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United States Regulations
18 CFR PART 101—UNIFORM SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTS PRESCRIBED FOR PUBLIC UTILITIES AND LICENSEES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL POWER ACT
Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources
PART 101—UNIFORM SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTS PRESCRIBED FOR PUBLIC UTILITIES AND LICENSEES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL POWER ACT
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 791a–825r, 2601–2645; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101–7352, 7651–7651o.
Source: Order 218, 25 FR 5014, June 7, 1960, as amended by Order 276, 28 FR 14267, Dec. 25, 1963, Order 290, 29 FR 18214, Dec. 23, 1964; 30 FR 484, Jan. 14, 1965; Order 322, 31 FR 7898, June 3, 1966; Order 343, 32 FR 6678, May 2, 1967; 32 FR 8657, June 16, 1967; Order 354, 32 FR 15671, Nov. 14, 1967; Order 866, 33 FR 10135, July 16, 1968; Order 389, 34 FR 17436, Oct. 29, 1969; Order 393, 34 FR 20269, Dec. 25, 1969; Order 389A, 35 FR 879, Jan. 22, 1970; Order 393A, 35 FR 5943, Apr. 10, 1970; Order 408, 35 FR 13985, Sept. 3, 1970; Order 419, 36 FR 518, Jan. 14, 1971; Order 420, 36 FR 507, Jan. 14, 1971; Order 421, 36 FR 3047, Feb. 17, 1971; 36 FR 4386, Mar. 5, 1971; Order 432, 36 FR 8240, May 1, 1971; Order 434, 36 FR 11431, June 12, 1971; Order 436, 36 FR 15529, Aug. 17, 1971; Order 439, 36 FR 20869, Oct. 30, 1971; Order 454, 37 FR 14226, July 18, 1972; Order 460, 37 FR 24659, Nov. 18, 1972; Order 469, 38 FR 4248, Feb. 12, 1973; Order 462, 38 FR 4948, Feb. 23, 1973; Order 463, 38 FR 7214, Mar. 19, 1973; Order 475, 38 FR 6667, Mar. 12, 1973; Order 488, 38 FR 12115, May 9, 1973; Order 486, 38 FR 18873, July 16, 1973; Order 490, 38 FR 23332, Aug. 29, 1973; Order 486–1, 38 FR 30434, Nov. 5, 1973; Order 473, 39 FR 2469, Jan. 22, 1974; Order 504, 39 FR 6073, Feb. 19, 1974; Order 505, 39 FR 6093, Feb. 19, 1974; Order 505, 39 FR 22417, June 24, 1974; Order 530, 40 FR 26983, June 26, 1975; Order 549, 41 FR 24993, June 22, 1976; Order 561, 42 FR 9163, Feb. 15, 1977; Order 566, 42 FR 30156, June 13, 1977; Order 567, 42 FR 30613, June 16, 1977; Order 5, 43 FR 15418, Apr. 13, 1978; Order 258, 47 FR 42723, Sept. 29, 1982; 48 FR 32567, 32568, 32570, July 18, 1983; Order 390, 49 FR 32505, Aug. 14, 1984; 50 FR 5744, Feb. 12, 1985; Order 435, 50 FR 40358, Oct. 3, 1985; Order 552, 58 FR 18004, 18005, 18006, Apr. 7, 1993; 58 FR 42495, Aug. 10, 1993; 63 FR 6851, Feb. 11, 1998; Order 618, 65 FR 47667, Aug. 3, 2000; Order 627, 67 FR 67701, Nov. 6, 2002; Order 631, 68 FR 19619, Apr. 21, 2003; Order 634, 68 FR 40508, July 8, 2003; Order 634–A, 68 FR 62002, Oct. 31, 2003; Order 668, 70 FR 77638, Dec. 30, 2005.
Effective Date Note: At 58 FR 18004–18006, Apr. 7, 1993, part 101 was amended by redesignating Definitions 30 through 38 as 31 through 39 and adding new Definition 30; adding paragraph 21 under the General Instructions; adding Accounts 158.1, 158.2, 182.3, and 254 under Balance Sheet Accounts; adding Accounts 407.3, 407.4, 411.8, and 411.9 under Income Accounts; and adding Account 509 under Operation and Maintenance Expense Accounts. The added text contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.
Note: Order 141, 12 FR 8503, Dec. 19, 1947, provides in part as follows:
Prescribing a system of accounts for public utilities and licensees under the Federal Power Act. The Federal Power Commission acting pursuant to authority granted by the Federal Power Act, particularly sections 301(a), 304(a), and 309, and paragraph (13) of section 3, section 4(b) thereof, and finding such action necessary and appropriate for carrying out the provisions of said act, hereby adopts the accompanying system of accounts entitled “Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act,” and the rules and regulations contained therein; and It is hereby ordered:
(a) That said system of accounts and said rules and regulations contained therein be and the same are hereby prescribed and promulgated as the system of accounts and rules and regulations of the Commission to be kept and observed by public utilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission and by licensees holding licenses issued by the Commission, to the extent and in the manner set forth therein;
(b) That said system of accounts and rules and regulations therein contained shall, as to all public utilities now subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission and as to all present licensees, become effective on January 1, 1937, and as to public utilities and licensees which may hereafter become subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission, they shall become effective as of the date when such public utility becomes subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission or on the effective date of the license;
(c) That a copy of said system of accounts and rules and regulation contained therein be forthwith served upon each public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission, and each licensee or permittee holding a license or permit from the Commission.
This system of accounts supersedes the system of accounts prescribed for licensees under the Federal Water Power Act; and Order No. 13, entered November 20, 1922, prescribing said system of accounts, was rescinded effective January 1, 1937.
Applicability of system of accounts. This system of accounts is applicable in principle to all licensees subject to the Commission's accounting requirements under the Federal Power Act, and to all public utilities subject to the provisions of the Federal Power Act. The Commission reserves the right, however, under the provisions of section 301(a) of the Federal Power Act to classify such licensees and public utilities and to prescribe a system of classification of accounts to be kept by and which will be convenient for and meet the requirements of each class.
This system of accounts is applicable to public utilities, as defined in this part, and to licensees engaged in the generation and sale of electric energy for ultimate distribution to the public.
This system of accounts shall also apply to agencies of the United States engaged in the generation and sale of electric energy for ultimate distribution to the public, so far as may be practicable, in accordance with applicable statutes.
In accordance with the requirements of section 3 of the Act (49 Stat. 839; 16 U.S.C. 796(13)), the “classification of investment in road and equipment of steam roads, issue of 1914, Interstate Commerce Commission”, is published and promulgated as a part of the accounting rules and regulations of the Commission, and a copy thereof appears as part 103 of this chapter. Irrespective of any rules and regulations contained in this system of accounts, the cost of original projects licensed under the Act, and also the cost of additions thereto and betterments thereof, shall be determined under the rules and principles as defined and interpreted in said classification of the Interstate Commerce Commission so far as applicable.
For application of uniform system of accounts to Class C and D public utilities and licensees, see part 104 of this chapter. For statements and reports, see part 141 of this chapter.
Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act Definitions
When used in this system of accounts:
1. Accounts means the accounts prescribed in this system of accounts.
2. Actually issued, as applied to securities issued or assumed by the utility, means those which have been sold to bona fide purchasers for a valuable consideration, those issued as dividends on stock, and those which have been issued in accordance with contractual requirements direct to trustees of sinking funds.
3. Actually outstanding, as applied to securities issued or assumed by the utility, means those which have been actually issued and are neither retired nor held by or for the utility; provided, however, that securities held by trustees shall be considered as actually outstanding.
4. Amortization means the gradual extinguishment of an amount in an account by distributing such amount over a fixed period, over the life of the asset or liability to which it applies, or over the period during which it is anticipated the benefit will be realized.
5. A. Associated (affiliated) companies means companies or persons that directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, control, or are controlled by, or are under common control with, the accounting company.
B. Control (including the terms controlling, controlled by, and under common control with) means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a company, whether such power is exercised through one or more intermediary companies, or alone, or in conjunction with, or pursuant to an agreement, and whether such power is established through a majority or minority ownership or voting of securities, common directors, officers, or stockholders, voting trusts, holding trusts, associated companies, contract or any other direct or indirect means.
6. Book cost means the amount at which property is recorded in these accounts without deduction of related provisions for accrued depreciation, amortization, or for other purposes.
7. Commission, means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
8. Continuing Plant Inventory Record means company plant records for retirement units and mass property that provide, as either a single record, or in separate records readily obtainable by references made in a single record, the following information:
A. For each retirement unit:
(1) The name or description of the unit, or both;
(2) The location of the unit;
(3) The date the unit was placed in service;
(4) The cost of the unit as set forth in Plant Instructions 2 and 3 of this part; and
(5) The plant control account to which the cost of the unit is charged; and
B. For each category of mass property:
(1) A general description of the property and quantity;
(2) The quantity placed in service by vintage year;
(3) The average cost as set forth in Plant Instructions 2 and 3 of this part; and
(4) The plant control account to which the costs are charged.
9. Cost means the amount of money actually paid for property or services. When the consideration given is other than cash in a purchase and sale transaction, as distinguished from a transaction involving the issuance of common stock in a merger or a pooling of interest, the value of such consideration shall be determined on a cash basis.
10. Cost of removal means the cost of demolishing, dismantling, tearing down or otherwise removing electric plant, including the cost of transportation and handling incidental thereto. It does not include the cost of removal activities associated with asset retirement obligations that are capitalized as part of the tangible long-lived assets that give rise to the obligation. (See General Instruction 25).
11. Debt expense means all expenses in connection with the issuance and initial sale of evidences of debt, such as fees for drafting mortgages and trust deeds; fees and taxes for issuing or recording evidences of debt; cost of engraving and printing bonds and certificates of indebtedness; fees paid trustees; specific costs of obtaining governmental authority; fees for legal services; fees and commissions paid underwriters, brokers, and salesmen for marketing such evidences of debt; fees and expenses of listing on exchanges; and other like costs.
12. Depreciation, as applied to depreciable electric plant, means the loss in service value not restored by current maintenance, incurred in connection with the consumption or prospective retirement of electric plant in the course of service from causes which are known to be in current operation and against which the utility is not protected by insurance. Among the causes to be given consideration are wear and tear, decay, action of the elements, inadequacy, obsolescence, changes in the art, changes in demand and requirements of public authorities.
13. Discount, as applied to the securities issued or assumed by the utility, means the excess of the par (stated value of no-par stocks) or face value of the securities plus interest or dividends accrued at the date of the sale over the cash value of the consideration received from their sale.
14. Investment advances means advances, represented by notes or by book accounts only, with respect to which it is mutually agreed or intended between the creditor and debtor that they shall be settled by the issuance of securities or shall not be subject to current settlement.
15. Lease, capital means a lease of property used in utility or nonutility operations, which meets one or more of the criteria stated in General Instruction 19.
16. Lease, operating means a lease of property used in utility or nonutility operations, which does not meet any of the criteria stated in General Instruction 19.
17. Licensee means any person, or State, licensed under the provisions of the Federal Power Act and subject to the Commission's accounting requirements under the terms of the license.
18. Minor items of property means the associated parts or items of which retirement units are composed.
19. Net salvage value means the salvage value of property retired less the cost of removal.
20. Nominally issued, as applied to securities issued or assumed by the utility, means those which have been signed, certified, or otherwise executed, and placed with the proper officer for sale and delivery, or pledged, or otherwise placed in some special fund of the utility, but which have not been sold, or issued direct to trustees of sinking funds in accordance with contractual requirements.
21. Nominally outstanding, as applied to securities issued or assumed by the utility, means those which, after being actually issued, have been reacquired by or for the utility under circumstances which require them to be considered as held alive and not retired, provided, however, that securities held by trustees shall be considered as actually outstanding.
22. Nonproject property means the electric plant of a licensee which is not a part of the project property subject to a license issued by the Commission.
23. Original cost, as applied to electric plant, means the cost of such property to the person first devoting it to public service.
24. Person means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a joint stock company, a business trust, or any organized group of persons, whether incorporated or not, or any receiver or trustee.
25. Premium, as applied to securities issued or assumed by the utility, means the excess of the cash value of the consideration received from their sale over the sum of their par (stated value of no-par stocks) or face value and interest or dividends accrued at the date of sale.
26. Project means complete unit of improvement or development, consisting of a power house, all water conduits, all dams and appurtenant works and structures (including navigation structures) which are a part of said unit, and all storage, diverting, or forebay reservoirs directly connected therewith, the primary line or lines transmitting power therefrom to the point of junction with the distribution system or with the interconnected primary transmission system, all miscellaneous structures used and useful in connection with said unit or any part thereof, and all water rights, rights of way, ditches, dams, reservoirs, lands, or interest in lands the use and occupancy of which are necessary or appropriate in the maintenance and operation of such unit.
27. Project property means the property described in and subject to a license issued by the Commission.
28. Property retired, as applied to electric plant, means property which has been removed, sold, abandoned, destroyed, or which for any cause has been withdrawn from service.
29. Public utility means any person who owns or operates facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under the Federal Power Act. (See section 201(e) of said act.)
30. Regional market means an organized energy market operated by a public utility, whether directly or through a contractual relationship with another entity.
31. Regulatory Assets and Liabilities are assets and liabilities that result from rate actions of regulatory agencies. Regulatory assets and liabilities arise from specific revenues, expenses, gains, or losses that would have been included in net income determination in one period under the general requirements of the Uniform System of Accounts but for it being probable:
A. that such items will be included in a different period(s) for purposes of developing the rates the utility is authorized to charge for its utility services; or
B. in the case of regulatory liabilities, that refunds to customers, not provided for in other accounts, will be required.
32. A. Replacing or replacement, when not otherwise indicated in the context, means the construction or installation of electric plant in place of property retired, together with the removal of the property retired.
B. Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) in the case of Major utilities means expenditures incurred by public utilities and licensees either directly or through another person or organization (such as research institute, industry association, foundation, university, engineering company or similar contractor) in pursuing research, development, and demonstration activities including experiment, design, installation, construction, or operation. This definition includes expenditures for the implementation or development of new and/or existing concepts until technically feasible and commercially feasible operations are verified. Such research, development, and demonstration costs should be reasonably related to the existing or future utility business, broadly defined, of the public utility or licensee or in the environment in which it operates or expects to operate. The term includes, but is not limited to: All such costs incidental to the design, development or implementation of an experimental facility, a plant process, a product, a formula, an invention, a system or similar items, and the improvement of already existing items of a like nature; amounts expended in connection with the proposed development and/or proposed delivery of alternate sources of electricity; and the costs of obtaining its own patent, such as attorney's fees expended in making and perfecting a patent application. The term includes preliminary investigations and detailed planning of specific projects for securing for customers non-conventional electric power supplies that rely on technology that has not been verified previously to be feasible. The term does not include expenditures for efficiency surveys; studies of management, management techniques and organization; consumer surveys, advertising, promotions, or items of a like nature.
33. Retained Earnings (formerly earned surplus) means the accumulated net income of the utility less distribution to stockholders and transfers to other capital accounts.
34. Retirement units means those items of electric plant which, when retired, with or without replacement, are accounted for by crediting the book cost thereof to the electric plant account in which included.
35. Salvage value means the amount received for property retired, less any expenses incurred in connection with the sale or in preparing the property for sale; or, if retained, the amount at which the material recoverable is chargeable to materials and supplies, or other appropriate account.
36. Service life means the time between the date electric plant is includible in electric plant in service, or electric plant leased to others, and the date of its retirement. If depreciation is accounted for on a production basis rather than on a time basis, then service life should be measured in terms of the appropriate unit of production.
37. Service value means the difference between original cost and net salvage value of electric plant.
38. State means a State admitted to the Union, the District of Columbia, and any organized Territory of the United States.
39. Subsidiary Company in the case of Major utilities means a company which is controlled by the utility through ownership of voting stock. (See Definitions item 5B, Control). A corporate joint venture in which a corporation is owned by a small group of businesses as a separate and specific business or project for the mutual benefit of the members of the group is a subsidiary company for the purposes of this system of accounts.
40. Utility, as used herein and when not otherwise indicated in the context, means any public utility or licensee to which this system of accounts is applicable.
1. Classification of utilities.
A. For purpose of applying the system of accounts prescribed by the Commission, electric utilities and licensees are divided into classes, as follows:
(1) Major. Utilities and licensees that had, in each of the last three consecutive years, sales or transmission service that exceeded any one or more of the following:
(a) One million megawatt-hours of total sales;
(b) 100 megawatt-hours of sales for resale;
(c) 500 megawatt-hours of power exchanges delivered; or
(d) 500 megawatt-hours of wheeling for others (deliveries plus losses).
(2) Nonmajor. Utilities and licensees that are not classified as Major (as defined above), and had total sales in each of the last three consecutive years of 10,000 megawatt-hours or more.
B. This system applies to both Major and Nonmajor utilities and licensees. Provisions have been incorporated into this system for those entities which, prior to January 1, 1984, were applying the Commission's Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees subject to the Provisions of the Federal Power Act (Class C and Class D) [part 104 of this chapter, now revoked]. The notations (Nonmajor) and (Major) have been used to indicate those instructions and accounts from previous systems and classifications, which by definition, are not interchangeable without causing a loss of detail for the Major (previously Class A and Class B) or an increase in detail burden on the Nonmajor (previously Class C and Class D).
C. The class to which any utility or licensee belongs will originally be determined by its annual megawatt hours in each of the last three consecutive years, or in the case of a newly established entity, the projected data shall be the basis. Subsequent changes in classification shall be made as necessary when the megawatt-hours for each of the three immediately preceding years shall exceed the upper limit, or be less than the lower limit of the classification previously applicable to the utility.
D. Any utility may, at its option, adopt the system of accounts prescribed by the Commission for any larger class of utilities.
A. Each utility shall keep its books of account, and all other books, records, and memoranda which support the entries in such books of account so as to be able to furnish readily full information as to any item included in any account. Each entry shall be supported by such detailed information as will permit ready identification, analysis, and verification of all facts relevant thereto.
B. The books and records referred to herein include not only accounting records in a limited technical sense, but all other records, such as minute books, stock books, reports, correspondence, memoranda, etc., which may be useful in developing the history of or facts regarding any transaction.
C. No utility shall destroy any such books or records unless the destruction thereof is permitted by rules and regulations of the Commission.
D. In addition to prescribed accounts, clearing accounts, temporary or experimental accounts, and subdivisions of any accounts, may be kept, provided the integrity of the prescribed accounts is not impaired.
E. All amounts included in the accounts prescribed herein for electric plant and operating expenses shall be just and reasonable and any payments or accruals by the utility in excess of just and reasonable charges shall be included in account 426.5, Other Deductions.
F. The arrangement or sequence of the accounts prescribed herein shall not be controlling as to the arrangement or sequence in report forms which may be prescribed by the Commission.
3. Numbering System.
A. The account numbering plan used herein consists of a system of three-digit whole numbers as follows:
100–199 Assets and other debits.
200–299 Liabilities and other credits.
300–399 Plant accounts.
400–432, 434–435 Income accounts.
433, 436–439 Retained earnings accounts.
440–459 Revenue accounts.
500–599 Production, transmission and distribution expenses.
900–949 Customer accounts, customer service and informational, sales, and general and administrative expenses.
B. In certain instances, numbers have been skipped in order to allow for possible later expansion or to permit better coordination with the numbering system for other utility departments.
C. The numbers prefixed to account titles are to be considered as parts of the titles. Each utility, however, may adopt for its own purposes a different system of account numbers (see also general instruction 2D) provided that the numbers herein prescribed shall appear in the descriptive headings of the ledger accounts and in the various sources of original entry; however, if a utility uses a different group of account numbers and it is not practicable to show the prescribed account numbers in the various sources of original entry, such reference to the prescribed account numbers may be omitted from the various sources of original entry. Moreover, each utility using different account numbers for its own purposes shall keep readily available a list of such account numbers which it uses and a reconciliation of such account numbers with the account numbers provided herein. It is intended that the utility's records shall be so kept as to permit ready analysis by prescribed accounts (by direct reference to sources of original entry to the extent practicable) and to permit preparation of financial and operating statements directly from such records at the end of each accounting period according to the prescribed accounts.
4. Accounting Period.
Each utility shall keep its books on a monthly basis so that for each month all transactions applicable thereto, as nearly as may be ascertained, shall be entered in the books of the utility. Amounts applicable or assignable to specific utility departments shall be so segregated monthly. Each utility shall close its books at the end of each calendar year unless otherwise authorized by the Commission.
5. Submittal of Questions.
To maintain uniformity of accounting, utilities shall submit questions of doubtful interpretation to the Commission for consideration and decision.
6. Item Lists.
Lists of items appearing in the texts of the accounts or elsewhere herein are for the purpose of more clearly indicating the application of the prescribed accounting. The lists are intended to be representative, but not exhaustive. The appearance of an item in a list warrants the inclusion of the item in the account mentioned only when the text of the account also indicates inclusion inasmuch as the same item frequently appears in more than one list. The proper entry in each instance must be determined by the texts of the accounts.
7. Extraordinary Items.
It is the intent that net income shall reflect all items of profit and loss during the period with the exception of prior period adjustments as described in paragraph 7.1 and long-term debt as described in paragraph 17 below. Those items related to the effects of events and transactions which have occurred during the current period and which are of unusual nature and infrequent occurrence shall be considered extraordinary items. Accordingly, they will be events and transactions of significant effect which are abnormal and significantly different from the ordinary and typical activities of the company, and which would not reasonably be expected to recur in the forseeable future. (In determining significance, items should be considered individually and not in the aggregate. However, the effects of a series of related transactions arising from a single specific and identifiable event or plan of action should be considered in the aggregate. To be considered as extraordinary under the above guidelines, an item should be more than approximately 5 percent of income, computed before extraordinary items. Commission approval must be obtained to treat an item of less than 5 percent, as extraordinary. (See accounts 434 and 435.)
7.1 Prior period items.
A. Items of profit and loss related to the following shall be accounted for as prior period adjustments and excluded from the determination of net income for the current year:
(1) Correction of an error in the financial statements of a prior year.
(2) Adjustments that result from realization of income tax benefits of pre-acquisition operating loss carryforwards of purchased subsidiaries.
B. All other items of profit and loss recognized during the year shall be included in the determination of net income for that year.
8. Unaudited Items (Major Utility).
Whenever a financial statement is required by the Commission, if it is known that a transaction has occurred which affects the accounts but the amount involved in the transaction and its effect upon the accounts cannot be determined with absolute accuracy, the amount shall be estimated and such estimated amount included in the proper accounts. The utility is not required to anticipate minor items which would not appreciably affect the accounts.
9. Distribution of Pay and Expenses of Employees.
The charges to electric plant, operating expense and other accounts for services and expenses of employees engaged in activities chargeable to various accounts, such as construction, maintenance, and operations, shall be based upon the actual time engaged in the respective classes of work, or in case that method is impracticable, upon the basis of a study of the time actually engaged during a representative period.
10. Payroll Distribution.
Underlying accounting data shall be maintained so that the distribution of the cost of labor charged direct to the various accounts will be readily available. Such underlying data shall permit a reasonably accurate distribution to be made of the cost of labor charged initially to clearing accounts so that the total labor cost may be classified among construction, cost of removal, electric operating functions (steam generation, nuclear generation, hydraulic generation, transmission, distribution, etc.) and nonutility operations.
11. Accounting to be on Accrual Basis.
A. The utility is required to keep its accounts on the accrual basis. This requires the inclusion in its accounts of all known transactions of appreciable amount which affect the accounts. If bills covering such transactions have not been received or rendered, the amounts shall be estimated and appropriate adjustments made when the bills are received.
B. When payments are made in advance for items such as insurance, rents, taxes or interest the amount applicable to future periods shall be charged to account 165, Prepayments, and spread over the periods to which applicable by credits to account 165, and charges to the accounts appropriate for the expenditure.
12. Records for Each Plant (Major Utility).
Separate records shall be maintained by electric plant accounts of the book cost of each plant owned, including additions by the utility to plant leased from others, and of the cost of operating and maintaining each plant owned or operated. The term plant as here used means each generating station and each transmission line or appropriate group of transmission lines.
13. Accounting for Other Departments.
If the utility also operates other utility departments, such as gas, water, etc., it shall keep such accounts for the other departments as may be prescribed by proper authority and in the absence of prescribed accounts, it shall keep such accounts as are proper or necessary to reflect the results of operating each such department. It is not intended that proprietary and similar accounts which apply to the utility as a whole shall be departmentalized.
14. Transactions With Associated Companies (Major Utility).
Each utility shall keep its accounts and records so as to be able to furnish accurately and expeditiously statements of all transactions with associated companies. The statements may be required to show the general nature of the transactions, the amounts involved therein and the amounts included in each account prescribed herein with respect to such transactions. Transactions with associated companies shall be recorded in the appropriate accounts for transactions of the same nature. Nothing herein contained, however, shall be construed as restraining the utility from subdividing accounts for the purpose of recording separately transactions with associated companies.
15. Contingent Assets and Liabilities (Major Utility).
Contingent assets represent a possible source of value to the utility contingent upon the fulfillment of conditions regarded as uncertain. Contingent liabilities include items which may under certain conditions become obligations of the utility but which are neither direct nor assumed liabilities at the date of the balance sheet. The utility shall be prepared to give a complete statement of significant contingent assets and liabilities (including cumulative dividends on preference stock) in its annual report and at such other times as may be requested by the Commission.
16. Separate Accounts or Records for Each Licensed Project.
The accounts or records of each licensee shall be so kept as to show for each project (including pumped storage) under license;
(a) The actual legitimate original cost of the project, including the original cost (or fair value, as determined under section 23 of the Federal Power Act) of the original project, the original cost of additions thereto and betterments thereof and credits for property retired from service, as determined under the Commission's regulations;
(b) The charges for operation and maintenance of the project property directly assignable to the project;
(c) The credits and debits to the depreciation and amortization accounts, and the balances in such accounts;
(d) The credits and debits to operating revenue, income, and retained earnings accounts that can be identified with and directly assigned to the project.
Note: The purpose of this instruction is to insure that accounts or records are currently maintained by each licensee from which reports may be made to the Commission for use in determining the net investment in each licensed project. The instruction covers only the debit and credit items appearing in the licensee's accounts which may be identified with and assigned directly to any licensed project. In the determination of the net investment as defined in section 3 of the Federal Power Act, allocations of items affecting the net investment may be required where direct assignment is not practicable.
17. Long-Term Debt: Premium, Discount and Expense, and Gain or Loss on Reacquisition.
A. Premium, discount and expense. A separate premium, discount and expense account shall be maintained for each class and series of long-term debt (including receivers' certificates) is- sued or assumed by the utility. The premium will be recorded in account 225, Unamortized Premium on Long-Term Debt, the discount will be recorded in account 226, Unamortized Discount on Long-Term Debt—Debit, and the expense of issuance shall be recorded in account 181, Unamortized Debt Expense.
The premium, discount and expense shall be amortized over the life of the respective issues under a plan which will distribute the amounts equitably over the life of the securities. The amortization shall be on a monthly basis, and amounts thereof relating to discount and expense shall be charged to account 428, Amortization of Debt Discount and Expense. The amounts relating to premium shall be credited to account 429, Amortization of Premium on Debt—Credit.
B. Reacquisition, without refunding. When long-term debt is reacquired or redeemed without being converted into another form of long-term debt and when the transaction is not in connection with a refunding operation (primarily redemptions for sinking fund purposes), the difference between the amount paid upon reacquisition and the face value; plus any un- amortized premium less any related unamortized debt expense and reacquisition costs; or less any unamortized discount, related debt expense and reacquisition costs applicable to the debt redeemed, retired and canceled, shall be included in account 189, Unamortized Loss on Reacquired Debt, or account 257, Unamortized Gain on Reacquired Debt, as appropriate. The utility shall amortize the recorded amounts equally on a monthly basis over the remaining life of the respective security issues (old original debt). The amounts so amortized shall be charged to account 428.1, Amortization of Loss on Reacquired Debt, or credited to account 429.1, Amortization of Gain on Reacquired Debt—Credit, as appropriate.
C. Reacquisition, with refunding. When the redemption of one issue or series of bonds or other long-term obligations is financed by another issue or series before the maturity date of the first issue, the difference between the amount paid upon refunding and the face value; plus any unamortized premium less related debt expense or less any unamortized discount and related debt expense, applicable to the debt refunded, shall be included in account 189, Unamortized Loss on Reacquired Debt, or account 257, Unamortized Gain on Reacquired Debt, as appropriate. The utility may elect to account for such amounts as follows:
(1) Write them off immediately when the amounts are insignificant.
(2) Amortize them by equal monthly amounts over the remainder of the original life of the issue retired, or
(3) Amortize them by equal monthly amounts over the life of the new issue.
Once an election is made, it shall be applied on a consistent basis. The amounts in (1), (2) or (3) above shall be charged to account 428.1. Amortization of Loss on Reacquired Debt, or credited to account 429.1, Amortization of Gain on Reacquired Debt—Credit, as appropriate.
D. Under methods (2) and (3) above, the increase or reduction in current income taxes resulting from the reacquisition should be apportioned over the remainder of the original life of the issue retired or over the life of the new issue, as appropriate, as directed more specifically in paragraphs E and F below.
E. When the utility recognizes the loss in the year of reacquisition as a tax deduction, account 410.1, Provision for Deferred Income Taxes, Utility Operating Income, shall be debited and account 283, Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes—Other, shall be credited with the amount of the related tax effect, such amount to be allocated to the periods affected in accordance with the provisions of account 283.
F. When the utility chooses to recognize the gain in the year of reacquisition as a taxable gain, account 411.1, Provision for Deferred Income Taxes—Credit, Utility Operating Income, shall be credited and account 190, Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes, shall be debited with the amount of the related tax effect, such amount to be allocated to the periods affected in accordance with the provisions of account 190.
G. When the utility chooses to use the optional privilege of deferring the tax on the gain attributable to the reacquisition of debt by reducing the depreciable basis of utility property for tax purposes, pursuant to section 108 of the Internal Revenue Code, the related tax effects shall be deferred as the income is recognized for accounting purposes, and the deferred amounts shall be amortized over the life of the associated property on a vintage year basis. Account 410.1, Provision for Deferred Income Taxes, Utility Operating Income, shall be debited, and account 282, Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes—Other Property shall be credited with an amount equal to the estimated income tax effect applicable to the portion of the income, attributable to reacquired debt, recognized for accounting purposes during the period. Account 282 shall be debited and account 411.1, Provision for Deferred Income Taxes—Credit, Utility Operating Income, shall be credited with an amount equal to the estimated income tax effects, during the life of the property, attributable to the reduction in the depreciable basis for tax purposes.
H. The tax effects relating to gain or loss shall be allocated as above to utility operations except in cases where a portion of the debt reacquired is directly applicable to nonutility operations. In that event, the related portion of the tax effects shall be allocated to nonutility operations. Where it can be established that reacquired debt is generally applicable to both utility and nonutility operations, the tax effects shall be allocated between utility and nonutility operations based on the ratio of net investment in utility plant to net investment in nonutility plant.
I. Premium, discount, or expense on debt shall not be included as an element in the cost of construction or acquisition of property (tangible or intangible), except under the provisions of account 432, Allowance for Borrowed Funds Used During Construction—Credit.
J. Alternate method. Where a regulatory authority or a group of regulatory authorities having prime rate jurisdiction over the utility specifically disallows the rate principle of amortizing gains or losses on reacquisition of long-term debt without refunding, and does not apply the gain or loss to reduce interest charges in computing the allowed rate of return for rate purposes, then the following alternate method may be used to account for gains or losses relating to reacquisition of long-term debt, with or without refunding.
(1) The difference between the amount paid upon reacquisition of any long-term debt and the face value, adjusted for unamortized discount, expenses or premium, as the case may be, applicable to the debt redeemed shall be recognized currently in income and recorded in account 421, Miscellaneous Nonoperating Income, or account 426.5, Other Deductions.
(2) When this alternate method of accounting is used, the utility shall include a footnote to each financial statement, prepared for public use, explaining why this method is being used along with the treatment given for ratemaking purposes.
18. Comprehensive Interperiod In- come Tax Allocation.
A. Where there are timing differences between the periods in which transactions affect taxable income and the periods in which they enter into the determination of pretax accounting income, the income tax effects of such transactions are to be recognized in the periods in which the differences between book accounting income and taxable income arise and in the periods in which the differences reverse using the deferred tax method. In general, comprehensive interperiod tax allocation should be followed whenever transactions enter into the determination of pretax accounting income for the period even though some transactions may affect the determination of taxes payable in a different period, as further qualified below.
B. Utilities are not required to utilize comprehensive interperiod income tax allocation until the deferred income taxes are included as an expense in the rate level by the regulatory authority having rate jurisdiction over the utility. Where comprehensive interperiod tax allocation accounting is not practiced the utility shall include as a note to each financial statement, prepared for public use, a footnote explanation setting forth the utility's accounting policies with respect to interperiod tax allocation and describing the treatment for ratemaking purposes of the tax timing differences by regulatory authorities having rate jurisdiction.
C. Should the utility be subject to more than one agency having rate jurisdiction, its accounts shall appropriately reflect the ratemaking treatment (deferral or flow through) of each jurisdiction.
D. Once comprehensive interperiod tax allocation has been initiated either in whole or in part it shall be practiced on a consistent basis and shall not be changed or discontinued without prior Commission approval.
E. Tax effects deferred currently will be recorded as deferred debits or deferred credits in accounts 190, Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes, 281, Accumulated Deferred Income Tax- es—Accelerated Amortization Property, 282, Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes—Other Property, and 283, Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes—Other, as appropriate. The resulting amounts recorded in these accounts shall be disposed of as prescribed in this system of accounts or as otherwise authorized by the Commission.
19. Criteria for classifying leases.
A. If at its inception a lease meets one or more of the following criteria, the lease shall be classified as a capital lease. Otherwise, it shall be classified as an operating lease.
(1) The lease transfers ownership of the property to the lessee by the end of the lease term
(2) The lease contains a bargain purchase option.
(3) The lease term is equal to 75 percent or more of the estimated economic life of the leased property. However, if the beginning of the lease term falls within the last 25 percent of the total estimated economic life of the leased property, including earlier years of use, this criterion shall not be used for purposes of classifying the lease.
(4) The present value at the beginning of the lease term of the minimum lease payments, excluding that portion of the payments representing executory costs such as insurance, maintenance, and taxes to be paid by the lessor, including any profit thereon, equals or exceeds 90 percent of the excees of the fair value of the leased property to the lessor at the inception of the lease over any related investment tax credit retained by the lessor and expected to be realized by the lessor. However, if the beginning of the lease term falls within the last 25 percent of the total estimated economic life of the leased property, including earlier years of use, this criterion shall not be used for purposes of classifying the lease. The lessee utility shall compute the present value of the minimum lease payments using its incremental borrowing rate, unless (A) it is practicable for the utility to learn the implicit rate computed by the lessor, and (B) the implicit rate computed by the lessor is less than the lessee's incremental borrowing rate. If both of those conditions are met, the lessee shall use the implicit rate.
B. If at any time the lessee and lessor agree to change the provisions of the lease, other than by renewing the lease or extending its term, in a manner that would have resulted in a different classification of the lease under the criteria in paragraph A had the changed terms been in effect at the inception of the lease, the revised agreement shall be considered as a new agreement over its term, and the criteria in paragraph A shall be applied for purposes of classifying the new lease. Likewise, any action that extends the lease beyond the expiration of the existing lease term, such as the exercise of a lease renewal option other than those already included in the lease term, shall be considered as a new agreement and shall be classified according to the above provisions. Changes in estimates (for example, changes in estimates of the economic life or of the residual value of the leased property) or changes in circumstances (for example, default by the lessee) shall not give rise to a new classification of a lease for accounting purposes.
20. Accounting for leases.
A. All leases shall be classified as either capital or operating leases. The accounting for capitalized leases is effective January 1, 1984, except for the retroactive classification of certain leases which, in accordance with FASB No. 71, will not be required to be capitalized until after a three year transition period. For the purpose of reporting to the FERC, the transition period shall be deemed to end December 31, 1986.
B. The utility shall record a capital lease as an asset in account 101.1, Property under Capital Leases, Account 120.6, Nuclear Fuel under Capital Leases, or account 121, Nonutility Property, as appropriate, and an obligation in account 227, Obligations under Capital Leases—Noncurrent, or account 243, Obligations under Capital Leases—Current, at an amount equal to the present value at the beginning of the lease term of minimum lease payments during the lease term, excluding that portion of the payments representing executory costs such as insurance, maintenance, and taxes to be paid by the lessor, together with any profit thereon. However, if the amount so determined exceeds the fair value of the leased property at the inception of the lease, the amount recorded as the asset and obligation shall be the fair value.
C. The utility, as a lessee, shall recognize an asset retirement obligation (See General Instruction 25) arising from the plant under a capital lease unless the obligation is recorded as an asset and liability under a capital lease. The utility shall record the asset retirement cost by debiting account 101.1, Property under capital leases, or account 120.6, Nuclear fuel under capital leases, or account 121, Nonutility property, as appropriate, and crediting the liability for the asset retirement obligation in account 230, Asset retirement obligations. Asset retirement costs recorded in account 101.1, account 120.6, or account 121 shall be amortized by charging rent expense (See Operating Expense Instruction 3), or account 518, Nuclear fuel expense (Major only), or account 421, Miscellaneous nonoperating income, as appropriate, and crediting a separate subaccount of the account in which the asset retirement costs are recorded. Charges for the periodic accretion of the liability in account 230, Asset retirement obligations, shall be recorded by a charge to account 411.10, Accretion expense, for electric utility plant, and account 421, Miscellaneous nonoperating income, for nonutility plant and a credit to account 230, Asset retirement obligations. (continued)