§24-2-3. General power of commission with respect to rates.
The commission shall have power to enforce, originate,
establish, change and promulgate tariffs, rates, joint rates,
tolls and schedules for all public utilities: Provided, That the
commission may exercise such rate authority over municipal
utilities only under the circumstances set forth in section four-b of this article. And whenever the commission shall, after
hearing, find any existing rates, tolls, tariffs, joint rates or
schedules unjust, unreasonable, insufficient or unjustly
discriminatory or otherwise in violation of any of the provisions
of this chapter, the commission shall by an order fix reasonable
rates, joint rates, tariffs, tolls or schedules to be followed in
the future in lieu of those found to be unjust, unreasonable,
insufficient or unjustly discriminatory or otherwise in violation
of any provisions of law, and the said commission, in fixing the
rate of any railroad company, may fix a fair, reasonable and just
rate to be charged on any branch line thereof, independent of the
rate charged on the main line of such railroad.
In determining just and reasonable rates, the commission may
audit and investigate management practices and policies, or have
performed an audit and investigation of such practices and
policies, in order to determine whether the utility is operating
with efficiency and is utilizing sound management practices. The
commission shall adopt rules and regulations setting forth the
scope, frequency and application of such audits and
investigations to the various utilities subject to its
jurisdiction. The commission may include the cost of conducting the management audit in the cost of service of the utility.
In determining just and reasonable rates, the commission
shall investigate and review transactions between utilities and
affiliates. The commission shall limit the total return of the
utility to a level which, when considered with the level of
profit or return the affiliate earns on transactions with the
utility, is just and reasonable.