Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee Request for Public Comment - news.mt.gov

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Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee Request for Public Comment

Friday, June 8, 2018/Categories: Legislative Branch/Tags:

Public comment is welcome on proposed draft legislation related to qualifying small power production facilities, the regulation of small water and sewer utilities, and utility integrated resource planning.

The Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee (ETIC) of the Legislature met May 17-18 and requested draft legislation be prepared and posted for public comment. Over the last six months, the ETIC reviewed information about qualifying facilities (QFs) in Montana, QF contract lengths, and information on QF tariffs and rates. The committee is tracking recent orders by the Montana Public Service Commission related to QFs and related litigation. The committee is requesting specific comment on two policy options:

  • LC SQF1 – 25-year contracts and prohibition of symmetry
  • LC SQF2 – 25-year contracts and competitive bidding

Public comments should be submitted before 5 p.m. on June 25 to Sonja Nowakowski at legresponse@mt.gov (put QFs in the subject line) or to Legislative Services Division, Attn. Sonja Nowakowski, P.O. Box 201704, Helena, MT 59620-1704.

The ETIC conducted a program review of the PSC’s regulation of small water and sewer utilities in Montana. At this time, only a handful of small, privately owned public water and sewer utilities have filed rate schedules with the PSC, which has regulatory authority over them. The PSC has struggled to implement a strategy to bring utilities into compliance. The ETIC is requesting specific comment on two policy options:

  • LC SMW1 – Eliminate all PSC regulation of small sewer and water utilities
  • LC SMW2 – Provide for standard rates for small sewer and water utilities

Public comments should be submitted before 5 p.m. June 25 to Sonja Nowakowski at legresponse@mt.gov (put small water in the subject line) or to Legislative Services Division, Attn. Sonja Nowakowski, P.O. Box 201704, Helena, MT 59620-1704.

The ETIC allocated time to a review of Montana’s integrated resource planning and procurement processes. The committee heard concerns about stakeholder input during development of a plan by a utility and during PSC review of a plan. The committee is requesting specific comment on:

  • LC IRP2 – Require utility to hold public meetings prior to submitting a plan

Public comments should be submitted before 5 p.m. June 25 to Sonja Nowakowski at legresponse@mt.gov (put IRP in the subject line) or to Legislative Services Division, Attn. Sonja Nowakowski, P.O. Box 201704, Helena, MT 59620-1704.

The ETIC will meet July 19-20 in Helena to review and discuss the public comments and the draft legislation. The committee will then determine how best to amend the drafts and whether they should be brought before the 2019 Legislature. All comments received by the deadline will be compiled and provided to the ETIC prior to the meeting.

Comments also may be submitted in the form of proposed draft amendments to the legislation. If you have any difficulty opening the document links or submitting your comments, please contact Sonja Nowakowski at (406) 444-3078.

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