If you participate in a
facility project review or a
rates review proceeding, you may be eligible to recover your costs for participating in a hearing or other Commission proceeding, including the costs associated with
hiring a lawyer and/or expert or a consultant. Recovery of costs in facilities proceedings are governed by
Rules on Local Intervener Costs. Recovery of costs in rates proceedings is governed by
Rules on Costs in Utility Rate Proceedings.
In facility project reviews,
local interveners who have been given standing may apply to the Commission for an award of costs by
filing a cost claim.
In rates proceedings, the Commission may award costs to an intervener who has, or represents a group of utility customers that have a substantial interest in the subject matter of a hearing or other proceeding and who does not have the means to raise sufficient financial resources to enable the intervener to present its interest adequately in the hearing or other proceeding. Section 4 of Rule 022 lists the types of classes of interveners who are not eligible to claim costs. Eligible interveners in rates proceedings may apply to the Commission for an award of costs by filing a costs claim in accordance with Appendix C of Rule 022.
In both facilities and rates proceedings, an intervener who is eligible to recover costs may at any time before or during the hearing or other proceeding, make a request to the Commission for an advance of funds. An application for advance funding must include a budget and include information substantiating the need for the advance of funds. The Commission may approve an advance of funds request if the intervener demonstrates a need for financial assistance to address relevant issues in the hearing or other proceeding. A request for an advance of funds must be made in accordance with Section 7 of Rule 022 in a rates proceeding and in accordance with Section 2 of Rule 009 in a facilities proceeding.
When the Commission denies an application for a review of a previously issued decision under Rule 016: Review of Commission Decisions, the review applicant shall bear its own costs.
The Commission awards costs in accordance with a
scale of costs. The Commission’s scale of costs prescribes the following maximum hourly rates for legal fees and the fees of consultants, analysts and experts:
The scale of costs also sets the maximum amounts that can be claimed for travel to a hearing, secretarial and administrative work, and personal disbursements. In facilities proceedings, local interveners may also claim an honorarium for attendance at the hearing. Please review the allowances and requirements in
Rule 009 and in
formation of a group often reduces duplication of the information presented at the hearing and of costs. In facilities application, the organizer(s) of a group may claim an honorarium of up to $500 to account for the time, effort, and expense that may have been required to organize the group. In exceptional cases, where time committed is substantial, honoraria may be higher.Before you hire a lawyer, expert, analyst or consultant, the Commission encourages you to discuss the scale of costs that the AUC uses to determine cost awards.
Unless otherwise directed by the Commission, costs claims must be filed within 30 days after the hearing or other proceeding is closed. The deadlines for costs claims related to a review application are found in Section 5.A of Rule 009 and Section 9 of Rule 022. In rates proceedings, the deadline to file a costs claim related to a negotiated settlement agreement is found in Section 9 of Rule 022.