HCS HB 843 -- UTILITY AUDITS
CO-SPONSORS: Mays (Daniels 41)
COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Consumer
Protection by a vote of 8 to 6, 1 present.
This substitute requires each school district and higher
educational institution to contract with an independent
Missouri-based technical auditing firm that meets qualifications
established by the State Auditor to audit all utility bills paid
during the previous 5 years. The audits will examine records to
find errors in payments and billing and any practices that fail
to conform to applicable rules of the Public Service
Commission. The auditing firm is also directed to recommend
methods for reducing utility costs that do not require
The substitute limits auditing firms' compensation to 50% of
funds recovered as a result of the audit and an additional 50%
of any reduction in utility costs realized during the year
following implementation of a cost-savings recommendation made
by the contractor.
The bill also requires the Office of the Public Counsel to hire
a Missouri-based technical auditing firm to annually perform
tariff conformance audits of randomly selected investor-owned
utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission. The audits
will examine the accuracy of specified samples of residential
customers' bills and the performance of residential utility
Conformance audits will be funded from any excess Public Service
Commission, Division of Tourism, Department of Economic
Development, or Office of Public Counsel funds remaining from
the previous year. Compensation for the auditing contractor is
limited to $25 for each one-year of customer bills examined and
$25 for each utility meter calibrated.
The Public Service Commission is required to remedy any
instances of nonconformity discovered by an audit.
This bill contains an emergency clause.
FISCAL NOTE: Total Estimated Net Effect on General Revenue Fund
of $0 in FY 97, unknown in FY 98 and FY 99. Estimated Net Cost
to Public Service Commission Fund of $0 to $231,152 in FY 97, FY
98, and FY 99.
PROPONENTS: Supporters say that this proposal will save
educational institutions significant amounts of money through
the discovery of incorrect billings for utilities.
Testifying for the bill was Representative Daniels; and
Governmental-Technical Utility Audits, Inc.
OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the bill say that the utilities are
doing a good enough job of auditing on their own and the
legislation is unnecessary.
Testifying against the bill was Utilicorp United.
Bill Tucker, Research Analyst