Control Number : 41446
Item Number: 59
SOAH DOCKET NO. 473-13-4070 PUC DOCKET NO. 41446
APPLICATION OF SOUTHWESTERN BEFORE THE*1'16)[E^^I
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY TO § ^
ADJUST ITS ENERGY EFFICIENCY § OF ^' ^t^^^ ^•^ i
COST RECOVERY FACTOR §
§ ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
MOTION TO REOPEN THE EVIDENTIARY RECORD TO ADMIT RATE CASE EXPENSE EVIDENCE
Southwestern Public Service Company ("SPS") files this Motion to Reopen the Evidentiary Record to Admit Rate Case Expense Evidence. This Motion is filed pursuant to the procedural schedule adopted in the Order Memorializing Prehearing Conference issued on September 13, 2013.
On July 23, 2013, SPS filed an unopposed motion to admit SPS's prefiled testimony and other exhibits into evidence. The SOAH Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") granted the motion on July 26, 2013. On August 30, 2013, the Public Utility Commission ("Commission") remanded this docket to the Commission ALJ for completion of the evidentiary record to include documentation of rate case expenses.
Accordingly, SPS seeks the admission of the following documents, which are attached to this
1. Affidavit of Matthew P. Loftus, regarding the reasonableness and necessity of rate case expenses incurred by SPS in Docket No. 40293, the proceeding which established SPS's 2013 Energy Efficiency Recovery Factor;
2. Attachment A to the Affidavit of Matthew P. Loftus, which is an excerpt of the Direct Testimony of SPS witness Neil R. Cowan;
3. Attachment B to the Affidavit of Matthew P. Loftus, which are invoices and supporting documentation for SPS's expenses incurred in Docket No. 40293; and
4. Affidavit of Alfred R. Herrera, regarding the reasonableness and necessity of rate case expenses incurred by the municipalities served by SPS (Alliance of Excel Municipalities) in Docket No. 40293.
PUCT Docket No. 41446
Southwestern Public Service Company's Motion ^^
to Reopen the Evidentiary Record to Admit Rate Case Expense Evidence Page 1
WHEREFORE, SPS respectfully requests the admission of the aforementioned documents into the evidentiary record in this proceeding. SPS further seeks any other relief to which it may be entitled.
XCEL ENERGY SERVICES INC.
Matthew P. Loftus State Bar No. 24052189
816 Congress Avenue, Suite 1650 Austin, Texas 78701-2471 Telephone: (512) 478-1327 Facsimile: (512) 478-9232 Email: email@example.com
UkL&WINSTEAD PC Ron H. Moss
State Bar No. 14591025 Carrie Collier-Brown State Bar No. 24065064
401 Congress Avenue, Suite 2100 Austin, Texas 78701
Telephone: (512) 370-2867 Facsimile: (512) 370-2850 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com ATTORNEYS FOR SOUTHWESTERN
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY
PUCT Docket No. 41446
Southwestern Public Service Company's Motion to Reopen the Evidentiary Record to Admit Rate Case Expense Evidence Page 2
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I, Carrie Collier-Brown, attorney for Southwestern Public Service Company, certify that a copy of this document was served on all parties of record in this proceeding on the 20th day of September, 2013 in the following manner: electronic mail, hand-delivery, facsimile, or first class mail.
PUCT Docket No. 41446
Southwestern Public Service Company's Motion to Reopen the Evidentiary Record to Admit Rate Case Expense Evidence Page 3
PUC DOCKET NO. 41446 APPLICATION OF SOUTHWESTERN §
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY TO § PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
ADJUST ITS ENERGY EFFICIENCY §
COST RECOVERY FACTOR § OF TEXAS
SOUTHWESTERN PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY'S AFFIDAVIT OF RATE CASE EXPENSES
Table of Contents
Affidavit of Matthew P. Loftus ... 2 Attachment A--Excerpt from Direct Testimony of Neil R. Cowan ... 5 Attachment B--Invoices and Expenses (CONF) ... 8
AFFIDAVIT OF MATTHEW P. LOFTUS
STATE OF NEW MEXICO §
COUNTY OF SANTA FE §
BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared Matthew P. Loftus, who being by me first duly sworn, on oath, deposed and said the following:
1. My name is Matthew P. Loftus and I am an attorney licensed by the Texas State Bar. I am employed by Xcel Energy Services Inc. ("XES"), the service company subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. ("Xcel Energy") as Assistant General Counsel. I am filing this affidavit on behalf of Southwestern Public Service Company ("SPS"), a New Mexico corporation and electric utility subsidiary of Xcel Energy. Xcel Energy is a registered holding company that owns several electric and natural gas utility operating companies and a regulated natural gas pipeline company. l
2. I am over the age of 18 years. My statements in this affidavit are based upon personal knowledge and are true and correct.
3. SPS is requesting recovery of the rate case expenses, both its and the Alliance of Xcel Municipalities' ("AXM") expenses, incurred in Docket No. 40293, the proceeding that established SPS's 2013 Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor ("EECRF")
' Xcel Energy is the parent company of four wholly owned utility operating companies: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation; Northern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation; Public Service Company of Colorado, a Colorado corporation; and SPS Xcel Energy's natural gas pipeline subsidiary is WestGas InterState, Inc.
4. On May 1, 2013, SPS submitted the Direct Testimony of Neil R. Cowan in Docket No. 41446. In that testimony, Mr. Cowan provided a description of expenses for pocket No. 40293 in the amount of $61,709. The relevant excerpt from Mr. Cowan's testimony addressing expenses is provided as Attachment A to this Affidavit.
5. On June 14, 2013 and June 21, 2013, SPS provided invoices and supporting documentation for those expenses in response to Staff RFI No. 4-10, which are provided as Attachment B to this Affidavit. SPS reduced the amount of internal SPS expenses by $809.00 because of missing receipts. Therefore, SPS is seeking recovery of $60,900 in rate case expenses incurred in Docket No. 40293. Of that amount, $1,966 was for internal expenses, $49,272 was for SPS's outside counsel expense, and $9,663 was for the municipalities' (AXM's) expenses. The black box settlement reached in Docket No. 41446 reflected this updated expense amount.
6. SPS's rate case expenses for pocket No. 40293 were reviewed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas ( "Commission") Staff ( "Staff") in Docket No. 41446.
7. I have reviewed the rate case expenses incurred by SPS in Docket No. 40293, and I affirm that they are reasonable and necessary.
8. In addition to reviewing the testimony of Mr. Cowan, I compared the hourly billing rates of SPS's outside counsel and counsel for AXM to the hourly billing rates submitted by utilities and municipalities in Project No. 41622, and found them comparable.
9. SPS has paid the $9,663 of expenses to AXM.
10. The outside legal expenses incurred by SPS were necessary and reasonable to assist SPS in preparing the EECRF filing for pocket No. 40293, responding to discovery, assisting with the case strategy and prosecution, and assisting with the Unopposed Stipulation in that proceeding.
11. I also determined that the expenses incurred by internal SPS and XES employees to be necessary and reasonable as the costs primarily reflect travel costs of SPS and XES employees to attend pre-filing stakeholder meetings and settlement meetings.
Matthew P. Loftus
Subscribed and sworn to before me today, September 11 , 2013.
0. STATE O F NEW MEXICO Notary Pu ic, State of New Mexico
My Commission Expires: _^ 3 ^ t4
My Commission Expires: 9 130.I201 e-l
Excerpt from Direct Testimony of Neil R. Cowan
1 2 Q. 3 4 A. 5 6 7 8 9 Q. 10 A. 11 12 13 14 15
VII. RATE CASE EXPENSES
Does Rule 25.181 allow EECRF proceeding expenses to be recovered in the EECRF?
Yes. Rule 25.181(f)(3) states that a EECRF proceeding is a ratemaking proceeding for purposes of PURA § 33.023. EECRF expenses include the utility's and the municipalities' EECRF proceeding expenses. For both categories of expense, the utility is allowed to include only the expenses for the immediately previous EECRF proceeding. For SPS, that proceeding was Docket No. 40293. What expenses were incurred by SPS in Docket No. 40293?
SPS incurred a total of $61,709 of expenses for pocket No. 40293. Of that amount, $2,775 was for internal expenses, such as travel costs of SPS and XES employees to attend pre-filing stakeholder meetings and settlement meetings; $49,272 was for SPS's outside counsel expenses; and $9,663 was for AXM's expenses. These expenses are summarized below in Table RNC-7.
Table RNC-7: PY 2012 EECRF Rate Case Expenses
Cost Description Amount
SPS Outside Legal Expenses $49,271 Reimbursement of AXM Legal Expenses $9,663
SPS/XES Employee Expenses $2,775
Has SPS paid the $9,663 of expenses to AXM? Yes.
Are the expenses incurred by SPS in Docket No. 40293 reasonable and necessary?
I A. Yes. The bulk of the Docket No. 40293 expenses are fees of SPS's outside 2 counsel, who helped prepare the EECRF filing package. That work included not 3 only the application, but also the testimony of three witnesses supporting the 4 requested PY 2013 EECRF. In addition, outside counsel assisted SPS in 5 responding to eight sets of discovery, participated in settlement negotiations and 6 drafted many of the associated legal documents.
7 Q. Were the rates charged by SPS's outside counsel in Docket No. 40293
9 A. Yes. Based upon my review of other rate case expense dockets in Texas, the rates 10 charged by SPS's outside counsel were roughly the same as, or in some cases 11 lower than, the rates charged by attorneys performing similar work for other 12 utilities in Texas.
13 Q. How did SPS incorporate the expenses from the Docket No. 40293 14 proceeding into its PY 2014 EECRF calculation?
15 A. As provided by Rule 25.18 1 (c)(1)(A), SPS offset the Docket No. 40293 expenses 16 against the PY 2012 over-recovery balance. That reduced the over-recovery 17 balance to $575,537.
ATTACHMENT B Invoices and Expenses (CONF)
SOAH DOCKET NO. 473-13-4070 PUC DOCKET NO. 41446 APPLICATION OF SOUTHWESTERN §
BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY TO §
PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ADJUST ITS ENERGY EFFICIENCY §
COST RECOVERY FACTOR § OF TEXAS
AFFIDAVIT OF ALFRED R. HERRERA RELATED TO AXM'S RATE CASE EXPENSES
STATE OF TEXAS §
COUNTY OF TRAVIS §
Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared Alfred R. Herrera, being by me first duly sworn, on oath deposed and said the following:
1 My name is Alfred R. Herrera, and I am a principal in the firm of Herrera & Boyle, PLLC. I have over 30 years of experience in legal and legislative matters related to the utility industry (telecommunication, electric, gas, and water/wastewater). I have litigated numerous electric and gas rate matters. Herrera & Boyle, PLLC was retained by the Alliance of Xcel Municipalities ("AXM") in connection with PUC Docket No. 40293,
Application of Southwestern Public Service Company to Adjust Its Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor.
2. 1 am familiar with the work performed by Herrera & Boyle on.behalf of AXM in connection with PUC Docket No. 40293, Application of Southwestern Public Service
Company to Adjust Its Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor. I am over 18 years of
age and I am not disqualified from making this affidavit. My statements are true and correct.
3. This firm has provided services to AXM in this docket including, but not limited to, the following activities: the provision of legal advice and strategy to AXM; negotiating schedules and substantive issues; coordination of issue development; settlement talks and negotiations; legal research; preparation and filing of pleadings; discovery; and briefing clients.
4. I am responsible for coordinating and supervising the efforts of my firm's personnel pertaining to the services rendered to AXM in this docket. I have personally reviewed all billings for all work performed in connection with PUC Docket No. 40293, Application of Southwestern Public Service Company to Adjust Its Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor.
5. Invoices and backup for the fees and expenses charged to AXM are provided to AXM for approval and forwarded to Southwestern Public Service Company for payment. My
SOAH Docket No. 473-13-4070 1 Affidavit ofAlfred R. Herrera
firm's billings are associated with efforts that were reasonable and necessary for development of the record and advocacy of AXM's position. Duplication of effort was avoided.
6. My firm's individual charges and rates are reasonable, consistent with the rates billed to others for similar work and comparable to rates charged by other professionals with the same level of expertise and experience. The amounts charged for such service are reasonable and there has been no double billing of charges. No meal expense has been billed by any attorney or other Herrera & Boyle personnel. No charges have been incurred or billed for luxury items, first-class airfare, limousines, alcohol, sporting events, or entertainment.
7. For the period March 1, 2012 through July 31, 2012, Herrera & Boyle billed $9,662.75 in PUC Docket No. 40293 for legal fees and expenses. The fees and expenses incurred through July 31, 2012 were necessary to advise AXM on the filing, review the application, identify issues, coordinate activities, engage in discovery, settlement discussions, and draft pleadings.
8. The attorney hourly fees of $285-$310, upon which the billings are based, are comparable to hourly fees charged other clients for comparable services during the same time frame. Herrera & Boyle's fees are at the lower end of the range of reasonable hourly fees compared to the fees charged by other lawyers with similar experience providing similar services.
9. The hours spent to perform the tasks assigned to Herrera & Boyle were necessary to complete assigned tasks in a professional manner on a timely basis. My many years in working with and supervising attorneys and consultants in utility rate cases at the PUC facilitates efforts to keep rate case expenses reasonable.
10. The invoices submitted by Herrera & Boyle include a description of services performed and time expended on each activity. The invoices for PUC Docket No. 40293 were provided to SPS and will be filed with the PUC. Herrera & Boyle has documented all charges with time sheets, invoices and records. The documentation in this case is similar to that provided in many previous cases at the PUC.
11. Legal expenses connected with Docket No. 40293 do not contain any luxury items associated with Herrera & Boyle's expense. The total consist of reimbursable items such as courier services, express mail, postage and shipping, and photocopying. Internal copying charges were limited to 15¢ per page.
12. My responsibilities in Docket No. 40293 included client communication, strategy development, overall case management, and discovery review. Mr. Felipe Alonso IIl, an associate with the firm was assigned responsibilities related to discovery issues, application review, and other duties as assigned. Ms. Mariann Wood also provided paralegal services for these dockets. Their invoices are attached and fully document the services they provided and the time they expended on each activity.
SOAH Docket No. 473-13-4070 2
Affidavit ofAIrred R. Herrera
PUC Docket No. 41446
13. AXM reserves the right to amend this affidavit and its request for reimbursement as necessary for pocket No. 40293.
14. Statements in this affidavit are true and known by me personally.
Al ed R. Herrera
SWORN AND SUBSCRIBED before me on this the 20th day of September 2013.
MARMNN N. WOOD Notary Public, Stets of Taxes
My Commlasion Expires
Npvembsr 24, 2014 Notary Public, State of Texas
SOAH Docket No. 473-13-4070 3
Affidavit ofAlfred R. Herrera
PUC Docket No. 41446