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IECG v. PUC, attorneys and footnotes


Attorneys for appellant:

Anthony W. Buxton, Esq., (orally)
Donald J. Sipe, Esq.
Linda S. Lockhart, Esq.
Preti Flaherty Beliveau Pachios & Haley, LLC
P O Box 1058
Augusta, ME 04332-1058

Attorneys for appellees:

Charles Cohen, Esq., (orally)
Public Utilities Commission
18 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0018

Catherine R. Connors, Esq., (orally)
Kevin F. Gordon, Esq.
Raymond W. Hepper, Esq.
Pierce Atwood
One Monument Square
Portland, ME 04101-1110
(for Central Maine Power)

Stephen G. Ward, Esq.
Public Advocate
112 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0112

Beth A. Nagusky, Esq.
Independent Energy Producers of Maine
P O Box 743
Augusta, ME 04332-0743
FOOTNOTES******************************** {*} Although not available at oral argument, Justice Dana participated in this opinion. See M.R. App. P. 12(a) (stating that a "qualified justice may participate in a decision even though not present at oral argument."). {1} . IECG describes itself as "an incorporated trade association of industrial customers," whose membership includes: "International Paper/Bucksport Mill, Bucksport; Mead Corporation, Rumford; Wausau Mosinee Paper Corporation, Jay; Georgia Pacific Corporation, Old Town; National Semiconductor, South Portland; International Paper, Jay; The Chinet Company, Waterville; Portland Pipeline Corporation, South Portland; Forster Inc., Wilton; Gardiner Paperboard Corp., Gardiner; and Pratt & Whitney, North Berwick." {2} . Section 3195 states in relevant part: § 3195.Commission authority to promote transmission and distribution utility efficiency 1. Rate-adjustment mechanisms. This Title may not be construed to prohibit the commission from or to restrict the commission in establishing or authorizing any reasonable rate- adjustment mechanisms to promote efficiency in transmission and distribution utility operations and least-cost planning. Rate- adjustment mechanism may include, but are not limited to: A. Decoupling of utility profits from utility sales through revenue reconciliation; B. Reconciliation of actual revenues or costs with projected revenues or costs, either on a total or per customer basis; C. Adjustment of revenues based on reconciled, indexed or forecasted costs; and D. Positive or negative financial incentives for efficient operations. 2.Just and reasonable rates. In determining the reasonableness of any rate-adjustment mechanism established under this subchapter, the commission shall apply the standards of section 301 to ensure that the rates resulting from the implementation of the mechanism are just and reasonable. . . . . 4. Ratepayer protection. In determining the reasonableness of any rate- adjustment mechanisms, the commission shall consider the transfer of risks associated with the effect of the economy and the weather on the utility's sales. To the extent these risks are transferred from the utility to its customers, the commission shall consider in a rate proceeding the effect of the transfer of risk in determining a utility's allowed rate of return. . . . . 35-A M.R.S.A. § 3195 (Supp. 2000). Section 301 states in relevant part: § 301.Safe facilities; just and reasonable rates . . . . 2. Rates. The rate, toll or charge, or any joint rate made, exacted, demanded or collected by any public utility for production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of electricity, gas, heat or water; . . . shall be just and reasonable. 3. Unreasonable rates prohibited. Every unjust or unreasonable charge for public utility service is prohibited and declared unlawful. 4. Determining rates. In determining just and reasonable rates, the commission: A. Shall provide such revenues to the utility as may be required to perform its public service and to attract necessary capital on just and reasonable terms; and B. Shall, to a level within the commission's discretion, consider whether the utility is operating as efficiently as possible and is utilizing sound management practices, including the treatment in rates of executive compensation. 35-A M.R.S.A. § 301 (1988 & Supp. 2000). {3} . The service indicators include (1) Customer Average Interruption Duration Index, (2) System Average Interruption Frequency Index, (3) MPUC Complaint Ratio, (4) Percent of Business Calls Answered, (5) Percent of Outage Calls Answered, (6) New Service Installation, (7) Call Center Service Quality, and (8) Market Responsiveness. {4} . The stipulation provides that: Each July 1, beginning on July 1, 2001, CMP's core distribution rates . . . will change to reflect a Price Index ("PI") subject to Paragraph 13. The PI will be calculated under the following formula: PI = Inflation index - productivity offset +/- (mandated costs +/- net capital gains and losses) +/- expiring amortizations + earnings sharing - any service quality penalties. The inflation index will be the Gross Domestic Product - Price Index. The stipulation also provides for productivity offsets for each price change, as follows: Price Change Taking Place in:Productivity Offset 2001equal to inflation 20022.00% 20032.25% 20042.75% 20052.75% 20062.75% 20072.90% {5} . Section 3211 states in relevant part: § 3211. Conservation programs . . . . 2. Programs. Beginning March 1, 2000, to the extent funding is available pursuant to subsection 4, the commission shall require transmission and distribution utilities to implement energy conservation programs. . . . . 7. Cost recovery. The commission shall include the cost of conservation programs, including any assessment collected pursuant to subsection 6, in the rates of transmission and distribution utilities. 35-A M.R.S.A. § 3211 (Supp. 2000). {6} . Section 112 states in pertinent part: § 112. Power to obtain information 1. Investigation of management of business. The commission may inquire into the management of the business of all public utilities and shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which each is conducted. 2. Facilities and information to be furnished. Every public utility shall furnish the commission with: A. All reasonable facilities for the prompt and faithful discharge of its duties; and B. All information necessary to perform its duties and carry into effect this Title. If it is unable to furnish the information, it shall give a good and sufficient reason for the failure, and the reason for the failure shall be verified by an officer, owner or agent of the public utility and returned to the commission at its office within the time fixed by the commission. 3. Inspection of books and papers; confidentiality. The following provisions apply to inspection of books and papers. A. The commission or any commissioner or any person employed by it for that purpose, may upon demand inspect and copy the books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda of any public utility in relation to its business and affairs. . . . . 35-A M.R.S.A. § 112 (1988 & Supp. 2000). {7} . Section 506 states in pertinent part: § 506. Inspection of books and records The agents, accountants or examiners employed by the commission shall have authority inside or outside the State under the direction of the commission to inspect and examine the books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda kept by any public utility. 35-A M.R.S.A. § 506 (1988). {8} . The Stipulation states that "[t]here shall be no cap on CMP's earnings and there shall be no earnings sharing if CMP's earnings rise above any level; furthermore, the Parties agree that if the Commission is asked to review CMP's revenue requirement during the seven-year term of ARP 2000, the Parties shall oppose such review or resetting as in contravention of this Stipulation . . . ."

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