Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 14. Natural Gas Utility Restructuring and Customer Choice Act

Universal System Benefits Programs -- Establishing Nonbypassable Rate -- Exemption

69-3-1408. Universal system benefits programs -- establishing nonbypassable rate -- exemption. (1) Except as provided in subsection (4), a natural gas utility shall implement, upon commission approval and subject to ongoing commission oversight and direction, a universal system benefits program.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (4), the commission shall establish a universal system benefits charge that natural gas transmission services providers or distribution services providers, or both, in the state of Montana shall charge to all end-use customers, taking into consideration the current level of expenditure by the natural gas utility, cost-effectiveness, and similar costs imposed in other states. The charge may be established and revised through a universal system benefits charge tracking procedure. The method of assessing the charge may not disproportionately burden a large transmission services provider's customers. Within the universal system benefits charge, beginning January 1, 2007, a natural gas utility's minimum annual funding requirement for low-income weatherization and low-income energy bill assistance is established at 0.42% of a natural gas utility's annual revenue for the previous year. A natural gas utility must receive credit for its internal programs or activities that qualify as universal system benefits programs.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (4), a natural gas utility shall file an annual report of its universal system benefits charges, programs, and program funding levels with the commission in a manner prescribed by the commission.

(4) A natural gas utility that serves 200 or fewer customers is exempt from the requirements of subsections (1) through (3).

History: En. Sec. 8, Ch. 506, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 174, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 19, L. 2015.