The customer charge is a flat charge applied each month regardless of the amount of natural gas used. The charge is designed to recover the cost of such items as customer accounting, mailing, billing and metering.
The distribution or delivery rate is based on utility operating expenses, including depreciation and income taxes, plus a return on the utility’s assets used in providing utility service and is intended to compensate the utility for the cost of delivering natural gas through their pipeline system to end-use customers.
The cost of gas or gas supply rate is the per unit rate for natural gas sold to customers. There is no mark-up or profit added to the cost of gas. The utilities only recover from customers the actual cost of the natural gas commodity and the cost of transporting that gas from gas producing regions over interstate pipelines to the natural gas utilities. The costs recovered through the cost of gas supply mechanism are subject to Commission review and approval to ensure that the utilities purchase the gas in a prudent manner consistent with the requirements of Arkansas law. The rate changes two times a year, April and November, respectively.
No. Natural gas utilities do not make a profit on the natural gas that is sold to customers. Natural gas utilities simply recover the cost of the natural gas they purchase through the purchased gas adjustment mechanism. Only the actual costs paid to suppliers are recovered from customers. The costs recovered are subject to Commission review and approval.
The purpose of the weather normalization adjustment (WNA) is to adjust customers’ bills to “normal weather.” If during a billing cycle the weather is colder than normal, the customer will receive a credit on the bill. Conversely, warmer than normal weather will cause a charge to appear on customers’ bills. The WNA amount shown on a customer’s bill will vary based on the actual weather experienced during the billing cycle on which the bill is based.
This surcharge reflects the recovery of the incremental costs to utilities of promoting energy efficiency as ordered by this Commission.
This surcharge reflects the recovery of the difference between the level of base rate revenues established in a natural gas utility’s last rate case and the level of base revenues in the current BDA Evaluation Period. No BDA Adjustment is reflected on customer’s bill when the base rate revenues determined in the last rate case are higher than the BDA Evaluation Period revenues.
This surcharge reflects the recovery of expenditures related to expedited replacement of cast-iron mains, bar steel mains and associated services.
This surcharge reflects the recovery of investments and expenses that a utility Company has reasonably incurred as a direct result of legislative or regulatory requirements involving the protection of the public health, safety and the environment.
Customer charge (also known as: Service charge, Service Availability, Availability charge, Service Availability charge, Base Rate charge, or Basic service) is a flat charge applied each month regardless of the amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) used. The charge covers such items as customer accounting, mailing, billing and metering and therefore is charged even if the customer has had no usage for that month.
Energy charge (also known as: usage charge, charge for electric service, or referred to by rate schedule or rate code name) is the charge for the electricity used by an electric customer during the billing period, measured in kilowatt hours, multiplied by the applicable rate.
At the time that rates are set for an electric cooperative, an amount to recover the estimated debt costs is included in the cooperative’s monthly base rates. Quarterly, the cooperative compares the amount of debt costs collected through its base rates and the actual debt costs incurred in its operations. The difference between the debt costs actually incurred by the utility and the amount recovered through its base rates is either refunded to or collected from customers the following quarter through the cost of debt adjustment. The quarterly cost of debt adjustment may also be called a debt cost adjustment or debt adjustment.
Electric utilities recover the cost of fuel and purchased energy through two basic mechanisms. Investor-owned utilities recover fuel and purchased energy through an energy cost recovery rate and electric distribution cooperatives recover fuel and purchased energy through a fuel adjustment charge. The primary differences between the energy cost recovery mechanism used by the investor-owned utilities and the fuel adjustment mechanism used by the cooperatives are that the energy cost recovery rate recovers all fuel costs through a single rate adjusted annually and the fuel adjustment recovers fuel costs through a base rate and fuel adjustment charge adjusted monthly.
Investor-owned utilities recover all of their fuel and purchased energy costs through an energy cost recovery rate. The energy cost recovery rate is based on the estimated cost of fuel and purchased energy. Once the cost is determined, it is charged for an entire year. Annually, the company compares the amount of fuel and purchased energy costs collected through the energy cost recovery rate and the actual fuel and purchased energy costs incurred by the utility in its operations. The difference between the amount actually incurred by the utility and the amount recovered through the energy cost recovery rate is either refunded or collected from customers the following year. The energy cost recovery rate is also known as a fuel charge.
At the time that rates are set for an electric cooperative, an amount to recover the estimated fuel costs is included in the cooperative’s monthly base rates. Monthly, the cooperative compares the amount of fuel costs collected through its base rates and the actual fuel costs incurred in its operations. The difference between the fuel costs actually incurred by the utility and the amount recovered through its base rates is either refunded to or collected from customers the following month through the monthly fuel adjustment charge. The monthly fuel adjustment may also be called a cost of energy adjustment or energy cost adjustment.
No. In Arkansas, electric utilities are not allowed profit from fuel cost recovery in any way. An electric utility’s recovery of fuel costs is limited to the “actual” fuel costs which it incurs. These fuel and purchased energy recovery mechanisms are subject to Commission review and approval.
Meters are highly accurate instruments and register the cumulative amount of energy that has been used in kilowatt-hours. One way to monitor your consumption is to read your meter and check it daily or weekly. If you read your meter at the same time each day, subtract the present reading from the previous day’s reading to determine the number of kilowatt-hours used in one day. By reading your meter at the same time each day, you will get an exact total of the electricity you have used. By noting high consumption activities, such as air conditioning in the summer, you will know where you are spending your energy dollars. Reading your meter often, along with careful observation of the weather and appliances being used, can help you manage energy consumption and evaluate the effectiveness of appliances
Currently set at 3%. The federal excise tax is established by the U.S. Congress and collected by the Internal Revenue Service as part of the general tax revenue.
The state tax is established by the Arkansas General Assembly and collected by the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) as part of the general tax revenue. The current tax rate can be obtained from the DFA web site at www.arkansas.gov/dfa/excise_tax_v2/et_su_rates_state.html.
The county tax is established by popular vote and collected by the state. It is disbursed to the county monthly. The current tax rate can be obtained from the DFA web site at www.arkansas.gov/dfa/excise_tax_v2/et_su_rates_co.html.
The city tax is established by popular vote and collected by the state. It is disbursed to the city monthly. The current tax rate can be obtained from the DFA web site at www.arkansas.gov/dfa/excise_tax_v2/et_su_rates_ct.html.
Many local governments require telecommunications service providers to pay a franchise fee to operate within the local government boundaries. The fee is established by a local ordinance and collected by the local government. The fee may be different for different telecommunications providers. Contact your local government or telecommunications provider for additional information.
911 is the telephone number designated for the reporting of emergencies. Arkansas Code Annotated Section 12-10-300 et seq. encourages political subdivisions, for example a city or county, to implement 911 public safety communications centers. The governing body of the political subdivision may levy a 911 service charge to be used to operate a center. The 911 service charge is collected by the local telephone company and remitted to the political subdivision quarterly.
TRS allows persons who have difficulty hearing or speaking on the telephone to talk with other persons. All telephone companies are required to provide free relay service under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Arkansas Code Annotated Section 25-29-101 et seq. provides for the operation of the Arkansas Deaf and Hearing Impaired Telecommunications Services Corporation. The Corporation arranges for TRS in Arkansas and determines an assessment to be levied on each local telephone company. The Corporation may adjust the assessment no more than once in a calendar year quarter. The assessment may be collected by the telephone company and transmitted to the Corporation monthly. Contact the Corporation at 501-375-0086 for more information.
Arkansas Code Annotated Section 20-79-401 et seq. provided for the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services to establish a program to provide access to public telecommunication services by residents who are certified as deaf, hard of hearing, deaf and blind, or severely speech-impaired. The program includes the purchase and distribution of telecommunications devices. Rehabilitation Services determines a monthly surcharge not to exceed $0.02. The surcharge is collected by the telephone company and deposited in the State Treasury as special revenues.
It is a charge instituted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after the break-up of AT&T in 1984. It was designed so that business and residential customers would more directly contribute toward the cost of providing long distance service. The charge may appear on your bill as “Federal Subscriber Line Charge”, “FCC Charge for Network Access”, “Federal Line Cost Charge”, “Interstate Access Charge”, “Interstate Single Line Charge”, or “Customer Line Charge”. This charge is regulated and capped by the FCC. Local telephone companies recover some of the costs of telephone lines connected to your business or home through this monthly charge.
This is a fund established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help promote telecommunications service nationwide as directed by the U.S. Congress. The fund contains programs to support low-income consumers, providers operating in high-cost areas, schools and libraries needing telecommunications services, and rural health care centers needing access to advanced medical services via telecommunications. Telecommunication service providers contribute directly to the fund. Their contribution rate is determined quarterly by the FCC and is applied to their prior period revenues. The FCC does not specify how or if a provider should collect a universal service charge from its customer. The FCC initiated a proceeding in 2002 to consider new rules for determining the provider’s contribution and how the provider passes the charge to customers.
Arkansas Code Annotated Section 23-17-404 established the High Cost Fund (ARHCF) to promote and assure the availability of universal service at rates that are reasonable and affordable, and to provide for reasonably comparable service and rates between rural and urban areas. Pursuant to law the Arkansas Public Service Commission established rules and procedures for the ARHCF and delegated its operation to a trustee. The trustee bills and collects charges from all telecommunications providers and makes payments to qualifying telecommunications providers. Telecommunications providers are allowed by law to surcharge their customers to recover the ARHCF charges they pay. This charge is not a tax.
With changes to the Telecommunications Act in 1996 Congress directed local telephone companies to offer telephone number portability. Portability is a service that provides customers with the ability to retain, at the same location, their existing telephone number when switching from one local telephone service provider to another. In 1998 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined that local telephone companies were allowed, but not required, to recover its costs of providing number portability through two kinds of charges: (1) charges to other telephone companies; and (2) a fixed monthly charge to telephone customers. Companies can only charge customers in areas where telephone number portability is available to all customers. Once the number portability charge is started it can be collected for only five years. All customers pay the charge whether they have requested number portability service or not.
Local toll is toll calling between points located in the same LATA.
Local Access and Transport Areas (LATAs) are service areas created as a result of the Modification of Final Judgement issued by the U.S. District Court concerning the breakup of the former Bell System. LATAs provided a method for determining the area within which the Bell operating companies (BOCs) such as Southwestern Bell Telephone were allowed to offer services and provided a basis to determine how assets were divided by the BOCs and AT&T at divestiture. Most local telephone companies have recognized the LATAs as the boundaries of their service area. There are 6 LATAs in Arkansas. The primary LATAs are Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Pine Bluff. The Longview, Texas, Shreveport, Louisiana, and Springfield, Missouri LATAs extend into Arkansas.
Rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibit telephone solicitation calls to your home between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. When you receive a live telephone solicitation to your home you can make a do-not-call request to the marketer. The FCC’s rules require the marketer to maintain your request for 10 years. Additional information is available from the FCC web site at www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tcpa.html or by calling 1-888-225-5322. The Office of the Arkansas Attorney General provides a “Do Not Call” service for residential customers. Visit the “Do Not Call” home page at www.donotcall.gov or call 501-682-1334 or 1-877-866-8225 for information.
Consumer information can be obtained from the FCC web site at: www.fcc.gov/cgb/information_directory.html.
An area code is part of the ten digit telephone number assigned to each residential and business telephone line. The ten digit number is used to route toll and sometimes local calls. The number includes in order the area code, the central office code, and the line code in the format of NXX+NXX+XXXX where N is any number from 2 through 9 and X is any number from 0 through 9. The formal name for the area code is the number plan area (NPA). Area codes are assigned by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator. The three area codes in Arkansas are 479, 501, and 870. 501 was introduced January 1, 1947. 870 was introduced April 14, 1997. 479 was introduced January 19, 2002. A map indicating the area codes in the U.S. can be found by using the following link: