Municipal Franchise Fee Applications
The AUC introduced improvements to the application and approval process for municipal franchise agreements. The changes will reduce the regulatory burden and improve efficiency and limit the review time of these applications to five days.
Extension of the Trusted Traveler Approach
The AUC is extending the checklist, trusted traveler approach introduced in AUC Bulleting 2020-15 to template-based municipal franchise agreement applications. AUC Rule 029: Applications for Municipal Franchise Agreements and Associated Franchise Fee Rate Riders sets out a streamlined process for applications requesting approval of electric or gas municipal franchise agreements based on AUC-approved templates. To further improve the application process set out in Rule 029, the AUC will align the trusted traveler approach in cases where:
there are no changes between the applied-for municipal franchise agreement and the applicable, approved template;
there are no objections to the applied-for municipal franchise agreement; and
the municipal franchise agreement complies with all legislative and regulatory requirements, such as the term of the agreement and the maximum franchise fee.
Automation of the Application Process for Municipal Franchise Agreement Applications
The AUC is also introducing an automated application process for all municipal franchise agreements through the AUC’s eFiling System. This process requires the same information typically provided in previous applications for municipal franchise agreements but removes the need for the applicant to file a stand-alone application that must be uploaded.
The AUC expects this automated process to reduce the time required to prepare and submit the applications. The process will also increase the consistency of information being provided with the applications and reduce the time needed for the AUC to process the applications.