Title 46, Chapter 2, Section 26.5
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Adjustment factor" means a factor used pursuant to a
purchased gas adjustment rate to recover purchased gas costs.
(2) "Commission" means the Georgia Public Service Commission.
(3) "Firm customer" means a customer who purchases gas from a gas
utility on a firm basis which ordinarily is not subject to
interruption or curtailment.
(4) "Gas supply plan" means the particular array of available gas
supply, storage, and transportation options selected by a gas
utility to supply the requirements of its firm customers.
(5) "Gas utility" means a gas utility subject to the jurisdiction
of the commission.
(6) "Purchased gas adjustment rate" means a purchased gas
adjustment rider or similar rate, provision, or clause in the
tariff of a gas utility pursuant to which purchased gas costs are
billed to the firm customers of the gas utility.
(7) "Purchased gas costs" means all costs incurred by a gas
utility for the purpose of acquiring gas delivered to its system
in order to supply its firm customers, including without
limitation the costs incurred in purchasing gas from sellers; the
costs incurred in transactions involving rights to buy and sell
gas; the costs incurred in gathering gas for transportation to the
gas utility; the costs incurred in transporting gas to the
facilities of the gas utility; the costs incurred in acquiring and
using gas storage service from others, including the costs of
injecting and withdrawing gas from storage; and all charges, fees,
and rates incurred in connection with such purchases, rights,
gathering, storage, and transportation.
(8) "Recovery year" means the 12 calendar months commencing
October 1, 1994, and ending September 30, 1995, and each
succeeding 12 calendar month period thereafter.
(b) Commencing October 1, 1994, the requirements of this Code section shall apply to any purchased gas adjustment rate. The requirements of Code Section 46-2-25 shall not apply to filings made or proceedings conducted pursuant to this Code section.
(c) On or before August 1 of each year, each gas utility shall file
with the commission its gas supply plan for the following recovery
year. The gas utility shall include with such filing the adjustment
factors it proposes for recovering its purchased gas costs during
such following recovery year, together with the calculations that
produced such factors.
(d) Not less than ten days after any such filing by a gas utility,
the commission shall conduct a public hearing on such filing. The
gas utility's testimony shall be under oath and shall, with any
corrections thereto, constitute the gas utility's affirmative case.
At any hearing conducted pursuant to this Code section, the burden
of proof to show that the proposed gas supply plan and adjustment
factors are appropriate shall be upon the gas utility.
(e) Following such a hearing, the commission shall issue an order
approving the gas supply plan filed by the gas utility or adopting a
gas supply plan for the gas utility that the commission deems
appropriate. In addition, the commission in its order shall approve
the adjustment factors proposed by the gas utility or adopt
adjustment factors that the commission deems appropriate. The
adjustment factors approved or adopted by the commission, or
otherwise made effective under this Code section, shall be applied
uniformly to all firm customers upon the effective date of such
factors. The adjustment factors to be effective during the recovery
year commencing October 1, 1994, shall be set at levels appropriate
to account for underrecoveries or overrecoveries, if any, under the
purchased gas adjustment rate of the gas utility in effect prior to
October 1, 1994. The adjustment factors to be applicable during
each recovery year commencing October 1, 1995, and thereafter, shall
be set at levels appropriate to account for underrecoveries or
overrecoveries during the preceding recovery year. Should the
commission fail or refuse to issue an order by the forty-fifth day
after the gas utility's filing which either approves the gas supply
plan filed by the gas utility or adopts a different gas supply plan
for the gas utility, the gas supply plan proposed by the gas utility
shall thereupon be deemed approved by operation of law. Similarly,
should the commission fail or refuse to issue an order by such date
which either approves the adjustment factors proposed by the gas
utility or adopts different adjustment factors for the gas utility,
the adjustment factors proposed by the gas utility shall thereupon
be deemed approved by operation of law.
(f) The provisions of law relating to parties, intervention, and
discovery in proceedings before the commission shall apply with
respect to proceedings under this Code section.
(g) Each gas utility shall file with the commission monthly its
actual monthly purchased gas costs and accumulated purchased gas
costs during the recovery year. The gas utility shall include in
such filing information which demonstrates whether such purchased
gas costs were incurred in accordance with a gas supply plan which
had become effective in accordance with the provisions of this Code
(h) Each gas utility shall also file with the commission monthly the
most current data available showing the monthly and accumulated
overrecoveries or underrecoveries of actual purchased gas costs
resulting from application of its purchased gas adjustment rate.
(i) At least every three calendar months, the gas utility shall file
proposed revisions to the adjustment factors based on actual
unrecovered purchased gas costs in order that the revenues to be
recovered pursuant to such rate during the remainder of the current
recovery year shall equal, as nearly as possible, the gas utility's
unrecovered purchased gas costs through the end of such recovery
year. The revisions to the adjustment factors, if any, shall be
made to the nearest 0.01¢ per therm. Unless the commission directs
otherwise, such revised adjustment factors shall become effective on
the first day of the first calendar month that begins at least 15
days after the date of such filing.
(j) All commission orders issued pursuant to this Code section shall
contain the commission's findings of fact and conclusions of law
upon which the commission's action is based. Any such order shall
be deemed a final order subject to judicial review under Chapter 13
of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
(k) The commission shall not prohibit or limit the operation of a
purchased gas adjustment rate of a gas utility to the extent that
the adjustment permits increases or decreases to adjust for
increased or decreased purchased gas costs when such increased or
decreased purchased gas costs shall have become effective under the
procedures of a federal regulatory agency or under a contract
approved by a federal regulatory agency. Any subsequent refunds
received by a gas utility with respect to any such increased
purchased gas costs which become effective under procedures of a
federal regulatory agency, or otherwise, shall be treated by the gas
utility in such manner as the commission may direct.
(l) Any purchased gas costs which are incurred by a gas utility in
accordance with a gas supply plan which was in effect pursuant to
the provisions of this Code section at the time such costs were
incurred may be recovered by the gas utility under its purchased gas
adjustment rate and shall not be disallowed retroactively by the
commission nor by any court which reviews the action of the
commission in the absence of fraud or willful misconduct on the part
of the gas utility; provided, however, that the commission may
disallow and make appropriate adjustments for any purchased gas
costs that were not incurred in accordance with such a gas supply
plan if the same resulted in higher purchased gas costs and were the
result of clearly imprudent conduct on the part of the gas utility.
The provisions of this Code section shall not prohibit the
commission from authorizing a gas utility to recover under a
purchased gas adjustment rate costs or amounts in addition to
purchased gas costs, nor shall the provisions of this Code section
prohibit the commission from removing from purchased gas costs those
costs incurred by a gas utility for the purpose of acquiring gas to
supply customers who are not firm customers.
(m) After a gas supply plan has become effective under the
provisions of this Code section as a result of a proceeding before
the commission, the commission shall retain jurisdiction of the
proceeding for the balance of the recovery year for the purposes set
forth in this subsection. Upon the application of the affected gas
utility or upon its own initiative, the commission may, after
affording due notice and opportunity for hearing to the affected gas
utility and the intervenors in the proceeding, amend the gas supply
plan of the affected gas utility for the remainder of the recovery
year. The amended gas supply plan shall become effective upon the
date of the commission's order and shall not have retroactive