18 CFR 154.401 - RD&D expenditures.
(a) Requirements. Upon approval by the Commission, a natural gas company may file to recover research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) expenditures in its rates under this subpart.
(b) Applications for rate treatment approval.
(1) An application for advance approval of rate treatment may be filed by a natural gas company for RD&D expenditures related to a project or group of projects undertaken by the company or as part of a project undertaken by others. When more than one company supports an RD&D organization, the RD&D organization may submit an application that covers the organization's RD&D program. Approval by the Commission of such an RD&D application and program will constitute approval of the individual companies' contributions to the RD&D organization.
(2) An application for advance approval of rate treatment must include a 5-year program plan and must be filed at least 180 days prior to the commencement of the 5-year period of the plan.
(3) A 5-year program plan must include at a minimum:
(i) A statement of the objectives for the 5-year period that relates the objectives to the interests of ratepayers, the public, and the industry and to the objectives of other major research organizations.
(ii) Budget, technical, and schedule information in sufficient detail to explain the work to be performed and allow an assessment of the probability of success and a comparison with other organizations' research plans.
(iii) The commencement date, expected termination date, and expected annual costs for individual RD&D projects to be initiated during the first year of the plan.
(iv) A discussion of the RD&D efforts and progress since the preparation of the program plan submitted the previous year and an explanation of any changes that have been made in objectives, priorities, or budgets since the plan of the previous year.
(v) A statement identifying all jurisdictional natural gas companies that will support the program and specifying the amounts of their budgeted support.
(vi) A statement identifying those persons involved in the development, review, and approval of the plan and specifying the amount of effort contributed and the degree of control exercised by each.
(c) Applications must describe the RD&D projects in such detail as to satisfy the Commission that the RD&D expenditures qualify as valid, justifiable, and reasonable.
(d) Within 120 days of the filing of an application for rate treatment approval and a 5-year program plan, the Commission will state its decision with respect to acceptance, partial acceptance, or rejection of the plan, or, when the complexity of issues in the plan so requires, will set a date certain by which a final decision will be made, or will order the matter set for hearing. Partial rejection of a plan by the Commission will be accompanied by a decision as to the partial level of acceptance which will be proportionally applied to all contributions listed for jurisdictional companies in the plan. Approval by the Commission of a 5-year plan constitutes approval for rate treatment of all projects identified as starting during the first year of the approved plan. Continued rate treatment will depend upon review and evaluation of subsequent annual applications and 5-year program plans.