1A. H5099: Limits electric rate increases that can be approved by the public utilities commission to “no greater than five and 5 one-half percent (5.5%) or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index…unless the increase shall have been previously approved by affirmative action of the general assembly”. The issue of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of price controls aside, it is a very basic violation of the principle of separation of powers for the General Assembly to make itself into a standalone board-of-appeals for other state agencies. A basic check on the power of the legislature is that it is not allowed to ignore the requirement (with a few expressed exemptions like proposing constitutional amendments) that its actions be submitted to the governor for approval or veto.
1B. H5079: Phases-in a requirement that, by 2035, 40% of the electricity sold at retail by large electric distribution entities be obtained from “eligible renewable energy resources”. The bill states that delays in the implementation schedule due to inadequate supply may not be for more than 3 years. Is this either technically or economically feasible?
1C. H5131: Prohibits electric distribution companies from charging “an interconnecting renewable energy customer for any upgrades to its electric power system that can and should be funded through rates assessed pursuant to its electric infrastructure, safety and reliability provision and plan, including specifically any maintenance, repair or upgrade of any component of the electric power system that has been deferred for more than thirty years.”
1D. H5175: Requires all public utilities in Rhode Island to “maintain a customer service operation physically located within the state which is reasonably staffed to meet the expectations of the public”. (H Corporations;
Tue, Jan 27 postponed)