Rules of Procedure for Negotiated Settlements In Matters of Utility Regulations
These Rules were enacted this 20th day of December, 2018, by Order UE18-10 of the Commisson.
1 Application of Rules
a) These Rules apply to negotiated settlements in matters of utility regulation and rate setting.
a) “Electric Power Act” means the Electric Power Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. E-4, and any amendments thereto (the “Act);
b) “Agreement” means an agreement that results from a negotiated settlement process provided for in these Rules;
c) “Applicant” means a person who files an Application with the Commission;
d) “Application” means an application filed with the Commission under the Act;
e) “Commission” means the Prince Edward Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission;
f) “Commission staff” means employees of the Commission, including legal counsel to the Commission and any agent or expert retained by or on behalf of the Commission;
g) “Intervener” means any person granted intervener status in the Application by the Commission;
h) Party” means and “Parties” collectively means the Applicant, any Intervener(s) and the Government of Prince Edward Island when participating in the negotiated settlement process set forth in these Rules.
3 Initiation of the Negotiated Settlement Process
a) An Applicant who has filed an Application with the Commission may seek the approval of the Commission to commence settlement negotiations on any matter within the Commission’s jurisdiction.
b) Settlement negotiations may only be commenced with the approval of the Commission.
c) An Applicant must notify the Commission of its intention to initiate a negotiated settlement process and provide the Commission with an outline of the pertinent issues to be resolved and the names of the Parties to be involved in the negotiation.
d) In issuing its approval to negotiate, the Commission may provide directions to the Parties regarding information to be filed with the Commission or any other matter.
a) An Intervener may apply to the Commission for permission to participate in a negotiated settlement process.
b) The Commission shall have the sole discretion to determine whether to grant an Intervener status to participate and the extent to which an Intervener may participate in the negotiated settlement process.
c) An Intervener who chooses not to participate in the negotiated settlement process may still make submissions to the Commission on an Agreement.
5 Government of Prince Edward Island
a) The Government of Prince Edward Island (the “Government”) may appoint an agent or representative to participate in the negotiated settlement process on its behalf. The Government is not required to apply for intervener status and is not required to apply to the Commission for permission to participate in the negotiated settlement process.
a) The Applicant shall ensure that all Interveners and the Government are provided with notice of the negotiated settlement process.
7 Role of Commission Staff
a) Commission staff may participate in the negotiated settlement process, but are not required to do so.
b) Commission staff involved in the negotiated settlement process shall not otherwise participate in the Application.
8 Sharing of Information
a) Prior to commencing the negotiated settlement process, the Applicant will provide each Intervener and the Government with all information relevant to the pertinent issues.
b) A Party may request further information of another where the information is relevant to a pertinent issue and is necessary for meaningful participation in the negotiated settlement process.
c) The Commission, upon request of any Party, shall have the sole discretion to determine whether the requested further information must be provided.
9 Application for Approval of an Agreement
a) When agreement is reached on some or all of the issues, the Applicant shall file the Agreement with the Commission.
b) Upon receipt of the Agreement the Commission shall provide public notice of the Agreement and invite public input.
c) When the Agreement is filed with the Commission it shall also include a statement of the Parties noting the following:
i. evidence from the Applicant, sworn under oath, which confirms that:
a. all Interveners and the Government have been provided with notice of the negotiated settlement process and resulting Agreement; and
b. the Applicant has not withheld any relevant information;
ii. a copy of the Agreement;
iii. details of any issues not resolved;
iv. an outline of issues where acceptance is not unanimous, including the identify of any Party who disagrees;
v. the rates to be charged by the Applicant for its service(s) that result, or will result, from the Agreement, supported by schedules to assist the Commission in understanding how the rates were derived;
vi. a description of any outstanding issues; and
vii. unless the Commission directs otherwise, a settlement brief explaining the basis of the settlement and how it meets the interests of ratepayers and the public interest.
10 Evaluation of an Agreement
a) The Commission may seek, and the Applicant shall provide, any additional information it considers necessary for its evaluation of the Agreement.
b) Where the Agreement relates to the rates, tolls and charges for electric power, the Commission may approve, in whole or in part, an Agreement that is consistent with the Act and that is in the public interest.
c) If the Commission proposes to amend a portion of an Agreement, it will first provide notice of the proposed amendment to the Parties. The Parties will then have the opportunity to make submissions to the Commission regarding the proposed amendment, including the Party’s position on the proposed amendment and its impact on the Agreement as a whole.
11 Consideration of Dissenting Views
a) In the event there is not unanimous consent for an Agreement, a Party who dissents from the Agreement may make written submissions to the Commission.
b) If the Commission determines a public hearing on the Application is to be held, the Parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and question all or part of the Agreement.
12 Public Hearing
a) The Commission in its sole discretion will determine whether or not a public hearing on the Application is to be held.
13 Other Matters
a) The Commission in its sole discretion may decide all matters of procedure not otherwise provided for in these Rules.
These Rules were enacted this 20th day of December, 2018, by Order UE18-10 of the Commission.