Maine Revised Statutes

§310. Investigation of proposed changes in rates of public utilities; suspension pending investigation

1. Investigation of proposed rate changes.  When the commission receives notice of any change proposed to be made in a schedule of rates filed with the commission under the provisions of law, it may at any time before the effective date of the change, either upon complaint or upon its own motion and after reasonable notice, hold a public hearing and make investigation as to the propriety of the proposed change. The hearing shall be held in accordance with section 1304. At any such hearing involving any change, the burden of proof to show that the change is just and reasonable is upon the public utility. After a hearing and investigation, the commission may make an order with reference to any new rate, joint rate, rental, toll, classification, charge, term, condition or form of contract or agreement proposed as would be proper in a proceeding initiated upon complaint or upon motion of the commission in any rate investigation. In implementing the order, the commission shall assure rate design stability.
[ 1987, c. 141, Pt. A, §6 (NEW) .]
2. Suspension pending investigation.  Pending an investigation and order, the commission may at any time within the period preceding the effective date of the schedule suspend the operation of the schedule or any part of it, by filing with the schedule and delivering to the public utility affected a statement of its reasons for the suspension. The suspension shall not be for a longer period than 3 months from the effective date of the order of suspension, but if the investigation can not be concluded within a period of 3 months, the commission may in its discretion extend the time of suspension for 5 additional months.
[ 1987, c. 141, Pt. A, §6 (NEW) .]
3. Exception: Municipal and quasi-municipal water utilities and consumer-owned transmission and distribution utilities.  This section does not apply to:
A. Municipal or quasi-municipal corporations that are water utilities within the definition of section 102, any provisions in any charter notwithstanding, and that elect to proceed pursuant to the terms of section 6104 or 6104-A, unless by the express terms of section 6104 or 6104-A the provisions of this section are made applicable to those corporations; [2009, c. 237, §1 (AMD).]
A-1. Municipal or quasi-municipal corporations that are water utilities within the definition of section 102, any provisions in any charter notwithstanding, and that file a change in a schedule pursuant to section 307 that changes rates, tolls or charges for service other than the provision of water, only if the cumulative revenue impact of all such changes that become effective within any consecutive 12-month period does not exceed 1% of the utility's total annual revenue; or [2007, c. 127, §1 (NEW).]
B. Consumer-owned transmission and distribution utilities organized in accordance with chapter 35, unless by the express terms of chapter 35 the provisions of this section are made applicable to those districts. [1999, c. 398, Pt. A, §14 (AMD); 1999, c. 398, Pt. A, §§104, 105 (AFF).]
[ 2009, c. 237, §1 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1987, c. 141, §A6 (NEW). 1999, c. 398, §A14 (AMD). 1999, c. 398, §§A104,105 (AFF). 2007, c. 127, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 237, §1 (AMD).