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(220 ILCS 5/8-406.2)
Certificate of public convenience and necessity; extension of utility service area and facilities to serve designated hardship areas.
(a) This Section is intended to provide a mechanism by which a gas public utility may extend its service territory and gas distribution system to provide service to designated low-income areas whose residents do not have access to natural gas service and must purchase more costly alternatives to satisfy their energy needs.
(b) In this Section:
"Designated hardship area" is limited to Pembroke Township, if the Township meets certain requirements. Any "designated hardship area" only applies to the specific community of Pembroke within the scope of the Project. Pembroke Township will only be categorized as a "designated hardship area" if it meets the following requirements:
(1) the area is designated as a qualified census
tract by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as published in the most current Federal Register; if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ceases to make this designation, then at least 25% of the households in the area are at or below the poverty level; and
(2) the area is not currently served by a gas utility.
"Hardship area facilities" means all gas distribution system facilities that are proposed to be constructed or extended and used to serve the designated hardship area, through and including retail gas meters. "Hardship area facilities" includes the capacity to address reasonably foreseeable growth in areas adjacent to or in the vicinity of the designated hardship area.
(c) A gas public utility may apply for a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to this Section to increase its gas service territory and extend its gas distribution system to serve a designated hardship area. An application under this Section shall include all of the following:
(1) a description of the designated hardship area and
its relationship to the existing gas distribution system of the applicant;
(2) a showing that the designated hardship area meets
the criteria for being a designated hardship area under subsection (b) of this Section;
(3) a description of the hardship area facilities
proposed to serve the designated hardship area;
(4) a projection of the costs to construct and deploy
the hardship area facilities;
(5) a showing that the estimated cost to construct
and deploy the hardship area facilities is equal to or less than 250% of the amount allowed under the gas utilities' then current tariffs to provide standard service to extend main and services; and
(6) a statement to confirm that the public utility
has held at least 2 pre-filing public meetings in the community and considered public input from those meetings when developing and implementing its plans.
(d) The Commission shall, after notice and hearing, grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity under this Section if, based upon the application filed with the Commission and the evidentiary record, the Commission finds that all of the following criteria are satisfied:
(1) the area to be served is a designated hardship
(2) the proposed hardship area facilities will
provide adequate, reliable, and efficient gas delivery service to the customers within the designated hardship area and are the least-cost means of providing such gas delivery service to these customers;
(3) the public utility is capable of efficiently
managing and supervising the construction of the hardship area facilities and has taken sufficient action to ensure adequate and efficient construction and supervision of the construction;
(4) the public utility is capable of financing the
construction of the hardship area facilities without significant adverse financial consequences for the utility or its customers;
(5) the estimated cost to construct and deploy the
hardship area facilities is equal to or less than 250% of the amount allowed under the gas utilities then current tariffs to provide standard service to extend main and services;
(6) the public utility can guarantee that residents
of Hopkins Park who choose to opt out of converting to a natural gas delivery service will not be assessed any charges relating to the pipeline construction or any other fees relating to the designated hardship area facilities;
(7) the public utility disclosed to the Commission
the mapping of the proposed pipeline and infrastructure management requirements within the designated hardship area; and
(8) the public utility has guaranteed that, before
implementation, it will disclose to the Commission the cost to the utility for customers of Hopkins Park to utilize gas services.
(e) The Commission shall issue its decision with findings of fact and conclusions of law granting or denying the application no later than 120 days after the application is filed.
(Source: P.A. 102-609, eff. 8-27-21.)