier; 
 
 27-22      (2) An electing distribution company must process all 
 27-23      similar requests for service in the same manner to all 
 27-24      marketers in a reasonably similar time period; 
 
 27-25      (3) An electing distribution company may not, through 
 27-26      tariff or otherwise, give any marketer or its customers 
 27-27      preference over any other marketer or similarly situated 
 27-28      customers in matters relating to the movement or 
 27-29      delivery of gas on its distribution facilities or the 
 27-30      administration of contracts, including scheduling, 
 27-31      nomination, balancing, metering, storage, standby 
 27-32      service, curtailment policy, and billing and invoice 
 27-33      questions and disputes; 
 
 27-34      (4) An electing distribution company shall apply the 
 27-35      same tariff provisions relating to discounts, rebates, 
 27-36      fee waivers, or penalty waivers to all similarly 
 27-37      situated customers without respect to their marketer. 
 27-38      Any discretionary right under a tariff provision shall 
 27-39      be applied by the electing distribution company 
 27-40      impartially to all similarly situated customers without 
 27-41      respect to their marketer.  Where not subject to tariff 
 27-42      provisions, an electing distribution company must 
 27-43      contemporaneously offer the same discounts, rebates, fee 
 
 
 
                                 -27- 
 
 
 
 28- 1      waivers, or penalty waivers to all similarly situated 
 28- 2      customers without respect to their marketer and 
 28- 3      effectuate such contemporaneous offers by making an 
 28- 4      appropriate posting on the general alert screen of its 
 28- 5      electronic bulletin board; 
 
 28- 6      (5) An electing distribution company must not give 
 28- 7      preference to any marketer in the scheduling or 
 28- 8      allocation of capacity at a city gate station; 
 
 28- 9      (6) An electing distribution company must not directly 
 28-10      or indirectly give   any marketer any form of preference 
 28-11      over any other marketer in matters relating to 
 28-12      allocation, assignment, release, or other transfer of 
 28-13      the electing distribution company's capacity rights on 
 28-14      interstate pipeline systems or in the sale of gas; 
 
 28-15      (7) Neither the electing distribution company nor any 
 28-16      marketer which is an affiliate of the company nor any 
 28-17      other marketer may represent that any advantage accrues 
 28-18      to customers or others in the use of electing 
 28-19      distribution company services as a result of that 
 28-20      customer or others dealing with the marketer. Also, 
 28-21      joint promotions between the electing distribution 
 28-22      company and any marketer, such as inclusion of fliers 
 28-23      for the marketer in utility bills, are prohibited unless 
 28-24      such promotions are offered to all other marketers under 
 28-25      the same terms and conditions; 
 
 28-26      (8) The electing distribution company must not 
 28-27      preferentially provide sales leads to any marketer and 
 28-28      must refrain from giving any appearance that the 
 28-29      electing distribution company speaks on behalf of a 
 28-30      marketer that is an affiliate of the company.  If a 
 28-31      customer requests information about marketers, to the 
 28-32      extent the electing distribution company responds to the 
 28-33      request, the electing distribution company should 
 28-34      provide a list of all marketers on its system but shall 
 28-35      not express any preferential recommendation for a 
 28-36      marketer that is an affiliate of the company or for any 
 28-37      other marketer; 
 
 28-38      (9) Joint solicitation calls on end users by personnel 
 28-39      of the electing distribution company and any marketer 
 28-40      are forbidden; however, joint meetings will be scheduled 
 28-41      at a mutually agreeable time and location if 
 28-42      specifically requested in writing by the customer; 
 
 
 
 
                                 -28- 
 
 
 
 29- 1      (10) An electing distribution company must 
 29- 2      contemporaneously disclose information provided to any 
 29- 3      marketer related to the marketing or sale of natural gas 
 29- 4      to customers or identified potential customers or 
 29- 5      related to the delivery of natural gas to or on its 
 29- 6      system to all marketers on the system.  The electing 
 29- 7      distribution company's disclosure of such information 
 29- 8      must be effectuated by posting the information on the 
 29- 9      general alert screen of its electronic bulletin board. 
 29-10      However, an electing distribution company may, when 
 29-11      requested in writing to do so by a customer of a 
 29-12      marketer, disclose confidential information relating to 
 29-13      the customer only to said marketer.  Notwithstanding any 
 29-14      other provisions of this paragraph, an electing 
 29-15      distribution company may respond to general inquiries 
 29-16      from marketers, customers, identified potential 
 29-17      customers, or other third parties regarding general 
 29-18      information including the company's terms and 
 29-19      conditions, tariff provisions, location and description 
 29-20      of facilities, or other similar information as required 
 29-21      in the normal course of business by responding only to 
 29-22      the requesting party; 
 
 29-23      (11) An electing distribution company may not knowingly 
 29-24      disclose to any marketer any confidential information 
 29-25      obtained in connection with providing distribution or 
 29-26      related services to any other marketer or customer, a 
 29-27      potential marketer or customer, any agent of such 
 29-28      customer or potential marketer, or a marketer; 
 
 29-29      (12) Employees of the electing distribution company 
 29-30      having direct responsibility for the day-to-day 
 29-31      operations of the electing distribution company's 
 29-32      operations, including without limitation employees 
 29-33      involved in: 
 
 29-34        (A) Receiving distribution service requests or sales 
 29-35        requests from retail customers; 
 
 29-36        (B) Scheduling gas deliveries on the electing 
 29-37        distribution company's system; 
 
 29-38        (C) Making gas scheduling or allocation decisions; 
 
 29-39        (D) Purchasing gas or capacity; or 
 
 29-40        (E) Selling gas to retail customers 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -29- 
 
 
 
 30- 1      shall not be shared with, shall be physically separated 
 30- 2      from, and must function independently of a marketer 
 30- 3      which is an affiliate of the company; 
 
 30- 4      (13) An electing distribution company must file with the 
 30- 5      commission procedures that will enable marketers and the 
 30- 6      commission to determine how the electing distribution 
 30- 7      company is complying with the standards set forth in 
 30- 8      this Code section; and 
 
 30- 9      (14) An electing distribution company must maintain its 
 30-10      books of account and records separately from those of a 
 30-11      marketer which is an affiliate of the company. 
 
 30-12    (c) An electing distribution company must respond in 
 30-13    writing within ten days to any informal complaint which is 
 30-14    submitted in writing to the company and which relates to 
 30-15    compliance with the standards set forth in this Code 
 30-16    section. 
 
 30-17    46-4-160. 
 
 30-18    (a) With respect to a marketer certificated pursuant to 
 30-19    Code Section 46-4-153, the commission shall have authority 
 30-20    to: 
 
 30-21      (1) Adopt reasonable rules and regulations governing the 
 30-22      certification of a marketer; 
 
 30-23      (2) Grant, modify, impose conditions upon, or revoke a 
 30-24      certificate; 
 
 30-25      (3) Adopt reasonable rules governing service quality; 
 30-26      and 
 
 30-27      (4) Resolve complaints against a marketer regarding that 
 30-28      marketer's service. 
 
 30-29    (b) Prior to the determination by the commission pursuant 
 30-30    to Code Section 46-4-156 that adequate market conditions 
 30-31    exist within a delivery group, each marketer must 
 30-32    separately state on its bills to retail customers within 
 30-33    the delivery group the charges for firm distribution 
 30-34    service and for commodity sales. 
 
 30-35    (c) A marketer shall not refuse to sell gas to a potential 
 30-36    firm retail customer within the territory covered by the 
 30-37    marketer's certificate of authority if the sale can be 
 30-38    made by the marketer pursuant to the rules for service 
 30-39    authorized by the marketer's certificate of authority and 
 30-40    upon terms that will provide the marketer with just and 
 
 
 
                                 -30- 
 
 
 
 31- 1    adequate compensation. The price at which a marketer sells 
 31- 2    gas shall not be fixed by the commission. 
 
 31- 3    (d) The commission and the consumers' utility counsel 
 31- 4    division of the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs 
 31- 5    shall have access to the books and records of marketers as 
 31- 6    may be necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions 
 31- 7    of this article and with the commission's rules and 
 31- 8    regulations promulgated under this article. 
 
 31- 9    (e) Except as otherwise provided in this article, 
 31-10    certification of a person as a marketer by the commission 
 31-11    pursuant to Code Section 46-4-153 does not subject the 
 31-12    person to the jurisdiction of the commission under this 
 31-13    title, including without limitation the provisions of 
 31-14    Article 2 of Chapter 2 of this title. 
 
 31-15    (f) The provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 2 of this title 
 31-16    shall apply to an investigation or hearing regarding a 
 31-17    marketer.  The provisions of Articles 4 and 5 of Chapter 2 
 31-18    of this title shall apply to a marketer. 
 
 31-19    (g) The provisions of Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of 
 31-20    Title 10, the 'Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,' shall 
 31-21    apply to a marketer. 
 
 31-22    46-4-161. 
 
 31-23    (a) The commission shall create for each electing 
 31-24    distribution company a universal service fund for the 
 31-25    purpose of: 
 
 31-26      (1) Assuring that gas is available for sale by marketers 
 31-27      to firm retail customers within the territory 
 31-28      certificated to each such marketer; and 
 
 31-29      (2) Enabling the electing distribution company to expand 
 31-30      its facilities and service in the public interest. 
 
 31-31    (b) The fund shall be administered by the commission under 
 31-32    rules to be promulgated by the commission in accordance 
 31-33    with the provisions of this Code section. Prior to the 
 31-34    beginning of each fiscal year of the electing distribution 
 31-35    company, the commission shall determine the amount of the 
 31-36    fund appropriate for such fiscal year.  In making such 
 31-37    determination, the commission shall consider the 
 31-38    following: 
 
 31-39      (1) The amount required to provide appropriate 
 31-40      compensation to marketers with respect to uncollectable 
 
 
 
                                 -31- 
 
 
 
 32- 1      accounts arising from commodity sales to firm retail 
 32- 2      customers; and 
 
 32- 3      (2) The amount required to provide sufficient 
 32- 4      contributions in aid of construction to permit the 
 32- 5      electing distribution company to extend and expand its 
 32- 6      facilities from time to time as the commission deems to 
 32- 7      be in the public interest. 
 
 32- 8    (c) The fund shall be created and maintained from time to 
 32- 9    time from the following sources: 
 
 32-10      (1) Rate refunds to the electing distribution company 
 32-11      from its interstate pipeline suppliers; 
 
 32-12      (2) Any earnings allocable to ratepayers under 
 32-13      performance based rates of the electing distribution 
 32-14      company authorized by this article; 
 
 32-15      (3) A surcharge to the rates for firm distribution 
 32-16      service of the electing distribution company authorized 
 32-17      for such purpose by the commission from time to time; 
 32-18      and 
 
 32-19      (4) Any other payments to the fund provided by law. 
 
 32-20    (d) Any amounts remaining in such fund at the end of a 
 32-21    fiscal year shall be available for refund to retail 
 32-22    customers in such manner as the commission shall deem 
 32-23    equitable. The balance at fiscal year end, whether 
 32-24    positive or negative, after such refund, if any, shall 
 32-25    become the initial balance of the fund for the ensuing 
 32-26    fiscal year and shall be considered by the commission in 
 32-27    making the determination required in subsection (b) of 
 32-28    this Code section. 
 
 32-29    (e) Moneys in the fund shall be deposited in a separate, 
 32-30    interest-bearing escrow account maintained by the electing 
 32-31    distribution company at any state or federally chartered 
 32-32    bank, trust company, or savings and loan association 
 32-33    located in this state.  Upon application to the 
 32-34    commission, the commission shall order the distribution of 
 32-35    an appropriate portion of such moneys on a quarterly basis 
 32-36    and in accordance with the provisions of this Code 
 32-37    section.  Interest earned on moneys in the fund shall 
 32-38    accrue to the benefit of the fund. 
 
 32-39    (f) In determining whether to grant the application of a 
 32-40    marketer for a distribution from the fund in whole or in 
 32-41    part, the commission shall consider: 
 
 
 
                                 -32- 
 
 
 
 33- 1      (1) The expenditures reasonably required for commodity 
 33- 2      sales by a marketer within the relevant territory based 
 33- 3      upon the cost of gas as established by published cost 
 33- 4      indexes, the transportation charges of the interstate 
 33- 5      pipeline involved, and the rates for firm distribution 
 33- 6      service of the electing distribution company.  The 
 33- 7      commission shall also consider the actual costs incurred 
 33- 8      to serve the customers and revenues available to the 
 33- 9      marketer from sales within the affected territory 
 33-10      available to provide a fair return to the marketer; 
 
 33-11      (2) Whether the marketer pursued reasonable diligence in 
 33-12      seeking to recover the uncollectable accounts; and 
 
 33-13      (3) The reduction to the total amount of the 
 33-14      uncollectable accounts appropriate to assure that 
 33-15      marketers pursue reasonable diligence in their 
 33-16      collection efforts. 
 
 33-17      (g)(1) In determining whether to grant the application 
 33-18      of an electing distribution company for a distribution 
 33-19      from the fund in whole or in part, the commission shall 
 33-20      consider: 
 
 33-21        (A) The capital budget of the electing distribution 
 33-22        company for the relevant fiscal year; 
 
 33-23        (B) The estimated total overall applicable cost of the 
 33-24        proposed extension, including construction costs, 
 33-25        financing costs, working capital requirements, and 
 33-26        engineering and contracting fees, as well as all other 
 33-27        costs that are necessary and reasonable; 
 
 33-28        (C) The projected initial service date of the new 
 33-29        facilities, the estimated revenues to the electing 
 33-30        distribution company during the first five fiscal 
 33-31        years following the initial service date, and the 
 33-32        estimated rate of return to the electing distribution 
 33-33        company produced by such revenues during each such 
 33-34        fiscal year; 
 
 33-35        (D) The amount of the contribution in aid of 
 33-36        construction required for the revenues from the 
 33-37        proposed new facility to produce a just and reasonable 
 33-38        return to the electing distribution company; and 
 
 33-39        (E) Whether the proposed new facility is in the public 
 33-40        interest. 
 
 
 
 
                                 -33- 
 
 
 
 34- 1      (2) In no event shall the distribution to an electing 
 34- 2      distribution company from the fund for facilities and 
 34- 3      service expansion during any fiscal year exceed 5 
 34- 4      percent of the capital budget of such company for such 
 34- 5      fiscal year. 
 
 34- 6      (3) Any investment in new facilities financed from the 
 34- 7      universal service fund shall be accounted for as a 
 34- 8      contribution in aid of construction. 
 
 34- 9    46-4-162. 
 
 34-10    Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit the 
 34-11    commission from approving, upon application by a gas 
 34-12    company, pilot programs which allow increased customer 
 34-13    choice on such gas company's distribution system but which 
 34-14    are not otherwise subject to the provisions of this 
 34-15    article. 
 
 34-16    46-4-163. 
 
 34-17    Any special or negotiated contract between a gas company 
 34-18    and a retail customer approved by the commission shall not 
 34-19    be invalidated or modified by the provisions of this 
 34-20    article. 
 
 34-21    46-4-164. 
 
 34-22    Nothing in this article shall be deemed to apply or impose 
 34-23    requirements not otherwise existing on gas distribution 
 34-24    companies owned by any county, municipality, other 
 34-25    political subdivision, or governmental authority of this 
 34-26    state; nor are the provisions of this article intended to 
 34-27    increase or decrease the authority and jurisdiction of the 
 34-28    commission with respect to the distribution, sale, or 
 34-29    transportation of gas by any county, municipality, other 
 34-30    political subdivision, or governmental authority of this 
 34-31    state.  Nothing in this article shall be construed to 
 34-32    limit or otherwise affect the existing powers of municipal 
 34-33    corporations or other political subdivisions of this state 
 34-34    relating to the granting of franchises or the levying or 
 34-35    imposition of taxes, fees, or charges. 
 
 34-36    46-4-165. 
 
 34-37    The commission shall report to the General Assembly 
 34-38    annually through the year 2002 on the status of the 
 34-39    transition to competitive markets for natural gas services 
 34-40    in Georgia." 
 
 
 
 
                                 -34- 
 
 
 
 35- 1                           SECTION 5. 
 
 35- 2  This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the 
 35- 3  Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. 
 
 35- 4                           SECTION 6. 
 
 35- 5  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
 35- 6  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -35- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98

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