Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since August 1, 2014, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R746. Public Service Commission, Administration.

Rule R746-310. Uniform Rules Governing Electricity Service by Electric Utilities.

As in effect on August 1, 2014

Table of Contents

R746-310-1. General Provisions.

A. 1. Scope and Applicability -- The following rules apply to the methods and conditions for service employed by utilities furnishing electricity in Utah.

2. A utility may petition the Commission for an exemption from specified portions of these rules in accordance with R746-100-15, Deviation from Rules.

B. Definitions --

1. "Capacity" means load which equipment or electrical system can carry.

2. "CFR" means the Code of Federal Regulations, 1998 edition.

3. "Commission" means the Public Service Commission of Utah.

4. "Contract Demand" means the maximum amount of kilowatt demand that the customer expects to use and for which the customer has contracted with the utility.

5. "Customer" means a person, firm, partnership, company, corporation, organization, or governmental agency supplied with electrical power by an electric utility subject to Commission jurisdiction, at one location and at one point of delivery.

6. "Customer's Installation" means the electrical wiring and apparatus owned by the customer and installed by or for the customer to facilitate electric service and which is located on the customer's side of the point of delivery of electric service.

7. "Customer meter" or "meter" means the device used to measure the electricity transmitted from an electric utility to a customer.

8. "Demand" means the rate in kilowatts at which electric energy is delivered by the utility to the customer at a given instant or averaged over a designated period of time.

9. "Electric service" means the availability of electric power and energy at the customer's point of delivery at the approximate voltage and for the purposes specified in the application for electric service, electric service agreement or contract, irrespective of whether electric power and energy is actually used.

10. "Energy" means electric energy measured in kilowatt-hours--kWh. For billing purposes energy is the customer's total use of electricity measured in kilowatt-hours during any month.

11. "FERC" means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

12. "Month" means the period of approximately 30 days intervening between regular successive meter reading dates.

13. "National Electrical Safety Code" means the 2007 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code, C2-2007, as approved by the American National Standards Institute, ISBN 07-7381-4893-8, incorporated by reference.

14. "Point of delivery" means the point, unless otherwise specified in the application for electric service, electric service agreement or contract, at which the utility's service wires are connected with the customer's wires or apparatus. If the utility's service wires are connected with the customer's wire or apparatus at more than one point, each connecting point shall be considered a separate point of delivery unless the additional connecting points are made by the utility for its sole convenience in supplying service. Additional service supplied by the utility at a different voltage or phase classification shall also be considered a separate point of delivery. Each point of delivery shall be separately metered and billed.

15. "Power" means electric power measured in kilowatts--kw. For billing purposes, power is the customer's maximum use of electricity shown or computed from the readings of the utility's kilowatt meter for a 15-minute period, unless otherwise specified in the applicable rate schedule; at the option of the utility it may be determined either by periodic tests or by permanent meters.

16. "Power factor" means the percentage determined by dividing customer's average power use in kilowatts, real power, by the average kilovolt-ampere power load, apparent power, imposed upon the utility by the customer.

17. "Premises" means a tract of land with the buildings thereon or a building or part of a building with its appurtenances.

18. "Rated capacity" means load for which equipment or electrical system is rated.

19. "Service line" means electrical conductor which ties customer point of delivery to distribution network.

20. "Transmission line" means high voltage line delivering electrical energy to substations.

21. "Utility" means an electrical corporation as defined in Section 54-2-1.

22. "Year" means the period between the date of commencement of service under the application for electric service, electric service agreement or contract and the same day of the following calendar year.

R746-310-2. Customer Relations.

A. Information to Customers -- Each electric utility shall transmit to each of its consumers a clear and concise explanation of the existing rate schedule, and each new rate schedule applied for, applicable to the consumer. This statement shall be transmitted to each consumer:

1. Not later than 60 days after the date of the commencement of service to the consumer and not less frequently than once a year thereafter, and

2. Not later than 30 days, 60 days if a utility uses a bi-monthly billing system, after the utility's application for a change in a rate schedule applicable to the consumer.

3. An electric utility shall annually mail to its customers a clear and concise explanation of rate schedules that may be applicable to that customer.

4. The required explanation of existing and proposed rate schedules may be transmitted together with the consumer's regular billing for utility service or in a manner deemed appropriate by the Commission.

5. An electric utility shall print on its monthly bill, in addition to the information regarding consumption and charges for the current bill, similar information showing average daily energy use and cost for the same billing period for the previous year. That information shall include the utility telephone number for use by customers with questions or concerns on their electric service.

B. Meter Reading Method -- Upon request, utilities shall furnish reasonable assistance and information as to the method of reading customer meters and conditions under which electric service may be obtained from their systems.

C. Utility's Responsibility -- Nothing in these rules shall be construed as placing upon the utility a responsibility for the condition or maintenance of the customer's wiring, appliances, current consuming devices or other equipment, and the utility shall not be held liable for loss or damage resulting from defects in the customer's installation and shall not be held liable for damage to persons or property arising from the use of the service on the premises of the customer.

D. Conditions of Service -- The utility shall have the right of refusing to, or of ceasing to, deliver electric energy to a customer if any part of the customer's service, appliances, or apparatus shall be unsafe, or if the utilization of electric energy by means thereof shall be prohibited or forbidden under the authority of a law or municipal ordinance or regulation, until the law, ordinance or regulation shall be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, and may refuse to serve until the customer shall put the part in good and safe condition and comply with applicable laws, ordinances and regulations.

The utility does not assume the duty of inspecting the customer's services, appliances or apparatus, and assumes no liability therefore. If the customer finds the electric service to be defective, the customer is requested to immediately notify the utility to this effect.

E. Access to premises and meters -- As a condition of service the customer shall, either explicitly or implicitly, grant the utility necessary permission to enable the utility to install and maintain service on the premises. The customer shall grant the utility permission to enter upon the customer's premises at reasonable times without prior arrangements, for the purpose of reading, inspecting, repairing, or removing utility property.

If the customer is not the owner of the occupied premises, the customer shall obtain permission from the owners.

F. Customer Complaints --

1. Utilities shall fully and promptly investigate customer complaints pertaining to service. Utilities shall maintain record of each complaint that concerns outages or interruptions of service including the date, nature, and disposition of the complaint.

2. Customer complaints shall be filed with the Commission in accordance with Subsection R746-100- 3(H), Consumer Complaints, Practice and Procedure Governing Formal Hearings.

G. Service Interruptions --

1. Utilities shall maintain records of interruptions of service of their entire system, a community, or a major distribution circuit. These records shall indicate the date, time of day, duration, approximate number of customers affected, cause and the extent of the interruption.

2. Utilities will provide reasonable notice of contemplated work which is expected to result in service interruptions. Failure of a customer to receive this notice shall not create a liability upon the utility. When it is anticipated that service must be interrupted, the utility will endeavor to do the work at a time which causes the least inconvenience to customers.

3. For the purposes of this section, a service interruption is defined as a consecutive period of three minutes or longer, during which the voltage is reduced to less than 50 percent of the standard voltage.

H. Restrictions of Change of Utility Service -- If a customer has once obtained service from an electric utility, that customer may not be served by another electric utility at the same premises without prior approval of the Commission.

I. Rate Schedules, Rules and Regulations -- Utilities may adopt reasonable rules and regulations, not inconsistent with Commission rules governing service and customer relations. Upon Commission approval, rules and regulations of the utilities shall constitute part of utility tariffs.

R746-310-3. Meters and Meter Testing.

A. Reference and Working Standards

1. Reference standards -- Utilities having 500 or more meters in service shall have a high grade reference standard meter which shall be calibrated at least annually by the U.S. Bureau of Standards or a testing agency that regularly calibrates with them. Other utilities with meters in service shall at least have access to another utility's or testing agency's high grade reference standards that are periodically calibrated.

2. Working standards -- Utilities furnishing metered service shall provide for, or have access to, high grade testing instruments, working standards, to test the accuracy of meters or other instruments used to measure electricity consumed by its customers. The error of accuracy of the working standards at both light load and full load shall be less than one percent of 100 percent of rated capacity. This accuracy shall be maintained by periodic calibration against reference standards.

B. Meter Tests -- Unless otherwise directed by the Commission, the requirements contained in the 2001 edition of the American National Standards for Electric Meters Code for Electricity Metering, ANSI C12.1-2001, incorporated by reference, shall be the minimum requirements relative to meter testing.

1. Accuracy limits -- After being tested, meters shall be adjusted to as near zero error as practicable. Meters shall not remain in service with an error over two percent of tested capacity, or if found to register at no load.

2. Before installation -- New meters shall be tested before installation. Removed meters shall be tested before or within 60 days of installation.

3. Periodic -- In-service meters shall be periodically or sample tested.

4. Request -- Upon written request, utilities shall promptly test the accuracy of a customer's meter. If the meter has been tested within 12 months preceding the date of the request, the utility may require the customer to make a deposit. The deposit shall not exceed the estimated cost of performing the test. If the meter is found to have an error of more than two percent of tested capacity, the deposit shall be refunded; otherwise, the deposit may be retained by the utility as a service charge. Customers shall be entitled to observe tests, and utilities shall provide test reports to customers.

5. Referee -- In the event of a dispute, the customer may request a referee test in writing. The Commission may require the deposit of a testing fee. Upon filing of the request and receipt of the deposit, if required, the Commission shall notify the utility to arrange for the test. The utility shall not remove the meter prior to the test without Commission approval. The meter shall be tested in the presence of a Commission representative, and if the meter is found to be inaccurate by more than two percent of rated capacity, the customer's deposit shall be refunded; otherwise, it may be retained.

C. Bill Adjustments for Meter Error --

1. Fast meter -- If a meter tested pursuant to this section is more than two percent fast, the utility shall refund to the customer the overcharge based on the corrected meter readings for the period the meter was in use, not exceeding six months, unless it can be shown that the error was due to some cause, the date of which can be fixed. In this instance, the overcharge shall be computed back to, but not beyond that time.

2. Slow meter -- If a meter tested pursuant to this section is more than two percent slow, the utility may bill the customer for the estimated energy consumed but not covered by the bill for a period not exceeding six months unless it can be shown that the error was due to some cause, the date of which can be fixed. In this instance, the bill shall be computed back to, but not beyond that time.

3. Non-registering meter -- If a meter does not register, the utility may bill the customer for the estimated energy used but not registered for a period not exceeding three months.

D. Meter Records -- Utilities shall maintain records for each meter until retirement. This record shall contain the identification number; manufacturer's name, type and rating; each test, adjustment and repair; date of purchase; and location, date of installation, and removal from service. Utilities shall keep records of the last meter test for every meter. At a minimum, the records shall identify the meter, the date, the location of and reason for the test, the name of the person or organization making the test, and the test results.

R746-310-4. Station Instruments, Voltage and Frequency Restrictions and Station Equipment.

A. Station Instruments -- Utilities shall install the instruments necessary to obtain a record of the load on their systems, showing at least the monthly peak and a monthly record of the output of their plants. Utilities purchasing electrical energy shall install the instruments necessary to furnish information regarding monthly purchases of electrical energy, unless those supplying the energy have already installed instruments from which that information can be obtained.

Utilities shall maintain records indicating the data obtained by station instruments.

B. Voltage and Frequency Restrictions --

1. Unless otherwise directed by the Commission, the requirements contained in the 2006 edition of the American National Standard for Electrical Power Systems and Equipment-Voltage Ratings (60 Hz), ANSI C84.1-2006, incorporated by this reference, shall be the minimum requirements relative to utility voltages.

2. Utilities shall own or have access to portable indicating voltmeters or other devices necessary to accurately measure, upon complaint or request, the quality of electric service delivered to its customer to verify compliance with the standard established in Subsection R746-310-4(B)(1). Utilities shall make periodic voltage surveys sufficient to indicate the character of the service furnished from each distribution center and to ensure compliance with the voltage requirements of these rules. Utilities having indicating voltmeters shall keep at least one instrument in continuous service.

3. Utilities supplying alternating current shall maintain their frequencies to within one percent above and below 60 cycles per second during normal operations. Variations in frequency in excess of these limits due to emergencies are not violations of these rules.

C. Station Equipment --

1. Utilities shall inspect their poles, towers and other similar structures with reasonable frequency in order to determine the need for replacement, reinforcement or repair.

D. General Requirements -- Unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, the requirements contained in the National Electrical Safety Code, as defined at R746-310-1(B)(13), constitute the minimum requirements relative to the following:

1. the installation and maintenance of electrical supply stations;

2. the installation and maintenance of overhead and underground electrical supply and communication lines;

3. the installation and maintenance of electric utilization equipment;

4. rules to be observed in the operation of electrical equipment and lines;

5. the grounding of electrical circuits.

R746-310-5. Design, Construction and Operation of Plant.

Facilities owned or operated by utilities and used in furnishing electricity shall be designed, constructed, maintained and operated so as to render adequate and continuous service. Utilities shall, at all times, use every reasonable effort to protect the public from danger and shall exercise due care to reduce the hazards to which employees, customers and others may be subjected from the utility's equipment and facilities.

R746-310-6. Line Extensions.

A. Utilities shall provide line extensions in accordance with the terms of their tariff on file with, and approved by the Commission.

R746-310-7. Accounting.

A. Uniform System of Accounts -- The Commission adopts the FERC rules found at 18 CFR Part 101, which is incorporated by reference, as the uniform system of accounts for electric utilities subject to Commission jurisdiction. Utilities shall employ and adhere to that system.

B. Uniform List of Retirement Units of Property --

1. The Commission adopts the FERC rules found at 18 CFR Part 116, incorporated by reference, as the schedule to be used in conjunction with the uniform system of accounts in accounting for additions to and retirements of electric plant. Utilities subject to Commission jurisdiction shall employ and adhere to this schedule.

2. Utilities shall obtain Commission approval prior to making a change in depreciation rates, methods or lives for either new or existing property.

R746-310-8. Billing Adjustments.

A. Definitions --

1. A "backbill" is that portion of a bill, other than a levelized bill, which represents charges not previously billed for service that was actually delivered to the customer during a period before the current billing cycle.

2. A "catch-up bill" is a bill based upon an actual reading rendered after one or more bills based on estimated or customer readings. A catch-up bill which exceeds by 50 percent or more the bill that would have been rendered under a utility's standard estimation program is presumed to be a backbill.

B. Notice -- The account holder may be notified by mail, by phone, or by a personal visit, of the reason for the backbill. This notification shall be followed by, or include, a written explanation of the reason for the backbill that shall be received by the customer before the due date and be sufficiently detailed to apprise the customer of the circumstances, error or condition that caused the underbilling, and, if the backbill covers more than a 24-month period, a statement setting forth the reasons the utility did not limit the backbill under Subsection R746-310-8(D), Limitations of the Period for Backbilling.

C. Limitations on Rendering a Backbill -- A utility shall not render a backbill more than three months after the utility actually became aware of the circumstance, error, or condition that caused the underbilling. This limitation does not apply to fraud and theft of service situations.

D. Limitations of the Period for Backbilling --

1. A utility shall not bill a customer for service rendered more than 24 months before the utility actually became aware of the circumstance, error, or condition that caused the underbilling or that the original billing was incorrect.

2. In case of customer fraud, the utility shall estimate a bill for the period over which the fraud was perpetrated. The time limitation of Subsection R746-310-8(D)(1) does not apply to customer fraud situations.

3. In the case of a backbill for Utah sales taxes not previously billed, the period covered by the backbill shall not exceed the period for which the utility is assessed a sales tax deficiency.

E. Payment Period -- A utility shall permit the customer to make arrangements to pay a backbill without interest over a time period at least equal in length to the time period over which the backbill was assessed. If the utility has demonstrated that the customer knew or reasonably should have known that the original billing was incorrect or in the case of fraud or theft, in which case, interest will be assessed at the rate applied to past due accounts on amounts not timely paid in accordance with the established arrangements.

R746-310-9. Overbilling.

A. Standards and Criteria for Overbilling-- Billing under the following conditions constitutes overbilling:

1. a meter registering more than two percent fast, or a defective meter;

2. use of an incorrect watt-hour constant;

3. incorrect service classification, if the information supplied by the customer was not erroneous or deficient;

4. billing based on a switched meter condition where the customer is billed on the incorrect meter;

5. meter turnover, or billing for a complete revolution of a meter which did not occur;

6. a delay in refunding payment to a customer pursuant to rules providing for refunds for line extensions;

7. incorrect meter reading or recording by the utility; and

8. incorrect estimated demand billings by the utility.

B. Interest Rate--

1. A utility shall provide interest on customer payments for overbilling. The interest rate shall be the greater of the interest rate paid by a utility on customer deposits, or the interest rate charged by a utility for late payments.

2. Interest shall be paid from the date when the customer overpayment is made, until the date when the overpayment is refunded. Interest shall be compounded during the overpayment period.

C. Limitations--

1. A utility shall not be required to pay interest on overpayments if offsetting billing adjustments are made during the next full billing cycle subsequent to the receipt of the overpayment.

2. The utility shall be required to offer refunds, in lieu of credit, only when the amount of the overpayment exceeds $50 or the sum of two average month's bills. However, the utility shall not be required to offer a refund to a customer having a balance owing to the utility, unless the refund would result in a credit balance in favor of the customer.

3. If a customer is given a credit for an overpayment, interest will accrue only up to the time at which the first credit is made, in cases where credits are applied over two or more bills.

4. A utility shall not be required to make a refund of, or give a credit for, overpayments which occurred more than 24 months before the customer submitted a complaint to the utility or the Commission, or the utility actually became aware of an incorrect billing which resulted in an overpayment.

5. When a utility can demonstrate before the Commission that a customer knew or reasonably should have known an overpayment to be incorrect, a utility shall not be required to pay interest on the overpayment.

6. Utilities shall not be required to pay interest on overpayment credits or refunds which were made before the effective date of the rule.

7. Disputes regarding the level or terms of the refund or credit are subject to the informal and formal review procedures of the Utah Public Service Commission.

R746-310-10. Preservation of Records.

The Commission adopts the standards to govern the preservation of records of electric utilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission at 18 CFR 125, which is incorporated by reference.

KEY

public utilities, utility regulation, electric utility industries

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

February 7, 2012

Notice of Continuation

November 28, 2012

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

54-3-1; 54-3-7; 54-4-1; 54-4-8; 54-4-14; 54-4-23


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R746, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Service Commission, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.