Citations Affected: IC 8-1-2-4.5.
Synopsis: Gas utility connection charges and deposits. Provides that
the amount charged by a natural gas utility to connect or reconnect
utility service may not exceed the utility's actual connection or
reconnection costs. Permits a utility to require a deposit before
connecting or reconnecting service. Provides that the amount of the
deposit may not exceed: (1) one-twelfth of the estimated annual cost of
the utility service to be provided to an applicant or a customer; or (2)
if the applicant or customer has contracted for a budget billing plan, the
equivalent of one budget billing payment. Provides that certain rules
adopted by the utility regulatory commission (IURC) are void to the
extent they conflict with the requirements for: (1) connection or
reconnection charges; and (2) deposits. Directs the IURC to amend
existing rules to comply with the requirements.
Effective: July 1, 2007.
January 11, 2007, read first time and referred to Committee on Utilities & Regulatory
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
utilities and transportation.
period is less than the total amount paid by the customer
in the installments; or
(B) the customer is charged for any deficiency, whether in a one (1) time settlement or in payments spread out over one (1) or more future bills, if the actual amount owed by the customer over the extended period is more than the total amount paid by the customer in the installments.
(c) As used in this section, "customer" refers to any of the following:
(1) A residential customer of a utility, including a customer that receives home energy assistance through a program administered by the lieutenant governor under IC 4-4-33.
(2) A building (as defined in IC 8-1-2-36.5(a)) that:
(A) receives utility service from a utility; and
(B) is served by a master meter, as described in IC 8-1-2-36.5.
(d) As used in this section, "utility" refers to a public, municipally owned, or cooperatively owned utility that provides utility service to customers in Indiana. The term includes a utility owned or held in trust by a consolidated city under IC 8-1-11.1.
(e) As used in this section, "utility service" refers to natural gas utility service that is:
(1) provided by a utility to a customer; and
(2) subject to regulation by the commission.
(f) A utility may impose a reasonable and just connection or reconnection charge to:
(1) an applicant; or
(2) a customer.
The charge may not exceed the costs actually incurred by the utility in connecting or reconnecting service, whichever applies.
(g) Subject to subsection (h), a utility may require a reasonable and just deposit from:
(1) an applicant; or
(2) a customer;
before the utility connects or reconnects the applicant's or customer's service. A deposit under this subsection is in addition to any charge imposed under subsection (f).
(h) The amount of a deposit charged by a utility under subsection (g) may not exceed:
(1) one-twelfth (1/12) of the estimated annual cost of the utility service to be provided to the applicant or customer; or
(2) if the applicant or customer has contracted for a budget
billing plan, the equivalent of one (1) budget billing payment.
(i) To the extent that they conflict with this section, the following are void:
(1) 170 IAC 5-1-15.
(2) 170 IAC 5-1-16.
(3) Any other rule:
(A) adopted by the commission; and
(i) connection or reconnection charges; or
charged by a utility to an applicant or a customer.
The commission shall adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to amend the rules described in this subsection to the extent necessary to make the rules conform to the requirements of this section.