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Copyright 2000: Queens Printer,
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER E-5

AN ACT TO CONTROL THE RATES OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR HYDRO AND TO DECLARE A PROVINCIAL POWER POLICY

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Power policy

4. Implementing policy

5. Forecast costs

6. Subsidies

7. Recovery

8. Approval of rates of Hydro

9. Approval of rates to rural customers

10. Proposal to change rates

11. Public hearing on proposal and report

12. General reference by government

13. Powers of board and class representations

14. Contents of board report

15. Implementing report re Hydro

16. Costs

17. Special Hydro provisions

18. Powers under Public Utilities Act

19. Resolving statutory conflict

20. Appeal on reference


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Electrical Power Control Act.

1977 c92 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "Hydro Act" means the Hydro Corporation Act;

(b) "hydro corporation" means Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro established under the Hydro Act;

(c) "minister" means the Minister of Mines and Energy;

(d) "power" has the same meaning as in the Hydro Act;

(e) "power distribution district" means the Board of Trustees of the Power Distribution District of Newfoundland and Labrador which had been established under The Rural Electrification Act;

(f) "public utilities board" means the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities;

(g) "rates" includes prices, charges, tolls or conditions applying to prices for power or other consideration given for the supplying of power;

(h) "retailer" means a public utility, within the meaning of the Public Utilities Act, other than the hydro corporation, which purchases power from the hydro corporation; and

(i) "rural customers" means customers which are served by the hydro corporation and which before January 1, 1990 would have been served by the power distribution district.

1977 c92 s2; 1987 c28 Sch B; 1988 c43 s21;
1989 c23 Sch B; 1989 c37 s121(2); 1989 c40 ss1&5

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Power policy

3. It is declared to be the policy of the province that the rates to be charged, either generally or under specific contracts, for the supply of power within the province

(a) should be reasonable and not unjustly discriminatory;

(b) should be established, wherever practicable, based on forecast costs for that supply of power for 1 or more years; and

(c) should provide sufficient revenue to the supplier of the power to enable it

(i) in the case of a private company, to earn a just and reasonable return as construed under the Public Utilities Act, or

(ii) in the case of the hydro corporation, to recover the cost of service provided by it and a margin of profit sufficient to achieve and maintain a sound financial position

so that it is able to achieve and maintain a sound credit rating in the financial markets of the world.

1989 c40 s6

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Implementing policy

4. (1) In carrying out its duties and exercising its powers under the Public Utilities Act, the public utilities board shall, so far as it is practicable, implement the power policy declared in section 3.

(2) In carrying out its duties under this Act, the public utilities board in determining whether the rates of the hydro corporation are compatible with the power policy declared in section 3 shall, so far as it is practicable, apply tests which are consistent with generally accepted sound public utility practices.

(3) Subsection (1) does not limit, qualify or derogate from the powers of the public utilities board under the Public Utilities Act and is to be construed as complementary to the powers of that board under that Act.

1977 c92 s4; 1989 c37 s121(2); 1989 c40 s7

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Forecast costs

5. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Act, the hydro corporation shall include in its forecast costs filed with the public utilities board

(a) the amount to be allocated to retailers of the difference between the revenues and costs for the period April 1, 1989 to December 31, 1989 of the power distribution district related to the supply of power to its customers except those customers served from the Labrador interconnected electrical grid;

(b) the amount to be allocated to retailers of the difference between the annual revenues and costs of the hydro corporation, excluding all costs and revenues related to the supply of power to customers served from the Labrador interconnected electrical grid; and

(c) the costs incurred after March 31, 1989, including fees or charges paid to the Crown, which have been deferred by the hydro corporation and which would, unless recovered from its customers, cause the hydro corporation to recover less than the minimum margin of profit approved by the public utilities board under subparagraph 3(c)(ii) in the year in which the costs were incurred.

1989 c40 ss3&8

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Subsidies

6. In determining the amounts to be included under paragraphs 5(a) and (b), the public utilities board shall take account of subsidies paid or payable by the Crown to the power distribution district until December 31, 1989 and to the hydro corporation after December 31, 1989 of $20 million for the period April 1, 1989 to March 31, 1990 and $10 million for the period April 1, 1990 to March 31, 1991.

1989 c40 s3

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Recovery

7. The public utilities board shall include in the rates recommended for retailers the costs under section 5 including amounts deferred from prior years, notwithstanding that

(a) these amounts may not be related to providing service to the retailers; and

(b) these amounts may have been incurred prior to the year for which new rates are proposed.

1989 c40 s3

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Approval of rates of Hydro

8. (1) Notwithstanding the Hydro Act, this Act applies in respect of the hydro corporation.

(2) Where the hydro corporation proposes to alter rates or a class of rates to be charged by the hydro corporation to a retailer, no approval shall be given by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council until the public utilities board has reported on the alteration to the minister with its recommendations.

1977 c92 s5

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Approval of rates to rural customers

9. (1) The rates charged by the hydro corporation for the supply of power to rural customers shall be those rates charged by the power distribution district immediately before January 1, 1990 and those rates shall be altered in the same manner as altered previously by the power distribution district until the hydro corporation refers a 1st proposal to the public utilities board to alter the existing manner of establishing rates for rural customers.

(2) Where the hydro corporation refers a proposal to the public utilities board under subsection (1) and where the hydro corporation subsequently proposes to alter rates or a class of rates to be charged to rural customers, no approval shall be given to the alteration by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council until the public utilities board has reported on the alteration to the minister with its recommendations as is provided in this Act.

1989 c40 s9

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Proposal to change rates

10. (1) When the hydro corporation proposes to alter rates or a class of rates for the supply of power to a retailer, it shall immediately refer the proposal to the public utilities board.

(2) When the hydro corporation makes an initial proposal under subsection 9(1) or a subsequent proposal under subsection 9(2) for rural customers, it shall immediately refer the proposal to the public utilities board.

1977 c92 s7; 1989 c40 s10

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Public hearing on proposal and report

11. (1) Where a proposal is referred to the public utilities board under section 10, the board shall, immediately by public advertisement, give at least 20 days' notice of and hold a public hearing with respect to the proposal.

(2) The public utilities board shall make a report or an interim report on the proposal to the minister as expeditiously as possible after the proposal is referred to it.

(3) When the public utilities board makes an interim report under subsection (2), it shall make a final report to the minister as soon as possible.

1977 c92 s8

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General reference by government

12. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may refer to the public utilities board

(a) existing or proposed rates or a class of rates applicable between the hydro corporation and retailers or rural customers;

(b) matters affecting or related to rates charged by the hydro corporation to retailers or rural customers; or

(c) the principles used by or appropriate for use by the hydro corporation in determining rates for the supply of power to retailers or rural customers,

and the public utilities board shall hold a public hearing at which it shall investigate and examine the matter referred to it and report on the matter to the minister.

1977 c92 s9; 1989 c40 s11

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Powers of board and class representations

13. (1) The public utilities board may

(a) give directions as to the nature and extent of interventions by persons interested in a matter that is to be the subject of a public hearing held under this Act;

(b) set aside for future examination an issue that in its opinion requires a more prolonged examination; and

(c) make interim reports pending its final report with respect to the subject matter of a reference.

(2) The public utilities board may appoint, for classes of users of power in the province that, in the opinion of the board, have common interests, persons to represent those classes at a public hearing under this Act where it appears to the board that an appointment should be made so that a particular class of user of power can be heard.

(3) Notwithstanding an appointment under subsection (2), a member of a class in respect of which the appointment was made may be heard on his or her own behalf.

1977 c92 s10; 1981 c38 s2

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Contents of board report

14. (1) A final report of the public utilities board under this Act to the minister shall contain

(a) a summary of the information presented and the views expressed at the public hearing together with the recommendation of the board and its reasons with respect to the matters reported on; and

(b) the signatures of the members of the board making the report.

(2) An interim report of the public utilities board under this Act to the minister, which may be made without notice to other interested parties and without public hearing or notice, shall contain

(a) the recommendation of the board and its reasons with respect to the matters reported on including a report on rates or proposed rates of the hydro corporation; and

(b) the signatures of the members of the board making the report.

(3) The board shall deliver a copy of the report to the minister and to the hydro corporation immediately after making the report.

(4) Upon delivery of a report under this Act to the minister, the public utilities board shall make reasonable arrangements for inspection or purchase of copies by the public.

(5) Where an interim increase of rates or a class of rates comes into effect following an interim report made under subsection (2) and that interim increase is reduced or discontinued following the final report of the board on a proposed increase, excess revenue that has been earned by the hydro corporation as a result of the interim report and not subsequently confirmed following a final report by the board shall, as may be prescribed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council,

(a) be refunded to the customers of the hydro corporation; or

(b) be placed in a reserve fund for a purpose which may be determined by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

1977 c92 s11; 1978 c77 s2; 1989 c40 s12

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Implementing report re Hydro

15. (1) Where under section 14 the public utilities board makes a report with recommendation to the minister in relation to a proposal of the hydro corporation, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall, after a review of the report and recommendations,

(a) approve the rates or class of rates proposed by the hydro corporation where the report of the board recommends the rates or class of rates; or

(b) approve the rates or class of rates proposed by the hydro corporation or other rates instead of the rates or class of rates irrespective of the recommendations in the report of the board, where the Lieutenant-Governor in Council considers that the public interest requires that course of action.

(2) Where the Lieutenant-Governor in Council does not approve rates or a class of rates under subsection (1) within 15 days after the receipt of the report with recommendations of the public utilities board, the rates or the class of rates proposed by the hydro corporation, where approved by that report, or otherwise the rates or class of rates recommended by the board in that report shall be the rates or class of rates that may be charged by the hydro corporation.

(3) Where the rates or class of rates approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council are lower than the rates or the class of rates recommended by the public utilities board in its report to the minister, the minister shall, in a manner and to the extent that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council approves, enter into those financial and other arrangements that may be necessary to enable the hydro corporation to conform to the power policy declared by section 3 as it applies particularly to that corporation.

1977 c92 c12; 1978 c77 s2; 1989 c40 s13

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Costs

16. (1) The costs of and incidental to a reference under this Act to the public utilities board shall be in the discretion of the board and may be fixed at a sum certain, or may be taxed and the board may order by whom the costs are to be taxed and to whom they are to be allowed and the board may prescribe a scale under which costs are to be taxed.

(2) All expenses of the public utilities board in connection with a reference under this Act to the board, including costs of counsel, engineers, valuators, stenographers, accountants and other assistants employed by the board as well as the salaries and expenses of the members of the board while employed in and about the reference shall, when the board orders, be paid by the parties concerned in the reference.

(3) Where an order for payment of expenses under subsection (2) is made against 2 or more parties, the expenses shall be apportioned between or among them in the proportion that seems equitable to the public utilities board in all the circumstances of the case.

1977 c92 s14

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Special Hydro provisions

17. (1) In considering the rates charged by the hydro corporation for the purpose of a reference under this Act, the public utilities board shall take no account of expenditures or revenues of the hydro corporation or its subsidiaries that are not attributable to the supplying of power to retailers and rural customers.

(2) Where the hydro corporation supplies power to a user who is neither a retailer nor a rural customer, the hydro corporation shall use its best endeavours to obtain for that power the rates or a class of rates that would be compatible with the power policy declared by section 3.

(3) Where the hydro corporation is unable to apply the rates or the class of rates referred to in subsection (2) because of public policy or existing contracts, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall enter into those financial arrangements or other arrangements that may be necessary to enable the hydro corporation to comply with the power policy declared by section 3 in respect of those other users of its power.

1989 c40 s15

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Powers under Public Utilities Act

18. (1) In carrying out its duties under this Act, the public utilities board has and may exercise all the powers given to it under sections 62 to 67 of the Public Utilities Act in respect of the hydro corporation to the same extent as if the hydro corporation were a public utility within the meaning of that Act.

(2) In carrying out its duties under this Act the public utilities board has all the powers that are or may be conferred on commissioners appointed under the Public Inquiries Act.

1977 c92 s16; 1989 c37 s121(2); 1989 c40 s16

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Resolving statutory conflict

19. Where there is a conflict between a provision of this Act and a provision of the Public Utilities Act or the Hydro Act, this Act prevails to the extent necessary to effect the purpose of this Act.

1989 c40 s17; 1989 c37 s121(2); 1989 c40 s17

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Appeal on reference

20. Sections 99 to 102 of the Public Utilities Act apply with the necessary changes in respect of a reference to the public utilities board under this Act.

1977 c92 s18; 1989 c37 s121(2)

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