Or. Admin. R. 860-022-0046 - Forced Conversion of Electric and Communication Facilities
(1) As used in this rule:
(a) "Convert," "converting," or "conversion" means the removal of overhead electric or communication facilities and the replacement of those facilities with underground electric or communication facilities at the same or different locations;
(b) "Conversion cost" means the difference in cost between constructing an underground system and retaining the existing overhead system. This difference is generally equal to the cost of all necessary excavating, road crossings, trenching, backfilling, raceways, ducts, vaults, transformer pads, other devices peculiar to underground service, and "overhead retirement costs." However, if the conversion is required in conjunction with a public project which would necessitate the relocation of the electric company's or large telecommunications utility's facilities at the utility's expense, "conversion costs" shall not include any "overhead retirement costs;"
(c) "Electric or communication facilities" means any works or improvements used or useful in providing electric or communication service, including but not limited to poles, supports, tunnels, manholes, vaults, conduits, pipes, wires, conductors, guys, stubs, platforms, cross-arms, braces, transformers, insulators, cutouts, switches, capacitors, meters, communication circuits, appliances, attachments and appurtenances, and all related facilities required for the acceptance of electric or communication services. However:
(A) "Electric facilities" excludes any facilities used or intended to be used for the transmission of electric energy at nominal voltage in excess of 35,000 volts;
(B) "Communication facilities" excludes facilities used or intended to be used for the transmission of intelligence by microwave or radio apparatus cabinets or outdoor public telephones;
(C) "Electric or communication facilities" excludes any electric or communication facilities owned or used by or provided for a railroad or pipeline and located upon or above the right-of-way of the railroad or pipeline.
(d) "Local government" includes cities; counties; authorities and agencies created pursuant to ORS Chapters 456 and 457; special districts of the type described in 198.010, 198.180; and all other political subdivisions of Oregon;
(e) "Overhead electric or communication facilities" means electric or communication facilities located above the surface of the ground;
(f) "Overhead retirement cost" means the original cost, less depreciation, less salvage value, plus removal costs, of existing overhead distribution facilities no longer used or useful by reason of the conversion;
(g) "Underground electric or communication facilities" means electric or communication facilities located below the surface of the ground exclusive of those facilities such as substations, transformers, pull boxes, service terminals, pedestal terminals, splice closures, apparatus cabinets, and similar facilities which normally are above the surface in areas where electric company or large telecommunications utility facilities are underground in accordance with standard underground practices.
(2) This rule does not apply if the total conversion cost incurred by the electric company or large telecommunications utility during one calendar year does not exceed five-one hundredths of 1 percent (.05 percent) of the utility's annual revenues derived from customers residing within the boundaries of the local government.
(3) When a local government requires an energy or large telecommunications utility to convert electric or telecommunications facilities at the utility's expense, the utility shall collect the conversion costs from customers located within the boundaries of the local government.
(4) The local government may direct the electric company or large telecommunications utility to collect conversion costs from only a portion of the customers located within the boundaries of the local government.
(5) Conversion costs incurred by the electric company or large telecommunications utility shall be accumulated in a separate account in the electric company or large telecommunications utility's books. Interest shall accrue from the date the electric company or large telecommunications utility incurs the cost. The rate of such interest shall be equal to the effective cost of the senior security issue which most recently preceded the incurrence of the cost.
(6) The electric company or large telecommunications utility shall collect the conversion costs and interest over a reasonable period of time subject to the Commission's approval. However, the pay-back period shall not exceed the depreciable life of the facilities. Collection shall begin as soon as practical after the end of the year in which the conversion costs are incurred.
(7) The conversion cost to be recovered from each customer shall be calculated by applying a uniform percentage to each customer's total monthly bill for service rendered within the boundaries of the local government. The amount collected shall be separately stated and identified on each bill.
(8) This rule applies to conversions upon which construction began on or after August 13, 1984.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756 & 757
Stats. Implemented: ORS 756.040
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