Docket Designations

Docket Designations

Click on a docket header for more information about that docket type.  Not all docket types are listed.

A - Annual Report

Each public utility subject to Iowa Code chapter 476 must file, on or before April 1 of each year, an annual report as described in 199 IAC 23.1(2) and covering operations during the immediately preceding calendar year.

AEP - Alternate Energy Production

Iowa Code § 476.41 encourages the development of alternate energy production facilities and small hydro facilities through the required purchase of available AEP energy by rate-regulated electric utilities. A complaint that a utility has failed to comply with the standards set in the law and Board rules is identified as an AEP proceeding.

APP - Alternative Pricing Proposal

Alternative pricing proposal (APP) dockets are initiated when a utility files a proposal to set rates that are not based on traditional rate-regulation factors.

ARB - Arbitration

Section 252(b) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 gives the Board the authority to arbitrate the rates, terms, and conditions of interconnection agreements between competitors and incumbent local exchange providers.

ARC - Annual Fuel Procurement Plan

Iowa Code § 476.6(16) directs the Utilities Board to conduct a periodic proceeding to evaluate the reasonableness and prudence of each rate-regulated public utility’s procurement and contracting practices relating to the acquisition of fuel for use in generating electricity.

ARE - Annual Review of Electric Utilities

ARG - Annual Review of Gas Utilities

Iowa Code § 476.6(15) requires a periodic evaluation of the reasonableness and prudence of public utilities’ natural gas procurement and contracting practices. When the Board initiates an evaluation, the utility must file a detailed 12-month plan and a three-year natural gas procurement plan. These contested case proceedings are called ARGs.

ARU - Accounting Rules Utility

Accounting rulings evaluate the proper method of accounting for certain expenses, investments, or revenues. An ARU does not affect a utility's rates until review in a rate case.

CGP - Certified Gas Provider

DRU - Declaratory Ruling

Declaratory ruling proceedings may be initiated either upon request or by the Utilities Board itself. DRUs offer the Board’s interpretation of the rules in their application to a particular hypothetical circumstance.

E – Electric Franchise

A franchise is the authorization by the Utilities Board for the construction, erection, maintenance, and operation of an electric transmission line under Iowa Code chapter 478. The granting of a franchise requires a finding by the Board that the project is necessary to serve a public use, represents a reasonable relationship to an overall plan of transmitting electricity in the public interest, and follows an acceptable route.

EEP - Energy Efficiency Plan

Energy efficiency plans must be prepared and filed with the Board by all energy utilities in Iowa. Nonrate-regulated utilities (municipal utilities and cooperatives) file plans but the Board does not review or approve those plans. Investor-owned utilities file energy efficiency plans when ordered to do so by the Board. Plans for investor-owned utilities must address all customer classes, including programs for low-income customers, and the plans must be cost-effective. Plans for investor-owned utilities are reviewed in contested case proceedings and the Board has authority to approve, reject or modify a plan. Utilities recover the costs of energy efficiency implementation through an Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery charge, which is reviewed and adjusted annually. The Board also conducts prudence reviews, for investor-owned utilities, to review the performance of a utility in implementing its energy efficiency plan.

FCU - Formal Complaint

Formal complaint investigations are brought against a utility by another utility, a customer, or by the Utilities Board. FCU dockets are intended to determine if, in a specific instance, a utility violated Iowa law, rules, or the utility’s own tariff.

GCU - Generating Certificate

Iowa Code chapter 476A requires that an entity planning to construct a generating facility in excess of 100 megawatts (MW) must receive a certificate of public convenience, use, and necessity to begin construction.

HLP - Hazardous Liquid Pipeline

Iowa Code chapter 479B, which was enacted by the 1995 legislature, grants the Board authority over hazardous liquid pipelines and storage facilities in the state. A hazardous liquid is defined as crude oil, refined petroleum products, liquefied petroleum gases, anhydrous ammonia, liquid fertilizers, liquefied carbon dioxide, alcohols, and coal slurries.

INU - Investigation

Utility investigations are general proceedings to explore issues that may affect a number of utilities.

NIA - Negotiated Interconnection Agreement

Section 252(b) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 gives the Board the authority to approve the rates, terms, and conditions of negotiated interconnection agreements between competitors and incumbent local exchange providers. The agreement is docketed and written comments from interested parties must be filed within 30 days. The statutory standard to be applied in Board review is: (1) whether the agreement discriminates against a telecommunications carrier not a party to the agreement or (2) whether the implementation of the agreement or a portion is not consistent with the public interest, convenience, or necessity.

NOI - Notice of Inquiry

Notices of inquiry are informal proceedings to educate the participants on a particular issue or set of issues. The Board commences an inquiry and develops a set of issues or questions for consideration. The issues outlined in the notice are not intended to be exclusive but form the framework for the inquiry. The inquiry is not directed at an individual utility or group of utilities but at any group, business, industry, or person who may be interested in the issue. The process is not intended to produce any specific kind of action, but may result in a subsequent formal proceeding such as a rule making or contested case. No record is made and no testimony is compelled.

P - Pipeline Permit

A pipeline permit is the authorization granted by the Utilities Board for the construction, maintenance, and operation of an intrastate pipeline under Iowa Code chapter 479. The granting of a permit requires a finding by the Board that the project will promote the public convenience and necessity and follows an acceptable route.

RFU - Refund Filing Utility

The Board initiates a refund proceeding when a refund involving a utility requires special analysis.

RMU - Rule Makings

The Iowa Utilities Board publishes administrative rules that specify the rules under which utilities must operate and the procedures by which citizens and utilities may amend those rules. To change the rules, certain procedures for public notice and comment are specified by law. These proposed changes are called rule makings.

RPU - Rate Proceedings

Rate setting is a key function of the Iowa Utilities Board. By law, the Board must assure that customers receive adequate service at a reasonable price. The Board must also allow sufficient income for the utilities to maintain reliable service and assure sufficient earnings for its stockholders. The jurisdiction of rate setting extends only to certain larger utilities within Iowa. Municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives (except those which choose rate regulation) are subject to Board review of their service only. Rate proceedings are designed to uphold the previously mentioned obligations when the Board investigates a company’s rate increase proposal. Such proceedings usually last about ten months. During this time, local consumer comment hearings permit customer feedback. Technical hearings, similar to courtroom hearings, also take place. Testimony is presented and expert witnesses are cross-examined by the company, Consumer Advocate, and intervenors. At the conclusion, the Board may approve the company’s request in full, approve some of it, or disallow any increase at all.

SPU - Service Proceeding

A change to the boundaries established for electric utilities is completed through a service proceeding, as are other matters of utility service that require Board approval.

TCU - Telephone Certificate

Iowa Code § 476.29 gives the Board the authority to establish non-exclusive service territories for telephone utilities and grant certificates of public convenience and necessity. A TCU is established to enable the Board to evaluate requests to initiate or modify authority to provide local exchange telephone service. The Board examines each application to see if the company possesses the technical, financial, and managerial ability to provide the service it proposes to render and that the service is consistent with public interest. If this finding is made, the Board approves the application pending the filing and approval of maps and tariffs. A certificate of public convenience and necessity is then issued after the maps and tariffs are approved.

WRU - Waiver Request Utility

A utility or interested person may petition the Board to temporarily lift a requirement to comply with a certain rule or rules if circumstances make compliance impractical or inappropriate. The Board decision for a rule waiver considers the interests of both the utility and its customers.