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Georgia State Code
Title      46
Chapter       2  
Section Navigation     1 ... 8             9 ... 25.1  
  25.2 ... 28         29 ... 45    
    50 ... 59         70 ... 94      
Section<<< 9 10 20 21 22 23 23.1 24 25 25.1 >>>  
Title 46, Chapter 2, Section 25 (46-2-25)

(a) No person, firm, or corporation (referred to in this Code section as a "utility") subject to the jurisdiction of the commission shall make any change in any rate, charge, classification, or service subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, or in any rule or regulation relating thereto, except after 30 days' notice to the commission and to the public, unless the commission otherwise orders, or unless the commission has previously authorized or approved the change. Such notice shall be given by filing with the commission and keeping open for public inspection new schedules stating plainly the changes to be made in the schedules then in force and the time when the changes will go into effect. The commission, for good cause shown, may allow changes to take effect without requiring the 30 days' notice by an order specifying the changes to be made, the time when they shall take effect, and the manner in which they shall be filed and published.

(b) Whenever any new schedule is filed pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, the commission shall have authority, either upon written complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint, at once, and, if it so orders, without answer or formal pleading by the utility but upon reasonable notice, to enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, charge, classification, or service. Pending such hearing and the decision thereon, the commission, upon filing with such schedule and delivering to the utility affected thereby a statement in writing of its reasons for such suspension, may suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, classification, or service, but not for a period longer than five months beyond the time when it would otherwise go into effect, provided that the commission may apply to the Superior Court of Fulton County for an extension of such period, as provided for in Code Section 46-2-57. After such hearings as are required, whether they are completed before or after the rate, charge, classification, or service goes into effect, the commission may make such orders as are proper with reference thereto within the authority vested in the commission. The commission is empowered to reduce or revoke any such suspension with respect to all or any part of such schedule. If the proceeding has not been concluded and an order not made at the expiration of the suspension period, the proposed change of rate, charge, classification, or service shall go into effect at the end of such period; but in case of a proposed increased rate or charge, the commission shall by order require the interested utility to keep accurate account in detail of all amounts received by reason of such increase, specifying by whom and in whose behalf such amounts were paid; and upon completion of the hearing and the rendering of a decision, the commission shall by further order require such utility to refund, with interest at the maximum legal rate, in such manner as the commission may direct, such portion of such increased rates or charges as by its decision shall be found not justified. Any portion of such refunds not thus refunded to patrons or customers of the utility shall be refunded or disposed of by the utility as the commission may direct, provided that no such funds shall accrue to the benefit of the utility. At any hearing involving a rate or charge sought to be increased, the burden of proof to show that the increased rate or charge is just and reasonable shall be upon the utility, and the commission shall give to the hearing and decision of such questions preference over other questions pending before it and decide the same as speedily as possible. (c) Before any increased rate or charge shall go into effect without the approval of the commission, the commission shall by order require the interested utility to file with the commission a bond written by a surety who is approved by the commission and who is authorized to transact business in this state. The bond shall be fixed by the commission in an amount not to exceed $250,000.00. The bond shall be payable to the Governor and conditioned upon the faithful performance of the requirements of the refund order entered by the commission, the requirements of this Code section, and the requirements of the rules and regulations of the commission.

(d) Any action taken by the commission under this Code section shall be reduced to writing by the commission and signed by the chairman and secretary thereof. All such actions and orders shall be effective from the date such actions are reduced to writing and are signed as provided by this subsection. No such action or order of the commission may be given retroactive effect. A full and complete record shall be kept of the votes taken in connection with any such action, said record to be entered upon the official minutes of the commission.

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