There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (04/13/1976)

Electric Utility Rate Reform and Regulatory Improvement Act - Title I: General Provisions - Declares it the purpose of this Act to reform inequities in the structure of electric utility rates. Defines terms used in the Act.

Title II: Utility Rate Reform - Defines terms as used in this title. Limits applicability of this title to sales of electric energy for purposes other than resale by an electric utility, where sales by such utility for purposes other than resale exceed 200 million kilowatt-hours during the second preceding calendar year.

Imposes national minimum standards on utility rate structures, to be enforced by State regulatory authorities. Prohibits rate structures which allow lower rates for increased consumption without a showing that such lower rates actually reflect decreased costs. Authorizes State regulatory agencies to eliminate price differentials for residential users of subsistence quantities of electricity, unless the Governor of the State has determined that an adequate alternative means to alleviate the burden to low-income residential consumers has been implemented.

Stipulates that promotional and advertising costs, with exceptions, may not be treated by a utility as an operating expense for purposes of rate determination.

Requires evidentiary hearings by regulatory authorities on proposed rate increases. Restricts the use of automatic fuel adjustment clauses by requiring an annual review of the use of such clauses electric by utilities.

Authorizes State regulatory authorities to prescribe variances upon application by electric consumers or utilities unduly hardshipped by the requirements of this title.

Directs State authorities to prescribe load management techniques to reduce maximum kilowatt demand on electric utilities. Establishes procedures to be followed in determining marginal costs of services to electric consumers.

Establishes an Electric Utility Ratemaking Assistance Office in the Federal Energy Administration to provide information and assistance with respect to ratemaking policies and procedures established by this Act.

Title III: Financial Assistance to State Regulatory Authorities - Authorizes the Electric Utility Ratemaking Assistance Office (established by Title II of this Act) to make grants to State regulatory authorities for the following purposes: (1) to increase the quantity and quality of State regulatory staff; (2) to establish programs to meet Federal consumer representation requirements; and (3) to demonstrate innovative rate structures.

Prescribes criteria for the allotment of funds to the States. Authorizes the appropriation of $30,000,000 in any fiscal year for grants to improve staffing. Authorizes the appropriation of $5,000,000 for grants for consumer representation, and $5,000,000 for grants for rate structure innovation.