Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 587

If Federal Regulators Don't Act, Should Consumers be Able to Appeal a Proposed Utility Rate Hike?

Argument in favor

People shouldn’t face higher utility bills simply because federal regulators fail to make a decision. This bill gives consumers, cities and states an opportunity to appeal and prevent a rate increase and bring transparency to the process.

Helen's Opinion
···
01/23/2017
Consumers should always be able to appeal what the government does
Like (190)
Follow
Share
Matt's Opinion
···
01/23/2017
I'd like transparency behind why my bills go up.
Like (142)
Follow
Share
Cynthia's Opinion
···
01/23/2017
The consumer comes first. Utilities should be challenged on rate hikes since they impact the poor disproportionately.
Like (102)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Regulators should be acting in a manner that balances the needs of stakeholders, and if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chooses to do nothing about a proposed rate hike that should be the end of the matter.

operaman's Opinion
···
01/23/2017
State problem. Why seek a Federal solution?
Like (38)
Follow
Share
Jim2423's Opinion
···
01/23/2017
I worked forty years with the power company as a substation electrician, power companies (most) do a great job of delivering power to their customers. Folks do not realize there are three grids in America. Ferc is good for the nation but DOE has not produced one kilowatt of power. People do not realize how well engineers, linemen, electricians and technicians work together to have electricity to your homes and businesses. Solar and wind are the most expensive and have to be paid for by the power companies due to federal regulations. The only ones who make money on green power is the manufacturers of these systems, not the rate payers. Equipment is expensive, manpower is necessary and SAFETY is the most important issue. Yes government intervention is not always good unless they are providing funds to upgrade the grid system instead of taking all the tax monies.
Like (8)
Follow
Share
Laura's Opinion
···
01/25/2017
The FERC regulates interstate (between state) activities only. Intrastate (within state) activities are regulated by the Public Utility Commission in each state. Www.ferc.gov/about/ferc-does/ferc101.pdf
Like (2)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house Passed January 23rd, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedJanuary 17th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is House Bill H.R. 587?

This bill would give consumers, cities, states, and utility companies the ability to appeal a proposed rate increase for electricity within 30 days if inaction by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allows the increase to occur.

Public utilities would be required to notify FERC and the general public 60 days before making changes to its rate, charge, or classification structure. Even if FERC allows the 60-day notice period to expire without taking action, that inaction would treated as if FERC approved the ruling to allow consumers, cities, utilities, states, or state commissions to request rehearing within 30 days.

Impact

People who pay electricity bills, cities, states, utility companies, and state energy commissions; and FERC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 587

$0.00
The CBO estimated that enacting this bill during the 114th Congress would have had an insignificant impact on FERC’s spending.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) also introduced this legislation during the 114th Congress in order to protect consumers against unreasonable energy rate increases while making federal energy regulators more accountable for their rulings:

“As energy rates and electric bills continue to skyrocket across New England, it is more critical than ever that consumers have a voice in this process. By increasing transparency throughout the system, the Fair RATES Act will allow consumers to hold federal regulators accountable and ensure the prices being set are truly just and reasonable.”

During the 114th Congress, this legislation was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a voice vote, and had the support of 20 bipartisan cosponsors in the House — including 15 Democrats and five Republicans. It passed the House on a voice vote in March 2016, but was not considered in the Senate before the 114th Congress ended.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user miheco)

AKA

Fair Ratepayer Accountability, Transparency, and Efficiency Standards Act

Official Title

To amend the Federal Power Act to provide that any inaction by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that allows a rate change to go into effect shall be treated as an order by the Commission for purposes of rehearing and court review.

    Consumers should always be able to appeal what the government does
    Like (190)
    Follow
    Share
    State problem. Why seek a Federal solution?
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    I'd like transparency behind why my bills go up.
    Like (142)
    Follow
    Share
    The consumer comes first. Utilities should be challenged on rate hikes since they impact the poor disproportionately.
    Like (102)
    Follow
    Share
    The ability to seek relief at all levels would help create a more fluid and responsive market.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Utilities are special in that citizens are not true consumers with them, we don't get to chose which utilities get our money. Rate hikes need to reflect costs, service provided, and future infrastructure development, not just utility profits. So we need a way to prevent unwarranted rate hikes.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    People shouldn't have to pay outrageous rate hikes just because regulations are tied up in the system.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    The POV of a person who actually made a career of working for a utility company -- Countable member "Jim2423" said: "I worked forty years with the power company as a substation electrician, power companies (most) do a great job of delivering power to their customers. Folks do not realize there are three grids in America. Ferc is good for the nation but DOE has not produced one kilowatt of power. People do not realize how well engineers, linemen, electricians and technicians work together to have electricity to your homes and businesses. Solar and wind are the most expensive and have to be paid for by the power companies due to federal regulations. The only ones who make money on green power is the manufacturers of these systems, not the rate payers. Equipment is expensive, manpower is necessary and SAFETY is the most important issue. Yes government intervention is not always good unless they are providing funds to upgrade the grid system instead of taking all the tax monies." I appreciate your input, Jim!
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Since we are at least as effected as stakeholders, consumers should at a minimum have the right to appeal a non-decision that raises rates for us.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Concerned about an Enron repeat. Also, rate hikes disproportionally affect people on a fixed income and low income.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    I worked forty years with the power company as a substation electrician, power companies (most) do a great job of delivering power to their customers. Folks do not realize there are three grids in America. Ferc is good for the nation but DOE has not produced one kilowatt of power. People do not realize how well engineers, linemen, electricians and technicians work together to have electricity to your homes and businesses. Solar and wind are the most expensive and have to be paid for by the power companies due to federal regulations. The only ones who make money on green power is the manufacturers of these systems, not the rate payers. Equipment is expensive, manpower is necessary and SAFETY is the most important issue. Yes government intervention is not always good unless they are providing funds to upgrade the grid system instead of taking all the tax monies.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill represents the kind of federal intervention that I would consider positive and necessary. Its purpose is for Congress ( Legislative branch) to intervene to force federal agencies (Executive branch) to act in a timely manner to address an issue that affects citizens lives directly. If a federal regulatory agency neglects to act in a timely manner, then the decision must revert to the People, as represented by the Congress. This is exactly the kind of policing that needs to be applied to the Executive branch by the Legislative branch to ensure the best interests of the American people are upheld. It is a great example of using the separation of powers This bill also represents the kind of work I believe Congress should be doing to fulfill its role, instead of spending its time trying to regulate the personal lives of the American people.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    We all know what happened when Enron was running the electricity market without regulatory supervision. Let's not repeat the same mistakes.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    The point of government is for the constituents to have a say.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Of course consumers should be able to speak up against price increases in something for which the government has granted a monopoly.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    If citizens have no voice, do we still call America a democracy? Or was Bernie Sanders correct & we are a full blown oligarchy in which businesses alone have a voice. YEA.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Rate hikes that affect consumers should always allow their input.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Appeal should always be an option.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Impeach Trump
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    While I appreciate the viewpoint of those arguing against this Bill as a State and not Federal issue, that is not quite the case. This Bill is a protection of 1st Amendment right to redress of grievances, as the utilities are public and not private. The current statute loophole affords the FERC veto powers that they are not Constitutionally granted, and this MUST be addressed. Inaction that results in passage of should be considered a decision of the FERC, and allow redress per statute as if it were an affirmative decision.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE