South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 10, 2009, at 2:30 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 413
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Dustin Johnson called the meeting to order. Present were: Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck; Commissioner Gary Hanson; Executive Director Patty Van Gerpen; Deputy Executive Director Heather Forney; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorneys Kara Semmler and Karen Cremer; Staff Analysts Terri LaBrie Baker, Dave Jacobson, Bob Knadle, and Jon Thurber; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, & Northrup, LLP, representing Great Plains Communications, Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Fort Randall Telephone Company and South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Jim Wilcox, Xcel Energy; and Matt Varilek, office of Senator Tim Johnson.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Jim Johnson, Anne Heuer, Mike Boughner, Xcel Energy; Colleen Sevold, Sue Henson and Don Lewis, Qwest Corporation; and Nick Kyriakicles, Net Talk.Com, Inc.
- Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
Ms. Deb Gregg reported that the Commission had received a total of 129 contacts since the last report was prepared for the January 27, 2009 Commission meeting. 44 contacts involved telecommunications services; 23 contacts involved electrical services; 17 contacts involved natural gas services, 2 contacts involved electrical and natural gas issues; 9 contacts involved cell phone services, 11 contacts involved the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact involved wind energy, 6 contacts involved the Keystone Pipeline, and 16 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2009, 230 of the 274 complaints registered have been resolved informally. In 2008, 2,505 of the 2,513 complaints registered have been resolved informally.
1. EL08-030 In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Corporation d/b/a Otter Tail Power Company for Authority to Increase Electric Rates in South Dakota. (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle/Dave Jacobson/Terri LaBrie Baker/Jon Thurber/Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. Dave Jacobson stated that the retention of rate accounting and return on equity consultants and suspension of the tariff during the pendency of the proceeding are standard procedures in a rate case proceeding and asked that the Commission approve the consulting contract and approve the suspension of the tariff for an additional 60 days beyond February 28, 2009
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the proposed consulting contract. Motion passed 3-0.
Commissioner Hanson moved to suspend the imposition of the tariff for an additional 60 days beyond February 28, 2009. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson announced that Electric item 2 would be taken up at the end of the agenda.
2. EL08-035 In the Matter of the Petition by Xcel Energy for Fuel Clause Adjustment Recovery of MISO Ancillary Services Market Net Costs and Revenue. Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson/ Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Jim Wilcox, representing Xcel Energy, requested that the Commission approve the Petition. Mr. Mike Boughner, representing Xcel Energy, explained that this tariff revision is requested to allow the pass-through of costs incurred and revenues received under the new MISO ancillary services market, which commenced operation on January 6, 2009. Mr. Boughner further explained that ancillary services include regulation service, spinning reserves, supplemental reserves, voltage support, black start services and energy imbalance services and that the three that are the subject of this filing are regulation service, spinning reserves, and supplemental reserves. Utilities are required to have these ancillary services available for reliability and system balancing and regulation purposes. Mr. Jim Johnson stated that what was proposed in the filing was a simple two or three word addition to the fuel clause tariff page. Mr. Dave Jacobson for Staff requested the Commission to make a correction in the first agenda question by replacing the word "deferral" with the word "accounting." Mr. Jacobson recommended that the Commission approve the Petition, subject to the understanding that the Commission would retain the authority to conduct a more thorough review of certain issues, such as fuel clause treatment versus rate base treatment and appropriate cost and revenue credit levels either in a rate case or a future fuel adjustment clause review filing.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Petition and the requested revisions to the Fuel Clause Tariff Rider to allow the pass-through of MISO ASM charges and revenues effective March 1, 2009 and approve the accounting of MISO ASM charges and revenues from January 6, 2009, through February 28, 2009, with less than 30 days notice. Motion passed 3-0.
1. TC08-109 In the Matter of the Application of Native American Telecom, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Service on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle/Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Karen Cremer stated that the parties have requested that this matter be deferred for two weeks.
Chairman Johnson moved to defer action in Docket TC08-109. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Colleen Sevold, representing Qwest Corporation (Qwest) asked that the Commission approve the revisions to the access service tariff. Ms. Terri LaBrie Baker stated that Staff has reviewed the filing, no intervenors have filed and Qwest has responded to all data requests. Ms. LaBrie Baker further stated that Staff has no objection to the changes and recommended that the Commission approve the revisions to the access service tariff sheets as filed.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the revisions to the access service tariff. Motion passed 3-0.
3. TC08-139 In the Matter of the Application of NET TALK.COM, INC. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Nick Kyriakicles stated that Net Talk.com, Inc. (Net Talk) has made two minor changes to the original filing. Mr. Kyriakicles stated that there has been an address change for the registered agent and Net Talk has been awarded other CLEC authority since this application has been pending. Chairman Johnson advised Mr. Kyriakicles that Net Talk will need to file the additional information separately. Mr. Jon Thurber stated that Net Talk filed an application according to the Commission's administrative rules for a certificate of authority to provide resold local exchange services in South Dakota. Mr. Thurber further stated that Net Talk has requested a waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03(12) and Net Talk has agreed to restrictions from offering any prepaid services (including prepaid calling cards) and from collecting customer deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission. Mr. Thurber recommended that the Commission grant the Certificate of Authority to Net Talk, subject to rural safeguards and the condition that Net Talk not offer any prepaid services (including prepaid calling cards) and not accept or require any deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission.
Commissioner Johnson moved to grant a Certificate of Authority to Net Talk. Com, Inc., subject to rural safeguards and the condition that Net Talk. Com, Inc. not offer any prepaid services, including prepaid calling cards, and not accept or require customer deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission and to grant the waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03(12). Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 3:36 P.M. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned. Next Commission meeting is scheduled for February 24, 2009.
March 10, 2009