PUC Changes Assessments: What this means for members of the transportation industry
As you may be aware, the PUC was recently granted the statutory authority to assess Natural Gas Suppliers (NGS's) and Electric Generation Suppliers (EGS's), which were previously not assessed. The more entities paying assessments to the PUC over which the Commission's budget is spread, the less each individual industry group will have to pay. Thus, every currently assessed utility should see its assessment decrease, including Transportation.
Under the existing statutory framework, the Commission receives an annual budget number from the legislature and the Governor. This number serves as the cap upon the amount of any total annual assessment. By law, the Commission is required to reduce this cap by anticipated fees such as filing fees, any leftover funds from the prior year, and any federal funds including the UCR fee received. Then, the Commission would allocate the remaining budget amount to each of five different industry groups. The UCR fees were taken "off the top" of the budget before the allocation. As a result, part of the UCR fee benefitted the electric, gas, water, and telephone companies in addition to the transportation group. This order appears to change who benefits from the UCR fee by deducting the fee from the costs associated with the regulation of the transportation industry only.
You will likely be receiving your annual assessment very soon, if you have not already received it. We recommend that you compare your assessment with prior assessments. Based upon the changes made by the PUC, you may see a decrease in your assessment fee.
Any objection to your Assessment must be filed within 10 days of receipt of the Notice, and all assessment amounts must be paid within 30 days of the Notice.