368.106 Statement of intent to increase rates; major changes; hearing; suspension of rate schedules; determination of rate level.—
(1) Except when a rate is deemed just and reasonable pursuant to s. 368.105(3), no natural gas transmission company may charge an initial rate or increase its rates above the maximum rate on file for a service except by filing a statement of intent with the commission no later than 60 days prior to the proposed effective date of the proposed initial or new maximum rate, unless the commission for good cause waives such 60-day notice. The statement of intent shall be kept open for public inspection and shall include such information, and shall be served upon affected parties in such manner, as is required by the commission’s rules and regulations.
(2) Except when a rate is deemed just and reasonable pursuant to s. 368.105(3), if there is filed with the commission an initial rate, or a change or modification in any rate in effect, the commission shall, on complaint by any person whose substantial interests are affected by the rate, or may, on its own motion, at any time before such rate would have taken effect, order a hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57 to determine whether the rate is just and reasonable.
(3) Except when a rate is deemed just and reasonable pursuant to s. 368.105(3), pending the hearing and decision pursuant to subsection (2), the commission may suspend the operation of the rate for a period not to exceed 8 months from the date the rate was filed. In the case of proposed initial rates, if the commission does not make a final determination concerning the proposed initial rates prior to expiration of the period of suspension, the rates, notwithstanding any provision of ss. 368.101-368.112 or chapter 120, shall be deemed to be just and reasonable and to have been approved by the commission; provided that such initial rates shall become effective 60 days after they are filed, subject to refund with interest, for all amounts collected in excess of the rate finally determined by the commission to be just and reasonable pursuant to subsection (4). In the case of a proposed change or modification to any rate in effect, if the commission suspends such proposed rate or modification and does not make its final determination of rates within 8 months after the date the proposed rate or modification is filed, the natural gas transmission company may put into effect a new rate, not to exceed the proposed rate, subject to refund with interest, for all amounts collected in excess of the rate finally determined by the commission to be just and reasonable pursuant to subsection (4).
(4) If, after hearing, the commission finds the proposed rate to be unjust and unreasonable or unduly discriminatory or preferential, the commission shall determine the rate to be charged or applied by the natural gas transmission company for the service in question and shall fix same by order, which shall be in effect from the date the change in rate was proposed to have taken effect, provided that any refund ordered by the commission shall not exceed the difference between the proposed new maximum rate and the just and reasonable maximum rate in effect at the time of the corresponding rate increase filing under this section for the period the proposed new maximum rate was charged and collected subject to refund.