49-34A-17. Implementation of proposed practice, proposed rate, or lower rate--Rate design--Accounts of customer payments--Refund of excess--Time limit. The public utility may implement the proposed practice, the proposed rate, or a rate lower than the proposed rate if:
(1) The proposed rate or practice has not been suspended or is no longer subject to suspension;
(2) The commission has not issued a final decision; and
(3) Thirty days has passed from the date of filing.
If the public utility implements the proposed rate or a rate lower than the proposed rate, the public utility shall use the same rate design that is currently in effect or the rate design that the public utility proposed when the public utility filed for the increased rate. If the public utility uses a rate design different than the rate design currently in effect or the rate design the public utility proposed when the public utility filed for the increased rate, commission approval is needed prior to implementation.
In the case of a proposed increased rate, the commission may, by order, require the public utility to keep an accurate account in detail of all amounts received by reason of the increase, specifying by whom and in whose behalf the amounts are paid. Upon completion of the hearings and decision, the commission may by further order require the public utility to refund, with interest, to customers, the portion of the increased rates found to be unjust, unreasonable, or discriminatory. The refund shall be carried out as provided in §§ 49-34A-22 and 49-34A-23. If the commission does not issue a final decision within twelve months from the date the proposed rate or practice was filed, the commission may not require a refund of increased rates charged after the twelve months.
Source: SL 1975, ch 283, § 8; SL 1976, ch 296, § 17; SL 1977, ch 392, § 1; SL 2008, ch 242, § 2; SL 2011, ch 209, § 1.
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