ALBERTA ENERGY AND UTILITIES BOARD Edmonton Alberta NORTHWESTERN UTILITIES LIMITED by ramhood17

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									ALBERTA ENERGY AND UTILITIES BOARD
Edmonton, Alberta


NORTHWESTERN UTILITIES LIMITED
CHANGE IN ACCOUNTING FOR INCOME TAXES APPLICATION                                 Order U97097
DETERMINATION OF COST AWARDS                                                      File 5627-21-2


1.     INTRODUCTION

By letter dated 17 May 1996, Northwestern Utilities Limited (NUL) informed the Alberta
Energy and Utilities Board (the Board) that, with the revocation by the Government of Canada of
the Public Utilities Income Tax Transfer Act (PUITTA) in 1995, it was changing its method of
determining federal income taxes for 1996 from the normalized all taxes paid method. By letter
of 3 June 1996, NUL clarified its position by stating that it was Αrequesting approval from the
Board to minimize its federal income taxes for 1996.≅

By letter dated 22 May 1996, the Board invited comments from parties of record in NUL=s last
general rate application (GRA) in regard to the appropriateness of NUL changing its method of
determining federal income taxes. To permit NUL to address the concerns raised by interested
parties the Board decided to complete its consideration of the matter in a written proceeding. By
letter dated 11 July 1996, the Board provided direction to NUL and interested parties registered
in NUL=s 1993/94 GRA with respect to the procedures and schedule to be followed.

NUL responded to requests for information from the Board and interested parties. Argument and
reply were received from NUL and interested parties. Board Members considering the matter
were B. T. McManus, Q.C., A. Calista Barfett and Gordon J. Miller. The Board subsequently
issued Decision U97058 dated 13 May 1997.


2.     PARTICULARS OF THE APPLICATION

Intervenors submitted cost claims in the amount of $25,457.11. NUL did not submit any cost
claims for this proceeding. The costs claimed by each party are set out in detail in Schedule
ΑA≅ and are summarized below.




                                                                              10 September 1997
2                                                                                   Order U97097


                                                                                Fees and
                                                                             Disbursements
                                                                                 Claimed

       INTERVENORS
       Consumers= Association of Canada (Alberta)                              $ 5,485.78
       Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops Ltd. and Gas Alberta                    10,258.67
       Industrial Gas Consumers Association of Alberta
          and Industrial Rate Intervenors                                        1,768.41
       Municipal Intervenors                                                     6,869.43
       Public Institutional Consumers of Alberta                                   334.38
       University of Alberta                                                       740.44

       TOTAL INTERVENORS COSTS                                                 $25,457.11

By letter dated 19 June 1997, the Board provided a preliminary ΑHearing Cost Claim Summary≅
to each of the parties claiming costs. The Board also invited comments from each of the parties
respecting the costs claimed. The Board received no comments from any of the participating
parties.


3.     BOARD FINDINGS

Before exercising its discretion to award costs, the Board must consider the effectiveness of the
participation, its relevancy to the issues and whether the costs of the participation were necessary
and reasonable. The Board will also have regard for the Board=s Scale of Costs which sets a cap
on professional fees and outlines those disbursements which will be considered for
reimbursement.

The Board has reviewed all the cost submissions of the participants bearing in mind the
principles specified in the Board=s Scale of Costs. The Board finds that the participation of the
parties submitting costs was generally effective and relevant to the Application. The number of
hours claimed by counsel and consultants representing the Intervenors appear reasonable given
the complexity of the issues before the Board and the extent of the examination thereof.
Consequently, the Board considers the claims for fees and disbursements to be reasonable and in
accordance with the Scale of Costs as outlined in Schedule ΑB≅.

In accordance with the Board=s treatment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on cost awards,
NUL is required to pay only that portion of the GST paid by Intervenors that may not be
recoverable through Revenue Canada=s GST input tax credit mechanism. The Board=s


10 September 1997
Order U97097                                                                                  3


adjustments to GST are shown in Schedule ΑB≅. Such GST allowed by the Board may also be
charged against the Hearing Cost Reserve Account.
4.     ORDER

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT:

(1)    Northwestern Utilities Limited pay Intervenors= costs in the amount of $24,385.12, as set
       out in column (e) of Schedule ΑB≅.

(2)    Northwestern Utilities Limited shall record in its Hearing Cost Reserve Account the
       allowed Intervenors= costs in the amount of $24,385.12, as outlined in column (e) of
       Schedule ΑB≅.

Dated in Edmonton, Alberta on 10 September 1997.




B. T. McManus, Q.C.
Presiding Member




A. Calista Barfett
Member




Gordon J. Miller
Member




                                                                            10 September 1997
ALBERTA ENERGY AND UTILITIES BOARD                                                                          Order U97097

                                                       SCHEDULE ΑB≅

                                        NORTHWESTERN UTILITIES LIMITED

                                                  BOARD ALLOWED COSTS

                                                    (a)               (b)            (c)         (d)             (e)
                                                 Fees and         Total GST                                   Fees and
                                              Disbursements     Associated with    Eligible                Disbursements
                                                 Allowed       Allowed Fees and      GST       Eligible Allowed Including
                                             (excluding GST)     Disbursements    Percentage     GST       Eligible GST


INTERVENORS
Consumers= Association of Canada (Alberta)       $ 5,126.90        $ 358.88        75.00%      $269.16        $ 5,396.06
Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops Ltd.              9,587.53          671.14         0.00%         0.00          9,587.53
Industrial Gas Consumers Association of
   Alberta and Industrial Rate Intervenors        1,768.41              0.00       0.00%          0.00         1,768.41
Municipal Intervenors                             6,420.03            449.40      42.86%        192.60         6,612.63
Public Institutional Consumers of Alberta           312.50             21.88       0.00%          0.00           312.50
University of Alberta                               692.00             48.44      33.00%         15.99           707.99

TOTAL INTERVENORS COSTS                         $23,907.37         $1,549.74                   $477.75       $24,385.12




10 September 1997

								
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