AGA Survey and Statistics System; AGA-CEE Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Survey: Utility expenditures for gas efficiency programs exclude data that have not been released by participating companies at the state level; U.S. Energy Information Administration; and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Statewide Elected Officials Next Election: 2022
Asa Hutchinson (Rep.) Governor
Tim Griffin (Rep.) Lieutenant Governor
Leslie Rutledge (Rep.) Attorney General
Legislature Next Election: 2020
Session Dates: 02/10/20-03/20/20
Term: 4 year
President: Tim Griffin
President Pro Tempore: Jim Hendren
Senate Majority Leader: Bart Hester
Senate Minority Leader: Keith Ingram
Senate Member Breakdown
House of Representatives
Term: 2 year
Speaker of the House: Matthew Shepherd
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House: Jon Eubanks
Majority Leader: Marcus Richmond
Minority Leader: Charles Blake
House of Representatives Member Breakdown
Arkansas Public Service Commission Commissioners: Gubernatorial appointment: 6 year termChairperson: Gubernatorial appointment: Indefinite term
Ted Thomas, Chairman Appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2015; current term expires in 2021
Kimberly O'Guinn, Commissioner Appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2016; term expires in 2022
Justin Tate, Commissioner Appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2019; term expires in 2025
Arkansas’ Sustainable Energy Resources (SER) Action Guide was established by the Arkansas Public Service Commission via Docket No. 08-144-U in December 2010.
The order establishes the following relating to energy efficiency:
Define and require comprehensive EE programs that meet high standards that will help customers and public utilities save money by saving energy; Align utility and customer incentives to save energy so that public utilities no longer face an economic disincentive to help customers save energy; Promote custom energy efficiency projects at major industrial and commercial facilities and create a pathway for large industrial and commercial users to self-direct EE projects; Promote high standards of evaluation, measurement and verification to ensure EE programs deliver value; Initiate a docket to explore EE on the utility side of the meter.
Arkansas originally adopted and energy efficiency policy in the Energy Conservation Endorsement Act of 1977.
In January of 2007, the PSC promulgated initial rules to guide its implementation of energy efficiency programs. (Docket No. 06-004-R)
The PSC issued final rules on March 8, 2007. These rules directed utilities to describe, in quantitative terms, the benefits and casts of these different aspects of the program, standard, or code, and to comment on the barriers that impede accomplishment of these energy efficiency objectives and how to overcome these barriers.
In July of 2007, utilities filed for approval of Commercial-Industrial Natural Gas Energy Audit (CNGEA) Quick Start Programs. These plans also included requests for approval Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Riders to recover the costs of these energy efficiency programs.
These Programs and recovery riders were approved in September of 2007 and began on October 1, 2007.
In February of 2010, the Arkansas Public Service Commission granted CenterPoint Energy’s request to implement a comprehensive energy efficiency portfolio. The approved implementation period for this first comprehensive portfolio was January 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.
In June, 2011, The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved CenterPoint Energy’s request for a new comprehensive energy efficiency portfolio. This portfolio was approved to be implemented July 1, 2011 and conclude on December 31, 2013. CenterPoint and other participating utilities were required to file a 2014-2016 triennial energy efficiency plan by June 1st of 2013.
In January of 2013, The Arkansas Public Service Commission modified the Arkansas energy efficiency plan schedule, delaying a new triennial filing until June 1, 2014. The 2013 energy efficiency portfolio plans, budgets and energy savings targets were extended through the 2014 plan year.
In February of 2014, The Arkansas Public Service Commission modified the Arkansas energy efficiency plan schedule, delaying a new triennial filing until June 1, 2015.
The PSC has further extended the 2013 plan and budgets through the 2015 plan year. However, for gas utilities, the energy savings goal has risen from 0.4% of overall sales in 2013 (and 2014) to 0.5% of overall sales in the 2015 plan year.
SourceGas offers extensions at no cost to the customer of 100 feet or less from its existing main. For Main extensions exceeding 100 feet, the company offers a Main Extension Surcharge ("MES"). Once a customer elects to receive the MES, a monthly charge will be applied to the premises at which the customer will receive gas service in order that the customer at that premises repay the cost of the Extension.
The amount of the MES available and the corresponding monthly payment are as follows: Up to $2,066 for Customers selecting a $20 per month MES; Up to $3,102 for Customers selecting a $30 per month MES; Up to $4,136 for Customers selecting a $40 per month MES; Up to $5,169 for Customers selecting a $50 per month MES.
In order to qualify for the MES: The total cost of the Extension must exceed the cost or 100 feet of Extension per customer; The homes or structures to receive gas service must have primary gas heat and gas water heating or have gas appliance(s) with comparable annual load; The customer must pay any costs (including Installation) in excess of those that are economically feasible, less the amount to be paid through the MES, before construction begins; and The customer requesting the MES must be the property owner at the address of the premises for which the service is requested.
On March 16, 2015, the Arkansas Senate took up SB 994, which would allow a gas utility to petition the commission for a certificate of extension project. By its petition, the gas utility requests commission authorization to commence an extension project, to expend funds on the project, and to concurrently seek commission approval of changes in rates and surcharges sufficient to recover, at the time the plant goes into service, the excess expenditures arising out of the certificated extension projects. A petition for a certificate shall provide information about the proposed extension project including, without limitation, the following: (1) An estimate of the cost of the extension project broken down into at least labor, materials, and overhead; (2) A schedule of estimated completion dates; (3) A brief description of the physical nature of the facilities, including pipe diameter and length of the extension in feet or miles; (4) Estimated sales volumes, estimated number and types of customers, growth rates, and expected revenues; and (5) A calculation showing the amount of excess expenditures the gas utility expects to incur; and (6) An estimate of surcharge rates for each class of customer consistent with the most recent determination by the commission in its order addressing the gas utility's most recent application for a general change or modification in its rates and charges.
This bill was withdrawn on March 25, 2015.
In 1988, CenterPoint received approval from the Arkansas PSC for a Gas Main Replacement Program (GMRP) which provided for a tracker to be applied to the replacement of bare steel and cast iron mains and associated services. In 1992, the program was modified to include recovery of capital investment (depreciation) and was expanded to include all cast iron gas main and related services. At that time it was also renamed the Cast Iron Main Replacement Program (CIGMRP). In 2002, the program was modified again to include bare steel and associated services, and was renamed the Main Replacement Program (MRP).
On July 9, 2012, in Docket No. 12-045-TF, the Arkansas PSC authorized CenterPoint Energy to include as eligible for expedited replacement steel mains that do not have a cathodic protection system (unprotected steel main) along with any associated services. These mains were deemed eligible for cost recovery under CenterPoint’s Main Replacement Program Rider (Rider MRP).
On July 7, 2014, the Arkansas Public Service Commission adopted a settlement in SourceGas Arkansas’ (SGA) base rate proceeding. The approved settlement allows SGA to implement a main replacement program (MRP) rider and an at risk meter relocation program rider. The primary purpose of the MRP Rider is to support the expedited replacement of Subject Mains and Associated Services. Eligible mains and services under the MRP are: 1) Bare steel mains; 2) Coated steel mains that are not cathodically protected; and 3) Mains that are the subject of an advisory issued by a federal or state agency and which the Company has determined to be in unsatisfactory condition.
On July 25, 2014, the Arkansas Public Service Commission adopted a settlement in Arkansas Oklahoma Gas’ base rate proceeding. The approved settlement also allowed for the implementation of a system safety and enhancement rider (SSER). The SSER will provide AOG with the opportunity to earn the Commission approved rate of return on investments made in replacing aging infrastructure. The SSER is designed to prioritize the replacement of the riskiest pipe in the system each year, but at a rate which has minimal impact on customers’ bills. Mains covered under the SSER are: 1) Bare steel mains; 2) Any mains associated with the replacement of low pressure systems (AOG’s tariff defines a low pressure system as one that is composed of distribution mains operated at less than or equal to 12 ounces of pressure); and 3) Mains that are the subject of an advisory issued by a federal or Arkansas state agency and which the Company has determined to be in unsatisfactory condition.
Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. owns and operates a public CNG station in Fort Smith, AR.
CenterPoint Energy has a Compressed Natural Gas Service rate schedule (SCS-3 NGV) in its tariff that provides a lower cost of gas on sales service for NGV fueling stations by recognizing their superior load factor. This rate schedule is available to any customer for gas to be used only as a CNG station to fuel a vehicle.
WEC Energy Corp. subsidiary Trillium CNG owns and operates stations in Jonesboro and Little Rock.
Arkansas Oklahoma Gas, CenterPoint Energy and SourceGas currently utilize decoupling mechanisms, called "trial billing determinant rate adjustment" riders, to mitigate the impact on the companies' revenues of reduced customer gas usage associated with conservation programs and economic-induced usage volatility.
Separate weather normalization mechanisms are also in place for Arkansas Oklahoma Gas, CenterPoint Energy and SourceGas.
On July 7, 2014, the Arkansas Public Service Commission ruled that Source Gas’ trial billing determinant adjustment (BDA) rider (a decoupling mechanism) would become permanent, as had been proposed by the company.
On July 1, 2016, parties in CenterPoint Energy's (CE) pending gas base rate proceeding filed a settlement with the Arkansas Public Service Commission. The settlement calls for CE to implement slightly modified versions of its proposed formula rate plan (FRP) and a rider to recover the costs associated with relocating at-risk service lines. The at-risk service line rider and the company's existing billing determinant adjustment (a decoupling mechanism) are to remain in place on a temporary basis to address the gap between the dates new rates are established in the instant case and at the conclusion of the initial FRP proceeding. This settlement was approved on September 2, 2016.