66cc

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

TITLE 66

PUBLIC UTILITIES

 

PART I.  PUBLIC UTILITY CODE

 

SUBPART A.  PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

Chapter 1.  General Provisions

 

§ 101.  Short title of part.

§ 102.  Definitions.

§ 103.  Prior rights preserved.

§ 104.  Interstate and foreign commerce.

 

Chapter 3.  Public Utility Commission

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 301.  Establishment, members, qualifications and chairman.

§ 302.  Removal of commissioner.

§ 303.  Seal.

§ 304.  Administrative law judges.

§ 305.  Director of operations, secretary, employees and consultants.

§ 306.  Office of Trial Staff (Repealed).

§ 307.  Inspectors for enforcement.

§ 308.  Bureaus and offices.

§ 308.1. Consumer protection and information.

§ 308.2. Other bureaus, offices and positions.

§ 309.  Oaths and subpoenas.

§ 310.  Depositions.

§ 311.  Witness fees.

§ 312.  Privilege and immunity.

§ 313.  Joint hearings and investigations; reciprocity.

§ 314.  Investigation of interstate rates, facilities and service.

§ 315.  Burden of proof.

§ 316.  Effect of commission action.

§ 317.  Fees for services rendered by commission.

§ 318.  Commission to cooperate with other departments.

§ 319.  Code of ethics.

§ 320.  Annual appropriations.

§ 321.  Annual reports.

 

Subchapter B.  Investigations and Hearings

 

§ 331.  Powers of commission and administrative law judges.

§ 332.  Procedures in general.

§ 333.  Prehearing procedures.

§ 334.  Presiding officers.

§ 335.  Initial decisions and release of documents.

 

SUBPART B.  COMMISSION POWERS, DUTIES,

PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES

 

Chapter 5.  Powers and Duties

 

§ 501.  General powers.

§ 502.  Enforcement proceedings by commission.

§ 503.  Enforcement proceedings by Chief Counsel.

§ 504.  Reports by public utilities.

§ 505.  Duty to furnish information to commission; cooperation in valuing property.

§ 506.  Inspection of facilities and records.

§ 507.  Contracts between public utilities and municipalities.

§ 508.  Power of the commission to vary, reform and revise contracts.

§ 509.  Regulation of manufacture, sale or lease of appliances.

§ 510.  Assessment for regulatory expenses upon public utilities.

§ 511.  Disposition, appropriation and disbursement of assessments and fees.

§ 511.1. Use of Federal funds under energy program.

§ 512.  Power of commission to require insurance.

§ 512.1. Power of commission to confiscate, impound and sell vehicles.

§ 513.  Public letting of contracts.

§ 514.  Use of coal.

§ 515.  Construction cost of electric generating units.

§ 516.  Audits of certain utilities.

§ 517.  Conversion of electric generating units fueled by oil or natural gas.

§ 518.  Construction of electric generating units fueled by nuclear energy.

§ 519.  Construction of electric generating units fueled by oil or natural gas.

§ 520.  Power of commission to order cancellation or modification of construction of electric generating units.

§ 521.  Retirement of electric generating units.

§ 522.  Expense reduction program.

§ 523.  Performance factor consideration.

§ 524.  Data to be supplied by electric utilities.

§ 525.  Sale of generating units and power.

§ 526.  Rejection of rate increase requests due to inadequate quality or quantity of service.

§ 527.  Cogeneration rules and regulations.

§ 528.  Use of foreign coal by qualifying facilities.

§ 529.  Power of commission to order acquisition of small water and sewer utilities.

§ 530.  Clean Air Act implementation plans.

 

Chapter 7.  Procedure on Complaints

 

§ 701.  Complaints.

§ 702.  Service of complaints on parties.

§ 703.  Fixing of hearings.

 

Chapter 9.  Judicial Proceedings

 

§ 901.  Right to trial by jury.

§ 902.  Reliance on orders pending judicial review.

§ 903.  Restriction on injunctions (Repealed).

 

SUBPART C.  REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES

GENERALLY

 

Chapter 11.  Certificates of Public Convenience

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 1101.  Organization of public utilities and beginning of service.

§ 1102.  Enumeration of acts requiring certificate.

§ 1103.  Procedure to obtain certificates of public convenience.

§ 1104.  Certain appropriations by right of eminent domain prohibited.

 

Subchapter B.  Limousine Service in Counties of the Second Class

 

§ 1121.  Definitions.

§ 1122.  Certificate of public convenience required.

§ 1123.  Regulations.

§ 1124.  Miscellaneous provisions.

 

Chapter 13.  Rates and Distribution Systems

 

Subchapter A.  Rates

 

§ 1301.  Rates to be just and reasonable.

§ 1301.1. Computation of income tax expense for ratemaking purposes.

§ 1302.  Tariffs; filing and inspection.

§ 1303.  Adherence to tariffs.

§ 1304.  Discrimination in rates.

§ 1305.  Advance payment of rates; interest on deposits.

§ 1306.  Apportionment of joint rates.

§ 1307.  Sliding scale of rates; adjustments.

§ 1308.  Voluntary changes in rates.

§ 1309.  Rates fixed on complaint; investigation of costs of production.

§ 1310.  Temporary rates.

§ 1311.  Valuation of and return on the property of a public utility.

§ 1312.  Refunds.

§ 1313.  Price upon resale of public utility services.

§ 1314.  Limitation on prices paid for property and fuel.

§ 1315.  Limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities.

§ 1316.  Recovery of advertising expenses.

§ 1316.1. Recovery of club dues.

§ 1317.  Regulation of natural gas costs.

§ 1318.  Determination of just and reasonable gas cost rates.

§ 1319.  Financing of energy supply alternatives.

§ 1320.  Fuel purchase audits by complaint.

§ 1321.  Recovery of certain employee meeting expenses.

§ 1322.  Outages of electric generating units.

§ 1323.  Procedures for new electric generating capacity.

§ 1324.  Residential telephone service rates based on duration or distance of call.

§ 1325.  Local exchange service increases; limitation (Repealed).

§ 1326.  Standby charge prohibited.

§ 1327.  Acquisition of water and sewer utilities.

§ 1328.  Determination of public fire hydrant rates.

§ 1329.  Valuation of acquired water and wastewater systems.

§ 1330.  Alternative ratemaking for utilities.

 

Subchapter B.  Distribution Systems

 

§ 1350.  Scope of subchapter.

§ 1351.  Definitions.

§ 1352.  Long-term infrastructure improvement plan.

§ 1353.  Distribution system improvement charge.

§ 1354.  Customer notice.

§ 1355.  Review.

§ 1356.  Asset optimization plans.

§ 1357.  Computation of charge.

§ 1358.  Customer protections.

§ 1359.  Projects.

§ 1360.  Applicability.

 

Chapter 14.  Responsible Utility Customer Protection

 

§ 1401.  Scope of chapter.

§ 1402.  Declaration of policy.

§ 1403.  Definitions.

§ 1404.  Cash deposits and household information requirements.

§ 1405.  Payment arrangements.

§ 1406.  Termination of utility service.

§ 1407.  Reconnection of service.

§ 1408.  Surcharges for uncollectible expenses prohibited.

§ 1409.  Late payment charge waiver.

§ 1410.  Complaints filed with commission.

§ 1410.1. Public utility duties.

§ 1411.  Automatic meter readings.

§ 1412.  Reporting of delinquent customers.

§ 1413.  Reporting of recipients of public assistance.

§ 1414.  Liens by city natural gas distribution operations.

§ 1415.  Reporting to General Assembly and Governor.

§ 1416.  Notice.

§ 1417.  Nonapplicability.

§ 1418.  Construction.

§ 1419.  Expiration.

 

Chapter 15.  Service and Facilities

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 1501.  Character of service and facilities.

§ 1501.1. Certain utilities prohibited from using foreign coal.

§ 1502.  Discrimination in service.

§ 1503.  Discontinuance of service.

§ 1504.  Standards of service and facilities.

§ 1505.  Proper service and facilities established on complaint; authority to order conservation and load management programs.

§ 1506.  Copies of service contracts, etc., to be filed with commission.

§ 1507.  Testing of appliances for measurement of service.

§ 1508.  Reports of accidents.

§ 1509.  Billing procedures.

§ 1510.  Ownership and maintenance of natural and artificial gas service lines.

§ 1511.  Electricity supplied to certain organizations.

 

Subchapter B.  Discontinuance of Service to Leased Premises

 

§ 1521.  Definitions.

§ 1522.  Applicability of subchapter.

§ 1523.  Notices before service to landlord terminated.

§ 1524.  Request to landlord to identify tenants.

§ 1525.  Delivery and contents of termination notice to landlord.

§ 1526.  Delivery and contents of first termination notice to tenants.

§ 1527.  Right of tenants to continued service.

§ 1528.  Delivery and contents of subsequent termination notice to tenants.

§ 1529.  Right of tenant to recover payments.

§ 1529.1. Duty of owners of rental property.

§ 1530.  Waiver of subchapter prohibited.

§ 1531.  Retaliation by landlord prohibited.

§ 1532.  Penalties.

§ 1533.  Petition to appoint receiver.

 

Chapter 17.  Accounting and Budgetary Matters

 

§ 1701.  Mandatory systems of accounts.

§ 1702.  Continuing property records.

§ 1703.  Depreciation accounts; reports.

§ 1704.  Records and accounts to be kept in Commonwealth.

§ 1705.  Budgets of public utilities.

§ 1706.  Applicability to municipal corporations.

 

Chapter 19.  Securities and Obligations

 

§ 1901.  Registration of securities to be issued or assumed.

§ 1902.  Contents of securities certificates.

§ 1903.  Registration or rejection of securities certificates.

§ 1904.  Unauthorized securities may be declared void.

 

Chapter 21.  Relations with Affiliated Interests

 

§ 2101.  Definition of affiliated interest.

§ 2102.  Approval of contracts with affiliated interests.

§ 2103.  Continuing supervision and jurisdiction over contracts.

§ 2104.  Contracts to be in writing; cost data.

§ 2105.  Contracts in violation of part void.

§ 2106.  Effect on rates.

§ 2107.  Federal regulatory agencies.

 

SUBPART D.  SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO

REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES

 

Chapter 22.  Natural Gas Competition

 

§ 2201.  Short title of chapter.

§ 2202.  Definitions.

§ 2203.  Standards for restructuring of natural gas utility industry.

§ 2204.  Implementation.

§ 2205.  Duties of natural gas distribution companies.

§ 2206.  Consumer protections and customer service.

§ 2207.  Obligation to serve.

§ 2208.  Requirements for natural gas suppliers.

§ 2209.  Market power remediation.

§ 2210.  Approval of proposed mergers, consolidations, acquisitions or dispositions.

§ 2211.  Rate caps.

§ 2212.  City natural gas distribution operations.

 

Chapter 23.  Common Carriers

 

§ 2301.  Operation and distribution of facilities of common carriers.

§ 2302.  Transfers and time schedules of common carriers.

§ 2303.  Common carrier connections with other lines.

§ 2304.  Liability of common carriers for damages to property in transit; bills of lading.

§ 2305.  Full crews.

 

Chapter 24.  Motor Carrier Regulations

 

§ 2401.  Regulation of taxis and limousines.

 

Chapter 25.  Contract Carrier by Motor Vehicle and Broker

 

§ 2501.  Declaration of policy and definitions.

§ 2502.  Regulation and classification of contract carrier and broker.

§ 2503.  Permits required of contract carriers.

§ 2504.  Dual operation by motor carriers.

§ 2505.  Licenses and financial responsibility required of brokers.

§ 2506.  Copies of contracts to be filed with commission; charges and changes therein.

§ 2507.  Minimum rates fixed and practices prescribed on complaint.

§ 2508.  Accounts, records and reports.

§ 2509.  Temporary permits and licenses.

 

Chapter 26.  Transportation Network Service

 

§ 2601.  Definitions.

§ 2602.  Exclusions.

§ 2603.  Applicability of certain laws and prohibition.

§ 2603.1. Financial responsibility requirements.

§ 2603.2. Disclosures.

§ 2604.  Licenses and regulations.

§ 2604.1. Licensure requirements.

§ 2604.2. Records.

§ 2604.3. Service standards.

§ 2604.4. Dual motor carrier authority.

§ 2604.5. Lienholder and lessor requirements.

§ 2605.  Transportation network company drivers.

§ 2606.  Personal vehicle requirements.

§ 2607.  Rates and forms of compensation.

§ 2608.  Nondisclosure of passenger information.

§ 2609.  Fines and penalties.

§ 2610.  Commission costs.

 

Chapter 27.  Railroads

 

§ 2701.  Railroad connections with sidetracks and laterals.

§ 2702.  Construction, relocation, suspension and abolition of crossings.

§ 2703.  Ejectment in crossing cases.

§ 2704.  Compensation for damages occasioned by construction, relocation or abolition of crossings.

§ 2705.  Speedometers and speed recorders.

§ 2706.  Flag protection.

§ 2707.  Inspection of highway crossing safety devices (Expired).

§ 2708.  Alternative compliance (Expired).

§ 2709.  Disposition of real property by public utility engaged in railroad business.

 

Chapter 28.  Restructuring of Electric Utility Industry

 

§ 2801.  Short title of chapter.

§ 2802.  Declaration of policy.

§ 2803.  Definitions.

§ 2804.  Standards for restructuring of electric industry.

§ 2805.  Regionalism and reciprocity.

§ 2806.  Implementation, pilot programs and performance-based rates.

§ 2806.1. Energy efficiency and conservation program.

§ 2806.2. Energy efficiency and conservation.

§ 2807.  Duties of electric distribution companies.

§ 2808.  Competitive transition charge.

§ 2809.  Requirements for electric generation suppliers.

§ 2810.  Revenue-neutral reconciliation.

§ 2811.  Market power remediation.

§ 2812.  Approval of transition bonds.

§ 2813.  Procurement of power.

§ 2814.  Additional alternative energy sources.

§ 2815.  Carbon dioxide sequestration network.

 

Chapter 29.  Telephone and Telegraph Wires

 

Subchapter A.  General Provisions

 

§ 2901.  Definitions.

§ 2902.  Private wire for gambling information prohibited.

§ 2903.  Written contract for private wire.

§ 2904.  Joint use of telephone and telegraph facilities.

§ 2905.  Telephone message services.

§ 2906.  Dissemination of telephone numbers and other identifying information.

§ 2907.  State correctional institutions.

 

Subchapter B.  Regulation of Coin Telephone Service

 

§ 2911.  Legislative findings and declarations.

§ 2912.  Availability of adequate coin telephone service.

§ 2913.  Minimum service requirement.

§ 2914.  Establishment of just and reasonable rates.

§ 2915.  Duty of commission.

 

Chapter 30.  Alternative Form of Regulation of Telecommunications Services

 

§ 3001.  Declaration of policy (Repealed).

§ 3002.  Definitions (Repealed).

§ 3003.  Local exchange telecommunications company request for alternative regulation and network modernization implementation plan (Repealed).

§ 3004.  Commission review and approval of petition and plan (Repealed).

§ 3005.  Competitive services (Repealed).

§ 3006.  Streamlined form of rate regulation (Repealed).

§ 3007.  Determination of access charges (Repealed).

§ 3008.  Interexchange telecommunications carrier (Repealed).

§ 3009.  Additional powers and duties (Repealed).

§ 3010.  (Reserved).

§ 3011.  Declaration of policy.

§ 3012.  Definitions.

§ 3013.  Continuation of commission-approved alternative regulation and network modernization plans.

§ 3014.  Network modernization plans.

§ 3015.  Alternative forms of regulation.

§ 3016.  Competitive services.

§ 3017.  Access charges.

§ 3018.  Interexchange telecommunications carriers.

§ 3019.  Additional powers and duties.

 

SUBPART E.  MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

 

Chapter 31.  Foreign Trade Zones

 

§ 3101.  Operation as public utility.

§ 3102.  Establishment by private corporations and  municipalities.

§ 3103.  Formation and authority of private corporations (Repealed).

§ 3104.  Municipalities and corporations to comply with law; forfeiture of rights.

§ 3105.  Reports to Department of Community Affairs.

 

Chapter 32.  Water and Sewer Authorities in Cities of the Second Class

 

§ 3201.  Definitions.

§ 3202.  Application of provisions of title.

§ 3203.  Prior tariffs.

§ 3204.  Tariff filing and compliance plan.

§ 3205.  Maintenance, repair and replacement of facilities and equipment.

§ 3206.  Duties of Office of Consumer Advocate and Office of Small Business Advocate.

§ 3207.  Commission assessment.

§ 3208.  Power of authority.

§ 3209.  Proprietary information of authority.

 

Chapter 33.  Violations and Penalties

 

§ 3301.  Civil penalties for violations.

§ 3302.  Criminal penalties for violations.

§ 3303.  Nonliability for enforcement of lawful tariffs and rates.

§ 3304.  Unlawful issuance and assumption of securities.

§ 3305.  Misapplication of proceeds of securities.

§ 3306.  Execution of unlawful contracts.

§ 3307.  Refusal to obey subpoena and testify.

§ 3308.  Concealment of witnesses and records.

§ 3309.  Liability for damages occasioned by unlawful acts.

§ 3310.  Unauthorized operation by carriers and brokers.

§ 3311.  Bribery.

§ 3312.  Evasion of motor carrier and broker regulations.

§ 3313.  Excessive price on resale.

§ 3314.  Limitation of actions and cumulation of remedies.

§ 3315.  Disposition of fines and penalties.

§ 3316.  Protection of public utility employees.

 

PART II.  OTHER PROVISIONS (Reserved)

66c101h

 

TITLE 66

PUBLIC UTILITIES

 

Part

I.  Public Utility Code

II.  Other Provisions (Reserved)

 

Enactment.  Unless otherwise noted, the provisions of Part I were added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

 

 

PART I

PUBLIC UTILITY CODE

 

Subpart

A.  Preliminary Provisions

B.  Commission Powers, Duties, Practices and Procedures

C.  Regulation of Public Utilities Generally

D.  Special Provisions Relating to Regulation of Public Utilities

E.  Miscellaneous Provisions

 

Enactment.  Unless otherwise noted, the provisions of Part I were added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

 

 

SUBPART A

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

Chapter

1.  General Provisions

3.  Public Utility Commission

 

 

CHAPTER 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sec.

101.  Short title of part.

102.  Definitions.

103.  Prior rights preserved.

104.  Interstate and foreign commerce.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 1 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

66c101s

§ 101.  Short title of part.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the "Public Utility Code."

66c102s

§ 102.  Definitions.

Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent provisions of this part which are applicable to specific provisions of this part, the following words and phrases when used in this part shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

"City natural gas distribution operation."  A collection of real and personal assets used for distributing natural gas to retail gas customers owned by a city or a municipal authority, nonprofit corporation or public corporation formed pursuant to section 2212(m) (relating to city natural gas distribution operations).

"Commission."  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission of this Commonwealth.

"Common carrier."  Any and all persons or corporations holding out, offering, or undertaking, directly or indirectly, service for compensation to the public for the transportation of passengers or property, or both, or any class of passengers or property, between points within this Commonwealth by, through, over, above, or under land, water, or air, and shall include forwarders, but shall not include contract carriers by motor vehicles, or brokers, or any bona fide cooperative association transporting property exclusively for the members of such association on a nonprofit basis. The term does not include a transportation network company or a transportation network company driver.

"Common carrier by motor vehicle."  As follows:

(1)  Any common carrier who or which holds out or undertakes the transportation of passengers or property, or both, or any class of passengers or property, between points within this Commonwealth by motor vehicle for compensation, whether or not the owner or operator of such motor vehicle, or who or which provides or furnishes any motor vehicle, with or without driver, for transportation or for use in transportation of persons or property as aforesaid.

(2)  The term includes:

(i)  Common carriers by rail, water, or air, and express or forwarding public utilities insofar as such common carriers or such public utilities are engaged in such motor vehicle operations.

(ii)  A person that holds itself out to provide or furnish transportation of household property between residential dwellings within this Commonwealth by motor vehicle for compensation, owns or operates the motor vehicle and provides or furnishes a driver of the motor vehicle with the transportation.

(3)  The term does not include:

(i)  A lessor under a lease given on a bona fide sale of a motor vehicle where the lessor retains or assumes no responsibility for maintenance, supervision, or control of the motor vehicles so sold.

(ii)  Transportation of school children for school purposes or to and from school-related activities whether as participants or spectators, with their chaperones, or between their homes and Sunday school in any motor vehicle owned by the school district, private school or parochial school, or transportation of school children between their homes and school or to and from school-related activities whether as participants or spectators, with their chaperones, if the person performing the school-related transportation has a contract for the transportation of school children between their homes and school, with the private or parochial school, with the school district or jointure in which the school is located, or with a school district that is a member of a jointure in which the school is located if the jointure has no contracts with other persons for the transportation of students between their homes and school, and if the person maintains a copy of all contracts in the vehicle at all times, or children between their homes and Sunday school in any motor vehicle operated under contract with the school district, private school or parochial school. Each school district shall adopt regulations regarding the number of chaperones to accompany students in connection with school-related activities.

(iii)  Any owner or operator of a farm transporting agricultural products from, or farm supplies to, such farm, or any independent contractor or cooperative agricultural association hauling agricultural products or farm supplies exclusively for one or more owners or operators of farms.

(iv)  Any person or corporation who or which uses, or furnishes for use, dump trucks for the transportation of ashes, rubbish, excavated and road construction materials. This paragraph does not include the use or furnishing of five-axle tractor trailers.

(v)  Transportation of property by the owner to himself, or to purchasers directly from him, in vehicles owned and operated by the owner of such property and not otherwise used in transportation of property for compensation for others.

(vi)  Transportation of voting machines to and from polling places by any person or corporation for or on behalf of any political subdivision of this Commonwealth for use in any primary, general, municipal or special election.

(vii)  Transportation of pulpwood, chemical wood, saw logs or veneer logs from woodlots.

(viii)  Transportation by towing of wrecked or disabled motor vehicles.

(ix)  Any person or corporation who or which furnishes transportation for any injured, ill or dead person.

(x)  A person or entity that is any of the following:

(A)  A transportation network company.

(B)  A transportation network company driver.

(xi)  A motor carrier when the motor carrier provides transportation of household goods in containers or trailers that are entirely packed, loaded, unloaded or unpacked by an individual other than an employee or agent of the motor carrier.

"Corporation."  All bodies corporate, joint-stock companies, or associations, domestic or foreign, their lessees, assignees, trustees, receivers, or other successors in interest, having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships, but shall not include municipal corporations, except as otherwise expressly provided in this part, nor bona fide cooperative associations which furnish service on a nonprofit basis only to their stockholders or members.

"Customer's service line."  The pipe and appurtenances owned by the customer extending from the service connection of the gas utility to the inlet of the meter serving the customer.

"Digital network."  Any online-enabled application, software, website or system offered or utilized by a transportation network company that enables the prearrangement of rides with transportation network company drivers.

"Dual motor carrier."  A call or demand carrier operating under a certificate of public convenience and providing transportation network services pursuant to a license from the commission. For purposes of this chapter, only certificated call or demand carriers may file an application with the commission requesting a license to operate a transportation network service as a dual motor carrier.

"Dual motor carrier driver."  An individual who:

(1)  receives connections to potential passengers and related services from a dual motor carrier in exchange for payment of a fee to the dual motor carrier; and

(2)  uses a personal vehicle to offer or provide a prearranged ride to passengers upon connection through a digital network controlled by a dual motor carrier in return for compensation or payment of a fee.

"Dynamic pricing."  A transportation network company's practice of adjusting the calculation used to determine fares at certain times and locations in response to the supply of transportation network company drivers and the demand for transportation network services.

"Facilities."  All the plant and equipment of a public utility, including all tangible and intangible real and personal property without limitation, and any and all means and instrumentalities in any manner owned, operated, leased, licensed, used, controlled, furnished, or supplied for, by, or in connection with, the business of any public utility. Property owned by the Commonwealth or any municipal corporation prior to June 1, 1937, shall not be subject to the commission or to any of the terms of this part, except as elsewhere expressly provided in this part.

"Forwarder."  Any person or corporation not included in the terms "motor carrier" or "broker" who or which issues receipts or billings for property received by such person or corporation for transportation, forwarding, or consolidating, or for distribution by any medium of transportation or combination or media of transportation, other than solely by motor vehicle.

"Highway."  A way or place of whatever nature open to the use of the public as a matter of right for purposes of vehicular traffic.

"Motor carrier."  A common carrier by motor vehicle, and a contract carrier by motor vehicle. The term does not include a transportation network company or a transportation network company driver.

"Motor vehicle."  Any vehicle which is self-propelled, excepting power shovels, tractors other than truck tractors, road rollers, agricultural machinery, and vehicles which solely move upon or are guided by a track, or travel through the air.

"Municipal corporation."  All cities, boroughs, towns, townships, or counties of this Commonwealth, and also any public corporation, authority, or body whatsoever created or organized under any law of this Commonwealth for the purpose of rendering any service similar to that of a public utility.

"Person."  Individuals, partnerships, or associations other than corporations, and includes their lessees, assignees, trustees, receivers, executors, administrators, or other successors in interest.

"Personal vehicle."  As follows:

(1)  A vehicle that is used by a transportation network company driver and is owned, leased or otherwise authorized for use by the transportation network company driver.

(2)  The term does not include:

(i)  a call or demand service or limousine service as defined under 53 Pa.C.S. § 5701 (relating to definitions);

(ii)  a common carrier, common carrier by motor vehicle or motor carrier;

(iii)  a broker or contract carrier by motor vehicle as defined under section 2501(b) (relating to declaration of policy and definitions); or

(iv)  a vehicle operated under a ridesharing arrangement or by a ridesharing operator as defined under the act of December 14, 1982 (P.L.1211, No.279), entitled "An act providing for ridesharing arrangements and providing that certain laws shall be inapplicable to ridesharing arrangements."

"Prearranged ride."  The provision of transportation by a transportation network company driver to a passenger, beginning when a transportation network company driver accepts a ride requested by a passenger through a digital network, continuing while the driver transports the passenger and ending when the last passenger departs from the personal vehicle. A prearranged ride does not include:

(1)  transportation provided using a call or demand service or limousine service as defined under 53 Pa.C.S. § 5701 (relating to definitions);

(2)  a common carrier, common carrier by motor vehicle or motor carrier, unless a prearranged ride is provided by a dual motor carrier;

(3)  a broker or contract carrier by motor vehicle as defined under section 2501(b) (relating to declaration of policy and definitions); or

(4)  a driver operating under a ridesharing arrangement or a ridesharing operator as defined under the act of December 14, 1982 (P.L.1211, No.279), entitled "An act providing for ridesharing arrangements and providing that certain laws shall be inapplicable to ridesharing arrangements."

"Public utility."

(1)  Any person or corporations now or hereafter owning or operating in this Commonwealth equipment or facilities for:

(i)  Producing, generating, transmitting, distributing or furnishing natural or artificial gas, electricity, or steam for the production of light, heat, or power to or for the public for compensation.

(ii)  Diverting, developing, pumping, impounding, distributing, or furnishing water to or for the public for compensation.

(iii)  Transporting passengers or property as a common carrier.

(iv)  Use as a canal, turnpike, tunnel, bridge, wharf, and the like for the public for compensation.

(v)  Transporting or conveying natural or artificial gas, crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum products, materials for refrigeration, or oxygen or nitrogen, or other fluid substance, by pipeline or conduit, for the public for compensation.

(vi)  Conveying or transmitting messages or communications, except as set forth in paragraph (2)(iv), by telephone or telegraph or domestic public land mobile radio service including, but not limited to, point-to-point microwave radio service for the public for compensation.

(vii)  Wastewater collection, treatment, or disposal for the public for compensation.

(viii)  Providing limousine service in a county of the second class pursuant to Subchapter B of Chapter 11 (relating to limousine service in counties of the second class).

(2)  The term does not include:

(i)  Any person or corporation, not otherwise a public utility, who or which furnishes service only to himself or itself.

(ii)  Any bona fide cooperative association which furnishes service only to its stockholders or members on a nonprofit basis.

(iii)  Any producer of natural gas not engaged in distributing such gas directly to the public for compensation.

(iv)  Any person or corporation, not otherwise a public utility, who or which furnishes mobile domestic cellular radio telecommunications service.

(v)  Any building or facility owner/operators who hold ownership over and manage the internal distribution system serving such building or facility and who supply electric power and other related electric power services to occupants of the building or facility.

(vi)  Electric generation supplier companies, except for the limited purposes as described in sections 2809 (relating to requirements for electric generation suppliers) and 2810 (relating to revenue-neutral reconciliation).

(vii)  Service as follows:

(A)  Any water or sewer service provided to independently owned user premises by a person or corporation that owns and operates as a primary business a resort where:

(I)  the service provided is from a point within the boundaries of the resort's property and is provided to no more than 100 independently owned user premises for each type of service;

(II)  the service is verified by the resort, in a form and manner prescribed by the commission, to be incidental to the supplier's primary resort business as evidenced by the gross annual revenues derived from each type of service provided to independently owned user premises being less than 1% of the annual gross revenues of the primary resort business;

(III)  rates to independently owned user premises do not exceed the average of the rates for comparable service provided by two municipal corporations or municipal authorities or any combination of the two that are reasonably proximate to the resort or within the same county if rural;

(IV)  service will not be terminated to any independently owned user premises in the resort, unless termination is requested by the user, is necessary due to nonpayment or to prevent misuse of the system by a user which impairs or jeopardizes service to other users and the resort, or if termination is directed by law, regulation or by a Federal or State agency or governmental body;

(V)  the water and sewer service provided to the independently owned user premises is the same service that the resort owner provides to itself or its affiliates;

(VI)  the resort adopts a resolution providing that it will not serve any additional independently owned user premises except if lawfully directed by any Federal or State agency or governmental body to protect public health and safety due to an emergency such as contamination or failure of existing supply, and does not revoke or amend such resolution without first notifying the secretary of the commission in writing 30 days in advance of such proposed revocation or amendment; and

(VII)  disputes between an independently owned user premises and the resort are resolved by the applicable court system.

(B)  For purposes of this subparagraph:

(I)  The term "resort" means a place or business visited primarily for leisure or vacation that offers or provides lodging, entertainment, hospitality, dining, recreational facilities or activities for guests, business conferees, members or residents.

(II)  The term "independently owned user premises" means a structure not owned by the resort or its affiliates, including a structure intended to be used as a seasonal residence, served from a point within the boundaries of a resort and to which a resort owner or its affiliates provides water or sewer service.

(3)  For the purposes of sections 2702 (relating to construction, relocation, suspension and abolition of crossings), 2703 (relating to ejectment in crossing cases) and 2704 (relating to compensation for damages occasioned by construction, relocation or abolition of crossings) and those portions of sections 1501 (relating to character of service and facilities), 1505 (relating to proper service and facilities established on complaint; authority to order conservation and load management programs) and 1508 (relating to reports of accidents), as those sections or portions thereof relate to safety only, a municipal authority or transportation authority organized under the laws of this Commonwealth shall be considered a public utility when it owns or operates, for the carriage of passengers or goods by rail, a line of railroad composed of lines formerly owned or operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Penn-Central Transportation Company, the Reading Company or the Consolidated Rail Corporation.

"Railroad."  Every railroad, other than a street railway, by whatsoever power operated, for public use in the conveyance of passengers or property, or both, and all the facilities thereof.

"Rate."  Every individual, or joint fare, toll, charge, rental, or other compensation whatsoever of any public utility, or contract carrier by motor vehicle, made, demanded, or received for any service within this part, offered, rendered, or furnished by such public utility, or contract carrier by motor vehicle, whether in currency, legal tender, or evidence thereof, in kind, in services or in any other medium or manner whatsoever, and whether received directly or indirectly, and any rules, regulations, practices, classifications or contracts affecting any such compensation, charge, fare, toll, or rental.

"Rate base."  The value of the whole or any part of the property of a public utility which is used and useful in the public service.

"Service."  Used in its broadest and most inclusive sense, includes any and all acts done, rendered, or performed, and any and all things furnished or supplied, and any and all facilities used, furnished, or supplied by public utilities, or contract carriers by motor vehicle, in the performance of their duties under this part to their patrons, employees, other public utilities, and the public, as well as the interchange of facilities between two or more of them, but shall not include any acts done, rendered or performed, or any thing furnished or supplied, or any facility used, furnished or supplied by public utilities or contract carriers by motor vehicle in the transportation of voting machines to and from polling places for or on behalf of any political subdivision of this Commonwealth for use in any primary, general or special election, or in the transportation of any injured, ill or dead person, or in the transportation by towing of wrecked or disabled motor vehicles, or in the transportation of pulpwood or chemical wood from woodlots.

"Service line."  The pipe and appurtenances of the gas utility which connect any main with either the point of connection of a customer's service line or the meter of the public utility if the utility owns all the pipe and appurtenances between its main and meter.

"Street railway."  Every railroad and railway, or any extension or extensions thereof, by whatsoever power operated, for public use in the conveyance of passengers or property, or both, located mainly or in part upon, above, below, through, or along any highway in any city, borough, or town, and not constituting or used as a part of a trunk line railroad system, and all the facilities thereof.

"Tariff."  All schedules of rates, all rules, regulations, practices, or contracts involving any rate or rates, including contracts for interchange of service, and, in the case of a common carrier, schedules showing the method of distribution of the facilities of such common carrier.

"Transportation network company" or "company."  A person or entity licensed by the commission to operate a transportation network service in this Commonwealth and that uses a digital network to facilitate prearranged rides. The following shall apply:

(1)  The term shall include a dual motor carrier.

(2)  The term shall not include:

(i)  A common carrier, common carrier by motor vehicle or motor carrier other than a dual motor carrier.

(ii)  A company providing transportation under a ridesharing arrangement, as defined under the act of December 14, 1982 (P.L.1211, No.279), entitled "An act providing for ridesharing arrangements and providing that certain laws shall be inapplicable to ridesharing arrangements."

"Transportation network company driver" or "driver."  As follows:

(1)  An individual who:

(i)  receives connections to potential passengers and related services from a transportation network company in exchange for payment of a fee to the transportation network company; and

(ii)  uses a personal vehicle to offer or provide a prearranged ride to passengers upon connection through a digital network controlled by a transportation network company in return for compensation or payment of a fee.

(2)  The term shall include a dual motor carrier driver.

(3)  The term shall not include an individual who receives only reimbursement for actual expenses incurred during the provision of transportation.

"Transportation network company passenger" or "passenger."  A person who uses a digital network to connect with a transportation network driver who provides prearranged rides to the passenger in the driver's personal vehicle between points chosen by the passenger.

"Transportation network service" or "service."

(1)  A service which meets all of the following:

(i)  Matches a passenger and transportation network company driver using a digital network in advance of a prearranged ride.

(ii)  Is characterized by a transportation network company driver offering or providing a prearranged ride to a passenger.

(iii)  Is rendered on an exclusive basis. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "exclusive basis" means a transportation network service on a given prearranged ride when each individual, party or group may not be required to ride with another passenger on that prearranged ride unless the individual, party or group consents to additional passengers on the prearranged ride.

(2)  The term includes the periods when:

(i)  A driver is logged onto a transportation network company's digital network and available for service.

(ii)  A driver is conducting a prearranged ride.

"Transportation of passengers or property."  Any and all service in connection with the receiving, transportation, elevation, transfer in transit, ventilation, refrigeration, icing, storage, handling, and delivering of property, baggage or freight, as well as any and all service in connection with the transportation or carrying of passengers, but shall not mean any service in connection with the receiving, transportation, handling or delivering of voting machines to and from polling places for or on behalf of any political subdivision of this Commonwealth for use in any primary, general or special election, or the transportation of any injured, ill or dead person, or the transportation by towing of wrecked or disabled motor vehicles, or the transportation of pulpwood or chemical wood from woodlots.

"Wastewater."  Any used water and water-carried solids collected or conveyed by a sewer, including:

(1)  Sewage, as defined in section 2 of the act of January 24, 1966 (1965 P.L.1535, No.537), known as the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act.

(2)  Industrial waste originating from an establishment. For the purposes of this paragraph, the terms "industrial waste" and "establishment" shall be as defined in section 1 of the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L.1987, No.394), known as The Clean Streams Law.

(3)  Infiltration or inflow into sewers.

(4)  Other water containing solids or pollutants.

(5)  Storm water which is or will become mixed with waters described under paragraph (1), (2), (3) or (4) within a combined sewer system.

The term does not include storm water collected in a municipal separate storm sewer, as that term is defined by 40 CFR 122.26(b)(8) (relating to storm water discharges (applicable to State NPDES programs, see § 123.25)), that does not flow into a combined sewer system.

66c102v

(Mar. 7, 1984, P.L.104, No.22, eff. 60 days; Sept. 27, 1984, P.L.721, No.153, eff. 60 days; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1265, No.240, eff. imd.; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1270, No.241, eff. imd.; Oct. 10, 1985, P.L.257, No.62, eff. 60 days; June 30, 1988, P.L.481, No.81, eff. 60 days; Dec. 3, 1996, P.L.802, No.138, eff. Jan. 1, 1997; June 22, 1999, P.L.122, No.21, eff. June 30, 2000; Apr. 2, 2002, P.L.218, No.23, eff. imd.; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1578, No.201, eff. 14 days; June 23, 2016, P.L.362, No.50, eff. imd.; Nov. 4, 2016, P.L.1180, No.154, eff. imd.; Nov. 4, 2016, P.L.1222, No.164, eff. imd.; Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1244, No.77, eff. 60 days)

 

2017 Amendment.  Act 77 amended the def. of "common carrier by motor vehicle."

2016 Amendments.  Act 50 amended the def. of "public utility," retroactive to January 1, 2009, Act 154 amended par. (1)(vii) of the def. of "public utility" and added the def. of "wastewater" and Act 164 amended the defs. of "common carrier" and "motor carrier," added par. (10) of the def. of "common carrier by motor vehicle" and added the defs. of "digital network," "dual motor carrier," "dual motor carrier driver," "dynamic pricing," "personal vehicle," "prearranged ride," "transportation network company" or "company," "transportation network company driver" or "driver," "transportation network company passenger" or "passenger" and "transportation network service" or "service."

2004 Amendment.  Act 201 amended par. (4) of the def. of "common carrier by motor vehicle."

1999 Amendment.  Act 21 added the def. of "city natural gas distribution operation."

1988 Amendment.  Act 81 amended the def. of "common carrier by motor vehicle."

1984 Amendments.  Act 22 added the defs. of "customer's service line" and "service line," Acts 153 and 240 added the def. of "rate base" and Act 241 amended the def. of "public utility." The amendments by Acts 153 and 240 are identical and therefore have been merged.

Cross References.  Section 102 is referred to in sections 510, 1308, 1503, 1509, 1522, 2202, 2212, 3310 of this title; sections 103, 202, 204 of Title 26 (Eminent Domain); sections 8401, 9501 of Title 74 (Transportation); section 102 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

66c103s

§ 103.  Prior rights preserved.

(a)  Existing law continued.--Except as otherwise specifically provided in this part, it is the intention of this part to continue existing law. Any public utility, contract carrier by motor vehicle, or broker rendering service or having the right to render service on the day preceding the effective date of this part shall be entitled to the full enjoyment and the exercise of all and every right, power and privilege which it lawfully possessed on that date.

(b)  Existing proceedings, certificates, regulations, tariffs and contracts.--All litigation, hearings, investigations, and other proceedings whatsoever, pending under any repealed statute supplied by this part, shall continue and remain in full force and effect, and may be continued and completed under the provisions of this part. All certificates, permits, licenses, orders, rules, regulations or tariffs made, issued, or filed under any repealed statute supplied by this part, and in full force and effect upon the effective date of this part, shall remain in full force and effect for the term issued, or until revoked, vacated, or modified under the provisions of this part. All existing contracts and obligations of the commission or its predecessor, entered into or created under any repealed statute supplied by this part, and in force and effect upon the effective date of this part, shall remain in full force and effect and shall continue to be performed by the commission.

(c)  Remedies cumulative.--Except as otherwise provided in this part, nothing in this part shall abridge or alter the existing rights of action or remedies in equity or under common or statutory law of this Commonwealth, and the provisions of this part shall be cumulative and in addition to such rights of action and remedies.

66c103v

 

Cross References.  Section 103 is referred to in section 1102 of this title.

66c104s

§ 104.  Interstate and foreign commerce.

The provisions of this part, except when specifically so provided, shall not apply, or be construed to apply, to commerce with foreign nations, or among the several states, except insofar as the same may be permitted under the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and the acts of Congress.

66c301h

 

 

CHAPTER 3

PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION

 

Subchapter

A.  General Provisions

B.  Investigations and Hearings

 

Enactment.  Chapter 3 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See sections 14 and 15 of Act 114 of 1986 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to reestablishment and termination of commission.

Cross References.  Chapter 3 is referred to in sections 515, 2603 of this title.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sec.

301.  Establishment, members, qualifications and chairman.

302.  Removal of commissioner.

303.  Seal.

304.  Administrative law judges.

305.  Director of operations, secretary, employees and    consultants.

306.  Office of Trial Staff (Repealed).

307.  Inspectors for enforcement.

308.  Bureaus and offices.

308.1. Consumer protection and information.

308.2. Other bureaus, offices and positions.

309.  Oaths and subpoenas.

310.  Depositions.

311.  Witness fees.

312.  Privilege and immunity.

313.  Joint hearings and investigations; reciprocity.

314.  Investigation of interstate rates, facilities and service.

315.  Burden of proof.

316.  Effect of commission action.

317.  Fees for services rendered by commission.

318.  Commission to cooperate with other departments.

319.  Code of ethics.

320.  Annual appropriations.

321.  Annual reports.

66c301s

§ 301.  Establishment, members, qualifications and chairman.

(a)  Appointment and terms of members.--The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, established by the act of March 31, 1937 (P.L.160, No.43), as an independent administrative commission, is hereby continued as such. Prior to the third Tuesday in January of 1987, the commission shall consist of five members who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of all the members of the Senate, for a term of ten years, provided that the term of any member appointed to fill a vacancy existing on the effective date of this amendatory act and prior to the third Tuesday in January of 1987 shall expire on March 31, 1987. Vacancies on April 1, 1987, shall be filled as follows: One term shall be until April 1, 1990, and one term shall be until April 1, 1992. Confirmation of such gubernatorial appointees shall be by a majority of the members of the Senate. If other vacancies occur between the effective date of this amendatory act and April 1, 1987, the term shall be the balance of the term to which the predecessor had been appointed. Vacancies after April 1, 1987, shall be filled for the balance of the term to which a predecessor had been appointed. Thereafter, the commission shall consist of five members appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of the Senate, for a term of five years. The Governor may submit the nomination to the Senate within 60 days prior to the expiration of the term or the effective date of the resignation of the member whom the nominee would replace and shall submit that nomination no later than 90 days after the expiration of the term or the effective date of the resignation. A commissioner may continue to hold office for a period not to exceed six months beyond the expiration of his term if his successor has not been duly appointed and qualified according to law.

(b)  Qualifications and restrictions.--Each commissioner, at the time of his appointment and qualification, shall be a resident of this Commonwealth and shall have been a qualified elector therein for a period of at least one year next preceding his appointment, and shall also be not less than 25 years of age. No person shall be appointed a member of the commission or hold any place, position or office under it, who occupies any official relation to any public utility or who holds any other appointive or elected office of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof. Commencing July 1, 1977, commissioners shall devote full time to their official duties. No commissioner shall hold any office or position, the duties of which are incompatible with the duties of his office as commissioner, or be engaged in any business, employment or vocation, for which he shall receive any remuneration, except as provided in this chapter. No employee, appointee or official engaged in the service of or in any manner connected with, the commission shall hold any office or position, or be engaged in any employment or vocation, the duties of which are incompatible with his employment in the service of or in connection with the work of the commission. No commissioner shall be paid or accept for any service connected with the office, any fee or emolument other than the salary and expenses provided by law. No commissioner shall participate in any hearing or proceeding in which he has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest. Within 90 days of confirmation, each commissioner shall disclose, at that time and thereafter annually, the existence of all security holdings in any public utility or its affiliates held by such commissioner, his or her spouse and any minor or unemancipated children and must either divest or place in a blind trust such securities. As used in this part, blind trust means a trust over which neither the commissioners, their spouses, nor any minor or unemancipated children shall exercise any managerial control, and from which neither the commissioners, their spouses, nor any minor or unemancipated children shall receive any income from the trust during the commissioner's tenure of office. Such disclosure statement shall be filed with the secretary of the commission and shall be open to inspection by the public during the normal business hours of the commission during the tenure of the commissioner. Every commissioner, and every individual or official, employed or appointed to office under, in the service of, or in connection with, the work of the commission, is forbidden, directly or indirectly, to solicit or request from, or to suggest or recommend to any public utility, or to any officer, attorney, agent or employee thereof, the appointment of any individual to any office, place or position in, or the employment of any individual in any capacity by, such public utility. Every commissioner, every bureau or office director and every administrative law judge employed or appointed to office under, in the service of or in connection with the work of the commission, is prohibited from accepting employment with any public utility subject to the rules and regulations of the commission for a period of one year, and every commissioner is prohibited from appearing before the commission on behalf of any public utility subject to the rules and regulations of the commission for a period of three years, after terminating employment or service with the commission. If any person employed or appointed in the service of the commission violates any provision of this section, the commission shall forthwith remove him from the office or employment held by him.

(c)  Chairman.--A member designated by the Governor shall be the chairman of the commission during such member's term of office, except that within 120 days following the third Tuesday in January 1987, and, every four years thereafter, the Governor shall designate a chairman. The commissioners shall annually elect a member to serve as the vice chairman of the commission. When present, the chairman shall preside at all meetings, but in his absence the vice chairman or, in his absence, a member, designated by the chairman, shall preside and shall exercise, for the time being, all the powers of the chairman. The chairman shall have such powers and duties as authorized by the commission as provided in section 331(b) (relating to powers of commission and administrative law judges).

(d)  Quorum.--A majority of the members of the commission serving in accordance with law shall constitute a quorum and such majority, acting unanimously, shall be required for any action, including the making of any order or the ratification of any act done or order made by one or more of the commissioners. No vacancy in the commission shall impair the right of a quorum of the commissioners to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the commission.

(e)  Compensation.--Each of the commissioners shall receive an annual salary of $55,000, except the chairman, who shall receive an annual salary of $57,500.

(f)  Open proceedings.--The proceedings of the commission shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the act of July 19, 1974 (P.L.486, No.175), referred to as the Public Agency Open Meeting Law.

(g)  Monitoring cases.--Each commissioner shall be responsible for monitoring specified cases as shall be assigned to him in a manner determined by the commission. All proceedings properly before the commission shall be assigned immediately upon filing.

66c301v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 amended subsecs. (a), (b), (c) and (e). Section 16 provided that as much of the amendment to subsec. (a) as relates to the advice and consent of a majority of all the members of the Senate shall apply on and after the third Tuesday of January 1987.

2002 Partial Repeal.  Section 4 of Act 231 of 2002 provided that section 301 is repealed insofar as it relates to the consent required by the Senate to appointments by the Governor.

1993 Partial Repeal.  Section 2 of Act 30 repealed subsec. (e) insofar as it is inconsistent with Act 30.

References in Text.  The act of July 19, 1974 (P.L.486, No.175), referred to as the Public Agency Open Meeting Law, referred to in subsec. (f), was repealed by the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the Sunshine Act. The Sunshine Act was repealed by the act of October 15, 1998 (P.L.729, No.93). The subject matter is now contained in Chapter 7 of Title 65 (Public Officers).

The act of March 31, 1937 (P.L.160, No.43), referred to in subsec. (a), was repealed by the act of July 1, 1978 (P.L.598, No.116). The subject matter in now contained in Chapter 3 of this title.

Cross References.  Section 301 is referred to in section 302 of this title.

66c302s

§ 302.  Removal of commissioner.

The Governor, by and with the consent of two-thirds of all of the members of the Senate, shall remove from office any commissioner who violates the provision of section 301(b) (relating to establishment, members, qualifications and chairman) requiring commissioners to devote full time to their official duties and may remove any commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct in office, giving him a copy of the charges against him, and affording him an opportunity to be publicly heard in person or by counsel in his own defense upon not less than ten days notice. If the commissioner is removed, the Governor shall file with the Department of State a complete statement of all charges made against the commissioner and his finding thereon, together with a complete record of the proceedings.

66c302v

 

Cross References.  Section 302 is referred to in section 319 of this title.

66c303s

§ 303.  Seal.

The commission shall adopt and use an official seal, by which the commission shall authenticate its proceedings, and of which seal the courts shall take judicial notice. A copy of any paper or document on file with the commission authenticated by any such seal shall be evidence equally and in like manner as the original.

66c304s

§ 304.  Administrative law judges.

(a)  General rule.--The office of administrative law judge to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is hereby created. The commission shall have the power to appoint as many qualified and competent administrative law judges as may be necessary for proceedings pursuant to this part, and who shall devote full time to their official duties and who shall perform no duties inconsistent with their duties and responsibilities as administrative law judges. Administrative law judges shall be afforded employment security as provided by the act of August 5, 1941 (P.L.752, No.286), known as the "Civil Service Act." Compensation for administrative law judges shall be established by the commission. If the commission is occasionally and temporarily understaffed of administrative law judges, the commission may appoint qualified and competent persons who meet the minimum standards established by this part to temporarily serve as such judges, who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission and shall receive such compensation as the commission may establish.

(b)  Staff.--The commission may appoint secretaries and legal or technical advisors to assist each judge in performance of his duties or may assign personnel from any of the other bureaus within the commission.

(c)  Qualifications.--All judges must meet the following minimum requirements:

(1)  Be an attorney in good standing before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

(2)  Have three years of practice before administrative agencies or equivalent experience.

(3)  Conform to such other requirements as shall be established by the commission.

(d)  Chief administrative law judge.--The commission shall appoint a chief administrative law judge who shall be responsible for assigning a hearing judge to every proceeding before the commission which may require the utilization of an administrative law judge and who shall receive remuneration above that of any other administrative law judge. The position of chief administrative law judge may not be withdrawn from a person so appointed, nor his salary diminished, except for good cause shown. The chief administrative law judge shall have such other responsibilities as the commission may by rule prescribe.

66c304v

(June 29, 1982, P.L.658, No.187, eff. imd.; Oct. 31, 1995, P.L.348, No.59, eff. 60 days)

 

1995 Amendment.  Act 59 amended subsec. (d).

1982 Amendment.  Act 187 amended subsec. (a).

66c305s

§ 305.  Director of operations, secretary, employees and consultants.

(a)  Director of operations.--The commission may appoint a director of operations who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission and shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration and operation of the bureaus and offices of the commission, except that the director of operations shall have responsibility for the prosecutorial function only with regard to administrative matters.

(b)  Secretary.--The commission may appoint and fix the compensation of a secretary to hold office at its pleasure. The secretary shall have such powers and shall perform such duties not contrary to law as the commission shall prescribe. The commission shall have power and authority to designate, from time to time, one of its clerks to perform the duties of the secretary during his absence, and the clerk so designated shall possess, for the time so designated, the powers of the secretary of the commission.

(c)  Employees and consultants.--The commission may appoint, fix the compensation of, authorize and delegate such officers, consultants, experts, engineers, statisticians, accountants, inspectors, clerks and employees as may be appropriate for the proper conduct of the work of the commission. The total compensation paid to consultants in any fiscal year shall not exceed 4% of the commission's budget. The commission shall keep records of the names of each consultant, the services performed for the commission, and the amounts expended for each consultant's services. The commission shall submit these records as a part of its annual budget submission. Such records shall be a matter of public record open for inspection at the office of the commission during the normal business hours of the commission. The commission shall establish, after consultation with the Civil Service Commission, standardized qualifications for employment and advancement, and all titles, and establish different standards for different kinds, grades, and classes of similar work or service. The employees of the commission shall be afforded employment security as provided by the act of August 5, 1941 (P.L.752, No.286), known as the "Civil Service Act," or the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, whichever is applicable, but the commission shall set the salaries of all employees in accordance with the employment standards established under this section.

66c305v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114; Oct. 15, 2008, P.L.1592, No.129, eff. 30 days)

 

2008 Amendment.  Act 129 amended subsec. (a).

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 amended the entire section, effective in 60 days as to subsec. (a) and immediately as to the remainder of the section.

66c306s

§ 306.  Office of Trial Staff (Repealed).

66c306v

 

2008 Repeal.  Section 306 was repealed October 15, 2008, P.L.1592, No.129, effective in 30 days.

66c307s

§ 307.  Inspectors for enforcement.

The commission may employ such inspectors, as it may deem necessary, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this part. Such inspectors are hereby declared to be police officers, and are hereby given police power and authority throughout this Commonwealth to arrest on view, without writ, rule, order, or process, any person operating as a motor carrier or common carrier by airplane without a certificate or permit required by this part. Such inspectors are hereby given authority to stop vehicles on the highways of this Commonwealth, and to inspect the cargoes of such vehicles, and any receipts or bills of lading pertaining to such cargoes.

66c308s

§ 308.  Bureaus and offices.

(a)  Enumeration.--There shall be established within the commission the following bureaus and functions:

(1)  Law Bureau.

(2)  (Deleted by amendment).

(3)  Bureau of Consumer Services.

(4)  (Deleted by amendment).

(b)  Law Bureau.--The Law Bureau shall be a multifunction legal staff, consisting of a prosecutory function, an advisory function, a representational function and an enforcement function. The Director of the Law Bureau shall be the chief counsel of the commission and shall serve at the pleasure of the commission. The commission may also, from time to time, appoint such assistant counsel to the commission as may be required for the proper conduct of the work of the Law Bureau. Assistant counsel may be removed by the commission only for good cause. The Law Bureau shall advise the commission on any and all matters. No counsel shall in the same case or a factually related case perform duties in the prosecutory and advisory functions, if such performance would represent a conflict of interest. Except for litigation referred to the Attorney General or other appropriate outside counsel, the Law Bureau solely shall be responsible to represent the commission upon appeals and other hearings in the courts of common pleas and in the Commonwealth Court, Supreme Court or other courts of this Commonwealth or in any Federal court or agency and in actions instituted to recover penalties and to enforce regulations and orders of the commission. If necessary to protect the public interest, the Law Bureau, pursuant to its prosecutorial function, may initiate and participate in proceedings before the commission.

(c)  Bureau of Conservation, Economics and Energy Planning.--(Deleted by amendment).

(d)  Bureau of Consumer Services.--

(1)  The Bureau of Consumer Services shall investigate and issue final determinations on all informal consumer complaints and shall advise the commission as to the need for formal commission action on any matters brought to its attention by the complaints. Any party may appeal a final determination issued by the Bureau of Consumer Services and seek review by an administrative law judge or special agent subject to the procedures in section 335 (relating to initial decisions). The bureau shall on behalf of the commission keep records of all complaints received, the matter complained of, the utility involved, and the disposition thereof and shall at least annually report to the commission on such matters. The commission may take official notice of all complaints and the nature thereof in any proceeding before the commission in which the utility is a party. The commission shall adopt, publish and generally make available rules by which a consumer may make informal complaints. The bureau shall also assist and advise the commission on matters of safety compliance by public utilities.

(2)  Annually on or before April 15, the commission shall submit a report to the Governor and to the Business and Commerce Committee of the House and the Community and Economic Development Committee of the Senate. The report shall compare all nonresidential categories of ratepayers for all electric and gas public utilities so that reasonably accurate comparisons of rates can be made between similar individuals or groups of nonresidential ratepayers receiving services in different service areas.

(e)  Office of Special Assistants.--(Deleted by amendment).

(f)  Other bureaus and offices.--(Deleted by amendment).

(g)  Staff testimony.--(Deleted by amendment).

66c308v

(Oct. 15, 1980, P.L.950, No.164, eff. Jan. 20, 1981; Dec. 18, 1980, P.L.1247, No.226, eff. Jan. 20, 1981; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114; Oct. 15, 2008, P.L.1592, No.129, eff. 30 days; Feb. 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, eff. 60 days)

 

2012 Amendment.  Act 11 amended subsec. (b).

2008 Amendment.  Act 129 amended subsec. (b) and deleted subsecs. (a)(2) and (4), (c), (e), (f) and (g).

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 amended the entire section, effective in 60 days as to subsecs. (a), (b), (e) and (g) and immediately as to the remainder of the section.

66c308.1s

§ 308.1.  Consumer protection and information.

(a)  Informal complaints.--The commission shall promulgate regulations by which a consumer may make informal complaints. A party may appeal a determination regarding the informal complaint and seek review by an administrative law judge or special agent subject to the procedures in section 335 (relating to initial decisions and release of documents). The commission shall keep records of each informal complaint received, the matter complained of, the utility involved and the disposition and shall at least annually prepare a report on these matters.

(b)  Rate comparison report.--Annually, by April 15, the commission shall submit a report to the Governor and to the General Assembly. The report shall compare all categories of ratepayers for all electric and gas public utilities so that reasonably accurate comparisons of rates can be made between similar individuals or groups of ratepayers receiving services in different service areas.

66c308.1v

(Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1578, No.201, eff. 14 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 201 added section 308.1.

66c308.2s

§ 308.2.  Other bureaus, offices and positions.

(a)  Establishment of other bureaus, offices and positions.--In addition to the specific bureaus established in this part, the commission may establish other bureaus, offices and positions to perform the following functions:

(1)  Review and provide advice regarding applications, petitions, tariff filings and other matters filed with the commission.

(2)  Provide advice, review exceptions and prepare orders regarding matters to be adjudicated.

(3)  Conduct financial reviews, earnings analyses and other financial studies.

(4)  Conduct economic research, forecasting, energy conservation studies, cost studies and other economic studies related to public utilities.

(5)  Monitor industry markets to detect anticompetitive, discriminatory or other unlawful conduct.

(6)  Insure adequate maintenance, safety and reliability of utility networks.

(7)  Insure adequate service quality, efficiency and availability at just and reasonable rates.

(8)  Conduct financial, management, operational and special audits.

(9)  Provide consumer information, consumer protection and informal resolution of complaints.

(10)  Insure adequate safety, insurance, fitness and other requirements relevant to transportation utilities.

(11)  Take appropriate enforcement actions, including rate proceedings, service proceedings and application proceedings, necessary to insure compliance with this title, commission regulations and orders.

(12)  Perform other functions the commission deems necessary for the proper work of the commission.

(b)  Prohibition on commingling of functions.--A commission employee engaged in a prosecutory function may not, in that matter or a factually related matter, provide advice or assistance to a commission employee performing an advisory function as to that matter.

66c308.2v

(Oct. 15, 2008, P.L.1592, No.129, eff. 30 days; Feb. 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, eff. 60 days)

 

2012 Amendment.  Act 11 amended subsec. (a)(11).

2008 Amendment.  Act 129 added section 308.2.

66c309s

§ 309.  Oaths and subpoenas.

The commission, or its representative, shall have the power, in any part of this Commonwealth, to subpoena witnesses, to administer oaths, to examine witnesses, or to take such testimony, or compel the production of such books, records, papers, and documents as it may deem necessary or proper in, and pertinent to, any proceeding, investigation, or hearing, held or had by it, and to do all necessary and proper things and acts in the lawful exercise of its powers or the performance of its duties. The fees for serving a subpoena shall be the same as those paid sheriffs for similar services.

66c310s

§ 310.  Depositions.

The commission, or any commissioner, or any party to proceedings before the commission, may cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or without this Commonwealth to be taken in the manner prescribed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure for taking depositions in civil actions.

66c311s

§ 311.  Witness fees.

Witnesses who are summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees and mileage as are paid to witnesses in the courts of common pleas. Witnesses whose depositions are taken pursuant to the provisions of this part, and the officer taking the same, shall be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in such courts. All disbursements made in the payment of such fees shall be included in and paid in the same manner as is provided for the payment of other expenses of the commission.

66c312s

§ 312.  Privilege and immunity.

No person shall be excused from testifying or from producing any book, document, paper, or account in any investigation or inquiry by, or hearing before, the commission or its representative, when ordered to do so, upon the ground that the testimony or evidence, book, document, paper, or account required may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture. No person shall be prosecuted, punished, or subjected to any forfeiture or penalty for or on account of any act, transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he shall have been compelled, under objection, to testify or produce documentary evidence. No person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him in his testimony.

66c313s

§ 313.  Joint hearings and investigations; reciprocity.

(a)  Joint hearings and investigations.--The commission shall have full power and authority to make joint investigations, hold joint hearings within or without this Commonwealth, and issue joint or concurrent orders in conjunction or concurrence with any official, board, commission, or agency of any state or of the United States, whether in the holding of such investigations or hearings, or in the making of such orders, the commission shall function under agreements or compacts between states or under the concurrent power of states to regulate the interstate commerce, or as an agency of the Federal Government, or otherwise.

(b)  Reciprocity.--The commission shall have full power and authority to arrange reciprocity of treatment of public utilities and contract carriers by motor vehicle of this Commonwealth by regulatory bodies, under regulatory laws of other states, and to that end the commission is hereby vested with power to impose upon public utilities and contract carriers by motor vehicle of other states, the same penalties, restrictions, and regulations as are imposed by the regulatory body of such other states upon public utilities and contract carriers by motor vehicle of this Commonwealth when operating into, out of, or through such other states.

66c314s

§ 314.  Investigation of interstate rates, facilities and service.

The commission may investigate the interstate rates, traffic facilities, or service of any public utility within this Commonwealth, and when such rates, facilities or service are, in the determination of the commission, unjust, unreasonable, discriminatory or in violation of any Federal law, or in conflict with the rulings, orders or regulations of any Federal regulatory body, the commission may apply, by petition to the proper Federal regulatory body, for relief, or may present to the proper Federal regulatory body all facts coming to its knowledge as to the violation of the rules, orders, or regulations of such regulatory body, or as to the violation of the particular Federal law.

66c315s

§ 315.  Burden of proof.

(a)  Reasonableness of rates.--In any proceeding upon the motion of the commission, involving any proposed or existing rate of any public utility, or in any proceedings upon complaint involving any proposed increase in rates, the burden of proof to show that the rate involved is just and reasonable shall be upon the public utility. The commission shall give to the hearing and decision of any such proceeding preference over all other proceedings, and decide the same as speedily as possible.

(b)  Compliance with commission determinations and orders.--In any case involving any alleged violation by a public utility, contract carrier by motor vehicle, or broker of any lawful determination or order of the commission, the burden of proof shall be upon the public utility, contract carrier by motor vehicle, or broker complained against, to show that the determination or order of the commission has been complied with.

(c)  Adequacy of services and facilities.--In any proceeding upon the motion of the commission, involving the service or facilities of any public utility, the burden of proof to show that the service and facilities involved are adequate, efficient, safe, and reasonable shall be upon the public utility.

(d)  Justification of accounting entries.--The burden of proof to justify every accounting entry questioned by the commission shall be upon the public utility making, authorizing, or requiring such entry, and the commission may suspend any charge or credit pending submission of such proof by such public utility.

(e)  Use of future test year.--In discharging its burden of proof the utility may utilize a future test year or a fully projected future test year, which shall be the 12-month period beginning with the first month that the new rates will be placed in effect after application of the full suspension period permitted under section 1308(d) (relating to voluntary changes in rates). The commission shall promptly adopt rules and regulations regarding the information and data to be submitted when and if a future test period or a fully projected future test year is to be utilized. Whenever a utility utilizes a future test year or a fully projected future test year in any rate proceeding and such future test year or a fully projected test year forms a substantive basis for the final rate determination of the commission, the utility shall provide, as specified by the commission in its final order, appropriate data evidencing the accuracy of the estimates contained in the future test year or a fully projected future test year, and the commission may after reasonable notice and hearing, in its discretion, adjust the utility's rates on the basis of such data. Notwithstanding section 1315 (relating to limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities), the commission may permit facilities which are projected to be in service during the fully projected future test year to be included in the rate base.

66c315v

(Feb. 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, eff. 60 days)

 

2012 Amendment.  Act 11 amended subsec. (e).

Cross References.  Section 315 is referred to in section 332 of this title.

66c316s

§ 316.  Effect of commission action.

Whenever the commission shall make any rule, regulation, finding, determination or order, the same shall be prima facie evidence of the facts found and shall remain conclusive upon all parties affected thereby, unless set aside, annulled or modified on judicial review. The issuing or registration by the commission of any certificate, license or permit whatsoever, under the provisions of this part, or any finding, determination or order made by the commission refusing or granting such certificates, licenses or permits, shall not be construed to revive or validate any lapsed, terminated, invalidated or void powers, franchises, rights or privileges; or to enlarge or add to the rights, powers, franchises or privileges contained in any charter, or in the grant of any franchise, or any supplement or amendment to any charter, or to give or remit any forfeiture.

66c317s

§ 317.  Fees for services rendered by commission.

(a)  General rule.--The commission shall by rule establish on a reasonable cost basis the fees to be charged and collected for the following services:

(1)  Copies of paper, testimony and records.

(2)  Certifying a copy of any paper, testimony or record.

(3)  (Repealed).

(4)  Filing of each securities certificate, or each application for a certificate of public convenience, registration certificate, permit or license.

(b)  Fees for testing.--The commission shall by rule establish on a reasonable cost basis the fees to be charged and collected from public utilities for the testing of their instruments of precision and measuring apparatus.

66c317v

(Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days; Apr. 4, 1990, P.L.104, No.22, eff. imd.)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 22 amended subsec. (b). Section 2 provided that the fees for testing previously established by rule or regulation and currently in effect at the commission shall remain in full force and effect unless and until increased, decreased or otherwise modified pursuant to the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act.

1982 Repeal.  Act 326 repealed subsec. (a)(3).

Cross References.  Section 317 is referred to in section 510 of this title.

66c318s

§ 318.  Commission to cooperate with other departments.

(a)  Vehicle registration plates.--The Department of Transportation and the commission are hereby authorized and directed to cooperate in the issuance by the Department of Transportation, under the provisions of Title 75 (relating to vehicles), of registration plates for commercial motor vehicles, which will classify and identify motor vehicles operated under certificates or permits issued by the commission, without the necessity of the requirement of separate identification plates in addition to registration plates required under Title 75.

(b)  Purity of water supply.--The commission may certify to the Department of Environmental Resources any question of fact regarding the purity of water supplied to the public by any public utility over which it has jurisdiction, when any such question arises in any controversy or other proceeding before it, and upon the determination of such question by the department incorporate the department's findings in its decision.

(c)  Powers of certain governmental agencies unaffected.--Nothing in this part shall be construed to deprive the Department of Health or the Department of Environmental Resources of any jurisdiction, powers or duties now vested in them.

66c318v

 

References in Text.  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

66c319s

§ 319.  Code of ethics.

(a)  General rule.--Each commissioner and each administrative law judge shall conform to the following code of ethics for the Public Utility Commission. A commissioner and an administrative law judge must:

(1)  Avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.

(2)  Perform all duties impartially and diligently.

(3)  Avoid all ex parte communications prohibited in this part.

(4)  Abstain publicly from expressing, other than in executive or public session, his personal views on the merits of a matter pending before the commission and require similar abstention on the part of commission personnel subject to his direction and control.

(5)  Require staff and personnel subject to his direction to observe the standards of fidelity and diligence that apply to the commissioner and administrative law judge.

(6)  Initiate appropriate disciplinary measures against commission personnel for unprofessional conduct.

(7)  Disqualify himself from proceedings in which his impartiality might be reasonably questioned.

(8)  Inform himself about his personal and fiduciary interests and make a reasonable effort to inform himself about the personal financial interests of his spouse and children.

(9)  Regulate his extra-curricular activities to minimize the risk of conflict with his official duties. He may speak, write or lecture and any reimbursed expenses, honorariums, royalties, or other moneys received in connection therewith shall be disclosed annually. Such disclosure statement shall be filed with the secretary of the commission and shall be open to inspection by the public during the normal business hours of the commission during the tenure of the commissioner or of the administrative law judge.

(10)  Refrain from solicitation of funds for any political, educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic purposes, although he may be an officer, director or trustee of such organizations.

(11)  Refrain from financial or business dealing which would tend to reflect adversely on impartiality, although the commissioner or administrative law judge may hold and manage investments which are not incompatible with the duties of his office.

(12)  Conform to such additional rules as the commission may prescribe.

(b)  Removal of commissioner for violation.--Any commissioner who violates the provisions of subsection (a) shall be removed from office in the manner provided in section 302 (relating to removal of commissioner).

(c)  Removal of judge for violation.--Any administrative law judge who violates the provisions of subsection (a) shall be removed from office in the manner provided by the act of August 5, 1941 (P.L.752, No.286), known as the "Civil Service Act."

66c320s

§ 320.  Annual appropriations.

The following sums, or as much thereof as may be necessary, are hereby specifically appropriated from the restricted revenue account within the General Fund to the Public Utility Commission to provide for the operation of the commission for the fiscal period July 1, 1982 to June 30, 1983, for the purposes and in the amounts shown:

(1)  For the salaries, wages and all necessary expenses for the proper administration of the Public Utility Commission including the chairman and commissioners, Office of the Director of Operations, Bureau of Public Information, Office of Special Assistants, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Secretary's Bureau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$5,759,000

(2)  For the salaries, wages and all necessary expenses for the proper administration of the Offices of Counsel and Administrative Law Judge

 

 

 

4,438,000

(3)  For the salaries, wages and all necessary expenses for the proper administration of rates, research and transportation including the Bureau of Conservation, Economics and Energy Planning, Bureau of Nonrail Transportation, Bureau of Rail Transportation and the Bureau of Rates

5,309,000

(4)  For the salaries, wages and all necessary expenses for the proper administration of investigations, services and enforcement including the Bureau of Audits, the Bureau of Consumer Services and the Bureau of Safety and Compliance

 

 

 

 

 

5,020,000

 

66c320v

(June 29, 1982, P.L.658, No.187, eff. July 1, 1982)

 

1982 Amendment.  Act 187 added section 320.

66c321s

§ 321.  Annual reports.

The commission shall annually transmit, to the Governor and the General Assembly and shall make available to the public, a report on the conduct of the commission. The report shall include, but shall not be limited to, a summary of all rate proceedings completed within the reporting period, the amount of the rate increase requested in each such proceeding, the amount of the request granted by the commission in each such proceeding, the percentage increase in rates requested and granted in each such proceeding as compared to the percentage increase requested and granted in the most recent similar proceeding for the affected utility prior to the reporting period, a summary of other significant regulatory issues which the commission resolved during the reporting period, a summary of significant orders and decisions of the commission and the courts of the Commonwealth during the reporting period relating to public utilities, a summary of significant anticipated issues by type of utility and a status report of any commission action regarding these issues, and a summary of the audits completed by the commission during the reporting period. In the annual report and at such other times as the commission determines, the commission shall make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly which the commission believes to be necessary or desirable to protect the public interest.

66c321v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 321.

66c331h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

INVESTIGATIONS AND HEARINGS

 

Sec.

331.  Powers of commission and administrative law judges.

332.  Procedures in general.

333.  Prehearing procedures.

334.  Presiding officers.

335.  Initial decisions and release of documents.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in sections 2310, 3305 of Title 58 (Oil and Gas).

66c331s

§ 331.  Powers of commission and administrative law judges.

(a)  General rule.--The commission may, on its own motion and whenever it may be necessary in the performance of its duties, investigate and examine the condition and management of any public utility or any other person or corporation subject to this part. In conducting the investigations the commission may proceed, either with or without a hearing, as it may deem best, but it shall make no order without affording the parties affected thereby a hearing. Any investigation, inquiry or hearing which the commission has power to undertake or hold shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(b)  Assignment of proceedings; powers of chairman.--All on-the-record proceedings shall be referred to an administrative law judge for decision except that in those proceedings involving a rate determination, safety matters, rulemaking procedures, unprotested applications or matters covered by section 335(a)(1) (relating to initial decisions), the commission may authorize the chairman to assign cases as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3); and, in addition, the commission may authorize the chairman to:

(1)  Designate the time and place for the conducting of investigations, inquiries and hearings.

(2)  Assign cases to a commissioner or commissioners for hearing, investigation, inquiry, study or other similar purposes.

(3)  Assign cases to special agents or administrative law judges for the taking and receiving of evidence.

(4)  Direct and designate officers and employees of the commission to make investigations, inspections, inquiries, studies and other like assignments for reports to the commission.

(5)  Be responsible through the secretary for specifically enumerated daily administrative operations of the commission.

(c)  Requirements for presiding officers.--There shall preside at the taking of evidence the commission, one or more commissioners, or one or more administrative law judges appointed as provided in this chapter. The functions of all presiding officers shall be conducted in an impartial manner. Any such officer may at any time withdraw from a proceeding if he deems himself disqualified, and, upon the filing in good faith of a timely and sufficient affidavit of personal bias or disqualification of any such officer, the commission shall determine the matter as a part of the record and decision in the proceeding.

(d)  Authority of presiding officers.--In addition to any administrative rules of procedure contained in this part, the commission may adopt and publish such additional rules of procedure as are not inconsistent with this part. Officers presiding at hearings shall have authority subject to the published rules of the commission and within its powers, to:

(1)  Administer oaths and affirmations.

(2)  Issue subpoenas authorized by law.

(3)  Rule upon offers of proof and receive relevant evidence, take or cause depositions to be taken whenever the ends of justice would be served thereby.

(4)  Regulate the course of the hearing.

(5)  Require persons requesting to make a statement at a public input hearing to state their name, occupation and place of employment for the record.

(6)  Hold conferences for settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties.

(7)  Dispose of procedural requests or similar matters.

(8)  Make decisions or recommend decisions in conformity within this part.

(9)  Take any other action authorized by commission rule.

(e)  Interlocutory appeals.--A presiding officer may certify to the commission, or allow the parties an interlocutory appeal to the commission on any material question arising in the course of a proceeding, where he finds that it is necessary to do so to prevent substantial prejudice to any party or to expedite the conduct of the proceeding. The presiding officer or the commission may thereafter stay the proceeding if necessary to protect the substantial rights of any of the parties therein. The commission shall determine the question forthwith and the hearing and further decision shall thereafter be governed accordingly. No interlocutory appeal to the commission shall otherwise be allowed, except as may be allowed by the commission.

(f)  Declaratory orders.--The commission, with like effect as in the case of other orders, and in its sound discretion, may issue a declaratory order to terminate a controversy or remove uncertainty.

(g)  Official notice defined.--As used in this chapter the term "official notice" means a method by which the commission may notify all parties that no further evidence will be heard on a material fact and that unless the parties prove to the contrary, the commission's findings will include that particular fact.

66c331v

(Nov. 26, 1978, P.L.1241, No.294, eff. 60 days; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 amended subsec. (d).

1978 Amendment.  Act 294 amended subsec. (b).

Cross References.  Section 331 is referred to in sections 301, 332 of this title.

66c332s

§ 332.  Procedures in general.

(a)  Burden of proof.--Except as may be otherwise provided in section 315 (relating to burden of proof) or other provisions of this part or other relevant statute, the proponent of a rule or order has the burden of proof.

(b)  Admissibility of evidence.--Any oral or documentary evidence may be received, but the commission shall as a matter of policy provide for the exclusion of irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence. No sanction shall be imposed or rule or order be issued except upon consideration of the whole record or such portions thereof as may be cited by any party and as supported by and in accordance with the reliable, probative and substantial evidence.

(c)  Submission of evidence.--Every party is entitled to present his case or defense by oral or documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts. The commission may, by rule, adopt procedures for the submission of all or part of the evidence in written form.

(d)  Record, briefs and argument.--The transcript of a public input hearing, the transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision, and shall be available for inspection by the public. Briefing and oral argument shall be held in accordance with rules established by the commission. For the purpose of this section, a public input hearing is a hearing held in the service area at which the ratepayers may offer testimony, written or otherwise, relating to any matter which has a bearing on the proceeding.

(e)  Official notice of facts.--When the commission's decision rests on official notice of a material fact not appearing in the evidence in the record, upon notification that facts are about to be or have been noticed, any party adversely affected shall have the opportunity upon timely request to show that the facts are not properly noticed or that alternative facts should be noticed. The commission in its discretion shall determine whether written presentations suffice, or whether oral argument, oral evidence, or cross-examination is appropriate in the circumstances. Nothing in this subsection shall affect the application by the commission in appropriate circumstances of the doctrine of judicial notice.

(f)  Actions of parties and counsel.--Any party who shall fail to be represented at a scheduled conference or hearing after being duly notified thereof, shall be deemed to have waived the opportunity to participate in such conference or hearing, and shall not be permitted thereafter to reopen the disposition of any matter accomplished thereat, or to recall for further examination of witnesses who were excused, unless the presiding officer shall determine that failure to be represented was unavoidable and that the interests of the other parties and the public would not be prejudiced by permitting such reopening or further examination. If the actions of a party or counsel in a proceeding shall be determined by the commission, after due notice and opportunity for hearing, to be obstructive to the orderly conduct of the proceeding and inimical to the public interest, the commission may reject or dismiss any rule or order in any manner proposed by the offending party or counsel, and, with respect to counsel, may bar further participation by him in any proceedings before the commission.

(g)  Decision of administrative law judge.--In all on-the-record proceedings referred to an administrative law judge under section 331(b) (relating to powers of commission and administrative law judges), hearings shall be commenced by the administrative law judge within 90 days after the proceeding is initiated, and he shall render a decision within 90 days after the record is closed, unless the commission for good cause by order allows an extension not to exceed an additional 90 days.

(h)  Exceptions and appeal procedure.--Any party to a proceeding referred to an administrative law judge under section 331(b) may file exceptions to the decision of the administrative law judge with the commission, in a form and manner and within the time to be prescribed by the commission. The commission shall rule upon such exceptions within 90 days after filing. If no exceptions are filed, the decision shall become final, without further commission action, unless two or more commissioners within 15 days after the decision request that the commission review the decision and make such other order, within 90 days of such request, as it shall determine. The Office of Trial Staff and the chief counsel shall be deemed to have automatic standing as a party to such proceeding and may file exceptions to any decision of the administrative law judge under this subsection.

(i)  Review of testimony.--Any party of record in an investigation or inquiry by or hearing before the commission or its representative whose testimony is recorded electronically and subsequently transcribed shall, upon request, be permitted to review the recording to ensure that it has been transcribed accurately. The commission may impose a fee in an amount not exceeding the actual costs involved for making the recording available. Any request to review the recording must be made within the time prescribed by commission regulation, and such request shall not be used to unreasonably delay commission proceedings. This section shall not be construed to require the electronic recording of testimony. The official record of a proceeding shall be the written transcript.

66c332v

(Nov. 26, 1978, P.L.1241, No.294, eff. 60 days; Oct. 10, 1985, P.L.257, No.62, eff. 60 days; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.; Apr. 21, 1989, P.L.11, No.3, eff. imd.)

 

1989 Amendment.  Act 3 added subsec. (i). Section 3 provided that Act 3 shall apply to any action pending before the commission or any action taken by the commission within 180 days prior to the effective date of Act 3.

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 amended subsec. (h).

1985 Amendment.  Act 62 amended subsec. (d).

1978 Amendment.  Act 294 added subsecs. (g) and (h).

66c333s

§ 333.  Prehearing procedures.

(a)  Conferences.--The presiding officer shall have the authority to hold one or more prehearing conferences during the course of the proceeding on his own motion or at the request of a party to the proceeding. The presiding officer shall normally hold at least one prehearing conference in proceedings where the issues are complex or where it appears likely that the hearing will last a considerable period of time. In addition to other matters which the commission may prescribe by rule, the presiding officer at a prehearing conference may direct the parties to exchange their evidentiary exhibits and witness lists prior to the hearing. Where good cause exists, the parties may at any time amend, by deletion or supplementation, their evidentiary exhibits and witness lists.

(b)  Depositions.--A party to the proceeding shall be able to take depositions of witnesses upon oral examination or written questions for purposes of discovering relevant, unprivileged information, subject to the following conditions:

(1)  The taking of depositions shall normally be deferred until there has been at least one prehearing conference.

(2)  The party seeking to take a deposition shall apply to the presiding officer for an order to do so.

(3)  The party seeking to take a deposition shall serve copies of the application on the other party or parties to the proceedings, who shall be given an opportunity, along with the deponent, to notify the presiding officer of any objections to the taking of the deposition.

(4)  The presiding officer shall not grant an application to take a deposition if he finds that the taking of the deposition would result in undue delay.

(5)  The presiding officer shall otherwise grant an application to take a deposition unless he finds that there is not good cause for doing so.

(6)  The deposing of a commission employee shall only be allowed upon an order of the presiding officer based on a specific finding that the party applying to take the deposition is seeking significant, unprivileged information not discoverable by alternative means. Any such order shall be subject to an interlocutory appeal to the commission.

(7)  An order to take a deposition shall be enforceable through the issuance of a subpoena ad testificandum.

(c)  Disclosure of information on witnesses.--At the prehearing conference or at some other reasonable time prior to the hearing, which may be established by commission rule, each party to the proceeding shall make available to the other parties to the proceeding the names of the witnesses he expects to call and the subject matter of their expected testimony. Where good cause exists, the parties shall have the right at any time to amend, by deletion or supplementation, the list of names of the witnesses they plan to call and the subject matter of the expected testimony of those witnesses.

(d)  Interrogatories.--Any party to a proceeding may serve written interrogatories upon any other party for purposes of discovering relevant, unprivileged information. A party served with interrogatories may, before the time prescribed either by commission rule or otherwise for answering the interrogatories, apply to the presiding officer for the holding of a prehearing conference for the mutual exchange of evidence exhibits and other information. Each interrogatory which requests information not previously supplied at a prehearing conference or hearing shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for the objections shall be stated in lieu of an answer. The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers and objections within a reasonable time, unless otherwise specified, upon the party submitting the interrogatories. The party submitting the interrogatories may petition the presiding officer for an order compelling an answer to an interrogatory or interrogatories to which there has been an objection or other failure to answer. The commission shall designate an appropriate official, other than the Director of Trial Staff or any other employee of the Office of Trial Staff, on whom other parties to the proceeding may serve written interrogatories directed to the commission. That official shall arrange for agency personnel with knowledge of the facts to answer and sign the interrogatories on behalf of the commission. Interrogatories directed to the commission shall be allowed only upon an order of the commission based upon a specific finding that the interrogating party is seeking significant, unprivileged information not discoverable by alternative means. When participating in a commission proceeding, the Office of Trial Staff shall be subject to the same rules of discovery applicable to any other party to the case.

(e)  Requests for admissions.--A party to a proceeding may serve upon any other party and upon the commission to the same extent permissible in subsection (d) a written request for the admission, for purposes of the pending proceeding and to conserve hearing time, of any relevant, unprivileged, undisputed facts, the genuineness of any document described in the request, the admissibility of evidence, the order of proof and other similar matters.

(f)  Subpoena duces tecum.--A party to a proceeding may obtain in accordance with commission rules a subpoena duces tecum requiring the production of or the making available for inspection, copying or photographing of relevant necessary designated documents at a prehearing conference or other specific time and place.

(g)  Scheduling.--The presiding officer shall have the authority to impose schedules on the parties to the proceeding specifying the periods of time during which the parties may pursue each means of discovery available to them under the rules of the commission. Such schedules and time periods shall be set with a view to accelerating disposition of the case to the fullest extent consistent with fairness.

(h)  Certification of interlocutory appeals.--Except as provided in subsection (b)(6), an interlocutory appeal from a ruling of the presiding officer on discovery shall be allowed only upon certification by the presiding officer that the ruling involves an important question of law or policy which should be resolved at that time. Notwithstanding the presiding officer's certification, the commission shall have the authority to dismiss summarily the interlocutory appeal if it should appear that the certification was improvident. An interlocutory appeal shall not result in a stay of the proceedings except upon a finding by the presiding officer and the commission that extraordinary circumstances exist.

(i)  Protective orders.--The presiding officer shall have the authority, upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, to make any order, subject to the rules of the commission, which justice requires to protect the party or person.

(j)  Other subpoenas.--The presiding officer shall have the power in accordance with commission rules to issue subpoenas ad testificandum and duces tecum at any time during the course of the proceeding.

66c333v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 amended subsec. (d).

66c334s

§ 334.  Presiding officers.

(a)  Presiding officers to decide.--The same presiding officer shall to the fullest extent possible preside at all the reception of evidence in a particular case to which he has been assigned. The same presiding officer who presides at the reception of evidence shall make the recommended decision or initial decision except where such presiding officer becomes unavailable to the commission.

(b)  Outside consultation prohibited.--Save to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters not prohibited by this part, no presiding officer shall consult any person or party on any fact in issue unless upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate; nor shall any presiding officer be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of any officer, employee or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for the commission. No employee, appointee, commissioner or official engaged in the service of, or in any manner connected with the commission shall engage in ex parte communications save to the extent permitted by this part. No officer, employee or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for the commission in any case shall, in that or a factually related case, participate or advise in the decision, recommended decision or commission review, except as witness or counsel in public proceedings.

(c)  Ex parte communications.--Ex parte communications prohibited in this section shall mean any off-the-record communications to or by any member of the commission, administrative law judge, or employee of the commission, regarding the merits or any fact in issue of any matter pending before the commission in any contested on-the-record proceeding. Contested on-the-record proceeding means a proceeding required by a statute, constitution, published commission rule or regulation or order in a particular case, to be decided on the basis of the record of a commission hearing, and in which a protest or a petition or notice to intervene in opposition to requested commission action has been filed. This subsection does not prohibit off-the-record communications to or by any employee of the commission prior to the actual beginning of hearings in a contested on-the-record proceeding when such communications are solely for the purpose of seeking clarification of or corrections in evidentiary materials intended for use in the subsequent hearings.

66c335s

§ 335.  Initial decisions and release of documents.

(a)  Procedures.--When the commission does not preside at the reception of evidence, the presiding officer shall initially decide the case, unless the commission requires, either in specific cases or by general rule, the entire record to be certified to it for decision. When the presiding officer makes an initial decision, that decision then shall be approved by the commission and may become the opinion of the commission without further proceeding within the time provided by commission rule. On review of the initial decision, the commission has all the powers which it would have in making the initial decision except as it may limit the issues on notice or by rule. When the commission makes the decision in a rate determination proceeding without having presided at the reception of the evidence, the presiding officer shall make a recommended decision to the commission in accordance with the provisions of this part. Alternatively, in all other matters:

(1)  the commission may issue a tentative decision or one of its responsible employees may recommend a decision; or

(2)  this procedure may be omitted in a case in which the commission finds on the record that due and timely execution of the functions imperatively and unavoidably so requires.

(b)  Exceptions or proposed findings and conclusions.--Before a recommended, initial or tentative decision issued under this section, or a decision on commission review of the decision of subordinate employees, the parties are entitled to a reasonable opportunity to submit for the consideration of the commission:

(1)  (i)  proposed findings and conclusions; or

(ii)  exceptions to the decisions or recommended decisions of subordinate employees or to tentative commission decisions; and

(2)  supporting reason for the exceptions or proposed findings or conclusions.

(c)  Record.--The record shall show the ruling on each finding, conclusion or exception presented. All decisions, including initial, recommended and tentative decisions, are a part of the record and shall include a statement of:

(1)  findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis therefor, on all material issues of fact, law or discretion presented on the record; and

(2)  the appropriate rule, order, sanction, relief or denial thereof.

(d)  Release of documents.--In addition to any other requirements imposed by law, including the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, and the act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the Sunshine Act, whenever the commission conducts an investigation of an act or practice of a public utility and makes a decision, enters into a settlement with a public utility or takes any other official action, as defined in the Sunshine Act, with respect to its investigation, it shall make part of the public record and release publicly any documents relied upon by the commission in reaching its determination, whether prepared by consultants or commission employees, other than documents protected by legal privilege; provided, however, that if a document contains trade secrets or proprietary information and it has been determined by the commission that harm to the person claiming the privilege would be substantial or if a document required to be released under this section contains identifying information which would operate to the prejudice or impairment of a person's reputation or personal security, or information that would lead to the disclosure of a confidential source or subject a person to potential economic retaliation as a result of their cooperation with a commission investigation, or information which, if disclosed to the public, could be used for criminal or terroristic purposes, the identifying information may be expurgated from the copy of the document made part of the public record. For the purposes of this section, "a document" means a report, memorandum or other document prepared for or used by the commission in the course of its investigation whether prepared by an adviser, consultant or other person who is not an employee of the commission or by an employee of the commission.

66c335v

(Apr. 21, 1989, P.L.11, No.3, eff. imd.)

 

1989 Amendment.  Act 3 amended the section heading and added subsec. (d). Section 3 of Act 3 provided that Act 3 shall apply to any action pending before the commission or any action taken by the commission within 180 days prior to the effective date of Act 3.

References in Text.  The act of July 3, 1986 (P.L.388, No.84), known as the Sunshine Act, referred to in subsec. (d), was repealed by the act of October 15, 1998 (P.L.729, No.93). The subject matter is now contained in Chapter 7 of Title 65 (Public Officers).

The act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, referred to in subsec. (d), was repealed by the act of Feb. 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

Cross References.  Section 335 is referred to in sections 308, 308.1, 331 of this title.

66c501h

 

 

SUBPART B

COMMISSION POWERS, DUTIES, PRACTICES

AND PROCEDURES

 

Chapter

5.  Powers and Duties

7.  Procedure on Complaints

9.  Judicial Proceedings

 

 

CHAPTER 5

POWERS AND DUTIES

 

Sec.

501.  General powers.

502.  Enforcement proceedings by commission.

503.  Enforcement proceedings by Chief Counsel.

504.  Reports by public utilities.

505.  Duty to furnish information to commission; cooperation in valuing property.

506.  Inspection of facilities and records.

507.  Contracts between public utilities and municipalities.

508.  Power of the commission to vary, reform and revise contracts.

509.  Regulation of manufacture, sale or lease of appliances.

510.  Assessment for regulatory expenses upon public utilities.

511.  Disposition, appropriation and disbursement of assessments and fees.

511.1. Use of Federal funds under energy program.

512.  Power of commission to require insurance.

512.1. Power of commission to confiscate, impound and sell vehicles.

513.  Public letting of contracts.

514.  Use of coal.

515.  Construction cost of electric generating units.

516.  Audits of certain utilities.

517.  Conversion of electric generating units fueled by oil or natural gas.

518.  Construction of electric generating units fueled by nuclear energy.

519.  Construction of electric generating units fueled by oil or natural gas.

520.  Power of commission to order cancellation or modification of construction of electric generating units.

521.  Retirement of electric generating units.

522.  Expense reduction program.

523.  Performance factor consideration.

524.  Data to be supplied by electric utilities.

525.  Sale of generating units and power.

526.  Rejection of rate increase requests due to inadequate quality or quantity of service.

527.  Cogeneration rules and regulations.

528.  Use of foreign coal by qualifying facilities.

529.  Power of commission to order acquisition of small water and sewer utilities.

530.  Clean Air Act implementation plans.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 5 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Chapter 5 is referred to in section 2603 of this title.

66c501s

§ 501.  General powers.

(a)  Enforcement of provisions of part.--In addition to any powers expressly enumerated in this part, the commission shall have full power and authority, and it shall be its duty to enforce, execute and carry out, by its regulations, orders, or otherwise, all and singular, the provisions of this part, and the full intent thereof; and shall have the power to rescind or modify any such regulations or orders. The express enumeration of the powers of the commission in this part shall not exclude any power which the commission would otherwise have under any of the provisions of this part.

(b)  Administrative authority and regulations.--The commission shall have general administrative power and authority to supervise and regulate all public utilities doing business within this Commonwealth. The commission may make such regulations, not inconsistent with law, as may be necessary or proper in the exercise of its powers or for the performance of its duties.

(c)  Compliance.--Every public utility, its officers, agents, and employees, and every other person or corporation subject to the provisions of this part, affected by or subject to any regulations or orders of the commission or of any court, made, issued, or entered under the provisions of this part, shall observe, obey, and comply with such regulations or orders, and the terms and conditions thereof.

66c501v

 

Cross References.  Section 501 is referred to in sections 2212, 2806, 3209 of this title.

66c502s

§ 502.  Enforcement proceedings by commission.

Whenever the commission shall be of opinion that any person or corporation, including a municipal corporation, is violating, or is about to violate, any provisions of this part; or has done, or is about to do, any act, matter, or thing herein prohibited or declared to be unlawful; or has failed, omitted, neglected, or refused, or is about to fail, omit, neglect, or refuse, to perform any duty enjoined upon it by this part, or has failed, omitted, neglected or refused, or is about to fail, omit, neglect, or refuse to obey any lawful requirement, regulation or order made by the commission; or any final judgment, order, or decree made by any court, then and in every such case the commission may institute injunction, mandamus or other appropriate legal proceedings, to restrain such violations of the provisions of this part, or of the regulations, or orders of the commission, and to enforce obedience thereto.

66c502v

 

Saved from Suspension.  Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1549(11), adopted June 3, 1994, provided that section 502 shall not be deemed suspended or affected by Rules 1501 through 1536 relating to action in equity.

Cross References.  Section 502 is referred to in section 2905 of this title.

66c503s

§ 503.  Enforcement proceedings by Chief Counsel.

The Chief Counsel, in addition to the exercise of the powers and duties now conferred upon him by law, shall also, upon request of the commission proceed in the name of the Commonwealth, by mandamus, injunction, or quo warranto, or other appropriate remedy at law or, in equity, to restrain violations of the provisions of this part, or of the regulations or orders of the commission, or the judgments, orders, or decrees of any court, or to enforce obedience thereto.

66c503v

(Dec. 18, 1980, P.L.1247, No.226, eff. Jan. 20, 1981)

66c504s

§ 504.  Reports by public utilities.

The commission may require any public utility to file periodical reports, at such times, and in such form, and of such content, as the commission may prescribe, and special reports concerning any matter whatsoever about which the commission is authorized to inquire, or to keep itself informed, or which it is required to enforce. The commission may require any public utility to file with it a copy of any report filed by such public utility with any Federal department or regulatory body. All reports shall be under oath or affirmation when required by the commission.

66c504v

 

Cross References.  Section 504 is referred to in sections 2212, 3209 of this title.

66c505s

§ 505.  Duty to furnish information to commission; cooperation in valuing property.

Every public utility shall furnish to the commission, from time to time, and as the commission may require, all accounts, inventories, appraisals, valuations, maps, profiles, reports of engineers, books, papers, records, and other documents or memoranda, or copies of any and all of them, in aid of any inspection, examination, inquiry, investigation, or hearing, or in aid of any determination of the value of its property, or any portion thereof, and shall cooperate with the commission in the work of the valuation of its property, or any portion thereof, and shall furnish any and all other information to the commission, as the commission may require, in any inspection, examination, inquiry, investigation, hearing, or determination of such value of its property, or any portion thereof.

66c505v

 

Cross References.  Section 505 is referred to in sections 1706, 2212, 3209 of this title.

66c506s

§ 506.  Inspection of facilities and records.

The commission shall have full power and authority, either by or through its members, or duly authorized representatives, whenever it shall deem it necessary or proper in carrying out any of the provisions of, or its duties under this part, to enter upon the premises, buildings, machinery, system, plant, and equipment, and make any inspection, valuation, physical examination, inquiry, or investigation of any and all plant and equipment, facilities, property, and pertinent records, books, papers, accounts, maps, inventories, appraisals, valuations, memoranda, documents, or effects whatsoever, of any public utility, or prepared or kept for it by others, and to hold any hearing for such purposes. In the performance of such duties, the commission may have access to, and use any books, records, or documents in the possession of, any department, board, or commission of the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof.

66c506v

 

Cross References.  Section 506 is referred to in sections 1706, 2212, 3209 of this title.

66c507s

§ 507.  Contracts between public utilities and municipalities.

Except for a contract between a public utility and a municipal corporation to furnish service at the regularly filed and published tariff rates, no contract or agreement between any public utility and any municipal corporation shall be valid unless filed with the commission at least 30 days prior to its effective date. Upon notice to the municipal authorities, and the public utility concerned, the commission may, prior to the effective date of such contract or agreement, institute proceedings to determine the reasonableness, legality or any other matter affecting the validity thereof. Upon the institution of such proceedings, such contract or agreement shall not be effective until the commission grants its approval thereof.

66c508s

§ 508.  Power of commission to vary, reform and revise contracts.

The commission shall have power and authority to vary, reform, or revise, upon a fair, reasonable, and equitable basis, any obligations, terms, or conditions of any contract heretofore or hereafter entered into between any public utility and any person, corporation, or municipal corporation, which embrace or concern a public right, benefit, privilege, duty, or franchise, or the grant thereof, or are otherwise affected or concerned with the public interest and the general well-being of this Commonwealth. Whenever the commission shall determine, after reasonable notice and hearing, upon its own motion or upon complaint, that any such obligations, terms, or conditions are unjust, unreasonable, inequitable, or otherwise contrary or adverse to the public interest and the general well-being of this Commonwealth, the commission shall determine and prescribe, by findings and order, the just, reasonable, and equitable obligations, terms, and conditions of such contract. Such contract, as modified by the order of the commission, shall become effective 30 days after service of such order upon the parties to such contract.

66c508v

 

Cross References.  Section 508 is referred to in section 2807 of this title.

66c509s

§ 509.  Regulation of manufacture, sale or lease of appliances.

It is unlawful for any public utility engaged in the manufacture, sale, or lease of any appliance or equipment offered by such public utility for sale to the public to:

(1)  Discontinue service to any consumer for failure of such consumer to pay the whole, or any installment, of the purchase price, or rental, of any appliance or equipment sold to such consumer.

(2)  Apply to the purchase price or rental, or any part thereof, of any appliance or equipment purchased by, or leased to, a consumer of the service of the public utility, any deposit or other moneys of the consumer in the possession of the public utility. This restriction does not apply to any claims of the public utility against such consumer when such claims arise from damages to meters or other facilities used to measure and ascertain the quantity of service rendered by the public utility.

(3)  Employ in the manufacture, sale, or lease of any such appliance or equipment, any property used in, or revenue derived from, the rendering of service to the public, unless separate accounts as to the property used and the costs incurred by, and the revenue derived from, the manufacture, lease, or sale of such appliance or equipment are adopted, used, and kept by the public utility.

(4)  Employ in the manufacture, sale, or lease of any such appliance or equipment, the service of any officer or employee engaged in rendering service to the public, unless separate accounts as to the amount paid to such officer or employee, while engaged in the manufacture, lease or sale of such appliance or equipment, and whether any amount be salary, bonus, commission, or expense are adopted, used, and kept by the public utility.

66c510s

§ 510.  Assessment for regulatory expenses upon public utilities.

(a)  Determination of assessment.--Before November 1 of each year, the commission shall estimate its total expenditures in the administration of this part for the fiscal year beginning July of the following year, which estimate shall not exceed three-tenths of 1% of the total gross intrastate operating revenues of the public utilities and licensed entities under its jurisdiction for the preceding calendar year, except that the estimate may exceed this amount to reflect Federal funds received by the commission and funds received from other sources to perform functions that are unrelated to the regulation of public utilities and licensed entities. Such estimate shall be submitted to the Governor in accordance with section 610 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929. At the same time the commission submits its estimate to the Governor, the commission shall also submit that estimate to the General Assembly. The commission or its designated representatives shall be afforded an opportunity to appear before the Governor and the Senate and House Appropriations Committees regarding their estimates. The commission shall subtract from the final estimate:

(1)  The estimated fees to be collected pursuant to section 317 (relating to fees for services rendered by commission) during such fiscal year.

(2)  The estimated balance of the appropriation, specified in section 511 (relating to disposition, appropriation and disbursement of assessments and fees), to be carried over into such fiscal year from the preceding one.

The remainder so determined, herein called the total assessment, shall be allocated to, and paid by, such public utilities in the manner prescribed. If the General Assembly fails to approve the commission's budget for the purposes of this part, by March 30, the commission shall assess public utilities on the basis of the last approved operating budget. At such time as the General Assembly approves the proposed budget the commission shall have the authority to make an adjustment in the assessments to reflect the approved budget. If, subsequent to the approval of the budget, the commission determines that a supplemental budget may be needed, the commission shall submit its request for that supplemental budget simultaneously to the Governor and the chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

(b)  Allocation of assessment.--On or before March 31 of each year, every public utility shall file with the commission a statement under oath showing its gross intrastate operating revenues for the preceding calendar year. If any public utility shall fail to file such statement on or before March 31, the commission shall estimate such revenues, which estimate shall be binding upon the public utility for the purposes of this section. For each fiscal year, the allocation shall be made as follows:

(1)  The commission shall determine for the preceding calendar year the amount of its expenditures directly attributable to the regulation of each group of utilities furnishing the same kind of service, and debit the amount so determined to such group. The commission may, for purposes of the assessment, deem utilities rendering water, sewer or water and sewer service, as defined in the definition of "public utility" in section 102 (relating to definitions), as a utility group.

(2)  The commission shall also determine for the preceding calendar year the balance of its expenditures, not debited as aforesaid, and allocate such balance to each group in the proportion which the gross intrastate operating revenues of such group for that year bear to the gross intrastate operating revenues of all groups for that year.

(3)  The commission shall then allocate the total assessment prescribed by subsection (a) to each group in the proportion which the sum of the debits made to it bears to the sum of the debits made to all groups.

(4)  Each public utility within a group shall then be assessed for and shall pay to the commission such proportion of the amount allocated to its group as the gross intrastate operating revenues of the public utility for the preceding calendar year bear to the total gross intrastate operating revenues of its group for that year.

(5)  (Repealed).

(c)  Notice, hearing and payment.--The commission shall give notice by registered or certified mail to each public utility of the amount lawfully charged against it under the provisions of this section, which amount shall be paid by the public utility within 30 days of receipt of such notice, unless the commission specifies on the notices sent to all public utilities an installment plan of payment, in which case each public utility shall pay each installment on or before the date specified therefor by the commission. Within 15 days after receipt of such notice, the public utility against which such assessment has been made may file with the commission objections setting out in detail the grounds upon which the objector regards such assessment to be excessive, erroneous, unlawful or invalid. The commission, after notice to the objector, shall hold a hearing upon such objections. After such hearing, the commission shall record upon its minutes its findings on the objections and shall transmit to the objector, by registered or certified mail, notice of the amount, if any, charged against it in accordance with such findings, which amount or any installment thereof then due, shall be paid by the objector within ten days after receipt of notice of the findings of the commission with respect to such objections. If any payment prescribed by this subsection is not made as aforesaid, the commission may suspend or revoke certificates of public convenience, certify automobile registrations to the Department of Transportation for suspension or revocation or, through the Department of Justice, may institute an appropriate action at law for the amount lawfully assessed, together with any additional cost incurred by the commission or the Department of Justice by virtue of such failure to pay.

(d)  Suits by public utilities.--No suit or proceeding shall be maintained in any court for the purpose of restraining or in anywise delaying the collection or payment of any assessment made under subsections (a), (b) and (c), but every public utility against which an assessment is made shall pay the same as provided in subsection (c). Any public utility making any such payment may, at any time within two years from the date of payment, sue the Commonwealth in an action at law to recover the amount paid, or any part thereof, upon the ground that the assessment was excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid, in whole or in part, provided objections, as hereinbefore provided, were filed with the commission, and payment of the assessment was made under protest either as to all or part thereof. In any action for recovery of any payments made under this section, the claimant shall be entitled to raise every relevant issue of law, but the findings of fact made by the commission, pursuant to this section, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. Any records, books, data, documents, and memoranda relating to the expenses of the commission shall be admissible in evidence in any court and shall be prima facie evidence of the truth of their contents. If it is finally determined in any such action that all or any part of the assessment for which payment was made under protest was excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid, the commission shall make a refund to the claimant out of the appropriation specified in section 511 as directed by the court.

(e)  Certain provisions not applicable.--The provisions of this part relating to the judicial review of orders and determinations of the commission shall not be applicable to any findings, determinations, or assessments made under this section. The procedure in this section providing for the determination of the lawfulness of assessments and the recovery back of payments made pursuant to such assessment shall be exclusive of all other remedies and procedures.

(f)  Intent of section.--It is the intent and purpose of this section that each public utility subject to this part shall advance to the commission its reasonable share of the cost of administering this part. The commission shall keep records of the costs incurred in connection with the administration and enforcement of this part or any other statute. The commission shall also keep a record of the manner in which it shall have computed the amount assessed against every public utility. Such records shall be open to inspection by all interested parties. The determination of such costs and assessments by the commission, and the records and data upon which the same are made, shall be considered prima facie correct; and in any proceeding instituted to challenge the reasonableness or correctness of any assessment under this section, the party challenging the same shall have the burden of proof.

(g)  Saving provision.--This section does not affect or repeal any of the provisions of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.769, No.240), known as the "Commonwealth Documents Law."

66c510v

(Dec. 18, 1980, P.L.1247, No.226, eff. imd.; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.; Apr. 4, 1990, P.L.93, No.21, eff. 90 days; June 22, 1990, P.L.241, No.56, eff. 60 days; Dec. 30, 2002, P.L.2001, No.230, eff. 60 days; July 16, 2004, P.L.758, No.94; Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 amended subsec. (a). See section 1 of Act 155 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative findings and declarations.

2004 Repeal.  Act 94 repealed subsec. (b)(5). Section 25(1)(ii) of Act 94 provided that the repeal of subsec. (b)(5) shall take effect in 270 days or on the date of publication of the notice under section 24 of Act 94. The notice was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin March 12, 2005, at 35 Pa.B. 1737. See sections 20(5), 21(5) and 24 of Act 94 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission contracts, preservation of rights, obligations, duties and remedies and publication in Pennsylvania Bulletin.

1990 Amendments.  Act 21 amended subsec. (b) and Act 56 amended subsec. (b)(1).

Cross References.  Section 510 is referred to in sections 2212, 2610, 3207 of this title; section 2303 of Title 58 (Oil and Gas).

66c511s

§ 511.  Disposition, appropriation and disbursement of assessments and fees.

(a)  Payment into General Fund.--All assessments and fees received, collected or recovered under this chapter shall be paid by the commission into the General Fund of the State Treasury through the Department of Revenue.

(b)  Use and appropriation of funds.--All such assessments and fees, having been advanced by public utilities for the purpose of defraying the cost of administering this part, shall be held in trust solely for that purpose, and shall be earmarked for the use of, and annually appropriated to, the commission for disbursement solely for that purpose.

(c)  Requisition of funds.--All requisitions upon such appropriation shall be signed by the chairman and secretary of the commission, or such deputies as they may designate in writing to the State Treasurer, and shall be presented to the State Treasurer and dealt with by him and the Treasury Department in the manner prescribed by the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as "The Fiscal Code."

66c511v

(Dec. 18, 1980, P.L.1247, No.226, eff. imd.)

 

1980 Amendment.  Act 226 amended subsec. (b).

Cross References.  Section 511 is referred to in section 510 of this title.

66c511.1s

§ 511.1.  Use of Federal funds under energy program.

(a)  General rule.--The commission is authorized to apply for and, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly, use Federal funds pursuant to the National Energy Act which is composed of:

(1)  The "National Energy Conservation Policy Act," Public Law 95-619.

(2)  The "Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978," Public Law 95-620.

(3)  The "Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978," Public Law 95-617.

(4)  The "Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978," Public Law 95-621.

(5)  The "Energy Tax Act of 1978," Public Law 95-618.

(6)  The "Energy Conservation and Production Act of 1976," Public Law 94-385.

(7)  Any future Federal legislation or amendments to the statutes listed in this subsection providing special funds for:

(i)  Rate making research and development.

(ii)  Energy conservation research and development.

(iii)  Motor carrier and rail transportation safety programs.

(iv)  Gas safety programs.

(b)  Funds not subject to lapse.--Funds received by the commission pursuant to subsection (a) shall not be subject to lapsing at the end of any fiscal period.

(c)  Reimbursement to utilities prohibited.--Funds received by the commission pursuant to subsection (a) shall not be reimbursed to any public utility.

66c511.1v

(Dec. 18, 1980, P.L.1247, No.226, eff. imd.)

 

1980 Amendment.  Act 226 added section 511.1.

66c512s

§ 512.  Power of commission to require insurance.

The commission may, as to motor carriers, prescribe, by regulation or order, such requirements as it may deem necessary for the protection of persons or property of their patrons and the public, including the filing of surety bonds, the carrying of insurance, or the qualifications and conditions under which such carriers may act as self-insurers with respect to such matters. All motor carriers of passengers, whose current liquid assets do not exceed their current liabilities by at least $100,000, shall cover each and every vehicle, transporting such passengers, with a public liability insurance policy or a surety bond issued by an insurance carrier or a bonding company authorized to do business in this Commonwealth, in such amounts as the commission may prescribe, but not less than $5,000 for one and $10,000 for more than one person injured in any one accident.

66c512.1s

§ 512.1.  Power of commission to confiscate, impound and sell vehicles.

(a)  Authorization.--The commission is empowered to confiscate a vehicle and impound and sell a vehicle if the vehicle is used to provide a prearranged ride following disqualification under section 2609(b) (relating to fines and penalties) or suspension or revocation of a transportation network company's license under this title.

(b)  Return of vehicle.--The vehicle may be returned to the registered owner upon payment of the costs of the commission associated with confiscation and impoundment. Failure of a transportation network company, driver of a confiscated vehicle or registered owner to pay these costs may result in forfeiture and sale of the vehicle.

(c)  Commission duties.--The commission shall establish the following by regulation or order:

(1)  grounds for confiscation, impoundment or sale;

(2)  procedures for satisfaction of outstanding fines, penalties and costs and notice and hearing; and

(3)  if the fines, penalties and costs are not timely paid, the timing of the sale and the allocation of proceeds from the sale of impounded vehicles.

(d)  Disposition of sale proceeds.--The proceeds of the sale of a vehicle by the commission under this section shall first be used to satisfy any liens on the vehicle or, if the vehicle is subject to a lease, to pay the lessor damages due to the lessor upon default by the lessee as provided by 13 Pa.C.S. § 2A527 (relating to lessor's rights to dispose of goods) prior to paying any fines, penalties and costs.

66c512.1v

(Nov. 4, 2016, P.L.1222, No.164, eff. imd.)

 

2016 Amendment.  Act 164 added section 512.1.

66c513s

§ 513.  Public letting of contracts.

Whenever the commission deems that the public interest so requires, it may direct, by regulation or order, that any public utility shall award contracts or agreements for the construction, improvement, or extension, of its plant or system to the lowest responsible bidder, after a public offering has been made, after advertisement and notice. Any such public utility may participate as a bidder in any such public offering. The commission may prescribe regulations relative to such advertisement, notice, and public letting.

66c514s

§ 514.  Use of coal.

(a)  Upgrading capability to use coal.--The commission shall promulgate regulations which require utilities to uprate their electric power production by increasing the capability to use coal in existing coal-fueled plants where economically feasible and where the uprate is beneficial to ratepayers.

(b)  Incentive for uprating.--The commission shall promulgate regulations which establish a special cost recovery and shared benefits procedure for electric utilities and their ratepayers as an incentive to implement upratings as provided in subsection (a). Nothing in this section shall permit or require the commission to establish rates or procedures which are inconsistent with any other section in this title.

(c)  Cost of upgrading.--Notwithstanding section 1315 (relating to limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities) and subject to regulations promulgated by the commission, the commission may allow a portion of the prudently incurred costs, determined on a per megawatt basis and not to exceed 50% of the unit's undepreciated original cost per megawatt, of uprating the capability of an existing coal-fueled plant to use coal mined in Pennsylvania to be made a part of the rate base or otherwise included in the rates charged by the utility before such uprating is completed. This subsection shall not apply unless, upon application of the affected public utility, the commission determines that the uprating would be more cost effective for the utility's ratepayers than other alternatives for meeting the utility's load and capacity requirements. Notwithstanding section 1309 (relating to rates fixed on complaint; investigation of costs of production), the commission, by regulation, shall provide for a utility to remove the costs of an uprating from its rate base and to refund any revenues collected as the result of this subsection, plus interest, which shall be the average rate of interest specified for residential mortgage lending by the Secretary of Banking in accordance with the act of January 30, 1974 (P.L.13, No.6), referred to as the Loan Interest and Protection Law, during the period or periods for which the commission orders refunds, if the commission, after notice and hearings, determines that the uprating has not been completed within a reasonable time.

66c514v

(May 31, 1984, P.L.370, No.74, eff. 60 days; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1265, No.240, eff. imd.; July 3, 1986, P.L.348, No.80, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 514 is referred to in section 523 of this title.

66c515s

§ 515.  Construction cost of electric generating units.

(a)  Submission of estimate.--No later than 30 days after construction of an electric generating unit is begun, either in this Commonwealth or in some other state, any public utility operating in this Commonwealth and owning any share in that unit shall submit to the commission an estimate of the cost of constructing that unit. If the public utility acquires ownership of any share in an electric generating unit which is under construction on the date of acquisition, the public utility shall, within 30 days of the date of acquisition, submit an estimate of the cost of constructing that unit which was formulated no later than 30 days from the beginning of construction.

(b)  Auditor in charge.--For each electric generating unit under construction which falls under the provisions of this section, the commission shall designate an auditor in charge. In addition to the access to evidence granted by this section, each utility having a generating unit under construction shall promptly submit, to the appropriate auditor in charge, copies and a description of any change with respect to construction which may be expected to result in substantial variances in the construction cost. A summary of all other changes shall be submitted to the commission at such reasonable times as the commission shall require.

(c)  Access to evidence.--From and after the beginning of construction of an electric generating unit, the commission, or the auditor in charge, and the Consumer Advocate, or his designee, shall have reasonable access to the construction site and to any oral or documentary evidence relevant to determining the necessity and propriety of any construction cost. If a public utility objects to any request by the commission or the auditor in charge or the Consumer Advocate, or the person designated by the Consumer Advocate, for access to the construction site or to any oral or documentary evidence, the objection shall be decided in the same manner as an on-the-record proceeding pursuant to Chapter 3 (relating to public utility commission). The affected public utility shall have the burden of proof in sustaining any such objection.

(d)  Definition.--As used in this section the term "construction" includes any work performed on an electric generating unit which is expected to require the affected public utility to incur an aggregate of at least $100,000,000 of expenses which, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, are capital expenses and not operating or maintenance expenses.

66c515v

(July 6, 1984, P.L.602, No.123, eff. imd.; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 515 is referred to in sections 523, 1308 of this title.

66c516s

§ 516.  Audits of certain utilities.

(a)  General rule.--The commission shall provide for audits of any electric, gas, telephone or water utility whose plant in service is valued at not less than $10,000,000. The audits shall include an examination of management effectiveness and operating efficiency. The commission shall establish procedures for audits of the operations of utilities as provided in this section. Audits shall be conducted at least once every five years unless the commission finds that a specific audit is unnecessary, but in no event shall audits be conducted less than once every eight years. A summary of the audits mandated by this subsection shall be released to the public, and a complete copy of the audits shall be provided to the Office of Trial Staff and the Office of Consumer Advocate.

(b)  Management efficiency investigations.--In addition to the audits mandated by subsection (a), the commission shall appoint a management efficiency investigator who shall periodically examine the management effectiveness and operating efficiency of all utilities required to be audited under subsection (a) and monitor the utility company responses to the audits required by subsection (a). For the purposes of carrying out the periodic audit required by this subsection and for carrying out the monitoring of audits required by subsection (a), the commission is hereby empowered to direct the management efficiency investigator to conduct such investigations through and with teams made up of commission staff and/or independent consulting firms; further, the commission may designate specific items of management effectiveness and operating efficiency to be investigated. The management efficiency investigator shall provide an annual report to the commission, the affected utility, the Office of Trial Staff and the Office of Consumer Advocate detailing the findings of such investigations.

(c)  Use of independent auditing firms.--The commission may require an audit under subsection (a) or (b) to be performed by an independent consulting firm. When the commission, under either subsection (a) or (b), orders an audit to be performed by an independent consulting firm, the commission, after consultation with the utility, shall select the firm and require the utility to enter into a contract with the firm providing for payment of the firm by the utility. The terms of the contract shall include all reasonable expenses directly related to the performance of the audit or to the management efficiency investigation activities of independent consulting firms at the utility, as well as their preparation and presentation of testimony in any contested litigation which may be undertaken as a result of the audit findings under subsection (a) or (b). That contract shall require the audit firm to work under the direction of the commission.

(d)  Other powers of commission unaffected.--This section is not intended to alter or repeal any existing powers of the commission.

66c516v

(Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1240, No.234, eff. 60 days; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 516 is referred to in sections 523, 2204 of this title.

66c517s

§ 517.  Conversion of electric generating units fueled by oil or natural gas.

(a)  Order by commission.--Whenever the commission determines that conversion of an oil or a natural gas-fueled electric generating unit to coal, a synthetic derived in whole or in part from coal or a mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal is economically and technologically feasible, the commission shall issue an order to the affected public utility to show cause why the commission should not order the conversion of that unit. The commission shall subsequently issue an order requiring the conversion of that unit unless the affected public utility proves, and the commission finds, any of the following:

(1)  Conversion of the unit is not technologically feasible.

(2)  The unit, if converted, could not be operated in compliance with present and reasonably anticipated environmental laws and regulations.

(3)  There is a strong probability that the conversion and subsequent operation of the converted unit would be more costly to ratepayers over the remaining useful life of the converted unit than would continued operation as an oil or a natural gas-fueled unit.

(b)  Environmental questions.--The commission may certify, to the Department of Environmental Resources, any question regarding the applicability of environmental laws and regulations, when the question arises in a proceeding under this section, and may incorporate the department's findings in its decision.

(c)  Mixture with oil or natural gas.--For purposes of this section, the phrase "mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal" includes, but is not limited to, both the intermittent and the simultaneous burning of oil or natural gas with coal or a coal derivative if the intermittent or simultaneous burning of oil or natural gas would:

(1)  lower the cost, to the ratepayers, of using coal or a coal derivative; or

(2)  enable coal or a coal derivative to be burned in compliance with present and reasonably anticipated environmental laws and regulations.

(d)  Recovery of conversion costs.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, if the commission, acting pursuant to this section, issues an order requiring the conversion of an oil or a natural gas-fueled unit, the affected utility shall be permitted to recover all reasonable and prudent costs associated with the conversion even if the conversion or continued operation of the converted unit is ultimately prevented by factors beyond the utility's control. The affected utility shall be permitted to include in its rate base, or otherwise in its rates during construction, such reasonable and prudent costs of construction associated with the conversion.

(e)  Availability of funds.--(Repealed).

66c517v

(Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1240, No.234, eff. imd.; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1270, No.241, eff. imd.; July 3, 1986, P.L.348, No.80, eff. 60 days; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Repeals.  Act 80 repealed subsec. (e) and Act 114 repealed subsec. (e).

1984 Amendments.  Acts 234 and 241 added section 517. The amendments by Acts 234 and 241 are identical and therefore have been merged.

References in Text.  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in subsec. (b), was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

66c518s

§ 518.  Construction of electric generating units fueled by nuclear energy.

(a)  General rule.--Only upon the application of a public utility and the approval of the application by the commission shall it be lawful for the utility to begin the construction of an electric generating unit fueled by nuclear energy.

(b)  Review by commission.--Every application shall be made to the commission, in writing, and shall be in the form and contain the information the commission requires by its regulations. The commission shall approve an application if, after reasonable notice and hearing, the affected public utility proves, and the commission finds, any of the following:

(1)  There are no reasonably available sites on which a unit or units of comparable capacity fueled by coal, a synthetic derived in whole or in part from coal or a mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal could be operated in compliance with present and reasonably anticipated environmental laws and regulations.

(2)  There is a strong probability that construction and subsequent operation of a unit or units of comparable capacity fueled by coal, a synthetic derived in whole or in part from coal or a mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal would be more costly to ratepayers over the useful life of the nonnuclear unit or units than would construction and subsequent operation of the unit proposed by the utility.

(c)  Environmental questions.--The commission may certify, to the Department of Environmental Resources, any question regarding the applicability of environmental laws and regulations, when the question arises in a proceeding under this section, and may incorporate the department's findings in its decision.

(d)  Time limit on commission review.--If the commission fails to approve or disapprove an application within six months after the date on which the application is filed, it shall be lawful for the affected utility to construct the proposed electric generating unit as though the commission had approved the application.

(e)  Capacity determinations.--This section does not authorize the commission to review the affected public utility's determination that there is a need to construct a new electric generating unit of the capacity and by the in-service date proposed by the utility and does not supersede a decision by the commission under some other provision of law that there is, or was, not a need to construct a new electric generating unit of the capacity and by the in-service date proposed by the utility.

(f)  Mixture with oil or natural gas.--For the purposes of this section, the phrase "mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal" includes, but is not limited to, both the intermittent and the simultaneous burning of oil or natural gas with coal or a coal derivative if the intermittent or simultaneous burning of oil or natural gas would:

(1)  lower the cost, to the ratepayers, of using coal or a coal derivative; or

(2)  enable coal or a coal derivative to be burned in compliance with present and reasonably anticipated environmental laws and regulations.

66c518v

(Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1240, No.234, eff. imd.; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1270, No.241, eff. 60 days)

 

1984 Amendments.  Acts 234 and 241 added section 518. The amendments by Acts 234 and 241 are identical and therefore have been merged.

References in Text.  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in subsec. (c), was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

66c519s

§ 519.  Construction of electric generating units fueled by oil or natural gas.

(a)  General rule.--Only upon the application of a public utility and the approval of the application by the commission shall it be lawful for the utility to begin the construction of an electric generating unit fueled by oil or natural gas.

(b)  Review by commission.--Every application shall be made to the commission, in writing, and shall be in the form and contain the information the commission requires by its regulations. The commission shall approve an application if, after reasonable notice and hearing, the affected public utility proves, and the commission finds, any of the following:

(1)  There are no reasonably available sites on which a unit or units of comparable capacity fueled by coal, a synthetic derived in whole or in part from coal or a mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal could be operated in compliance with present and reasonably anticipated environmental laws and regulations.

(2)  There is a strong probability that construction and subsequent operation of a unit or units of comparable capacity fueled by coal, a synthetic derived in whole or in part from coal or a mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal would be more costly to ratepayers over the useful life of the nonoil or nongas unit or units than would construction and subsequent operation of the unit proposed by the utility.

(c)  Environmental questions.--The commission may certify, to the Department of Environmental Resources, any question regarding the applicability of environmental laws and regulations, when the question arises in a proceeding under this section, and may incorporate the department's findings in its decision.

(d)  Time limit on commission review.--If the commission fails to approve or disapprove an application within six months after the date on which the application is filed, it shall be lawful for the affected utility to construct the proposed electric generating unit as though the commission had approved the application.

(e)  Capacity determinations.--This section does not authorize the commission to review the affected public utility's determination that there is a need to construct a new electric generating unit of the capacity and by the in-service date proposed by the utility and does not supersede a decision by the commission under some other provision of law that there is, or was, not a need to construct a new electric generating unit of the capacity and by the in-service date proposed by the utility.

(f)  Mixture with oil or natural gas.--For the purposes of this section, the phrase "mixture which includes coal or is derived in whole or in part from coal" includes, but is not limited to, both the intermittent and the simultaneous burning of oil or natural gas with coal or a coal derivative if the intermittent or simultaneous burning of oil or natural gas would:

(1)  lower the cost, to the ratepayers, of using coal or a coal derivative; or

(2)  enable coal or a coal derivative to be burned in compliance with present and reasonably anticipated environmental laws and regulations.

66c519v

(Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1240, No.234, eff. imd.; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1270, No.241, eff. 60 days)

 

1984 Amendments.  Acts 234 and 241 added section 519. The amendments by Acts 234 and 241 are identical and therefore have been merged.

References in Text.  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in subsec. (c), was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

66c520s

§ 520.  Power of commission to order cancellation or modification of construction of electric generating units.

(a)  General rule.--The commission shall order any public utility engaged in producing, generating, transmitting, distributing or furnishing electricity to cancel or modify the construction of, or its participation in the construction of, any generating unit where the commission, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, determines that the construction is not in the public interest. In addition to any other relevant matters, the commission shall consider in its determination whether:

(1)  The generating unit is necessary for the utility to provide adequate and reliable service to the public.

(2)  There are less costly alternatives by which the utility could maintain its ability to provide adequate and reliable service.

(b)  Investigations and hearings.--For the purpose of enabling the commission to make its determination, it may hold hearings, make inquiries and require the submission of information which it deems necessary or proper in enabling it to reach a determination. The burden of proof at these hearings to show that construction of the generating unit is in the public interest shall be on the public utility.

(c)  Regulatory treatment of costs.--Notwithstanding any other provisions of this title, for a generating unit canceled after the effective date of this section, either voluntarily or by commission order, an electric utility may be permitted to recover a return of, but not a return on, prudently incurred costs on any partially completed facility when cancellation is found by the commission to be in the public interest. The burden of proof to show that any costs claimed were prudently incurred shall be on the public utility.

66c520v

(Oct. 10, 1985, P.L.257, No.62, eff. imd.)

 

1985 Amendment.  Act 62 added section 520.

66c521s

§ 521.  Retirement of electric generating units.

(a)  Removal from normal operation.--No public utility shall discontinue an electric generating unit from normal operation unless it has petitioned for and obtained the approval of the commission. The commission may, upon its own motion or upon complaint, prohibit a public utility from discontinuing an electric generating unit from normal operation if the commission determines that it would be more cost effective for the utility's ratepayers if the unit were to remain in normal operation, either with or without capital additions or operating improvements, than if the utility were to implement its plan for replacing the power which the unit is, or could be made, capable of producing.

(b)  Return to normal operation.--The commission may, upon its own motion or upon complaint, order a public utility to return an electric generating unit to normal operation if the commission determines that it would be more cost effective for the utility's ratepayers if the unit were to be returned to normal operation, with or without capital additions or operating improvements, than if the utility were to implement its plan for providing the power which the unit is, or could be made, capable of producing.

(c)  Procedure.--The commission may hold such hearings as it deems necessary in making the determinations required by subsection (a) or (b). The affected public utility shall have the burden of proof in any proceeding pursuant to this section.

(d)  Regulations.--The commission may adopt such regulations as it deems necessary to carry out its powers and duties under this section.

(e)  Exclusion.--This section shall not apply to a nuclear generating unit or to variations in operation of electric generating units to satisfy economic dispatch requirements or to maintain intrasystem or intersystem stability.

(f)  Construction costs.--Notwithstanding section 1315 (relating to limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities) and subject to regulations promulgated by the commission, the commission may allow a portion of the prudently incurred costs of capital additions, determined on a per megawatt basis and not to exceed 50% of the unit's undepreciated original cost per megawatt, to an electric generating unit to be made a part of the rate base or otherwise included in the rates charged by the utility before such capital additions are completed if the commission, acting pursuant to subsection (a) or (b), prohibits the utility from retiring the unit or orders the utility to return the unit to normal operation, provided that:

(1)  the capital additions would allow the continued or increased use of coal mined in Pennsylvania; and

(2)  the capital additions would be more cost effective for the utility's ratepayers than other alternatives for meeting the utility's load and capacity requirements.

Notwithstanding section 1309 (relating to rates fixed on complaint; investigation of costs of production), the commission, by regulation, shall provide for a utility to remove the costs of capital additions from its rate base and to refund any revenues collected as the result of this subsection, plus interest, which shall be the average rate of interest specified for residential mortgage lending by the Secretary of Banking in accordance with the act of January 30, 1974 (P.L.13, No.6), referred to as the Loan Interest and Protection Law, during the period or periods for which the commission orders refunds, if the commission, after notice and hearing, determines that the capital addition has not been completed within a reasonable time.

(g)  Definition.--As used in this section the term "normal operation" means the continuing availability of an electric generating unit to meet consumer demand except during:

(1)  Scheduled outages for repairs, tests or other procedures essential to the unit's further use.

(2)  Unscheduled outages caused by the unit's physical malfunctioning or breakdown.

(3)  Reduced levels of generation pending execution of repairs.

(4)  Reduced levels or complete cessation of generation, on a temporary basis, because of disruptions in fuel supplies, waste disposal or cooling water; or because of compliance with environmental protection limitations or conservation of fuel during periods of, or in anticipation of, scarcity.

66c521v

(July 3, 1986, P.L.348, No.80, eff. 60 days)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 80 added section 521.

66c522s

§ 522.  Expense reduction program.

(a)  Target.--The commission shall establish an expense reduction program for calendar year 1986 for all electric and gas utilities with total annual intrastate operating revenues of at least $40,000,000 and for all telephone utilities with total annual intrastate operating revenues of at least $9,000,000. Utilities regulated by the commission pursuant to this subsection shall make every reasonable effort to reduce their level of expenses, other than expenses associated with depreciation, fuel, collective bargaining agreements and other categories of expense as determined by the commission for the calendar year 1986 as compared to calendar year 1985. The commission shall periodically review the expense reducing efforts undertaken by utilities pursuant to this subsection and shall take appropriate action in response to these efforts.

(b)  Ongoing effort.--The commission may direct or permit any utility to take any lawful action not inconsistent with this title for the purpose of encouraging economies, efficiencies or improvements which benefit the utility and its ratepayers.

66c522v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 522.

66c523s

§ 523.  Performance factor consideration.

(a)  Considerations.--The commission shall consider, in addition to all other relevant evidence of record, the efficiency, effectiveness and adequacy of service of each utility when determining just and reasonable rates under this title. On the basis of the commission's consideration of such evidence, it shall give effect to this section by making such adjustments to specific components of the utility's claimed cost of service as it may determine to be proper and appropriate. Any adjustment made under this section shall be made on the basis of specific findings upon evidence of record, which findings shall be set forth explicitly, together with their underlying rationale, in the final order of the commission.

(b)  Fixed utilities.--As part of its duties pursuant to subsection (a), the commission shall set forth criteria by which it will evaluate future fixed utility performance and in assessing the performance of a fixed utility pursuant to subsection (a), the commission shall consider specifically the following:

(1)  Management effectiveness and operating efficiency as measured by an audit pursuant to section 516 (relating to audits of certain utilities) to the extent that the audit or portions of the audit have been properly introduced by a party into the record of the proceeding in accordance with applicable rules of evidence and procedure.

(2)  Action or failure to act pursuant to section 514 (relating to use of coal) to upgrade capability to use coal for electric utilities.

(3)  Efficiency and cost-effectiveness of generating capacity for electric utilities.

(4)  Action or failure to act to encourage development of cost-effective energy supply alternatives such as conservation or load management, cogeneration or small power production for electric and gas utilities.

(5)  Action or failure to act to encourage cost-effective conservation by customers of water utilities.

(6)  Action or failure to act to contain costs of constructing new generating units consistent with sections 515 (relating to construction cost of electric generating units) and 1308(f) (relating to voluntary changes in rates).

(7)  Any other relevant and material evidence of efficiency, effectiveness and adequacy of service.

66c523v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 523.

66c524s

§ 524.  Data to be supplied by electric utilities.

(a)  General rule.--Effective December 31, 1987, each public utility producing, generating, distributing or furnishing electricity shall submit annually to the commission information concerning its future plans to meet its customer demand, including, but not limited to, the following data:

(1)  A year-by-year projection of electrical energy use and electrical energy demand for each of the next 20 years. The forecast shall examine alternative scenarios for demand growth and shall be divided into the residential, commercial, industrial and utility sectors.

(2)  A year-by-year projection of all available sources of supply for each of the next 20 years, including, but not limited to, the following:

(i)  Electric generating capacity from centralized power plants over 25,000 KW indicating planned additions, retirements, purchases and all other expected changes in levels of generating capacity.

(ii)  The projected utilization, and the potential for additional utilization, of cogeneration and nonconventional technologies relying on renewable energy resources, including, but not limited to, solar, wind, biomass and geothermal and other small power technologies not accounted for in subparagraph (i). The information shall identify specifically any such capacity that is expected to or may be available to each utility.

(3)  A year-by-year examination of the potential for promoting and ensuring the full utilization of all practical and economical energy conservation for the next 20 years and a discussion of how existing and planned utility programs do or do not adequately reach this potential. Such programs should include, but not be limited to, educational, audit, loan, rebate, third-party financing and load management efforts to shift load from peak to off-peak periods.

(4)  An explanation of how the utility has integrated all demand-side and supply-side options to derive a resource mix to meet customer demand.

(5)  A comparison of the total annual cost to customers and to the company of the utility's plan to meet new demand compared with alternative plans for the next 20 years.

(6)  A discussion of the methodologies, assumptions and data sources used to determine the projections and estimates required by paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5).

(7)  With respect to the planned construction of any new generation or production facilities, the utility shall provide all of the following:

(i)  A discussion of proposed and alternative sites for the construction and operation of planned facilities and an estimate of the effect on annual costs of each alternative considered.

(ii)  A discussion of the type of fuel and method of generation to be used at the proposed facility as well as alternative types of facilities studied and an estimate of the effect upon annual costs of the various alternative types of facilities considered.

(iii)  A discussion of expected financial impacts and requirements of construction and operation of the proposed facility, as well as alternative facilities.

(iv)  A discussion of why all the alternatives considered were rejected.

(b)  Report.--The commission shall prepare a report summarizing and discussing the data provided pursuant to subsection (a) and annually, on or before September 1, shall submit the report to the General Assembly, the Governor, the Office of Consumer Advocate and each affected public utility.

(c)  Regulations.--The commission shall promulgate regulations to establish the specific forms and methods of reporting the information to be submitted pursuant to subsection (a).

(d)  Effect of submission of information.--Neither the submission to the commission of the information required by subsection (a) or the issuance by the commission of a report on the information, or anything contained in such reports, or any action taken by the commission as a result of the issuance of such reports, shall be considered or construed as approval or acceptance by the commission of any of the plans, assumptions or calculations made by the public utility and reflected in the information submitted.

66c524v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 524.

66c525s

§ 525.  Sale of generating units and power.

The commission may prohibit a public utility from discontinuing an electric generating unit from normal operation if the commission determines that it would be technically feasible and cost effective for the utility to sell the unit or the power from the unit to another utility and if the commission determines that it would be cost effective for the other utility to make such a purchase. The commission may also order the sale of the unit or the power from the unit if the commission determines that such a sale would be technically feasible and cost effective for both the selling and buying utilities.

66c525v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 525.

66c526s

§ 526.  Rejection of rate increase requests due to inadequate quality or quantity of service.

(a)  General rule.--The commission may reject, in whole or in part, a public utility's request to increase its rates where the commission concludes, after hearing, that the service rendered by the public utility is inadequate in that it fails to meet quantity or quality for the type of service provided.

(b)  Other powers and duties preserved.--This section shall not be construed to diminish the powers and duties of the commission under any other provision of law to remedy inadequate service by a public utility.

66c526v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 526. Section 18 provided that section 526 shall be applicable to all cases pending before the commission or courts, whether on appeal or otherwise.

66c527s

§ 527.  Cogeneration rules and regulations.

(a)  Availability.--The commission shall promulgate rules and regulations concerning the rates, terms, conditions and availability of cogeneration in this Commonwealth. The commission shall require that utility rates to the public reflect the costs and savings to the utility from cogeneration, including, but not limited to, the costs incurred by utilities under contracts with nonutility generating unit project developers for the purchase of electric capacity or energy, or both; the costs recoverable under subsection (b) to buy out and cancel unfinished nonutility generating unit projects by mutual agreement of the project developer and the public utility; and the costs prudently incurred by utilities under a voluntary buyout, buydown or other restructured arrangement which are just and reasonable and which reduce the cost to customers of nonutility generating unit projects.

(b)  Recovery of cancellation costs of nonutility generating unit projects.--A nonutility generating unit project is a generating unit project that is not owned by a public utility. If the construction of a nonutility generating unit project for which a public utility has a contract, whether entered into voluntarily or pursuant to commission order, to purchase project energy or project capacity and energy is canceled by mutual agreement of the project developer and the public utility prior to the unit's completion and operation, the public utility may recover all costs to be paid to the project developer and all costs directly related thereto which are prudently incurred as a result of such cancellation. The burden of proof to show that any costs claimed were prudently incurred shall be on the public utility. In reviewing a claim for such costs:

(1)  the commission shall not disallow any portion solely on the basis that it constitutes an amount greater than actual development expenditures and all costs related thereto; and

(2)  the commission shall consider the amount of the claim compared to the utility's total estimated costs of obligations under the contract.

66c527v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.; July 2, 1996, P.L.542, No.94, eff. imd.)

 

1996 Amendment.  See the preamble and section 2 of Act 94 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative findings and construction of act.

Cross References.  Section 527 is referred to in sections 2803, 2804, 2808 of this title.

66c528s

§ 528.  Use of foreign coal by qualifying facilities.

(a)  Legislative findings.--The General Assembly hereby finds as follows:

(1)  Potential qualifying facilities which would generate electricity from United States energy sources are, and will for the foreseeable future continue to be, able to supplement adequately the capacity needs of public utilities in this Commonwealth.

(2)  Some of those qualifying facilities offer the multiple benefits of supplying electricity to Pennsylvania ratepayers at a reasonable price, creating jobs in areas of high unemployment in this Commonwealth and helping to clean up this Commonwealth's environment.

(3)  Although Federal law places a duty on public utilities to buy electricity generated by qualifying facilities, Federal law does not dictate how the price paid by public utilities and the charges to ratepayers for that electricity are to be calculated.

(4)  The energy source used by a qualifying facility is a significant factor in determining if a qualifying facility would be able to meet its commitment to supply electricity to a public utility at a reasonable price.

(5)  Coal mined in a foreign country is subject to major supply interruptions, price increases and quality reductions which are unpredictable and which may result not only from market factors, but also from foreign policy decisions of the United States Government or one or more foreign governments or from domestic policy changes in the foreign country in which the coal is mined.

(6)  It is much easier for a public utility and the commission to predict the reliability of a qualifying facility and the reasonableness of the price of the electricity to be supplied by that qualifying facility if United States energy sources are to be used than if coal mined in a foreign country is to be used.

(7)  A qualifying facility which would burn coal mined in a foreign country is too potentially unreliable to justify a public utility in foregoing alternative capacity commitments and in paying the qualifying facility a price which includes any capacity credit.

(b)  General rule.--The price paid by a public utility to a qualifying facility and the charge imposed on the utility's ratepayers for electricity generated by that qualifying facility shall not include any capacity credit if that qualifying facility burns coal mined in a foreign country.

(c)  Restriction on contract approval.--The commission shall not approve any contract between a public utility and a qualifying facility which burns coal mined in a foreign country for the purchase by the utility of electricity generated by the qualifying facility unless:

(1)  the price to be paid by the utility reflects no more than the actual avoided cost of the utility when the payment is made; and

(2)  the contract does not exceed five years in duration.

(d)  Review of contracts.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a contract in effect on the effective date of this section or thereafter between a public utility and a qualifying facility for the purchase by the utility of electricity generated by the qualifying facility shall, after notice and hearing, be subject to review and modification in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) at any time upon complaint or upon the commission's own motion if the qualifying facility burns coal mined in a foreign country.

(e)  Recovery from ratepayers.--For the express purpose of implementing the intent of this section, a public utility shall not be permitted to recover from ratepayers pursuant to section 1307 (relating to sliding scale of rates; adjustments) any of the costs associated with a contract between the utility and a qualifying facility which burns coal mined in a foreign country for the purchase by the utility of electricity generated by the qualifying facility. Any such costs which the commission determines to be reasonable and prudent shall be recoverable only through a base rate proceeding pursuant to Chapter 13 (relating to rates and rate making).

(f)  Definition.--For the purposes of this section, "qualifying facility" means any cogeneration facility or small power producer which is a qualifying facility pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's guidelines set forth at 18 CFR §§ 292.101(b)(1) (relating to definitions) and 292.203(a) and (b) (relating to general requirements for qualification).

(g)  Severability.--The provisions of this section shall be severable. If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any public utility, qualifying facility or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this section and the application of any provision thereof to any other public utilities, qualifying facilities or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

66c528v

(July 6, 1988, P.L.490, No.83, eff. imd.)

 

1988 Amendment.  Act 83 added section 528.

66c529s

§ 529.  Power of commission to order acquisition of small water and sewer utilities.

(a)  General rule.--The commission may order a capable public utility to acquire a small water or sewer utility if the commission, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, determines:

(1)  that the small water or sewer utility is in violation of statutory or regulatory standards, including, but not limited to, the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L.1987, No.394), known as The Clean Streams Law, the act of January 24, 1966 (1965 P.L.1535, No.537), known as the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, and the act of May 1, 1984 (P.L.206, No.43), known as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act, and the regulations adopted thereunder, which affect the safety, adequacy, efficiency or reasonableness of the service provided by the small water or sewer utility;

(2)  that the small water or sewer utility has failed to comply, within a reasonable period of time, with any order of the Department of Environmental Resources or the commission concerning the safety, adequacy, efficiency or reasonableness of service, including, but not limited to, the availability of water, the potability of water, the palatability of water or the provision of water at adequate volume and pressure;

(3)  that the small water or sewer utility cannot reasonably be expected to furnish and maintain adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service and facilities in the future;

(4)  that alternatives to acquisition have been considered in accordance with subsection (b) and have been determined by the commission to be impractical or not economically feasible;

(5)  that the acquiring capable public utility is financially, managerially and technically capable of acquiring and operating the small water or sewer utility in compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory standards; and

(6)  that the rates charged by the acquiring capable public utility to its preacquisition customers will not increase unreasonably because of the acquisition.

(b)  Alternatives to acquisition.--Before the commission may order the acquisition of a small water or sewer utility in accordance with subsection (a), the commission shall discuss with the small water or sewer utility, and shall give such utility a reasonable opportunity to investigate, alternatives to acquisition, including, but not limited to:

(1)  The reorganization of the small water or sewer utility under new management.

(2)  The entering of a contract with another public utility or a management or service company to operate the small water or sewer utility.

(3)  The appointment of a receiver to assure the provision of adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service and facilities to the public.

(4)  The merger of the small water or sewer utility with one or more other public utilities.

(5)  The acquisition of the small water or sewer utility by a municipality, a municipal authority or a cooperative.

(c)  Factors to be considered.--In making a determination pursuant to subsection (a), the commission shall consider:

(1)  The financial, managerial and technical ability of the small water or sewer utility.

(2)  The financial, managerial and technical ability of all proximate public utilities providing the same type of service.

(3)  The expenditures which may be necessary to make improvements to the small water or sewer utility to assure compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory standards concerning the adequacy, efficiency, safety or reasonableness of utility service.

(4)  The expansion of the franchise area of the acquiring capable public utility so as to include the service area of the small water or sewer utility to be acquired.

(5)  The opinion and advice, if any, of the Department of Environmental Resources as to what steps may be necessary to assure compliance with applicable statutory or regulatory standards concerning the adequacy, efficiency, safety or reasonableness of utility service.

(6)  Any other matters which may be relevant.

(d)  Order of the commission.--Subsequent to the determinations required by subsection (a), the commission shall issue an order for the acquisition of the small water or sewer utility by a capable public utility. Such order shall provide for the extension of the service area of the acquiring capable public utility.

(e)  Acquisition price.--The price for the acquisition of the small water or sewer utility shall be determined by agreement between the small water or sewer utility and the acquiring capable public utility, subject to a determination by the commission that the price is reasonable. If the small water or sewer utility and the acquiring capable public utility are unable to agree on the acquisition price or the commission disapproves the acquisition price on which the utilities have agreed, the commission shall issue an order directing the acquiring capable public utility to acquire the small water or sewer utility by following the procedure prescribed for exercising the power of eminent domain pursuant to the act of June 22, 1964 (Sp.Sess., P.L.84, No.6), known as the Eminent Domain Code.

(f)  Separate tariffs.--The commission may, in its discretion and for a reasonable period of time after the date of acquisition, allow the acquiring capable public utility to charge and collect rates from the customers of the acquired small water or sewer utility pursuant to a separate tariff.

(g)  Appointment of receiver.--The commission may, in its discretion, appoint a receiver to protect the interests of the customers of the small water or sewer utility. Any such appointment shall be by order of the commission, which order shall specify the duties and responsibilities of the receiver.

(h)  Notice.--The notice required by subsection (a) or any other provision of this section shall be served upon the small water or sewer utility affected, the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Office of Small Business Advocate, the Office of Trial Staff, the Department of Environmental Resources, all proximate public utilities providing the same type of service as the small water or sewer utility, all proximate municipalities and municipal authorities providing the same type of service as the small water or sewer utility and the municipalities served by the small water or sewer utility. The commission shall order the affected small water or sewer utility to provide notice to its customers of the initiation of proceedings under this section in the same manner in which the utility is required to notify its customers of proposed general rate increases.

(i)  Burden of proof.--The Law Bureau shall have the burden of establishing a prima facie case that the acquisition of the small water or sewer utility would be in the public interest and in compliance with the provisions of this section. Once the commission determines that a prima facie case has been established:

(1)  the small water or sewer utility shall have the burden of proving its ability to render adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service at just and reasonable rates; and

(2)  a proximate public utility providing the same type of service as the small water or sewer utility shall have the opportunity and burden of proving its financial, managerial or technical inability to acquire and operate the small water or sewer utility.

(j)  Plan for improvements.--Any capable public utility ordered by the commission to acquire a small water or sewer utility shall, prior to acquisition, submit to the commission for approval a plan, including a timetable, for bringing the small water or sewer utility into compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory standards. The capable public utility shall also provide a copy of the plan to the Department of Environmental Resources and such other State or local agency as the commission may direct. The commission shall give the Department of Environmental Resources adequate opportunity to comment on the plan and shall consider any comments submitted by the department in deciding whether or not to approve the plan. The reasonably and prudently incurred costs of each improvement shall be recoverable in rates only after that improvement becomes used and useful in the public service.

(k)  Limitations on liability.--Upon approval by the commission of a plan for improvements submitted pursuant to subsection (j) and the acquisition of a small water or sewer utility by a capable public utility, the acquiring capable public utility shall not be liable for any damages beyond the aggregate amount of $50,000, including a maximum amount of $5,000 per incident, if the cause of those damages is proximately related to identified violations of applicable statutes or regulations by the small water or sewer utility. This subsection shall not apply:

(1)  beyond the end of the timetable in the plan for improvements;

(2)  whenever the acquiring capable public utility is not in compliance with the plan for improvements; or

(3)  if, within 60 days of having received notice of the proposed plan for improvements, the Department of Environmental Resources submitted written objections to the commission and those objections have not subsequently been withdrawn.

(l)  Limitations on enforcement actions.--Upon approval by the commission of a plan for improvements submitted pursuant to subsection (j) and the acquisition of a small water or sewer utility by a capable public utility, the acquiring capable public utility shall not be subject to any enforcement actions by State or local agencies which had notice of the plan if the basis of such enforcement action is proximately related to identified violations of applicable statutes or regulations by the small water or sewer utility. This subsection shall not apply:

(1)  beyond the end of the timetable in the plan for improvements;

(2)  whenever the acquiring capable public utility is not in compliance with the plan for improvements;

(3)  if, within 60 days of having received notice of the proposed plan for improvements, the Department of Environmental Resources submitted written objections to the commission and those objections have not subsequently been withdrawn; or

(4)  to emergency interim actions of the commission or the Department of Environmental Resources, including, but not limited to, the ordering of boil-water advisories or other water supply warnings, of emergency treatment or of temporary, alternate supplies of water.

(m)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Capable public utility."  A public utility which regularly provides the same type of service as the small water utility or the small sewer utility to 4,000 or more customer connections, which is not an affiliated interest of the small water utility or the small sewer utility and which provides adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service. A public utility which would otherwise be a capable public utility except for the fact that it has fewer than 4,000 customer connections may elect to be a capable public utility for the purposes of this section regardless of the number of its customer connections and regardless of whether or not it is proximate to the small sewer utility or small water utility to be acquired.

"Small sewer utility."  A public utility which regularly provides sewer service to 1,200 or fewer customer connections.

"Small water utility."  A public utility which regularly provides water service to 1,200 or fewer customer connections.

66c529v

(Apr. 16, 1992, P.L.149, No.27, eff. 60 days)

 

1992 Amendment.  Act 27 added section 529.

References in Text.  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

The act of June 22, 1964 (Sp.Sess., P.L.84, No.6), known as the Eminent Domain Code, referred to in subsec. (e), was repealed by the act of May 4, 2006 (P.L.111, No.34). The subject matter is now contained in Title 26 (Eminent Domain).

66c530s

§ 530.  Clean Air Act implementation plans.

(a)  Phase I compliance.--On or before February 1, 1993, each public utility shall submit to the commission and may request commission approval of a plan to bring its generating units which use coal to generate electricity into compliance with the Phase I requirements of Title IV of the Clean Air Act (Public Law 95-95, 42 U.S.C. § 7651 et seq.).

(b)  Phase II compliance.--On or before January 1, 1996, each public utility shall submit to the commission and may request commission approval of a plan to bring its generating units which use coal to generate electricity into compliance with the Phase II requirements of Title IV of the Clean Air Act.

(c)  Notice of plan.--At the same time it submits its plan to the commission, the public utility shall provide a copy of the plan to the Department of Environmental Resources, the Consumer Advocate and the Small Business Advocate. For plans submitted after the effective date of this section, the commission shall cause notice of the utility's filing to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The public utility shall make available, upon request, a copy of the proposed plan to any coal supplier with which it has a supply contract for more than one year and to any collective bargaining representative for the coal supplier.

(d)  Review by commission.--

(1)  If the utility has requested commission approval of its plan, the commission shall review the proposed plan on an expedited basis to determine if the utility's proposed compliance plan submitted under this section is in the public interest.

(2)  After notice and opportunity for a hearing, the commission shall approve or disapprove the compliance plan within nine months after the plan is filed, provided that approval may be in whole or in part and may be subject to such limitations and qualifications as may be deemed necessary and in the public interest. The commission's decision shall establish that the utility's costs of compliance are recoverable costs of service, provided the costs:

(i)  are reasonable in amount and prudently incurred as determined in an appropriate rate or other proceeding; and

(ii)  represent investment in flue gas desulfurization devices, clean coal technologies or similar facilities designed to maintain or promote the use of coal, including facilities which intermittently or simultaneously burn natural gas with coal.

(3)  Costs established as recoverable under paragraph (2) shall qualify as nonrevenue-producing investment to improve environmental conditions under section 1315 (relating to limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities), provided that any benefits to the utility generated by the sale of allowances under the Clean Air Act shall be flowed through to the utility's ratepayers.

(4)  The utility shall not be required to refile its plan or to seek additional commission approvals concerning its plan unless the utility's plan is significantly amended or revised.

(e)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "Clean Air Act" means Public Law 95-95, 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq. and includes the Clean Air Act Amendments (Public Law 101-549, 104 Stat. 2399) approved November 15, 1990.

66c530v

(Apr. 16, 1992, P.L.149, No.27, eff. 60 days)

 

1992 Amendment.  Act 27 added section 530.

References in Text.  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in subsec. (c), was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

66c701h

 

 

CHAPTER 7

PROCEDURE ON COMPLAINTS

 

Sec.

701.  Complaints.

702.  Service of complaints on parties.

703.  Fixing of hearings.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 7 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Chapter 7 is referred to in sections 2603, 2609 of this title.

66c701s

§ 701.  Complaints.

The commission, or any person, corporation, or municipal corporation having an interest in the subject matter, or any public utility concerned, may complain in writing, setting forth any act or thing done or omitted to be done by any public utility in violation, or claimed violation, of any law which the commission has jurisdiction to administer, or of any regulation or order of the commission. Any public utility, or other person, or corporation likewise may complain of any regulation or order of the commission, which the complainant is or has been required by the commission to observe or carry into effect. The Commonwealth through the Attorney General may be a complainant before the commission in any matter solely as an advocate for the Commonwealth as a consumer of public utility services. The commission may prescribe the form of complaints filed under this section.

66c701v

 

Cross References.  Section 701 is referred to in sections 1358, 2205, 2807, 3014 of this title.

66c702s

§ 702.  Service of complaints on parties.

Upon the filing of a complaint, the commission shall cause to be served upon each party named in the complaint a copy of the complaint and notice from the commission calling upon such party to satisfy the complaint, or to answer the same in writing, within such time as is specified by the commission in the notice. Service in all hearings, investigations and proceedings pending before the commission shall be made by registered or certified mail.

66c703s

§ 703.  Fixing of hearings.

(a)  Satisfaction of complaint or hearing.--If any party complained against, within the time specified by the commission, shall satisfy the complaint, the commission shall dismiss the complaint. Such party shall be relieved from responsibility only for the specific matter complained of. If such party shall not satisfy the complaint within the time specified, and it shall appear to the commission from a consideration of the complaint and answer, or otherwise, that reasonable ground exists for investigating such complaint, it shall be the duty of the commission to fix a time and place for a hearing.

(b)  Notice of hearing.--The commission shall fix the time and place of hearing, within or without this Commonwealth, if any is required, and shall serve notice thereof upon parties in interest. The commission may dismiss any complaint without a hearing if, in its opinion, a hearing is not necessary in the public interest.

(c)  Hearing and record.--All hearings before the commission, or its representative, shall be public, and shall be conducted in accordance with such regulations as the commission may prescribe. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings had before the commission, or its representative, on any formal hearing, and all testimony shall be taken down by a reporter appointed by the commission, and the parties shall be entitled to be heard in person or by attorney, and to introduce evidence.

(d)  Informal hearings.--The commission may, in addition to the hearings specially provided by this part, conduct such other hearings as may be required in the administration of the powers and duties conferred upon it by this part and by other acts relating to public utilities. Reasonable notice of all such hearings shall be given the persons interested therein.

(e)  Decisions by commission.--After the conclusion of the hearing, the commission shall make and file its findings and order with its opinion, if any. Its findings shall be in sufficient detail to enable the court on appeal, to determine the controverted question presented by the proceeding, and whether proper weight was given to the evidence. A copy of such order, certified under the seal of the commission, shall be served by registered or certified mail upon the party or parties against whom it runs, or his attorney, and notice thereof shall be given to the other parties to the proceedings or their attorney. Such order shall take effect and become operative as designated therein, and shall continue in force either for a period which may be designated therein, or until changed or revoked by the commission. The commission may grant and prescribe such additional time as, in its judgment, is reasonably necessary to comply with the order, and may, on application and for good cause shown, extend the time for compliance fixed in its order.

(f)  Rehearing.--After an order has been made by the commission, any party to the proceedings may, within 15 days after the service of the order, apply for a rehearing in respect of any matters determined in such proceedings and specified in the application for rehearing, and the commission may grant and hold such rehearing on such matters. No application for a rehearing shall in anywise operate as a supersedeas, or in any manner stay or postpone the enforcement of any existing order, except as the commission may, by order, direct. If the application be granted, the commission may affirm, rescind, or modify its original order.

(g)  Rescission and amendment of orders.--The commission may, at any time, after notice and after opportunity to be heard as provided in this chapter, rescind or amend any order made by it. Any order rescinding or amending a prior order shall, when served upon the person, corporation, or municipal corporation affected, and after notice thereof is given to the other parties to the proceedings, have the same effect as is herein provided for original orders.

66c901h

 

 

CHAPTER 9

JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Sec.

901.  Right to trial by jury.

902.  Reliance on orders pending judicial review.

903.  Restriction on injunctions (Repealed).

 

Enactment.  Chapter 9 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

66c901s

§ 901.  Right to trial by jury.

Nothing in this part shall be construed to deprive any party, upon any judicial review of the proceedings and orders of the commission, of the right to trial by jury of any issue of fact raised thereby or therein, where such right is secured either by the Constitution of Pennsylvania or the Constitution of the United States, but in every such case such right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. When any judicial review is sought, such right shall be deemed to be waived upon all issues, unless expressly reserved in such manner as shall be prescribed by the court.

66c902s

§ 902.  Reliance on orders pending judicial review.

The issue or assumption of securities registered by the commission, the performance of any contract or arrangement approved by the commission and any other act by a person or corporation shall be subject to the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. § 5105(f) (relating to effect of reversal or modification) insofar as relates to any sale, mortgage, exchange or conveyance subject to the jurisdiction of the commission.

66c902v

(Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. 60 days)

 

1982 Amendment.  Act 326 added present section 902.

Prior Provisions.  Former section 902, which related to costs on review, was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, and repealed October 5, 1980, P.L.693, No.142, effective in 60 days.

66c903s

§ 903.  Restriction on injunctions (Repealed).

66c903v

 

1982 Repeal.  Section 903 was repealed December 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, effective in 60 days.

66c1101h

 

 

SUBPART C

REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES GENERALLY

 

Chapter

11.  Certificates of Public Convenience

13.  Rates and Distribution Systems

14.  Responsible Utility Customer Protection

15.  Service and Facilities

17.  Accounting and Budgetary Matters

19.  Securities and Obligations

21.  Relations with Affiliated Interests

 

 

CHAPTER 11

CERTIFICATES OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE

 

Subchapter

A.  General Provisions

B.  Limousine Service in Counties of the Second Class

 

Enactment.  Chapter 11 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Chapter 11 is referred to in sections 2212, 2601, 2604, 3202 of this title.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sec.

1101.  Organization of public utilities and beginning of service.

1102.  Enumeration of acts requiring certificate.

1103.  Procedure to obtain certificates of public convenience.

1104.  Certain appropriations by right of eminent domain prohibited.

 

Subchapter Heading.  The heading of Subchapter A was added April 2, 2002, P.L.218, No.23, effective immediately.

66c1101s

§ 1101.  Organization of public utilities and beginning of service.

Upon the application of any proposed public utility and the approval of such application by the commission evidenced by its certificate of public convenience first had and obtained, it shall be lawful for any such proposed public utility to begin to offer, render, furnish, or supply service within this Commonwealth. The commission's certificate of public convenience granted under the authority of this section shall include a description of the nature of the service and of the territory in which it may be offered, rendered, furnished or supplied.

66c1101v

 

Cross References.  Section 1101 is referred to in section 1104 of this title.

66c1102s

§ 1102.  Enumeration of acts requiring certificate.

(a)  General rule.--Upon the application of any public utility and the approval of such application by the commission, evidenced by its certificate of public convenience first had and obtained, and upon compliance with existing laws, it shall be lawful:

(1)  For any public utility to begin to offer, render, furnish or supply within this Commonwealth service of a different nature or to a different territory than that authorized by:

(i)  A certificate of public convenience granted under this part or under the former provisions of the act of July 26, 1913 (P.L.1374, No.854), known as "The Public Service Company Law," or the act of May 28, 1937 (P.L.1053, No.286), known as the "Public Utility Law."

(ii)  An unregistered right, power or privilege preserved by section 103 (relating to prior rights preserved).

(2)  For any public utility to abandon or surrender, in whole or in part, any service, except that this provision is not applicable to discontinuance of service to a patron for nonpayment of a bill, or upon request of a patron.

(3)  For any public utility or an affiliated interest of a public utility as defined in section 2101 (relating to definition of affiliated interest), except a common carrier by railroad subject to the Interstate Commerce Act, to acquire from, or to transfer to, any person or corporation, including a municipal corporation, by any method or device whatsoever, including the sale or transfer of stock and including a consolidation, merger, sale or lease, the title to, or the possession or use of, any tangible or intangible property used or useful in the public service. Such approval shall not be required if:

(i)  the undepreciated book value of the property to be acquired or transferred does not exceed $1,000;

(ii)  the undepreciated book value of the property to be acquired or transferred does not exceed the lesser of:

(A)  2% of the undepreciated book value of all fixed assets of such public utility; or

(B)  $5,000 in the case of personalty or $50,000 in the case of realty;

(iii)  the property to be acquired is to be installed new as a part of or consumed in the operation of the used and useful property of such public utility; or

(iv)  the property to be transferred by such public utility is obsolete, worn out or otherwise unserviceable.

Subparagraphs (i) through (iv) shall not be applicable, and approval of the commission evidenced by a certificate of public convenience shall be required, if any such acquisition or transfer of property involves a transfer of patrons.

(4)  For any public utility to acquire 5% or more of the voting capital stock of any corporation.

(5)  For any municipal corporation to acquire, construct, or begin to operate, any plant, equipment, or other facilities for the rendering or furnishing to the public of any public utility service beyond its corporate limits.

(b)  Protection of railroad employees.--As a condition of its approval of any transaction covered by this section and involving those railroad carriers wholly located within this Commonwealth subject to the provisions of this part, the commission shall require a fair and equitable arrangement to protect the interests of the railroad employees affected and the commission shall include in its order of approval the terms and conditions it deems fair and equitable for the protection of the employees. The terms and conditions which the commission prescribes shall provide that, during the period of four years from the effective date of the order, the employees of the railroad carrier affected by the order shall not be in a worse position with respect to their employment except that any protection afforded an employee shall not be required to continue for a period longer than that during which the employee was in the employ of the railroad carrier prior to the effective date of the order. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the commission may accept as fair and equitable an agreement pertaining to the protection of the interests of the employees entered into by the railroad carrier and the duly authorized representatives of the employees.

66c1102v

 

Cross References.  Section 1102 is referred to in sections 1329, 1901, 3019 of this title.

66c1103s

§ 1103.  Procedure to obtain certificates of public convenience.

(a)  General rule.--Every application for a certificate of public convenience shall be made to the commission in writing, be verified by oath or affirmation, and be in such form, and contain such information, as the commission may require by its regulations. A certificate of public convenience shall be granted by order of the commission, only if the commission shall find or determine that the granting of such certificate is necessary or proper for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public. The commission, in granting such certificate, may impose such conditions as it may deem to be just and reasonable. In every case, the commission shall make a finding or determination in writing, stating whether or not its approval is granted. Any holder of a certificate of public convenience, exercising the authority conferred by such certificate, shall be deemed to have waived any and all objections to the terms and conditions of such certificate.

(b)  Investigations and hearings.--For the purpose of enabling the commission to make such finding or determination, it shall hold such hearings, which shall be public, and, before or after hearing, it may make such inquiries, physical examinations, valuations, and investigations, and may require such plans, specifications, and estimates of cost, as it may deem necessary or proper in enabling it to reach a finding or determination.

(c)  Taxicabs.--(Repealed).

(d)  Temporary authority.--Except during the threat or existence of a labor dispute, the commission under such regulations as it shall prescribe may, without hearing, in proper cases, consider and approve applications for certificates of public convenience, and in emergencies grant temporary certificates under this chapter, pending action on permanent certificates; but no applications shall be denied without right of hearing thereon being tendered to the applicant.

(e)  Armored vehicles.--A certificate of public convenience to provide the transportation of property of unusual value, including money and securities, in armored vehicles shall be granted by order of the commission upon application. Such carriers must conform to the rules and regulations of the commission.

66c1103v

(June 19, 1980, P.L.244, No.69, eff. 30 days; July 6, 1984, P.L.602, No.123, eff. imd.; Apr. 4, 1990, P.L.93, No.21, eff. 90 days; Dec. 30, 2002, P.L.2001, No.230, eff. 60 days; July 16, 2004, P.L.758, No.94)

 

2004 Repeal.  Act 94 repealed subsec. (c). Section 25(1)(ii) of Act 94 provided that the repeal of subsec. (c) shall take effect in 270 days or on the date of publication of the notice under section 24 of Act 94. The notice was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin March 12, 2005, at 35 Pa.B. 1737. See sections 20(5), 21(5) and 24 of Act 94 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission contracts, preservation of rights, obligations, duties and remedies and publication in Pennsylvania Bulletin.

1984 Amendment.  Act 123 added subsec. (e).

1980 Amendment.  Act 69 added subsecs. (c) and (d), effective in 30 days as to subsec. (c)(4) and immediately as to the remainder of the section. See the preamble and sections 2, 3 and 4 of Act 69 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative findings, taxicab service in first class cities, annual reports to committees of General Assembly and effective date and applicability.

Cross References.  Section 1103 is referred to in section 3202 of this title; section 5516 of Title 53 (Municipalities Generally).

66c1104s

§ 1104.  Certain appropriations by right of eminent domain prohibited.

Unless its power of eminent domain existed under prior law, no domestic public utility or foreign public utility authorized to do business in this Commonwealth shall exercise any power of eminent domain within this Commonwealth until it shall have received the certificate of public convenience required by section 1101 (relating to organization of public utilities and beginning of service).

66c1104v

 

Cross References.  Section 1104 is referred to in section 1511 of Title 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations).

66c1121h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

LIMOUSINE SERVICE IN COUNTIES OF THE SECOND CLASS

 

Sec.

1121.  Definitions.

1122.  Certificate of public convenience required.

1123.  Regulations.

1124.  Miscellaneous provisions.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter B was added April 2, 2002, P.L.218, No.23, effective immediately.

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in section 102 of this title.

66c1121s

§ 1121.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"County."  A county of the second class.

"Limousine service."  Local nonscheduled common carrier service for passengers rendered in luxury-type vehicles for compensation on an exclusive basis that is arranged in advance.

66c1122s

§ 1122.  Certificate of public convenience required.

(a)  General rule.--In order to operate limousine service in a county of the second class, a certificate of public convenience must be issued by the commission.

(b)  Enforcement.--The provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated by the commission pursuant to this chapter shall be enforced in counties of the second class by commission personnel.

(c)  Restrictions.--Certificates issued pursuant to this chapter shall be nontransferable unless a transfer is approved by the commission.

66c1123s

§ 1123.  Regulations.

The commission is authorized to prescribe such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to administer and enforce this subchapter.

66c1124s

§ 1124.  Miscellaneous provisions.

(a)  Prosecution preserved.--Nothing in this subchapter shall be deemed to limit or affect prosecutions for violations under this title, Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), Title 75 (Vehicles) or any other provision of law.

(b)  Inconsistent provisions of law.--Any other law of this Commonwealth found to be inconsistent with this subchapter is hereby repealed insofar as it affects the regulation of limousine service in counties of the second class.

66c1301h

 

 

CHAPTER 13

RATES AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

 

Subchapter

A.  Rates

B.  Distribution Systems

 

Enactment.  Chapter 13 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

Chapter Heading.  The heading of Chapter 13 was amended February 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Chapter 13 is referred to in sections 528, 2203, 2607, 2804, 3019 of this title.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

RATES

 

Sec.

1301.  Rates to be just and reasonable.

1301.1. Computation of income tax expense for ratemaking purposes.

1302.  Tariffs; filing and inspection.

1303.  Adherence to tariffs.

1304.  Discrimination in rates.

1305.  Advance payment of rates; interest on deposits.

1306.  Apportionment of joint rates.

1307.  Sliding scale of rates; adjustments.

1308.  Voluntary changes in rates.

1309.  Rates fixed on complaint; investigation of costs of production.

1310.  Temporary rates.

1311.  Valuation of and return on the property of a public utility.

1312.  Refunds.

1313.  Price upon resale of public utility services.

1314.  Limitation on prices paid for property and fuel.

1315.  Limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities.

1316.  Recovery of advertising expenses.

1316.1. Recovery of club dues.

1317.  Regulation of natural gas costs.

1318.  Determination of just and reasonable gas cost rates.

1319.  Financing of energy supply alternatives.

1320.  Fuel purchase audits by complaint.

1321.  Recovery of certain employee meeting expenses.

1322.  Outages of electric generating units.

1323.  Procedures for new electric generating capacity.

1324.  Residential telephone service rates based on duration or distance of call.

1325.  Local exchange service increases; limitation (Repealed).

1326.  Standby charge prohibited.

1327.  Acquisition of water and sewer utilities.

1328.  Determination of public fire hydrant rates.

1329.  Valuation of acquired water and wastewater systems.

1330.  Alternative ratemaking for utilities.

 

Subchapter Heading.  The heading of Subchapter A was added February 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, effective in 60 days.

66c1301s

§ 1301.  Rates to be just and reasonable.

(a)  Regulation.--Every rate made, demanded, or received by any public utility, or by any two or more public utilities jointly, shall be just and reasonable, and in conformity with regulations or orders of the commission. Only public utility service being furnished or rendered by a municipal corporation, or by the operating agencies of any municipal corporation, beyond its corporate limits, shall be subject to regulation and control by the commission as to rates, with the same force, and in like manner, as if such service were rendered by a public utility.

(b)  Municipal corporations.--In determining a just and reasonable rate furnished or rendered by a municipal corporation or by the operating agencies of a municipal corporation providing public utility water or wastewater service beyond its corporate limits, the commission shall employ an imputed capital structure of comparable public utilities providing water or wastewater service.

66c1301v

(Dec. 21, 2017, P.L.1208, No.65, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 1301 is referred to in sections 3015, 3016, 3019 of this title.

66c1301.1s

§ 1301.1.  Computation of income tax expense for ratemaking purposes.

(a)  Computation.--If an expense or investment is allowed to be included in a public utility's rates for ratemaking purposes, the related income tax deductions and credits shall also be included in the computation of current or deferred income tax expense to reduce rates. If an expense or investment is not allowed to be included in a public utility's rates, the related income tax deductions and credits, including tax losses of the public utility's parent or affiliated companies, shall not be included in the computation of income tax expense to reduce rates. The deferred income taxes used to determine the rate base of a public utility for ratemaking purposes shall be based solely on the tax deductions and credits received by the public utility and shall not include any deductions or credits generated by the expenses or investments of a public utility's parent or any affiliated entity. The income tax expense shall be computed using the applicable statutory income tax rates.

(b)  Revenue use.--If a differential accrues to a public utility resulting from applying the ratemaking methods employed by the commission prior to the effective date of subsection (a) for ratemaking purposes, the differential shall be used as follows:

(1)  fifty percent to support reliability or infrastructure related to the rate-base eligible capital investment as determined by the commission; and

(2)  fifty percent for general corporate purposes.

(c)  Application.--The following shall apply:

(1)  Subsection (b) shall no longer apply after December 31, 2025.

(2)  This section shall apply to all cases where the final order is entered after the effective date of this section.

66c1301.1v

(June 12, 2016, P.L.332, No.40, eff. 60 days)

 

2016 Amendment.  Act 40 added section 1301.1.

66c1302s

§ 1302.  Tariffs; filing and inspection.

Under such regulations as the commission may prescribe, every public utility shall file with the commission, within such time and in such form as the commission may designate, tariffs showing all rates established by it and collected or enforced, or to be collected or enforced, within the jurisdiction of the commission. The tariffs of any public utility also subject to the jurisdiction of a Federal regulatory body shall correspond, so far as practicable, to the form of those prescribed by such Federal regulatory body. Every public utility shall keep copies of such tariffs open to public inspection under such rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe. One copy of any rate filing shall be made available, at a convenient location and for a reasonable length of time within each of the utilities' service areas, for inspection and study by customers, upon request to the utility.

66c1302v

(Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1265, No.240, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 1302 is referred to in section 3019 of this title.

66c1303s

§ 1303.  Adherence to tariffs.

No public utility shall, directly or indirectly, by any device whatsoever, or in anywise, demand or receive from any person, corporation, or municipal corporation a greater or less rate for any service rendered or to be rendered by such public utility than that specified in the tariffs of such public utility applicable thereto. The rates specified in such tariffs shall be the lawful rates of such public utility until changed, as provided in this part. Any public utility, having more than one rate applicable to service rendered to a patron, shall, after notice of service conditions, compute bills under the rate most advantageous to the patron.

66c1303v

 

Cross References.  Section 1303 is referred to in section 3019 of this title.

66c1304s

§ 1304.  Discrimination in rates.

No public utility shall, as to rates, make or grant any unreasonable preference or advantage to any person, corporation, or municipal corporation, or subject any person, corporation, or municipal corporation to any unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage. No public utility shall establish or maintain any unreasonable difference as to rates, either as between localities or as between classes of service. Unless specifically authorized by the commission, no public utility shall make, demand, or receive any greater rate in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers or property of the same class, or for the transmission of any message or conversation for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line or route in the same direction, the shorter being included within the longer distance, or any greater rate as a through rate than the aggregate of the intermediate rates. This section does not prohibit the establishment of reasonable zone or group systems, or classifications of rates or, in the case of common carriers, the issuance of excursion, commutation, or other special tickets at special rates, or the granting of nontransferable free passes, or passes at a discount to any officer, employee, or pensioner of such common carrier. No rate charged by a municipality for any public utility service rendered or furnished beyond its corporate limits shall be considered unjustly discriminatory solely by reason of the fact that a different rate is charged for a similar service within its corporate limits.

66c1304v

 

Cross References.  Section 1304 is referred to in section 3019 of this title.

66c1305s

§ 1305.  Advance payment of rates; interest on deposits.

No public utility shall require the payment of rates in advance, or the making of minimum payments, ready to serve charges, or deposits to secure future payments of rates, except as the commission, by regulation or order, may permit. Any deposit made by any domestic consumer, under the provisions of this section or under any repealed statute supplied by this part, shall be returned with any interest due thereon to the consumer making such deposit when he shall have paid undisputed bills for service over a period of 12 consecutive months.

66c1305v

 

Cross References.  Section 1305 is referred to in section 3019 of this title.

66c1306s

§ 1306.  Apportionment of joint rates.

Where public utilities entitled to share in any joint rate shall be unable to agree upon the division thereof, or shall make any unjust or unreasonable division or apportionment thereof, the commission may, after hearing, upon its own motion or upon complaint, fix the proportion to which each public utility shall be entitled.

66c1307s

§ 1307.  Sliding scale of rates; adjustments.

(a)  General rule.--Any public utility, except common carriers and those natural gas distributors with gross intrastate annual operating revenues in excess of $40,000,000 with respect to the gas costs of such natural gas distributors, may establish a sliding scale of rates or such other method for the automatic adjustment of the rates of the public utility as shall provide a just and reasonable return on the rate base of such public utility, to be determined upon such equitable or reasonable basis as shall provide such fair return. A tariff showing the scale of rates under such arrangement shall first be filed with the commission, and such tariff, and each rate set out therein, approved by it. The commission may revoke its approval at any time and fix other rates for any such public utility if, after notice and hearing, the commission finds the existing rates unjust or unreasonable.

(b)  Mandatory system for automatic adjustment.--The commission, by regulation or order, upon reasonable notice and after hearing, may prescribe for any class of public utilities, except common carriers and those natural gas distributors with gross intrastate annual operating revenues in excess of $40,000,000, a mandatory system for the automatic adjustment of their rates, by means of a sliding scale of rates or other method, on the same basis as provided in subsection (a), to become effective when and in the manner prescribed in such regulation or order. Every such public utility shall, within such time as shall be prescribed by the commission, file tariffs showing the rates established in accordance with such regulation or order.

(c)  Fuel cost adjustment.--In any method automatically adjusting rates to reflect changes in fossil fuel cost under this section, the fuel cost used in computing the adjustment shall be limited, in the case of an electric utility, to the cost of such fuel delivered to the utility at the generating site at which it is to be consumed, and the cost of disposing of solid waste from scrubbers or other devices designed so that the consumption of Pennsylvania-mined coal at the generating site would comply with the sulfur oxide emission standards prescribed by the Commonwealth. The cost of fuel handling after such delivery, or of waste disposal, other than as prescribed in this section, shall be excluded from such computation. In any method automatically adjusting rates to reflect changes in fuel cost other than fossil fuel cost under this section, the fuel cost used in computing the adjustment shall be limited, in the case of an electric utility, to the cost of such fuel delivered to the utility at the generating site at which it is to be consumed after deducting therefrom the present salvage or reuse value of such fuel, as shall be established by commission rule or order.

(d)  Fuel cost adjustment audits.--The commission shall conduct or cause to be conducted, at such times as it may order, but at least annually, an audit of each public utility which, by any method described in this section, automatically adjusts its rates to reflect changes in its fuel costs, which audit shall enable the commission to determine the propriety and correctness of amounts billed and collected under this section. Whoever performs the audit shall be a person knowledgable in the subject matter encompassed within the operation of the automatic adjustment clause. The auditors report shall be in a form and manner directed by the commission.

(e)  Automatic adjustment reports and proceedings.--

(1)  Within 30 days following the end of such 12-month period as the commission shall designate, each public utility using an automatic adjustment clause shall file with the commission a statement which shall specify for such period:

(i)  the total revenues received pursuant to the automatic adjustment clause;

(ii)  the total amount of that expense or class of expenses incurred which is the basis of the automatic adjustment clause; and

(iii)  the difference between the amounts specified by subparagraphs (i) and (ii).

Such report shall be a matter of public record and copies thereof shall be made available to any person upon request to the commission.

(2)  Within 60 days following the submission of such report by a public utility, the commission shall hold a public hearing on the substance of the report and any matters pertaining to the use by such public utility of such automatic adjustment clause in the preceding period and may include the present and subsequent periods.

(3)  Absent good reason being shown to the contrary, the commission shall, within 60 days following such hearing, by order direct each such public utility to, over an appropriate 12-month period, refund to its patrons an amount equal to that by which its revenues received pursuant to such automatic adjustment clause exceeded the amount of such expense or class of expenses, or recover from its patrons an amount equal to that by which such expense or class of expenses exceeded the revenues received pursuant to such automatic adjustment clause.

(4)  For the purpose of this subsection, where a 12-month report period and 12-month refund or recovery period shall have been previously established or designated, nothing in this section shall impair the continued use of such previously established or designated periods nor shall anything in this section prevent the commission from amending at any time any method used by any utility in automatically adjusting its rates, so as to provide the commission more adequate supervision of the administration by a utility of such method and to decrease the likelihood of collection by a utility, in subsequent periods, of amounts greater or less than that to which it is entitled, or, in the event that such deficiency or surplus in collected amounts is found, more prompt readjustment thereof.

(f)  Recovery of natural gas costs.--

(1)  Natural gas distribution companies, as defined in section 2202 (relating to definitions), with gross intrastate annual operating revenues in excess of $40,000,000 may file tariffs reflecting actual and projected increases or decreases in their natural gas costs, and the tariffs shall have an effective date six months from the date of filing. The commission shall promulgate regulations establishing the time and manner of such filing, but, except for adjustments pursuant to a tariff mechanism authorized in this title, no such natural gas distribution company shall voluntarily file more than one such tariff in a 12-month period: Provided, That:

(i)  Nothing contained herein shall prohibit any party from advising the commission that there has been or there is anticipated to be a significant difference between the natural gas costs to the natural gas distribution company and the costs reflected in the then effective tariff or the commission from acting upon such advice.

(ii)  A natural gas distribution company may also file a tariff to establish a mechanism by which such natural gas distribution company may further adjust its rates for natural gas sales on a regular, but no more frequent than monthly, basis to reflect actual or projected changes in natural gas costs reflected in rates established pursuant to paragraph (2), subject to annual reconciliation under paragraph (5). In the event that the natural gas distribution company adjusts rates more frequently than quarterly, it shall also offer retail gas customers a fixed-rate option which recovers natural gas costs over a 12-month period, subject to annual reconciliation under paragraph (5). The commission shall, within 60 days of the effective date of this subparagraph, promulgate rules or regulations governing such adjustments and fixed-rate option, but the commission shall not prohibit such adjustments or fixed-rate option.

(2)  The commission shall conduct an investigation and hold a hearing or hearings, with notice, to review the tariffs and consider the plans filed pursuant to section 1317 (relating to regulation of natural gas costs). Where there has been an indication of consumer interest, the hearing shall be held in the service territory of the natural gas distribution company. Prior to the effective date of the filing, the commission shall issue an order establishing the rate to be charged to reflect such changes in natural gas costs. The commission shall annually review and approve plans for purposes of reliability and supply. Such rates, however, are subject to the same types of audits, reports and proceedings required by subsection (d).

(3)  Within 60 days following the end of such 12-month period as the commission shall designate, each natural gas distribution company subject to this subsection shall file with the commission a statement which specifies for such period:

(i)  The total revenues received pursuant to this section.

(ii)  The total natural gas costs incurred.

(iii)  The difference between the amounts specified by subparagraphs (i) and (ii).

(iv)  How actual natural gas costs incurred differ from the natural gas costs allowed under paragraph (2) and why such differences occurred.

(v)  How these natural gas costs are consistent with a least cost procurement policy as required by section 1318 (relating to determination of just and reasonable gas cost rates).

Such report shall be a matter of public record and copies thereof shall be made available by the natural gas distribution company to any person upon request. Copies of the reports shall be filed with the Office of Consumer Advocate and the Office of Small Business Advocate at the same time as they are filed with the commission.

(4)  The commission shall hold a public hearing on the substance of such statement submitted by a natural gas distribution company as required in paragraph (3) and on any related matters.

(5)  The commission, after hearing, shall determine the portion of the company's natural gas distribution actual natural gas costs in the previous 12-month period which meet the standards set out in section 1318. The commission shall, by order, direct each natural gas distribution company subject to this subsection to refund to its customers gas revenues collected pursuant to paragraph (2) which exceed the amount of actual natural gas costs incurred consistent with the standards in section 1318 and to recover from its customers any amount by which the actual natural gas costs, which have been incurred consistent with the standards in section 1318, exceed the revenues collected pursuant to paragraph (2). Absent good reason to the contrary, the commission shall issue its order within six months following the filing of the statement described in paragraph (3). Refunds to customers shall be made with and recoveries from customers shall include interest at the prime rate for commercial borrowing in effect 60 days prior to the tariff filing made under paragraph (1) and as reported in a publicly available source identified by the commission or at an interest rate which may be established by the commission by regulation. Nothing under this paragraph shall limit the applicability of a defense, principle or doctrine which would prohibit the commission's inquiry into matters that were decided finally in the commission's order issued under paragraph (2).

(6)  If the natural gas distribution company's actual natural gas costs exceed the revenues collected under paragraph (2) by more than 10% in the previous 12-month period provided for under paragraph (5) due to customers switching from sales service to transportation service, the natural gas distribution company shall have the right to fully recover the under-collection through a nonbypassable charge. A request for authorization to impose a nonbypassable charge shall be made to the commission in a natural gas distribution company's annual filing under this section or at the time of the filing.

(g)  Recovery of costs related to distribution system improvement projects designed to enhance water quality, fire protection reliability and long-term system viability.--(Repealed).

(g.1)  Surcharge recoverability and offset.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this title or prior order of the commission, a surcharge imposed on and paid by a public utility under section 1111-A of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, is recoverable under this section by such means as approved by the commission. Retail rates as adjusted in accordance with this subsection shall also reflect any reduction in Public Utility Realty Tax Act liabilities secured by the utility and adjustments in State taxes reflected in any applicable State tax adjustment surcharge as defined by commission regulations.

(h)  Definition.--As used in this section, the terms "natural gas costs" and "gas costs" include the direct costs paid by a natural gas distribution company for the purchase and the delivery of natural gas to its system in order to supply its customers. Such costs may include costs paid under agreements to purchase natural gas from sellers; costs paid for transporting natural gas to its system; costs paid for natural gas storage service from others, including the costs of injecting and withdrawing natural gas from storage; all charges, fees, taxes and rates paid in connection with such purchases, pipeline gathering, storage and transportation; and costs paid for employing futures, options and other risk management tools. "Natural gas" and "gas" include natural gas, liquified natural gas, synthetic natural gas and any natural gas substitutes.

66c1307v

(May 31, 1984, P.L.370, No.74, eff. 60 days; Sept. 27, 1984, P.L.721, No.153, eff. 60 days; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1265, No.240, eff. imd.; Dec. 18, 1996, P.L.1061, No.156, eff. 60 days; June 22, 1999, P.L.122, No.21, eff. July 1, 1999; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1556, No.203, eff. 60 days; Feb. 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, eff. 60 days; June 23, 2016, P.L.355, No.47, eff. 60 days)

 

2016 Amendment.  Act 47 amended subsec. (f)(5) and (6).

2012 Repeal.  Act 11 repealed subsec. (g).

2002 Amendment.  Act 203 added subsec. (g.1).

1999 Amendment.  Act 21 amended subsecs. (f) and (h).

1996 Amendment.  Act 156 relettered former subsec. (g) to subsec. (h) and added present subsec. (g).

1984 Amendments.  Act 74 amended subsecs. (a) and (b) and added subsecs. (f) and (g), Act 153 amended subsec. (a) and Act 240 amended subsecs. (a) and (f). The amendments by Acts 153 and 240 to subsec. (a) are identical and therefore have been merged. See section 5 of Act 74 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability. See section 7 of Act 240 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to filing of tariffs.

Cross References.  Section 1307 is referred to in sections 528, 1309, 1317, 1318, 1330, 1358, 2205, 2211, 2212, 2806.1, 2807, 2808 of this title.

66c1308s

§ 1308.  Voluntary changes in rates.

(a)  General rule.--Unless the commission otherwise orders, no public utility shall make any change in any existing and duly established rate, except after 60 days notice to the commission, which notice shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made in the rates then in force, and the time when the changed rates will go into effect. The public utility shall also give such notice of the proposed changes to other interested persons as the commission in its discretion may direct. Such notices regarding the proposed changes which are provided to the utility's customers shall be in plain understandable language as the commission shall prescribe. All proposed changes shall be shown by filing new tariffs, or supplements to existing tariffs filed and in force at the time. The commission, for good cause shown, may allow changes in rates, without requiring the 60 days notice, under such conditions as it may prescribe.

(b)  Hearing and suspension of rate change.--Whenever there is filed with the commission by any public utility any tariff stating a new rate, the commission may, either upon complaint or upon its own motion, upon reasonable notice, enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, and pending such hearing and the decision thereon, the commission, upon filing with such tariff and delivering to the public utility affected thereby a statement in writing of its reasons therefor, may, at any time before it becomes effective, suspend the operation of such rate for a period not longer than six months from the time such rate would otherwise become effective, and an additional period of not more than three months pending such decision. The rate in force when the tariff stating the new rate was filed shall continue in force during the period of suspension, unless the commission shall establish a temporary rate as authorized in section 1310 (relating to temporary rates). The commission shall consider the effect of such suspension in finally determining and prescribing the rates to be thereafter charged and collected by such public utility. This subsection shall not apply to any tariff stating a new rate which constitutes a general rate increase as defined in subsection (d).

(c)  Determination.--If, after such hearing, the commission finds any such rate to be unjust or unreasonable, or in anywise in violation of law, the commission shall determine the just and reasonable rate to be charged or applied by the public utility for the service in question, and shall fix the same by order to be served upon the public utility and such rate shall thereafter be observed until changed as provided by this part.

(d)  General rate increases.--Whenever there is filed with the commission by any public utility described in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (vi) or (vii) of the definition of "public utility" in section 102 (relating to definitions), and such other public utility as the commission may by rule or regulation direct, any tariff stating a new rate which constitutes a general rate increase, the commission shall promptly enter into an investigation and analysis of said tariff filing and may by order setting forth its reasons therefor, upon complaint or upon its own motion, upon reasonable notice, enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, and the commission may, at any time by vote of a majority of the members of the commission serving in accordance with law, permit such tariff to become effective, except that absent such order such tariff shall be suspended for a period not to exceed seven months from the time such rate would otherwise become effective. Before the expiration of such seven-month period, a majority of the members of the commission serving in accordance with law, acting unanimously, shall make a final decision and order, setting forth its reasons therefor, granting or denying, in whole or in part, the general rate increase requested. If, however, such an order has not been made at the expiration of such seven-month period, the proposed general rate increase shall go into effect at the end of such period, but the commission may by order require the interested public utility to refund, in accordance with section 1312 (relating to refunds), to the persons in whose behalf such amounts were paid, such portion of such increased rates as by its decision shall be found not justified, plus interest, which shall be the average rate of interest specified for residential mortgage lending by the Secretary of Banking in accordance with the act of January 30, 1974 (P.L.13, No.6), referred to as the Loan Interest and Protection Law, during the period or periods for which the commission orders refunds. The rate in force when the tariff stating such new rate was filed shall continue in force during the period of suspension unless the commission shall grant extraordinary rate relief as prescribed in subsection (e). The commission shall consider the effect of such suspension in finally determining and prescribing the rates to be thereafter charged and collected by such public utility, except that the commission shall have no authority to prescribe, determine or fix, at any time during the pendency of a general rate increase proceeding or prior to a final determination of a general rate increase request, temporary rates as provided in section 1310, which rates may provide retroactive increases through recoupment. As used in this part general rate increase means a tariff filing which affects more than 5% of the customers and amounts to in excess of 3% of the total gross annual intrastate operating revenues of the public utility. If the public utility furnishes two or more types of service, the foregoing percentages shall be determined only on the basis of the customers receiving, and the revenues derived from, the type of service to which the tariff filing pertains.

(d.1)  Multiple filings prohibited.--Except as required to implement an order granting extraordinary rate relief, no public utility which has filed a general rate increase request pursuant to this section shall file an additional general rate increase request pursuant to this section for the same type of service until the commission has made a final decision and order on the prior general rate increase request or until the expiration of the maximum period of suspension of the prior general rate increase request pursuant to this section, whichever is earlier.

(e)  Extraordinary rate relief.--Upon petition to the commission at the time of filing of a rate request or at any time during the pendency of proceedings on such rate request, any public utility may seek extraordinary rate relief of such portion of the total rate relief requested as can be shown to be immediately necessary for the maintenance of financial stability in order to enable the utility to continue providing normal services to its customers, avoid reductions in its normal maintenance programs, avoid substantially reducing its employment, and which will provide no more than the rate of return on the utility's common equity established by the commission in consideration of the utility's preceding rate filing, except that no utility shall file, either with a request for a general rate increase or at any time during the pendency of such a request, more than one petition under this subsection pertaining to rates for a particular type of service, nor any supplement or amendment thereto, except when permitted to do so by order of the commission. Any public utility requesting extraordinary rate relief shall file with the petition sufficient additional testimony and exhibits which will permit the commission to make appropriate findings on the petition. The public utility shall give notice of the petition in the same manner as its filing upon which this petition is based. The commission shall within 30 days from the date of the filing of a petition for extraordinary rate relief, and after hearing for the purpose of cross-examination of the testimony and exhibits of the public utility, and the presentation of such other evidentiary testimony as the commission may by rule prescribe, by order setting forth its reasons therefor, grant or deny, in whole or in part, the extraordinary relief requested. Absent such order, the petition shall be deemed to have been denied. Rates established pursuant to extraordinary rate relief shall not be deemed to be temporary rates within the meaning of that term as it is used in section 1310.

(f)  Limitation on rate increases by certain public utilities.--Whenever there is filed with the commission any tariff stating a new rate based in whole or in part on the cost of constructing an electric generating unit, the commission shall compare the estimated construction cost filed in accordance with section 515(a) (relating to construction cost of electric generating units) with the actual construction cost submitted by the utility in support of that tariff. If the actual construction cost exceeds the estimated construction cost, the rate determined by the commission under this section shall not be based on any part of that excess unless the public utility proves that part of the excess to have been necessary and proper. In making its determination under this subsection, the commission shall consider all relevant and material evidence, including evidence obtained pursuant to section 515. For purposes of this subsection "construction" includes any work performed on an electric generating unit which required, or is expected to require, the affected public utility to incur an aggregate of at least $100,000,000 of expenses which, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, are capital expenses and not operating or maintenance expenses.

66c1308v

(July 6, 1984, P.L.602, No.123, eff. imd.; Sept. 27, 1984, P.L.721, No.153, eff. imd.; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1265, No.240, eff. imd.)

 

1984 Amendments.  Act 123 added subsec. (f), Act 153 added subsec. (d.1) and Act 240 amended subsec. (a) and added subsec. (d.1). The amendments by Acts 153 and 240, adding subsec. (d.1), are substantially the same and have both been given effect in setting forth the text of subsec. (d.1). See section 5 of Act 123 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to submission of cost estimate for units not completed.

Cross References.  Section 1308 is referred to in sections 315, 523, 1309, 1311, 1316, 1318, 1330, 1353, 2211, 2804, 2806.1, 2807, 3015 of this title.

66c1309s

§ 1309.  Rates fixed on complaint; investigation of costs of production.

(a)  General rule.--Whenever the commission, after reasonable notice and hearing, upon its own motion or upon complaint, finds that the existing rates of any public utility for any service are unjust, unreasonable, or in anywise in violation of any provision of law, the commission shall determine the just and reasonable rates, including maximum or minimum rates, to be thereafter observed and in force, and shall fix the same by order to be served upon the public utility, and such rates shall constitute the legal rates of the public utility until changed as provided in this part. Whenever a public utility does not itself produce or generate that which it distributes, transmits, or furnishes to the public for compensation, but obtains the same from another source, the commission shall have the power and authority to investigate the cost of such production or generation in any investigation of the reasonableness of the rates of such public utility.

(b)  Deadline for decision.--Before the expiration of a nine-month period beginning on the date of the commission's motion or the filing of a complaint pursuant to subsection (a), a majority of the members of the commission serving in accordance with law, acting unanimously, shall make a final decision and order, setting forth its reasons therefor. If such an order has not been made at the expiration of such nine-month period and the motion or complaint pursuant to subsection (a) requested a reduction in rates, a final decision and order of the commission which determines or fixes a rate reduction shall be retroactive to the expiration of such nine-month period, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the commission from setting temporary rates pursuant to section 1310 (relating to temporary rates) prior to the expiration of such nine-month period and giving such effect to the setting of temporary rates as is otherwise permitted by this title. This subsection shall apply only when the requested reduction in rates affects more than 5% of the customers and amounts to in excess of 3% of the total gross annual intrastate operating revenues of the public utility, provided that, if the public utility furnishes two or more types of service, the foregoing percentages shall be determined only on the basis of the customers receiving, and the revenues derived from, the type of service to which the requested reduction pertains. This subsection shall not apply to any proceeding involving a change in rates proposed by a public utility pursuant to section 1307 (relating to sliding scale of rates; adjustments) or 1308 (relating to voluntary changes in rates).

66c1309v

(July 6, 1988, P.L.490, No.83, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 1309 is referred to in sections 514, 521, 1327, 3019 of this title.

66c1310s

§ 1310.  Temporary rates.

(a)  General rule.--The commission may, in any proceeding involving the rates of a public utility, except a proceeding involving a general rate increase, brought either upon its own motion or upon complaint, after reasonable notice and hearing, if it be of opinion that the public interest so requires, immediately fix, determine, and prescribe temporary rates to be charged by such public utility, pending the final determination of such rate proceeding. Such temporary rates, so fixed, determined, and prescribed, shall be sufficient to provide a return of not less than 5% upon the original cost, less accrued depreciation, of the physical property, when first devoted to public use, of such public utility, used and useful in the public service, and if the duly verified reports of such public utility to the commission do not show such original cost, less accrued depreciation, of such property, the commission may estimate such cost less depreciation and fix, determine, and prescribe rates as hereinbefore provided.

(b)  Exception where records unavailable.--If any public utility does not have continuing property records, kept in the manner prescribed by the commission under the provisions of section 1702 (relating to continuing property records), then the commission, after reasonable notice and hearing, may establish temporary rates which shall be sufficient to provide a return of not less than an amount equal to the operating income for such prior calendar, fiscal or other year as the commission may deem proper, to be determined on the basis of data appearing in the annual report of such public utility to the commission for such prior year as the commission may deem proper, plus or minus such return as the commission may prescribe from time to time upon such net changes of the physical property as are reported to and approved for rate-making purposes by the commission. In determining the net changes of the physical property, the commission may, in its discretion, deduct from gross additions to such physical property the amount charged to operating expenses for depreciation or, in lieu thereof, it may determine such net changes by deducting retirements from the gross additions. The commission, in determining the basis for temporary rates, may make such adjustments in the annual report data as may, in the judgment of the commission, be necessary and proper.

(c)  Periodicity of rates.--The commission may fix, determine, and prescribe temporary rates every month, or at any other interval, if it be of opinion that the public interest so requires, and the existence of proceedings begun for the purpose of establishing final rates shall not prevent the commission from changing every month, or at any other interval, such temporary rates as it has previously fixed, determined, and prescribed.

(d)  Excessive rates.--Whenever the commission, upon examination of any annual or other report, or of any papers, records, books, or documents, or of the property of any public utility, shall be of opinion that any rates of such public utility are producing a return in excess of a fair return upon the fair value of the property of such public utility, used and useful in its public service, the commission may, by order, prescribe for a trial period of at least six months, which trial period may be extended for one additional period of six months, such temporary rates to be observed by such public utility as, in the opinion of the commission, will produce a fair return upon such fair value, and the rates so prescribed shall become effective upon the date specified in the order of the commission. Such rates, so prescribed, shall become permanent at the end of such trial period, or extension thereof, unless at any time during such trial period, or extension thereof, the public utility involved shall complain to the commission that the rates so prescribed are unjust or unreasonable. Upon such complaint, the commission, after hearing, shall determine the issues involved, and pending final determination the rates so prescribed shall remain in effect.

(e)  Effect and adjustment of rates.--Temporary rates so fixed, determined, and prescribed under this section shall be effective until the final determination of the rate proceeding, unless terminated sooner by the commission. In every proceeding in which temporary rates are fixed, determined, and prescribed under this section, the commission shall consider the effect of such rates in fixing, determining, and prescribing rates to be thereafter demanded or received by such public utility on final determination of the rate proceeding.

66c1310v

 

Cross References.  Section 1310 is referred to in sections 1308, 1309 of this title.

66c1311s

§ 1311.  Valuation of and return on the property of a public utility.

(a)  Valuation generally.--The commission may, after reasonable notice and hearing, ascertain and fix the value of the whole or any part of the property of any public utility, insofar as the same is material to the exercise of the jurisdiction of the commission, and may make revaluations from time to time in the value of rate base of a public utility on account of all new construction, extensions, additions and retirements to the property of any public utility.

(b)  Method of valuation.--

(1)  The value of the property of the public utility included in the rate base shall be the original cost of the property when first devoted to the public service less the applicable accrued depreciation as such depreciation is determined by the commission.

(2)  (i)  The value of the property of a public utility providing water or wastewater service shall include the original cost incurred by the public utility for the replacement of a customer-owned lead water service line or a customer-owned damaged wastewater lateral, performed concurrent with a scheduled utility main replacement project or under a commission-approved program, notwithstanding that the customer shall hold legal title to the replacement water service line or wastewater lateral.

(ii)  The original cost of the replacement water service line or wastewater lateral shall be deemed other related capitalized costs that are part of the public utility's distribution system.

(iii)  For the purpose of calculating the return of and on a public utility's prudently incurred cost for the replacement of a water service line and for the replacement of a wastewater lateral that is recovered in a public utility's base rates or distribution system improvement charge, the commission shall employ the equity return rate for water and wastewater public utilities calculations set forth in section 1357(b)(2) and (3) (relating to computation of charge).

(iv)  The commission may allocate the cost associated with the replacement of a customer-owned lead water service line or customer-owned damaged wastewater lateral among each customer, classes of customers and types of service.

(v)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a public utility providing water or wastewater service must obtain prior approval from the commission for the replacement of a customer-owned lead water service line or customer-owned damaged wastewater lateral by filing a new tariff or supplement to existing tariffs under section 1308 (relating to voluntary changes in rates).

(vi)  A new tariff or supplement to an existing tariff approved by the commission under subparagraph (v) shall include a cap on the maximum number of customer-owned lead water service lines or customer-owned damaged wastewater laterals that can be replaced annually.

(vii)  The commission shall, by regulation or order, establish standards, processes and procedures to:

(A)  Ensure that work performed by a public utility or the public utility's contractor to replace a customer-owned lead water service line or a customer-owned damaged wastewater lateral is accompanied by a warranty of a term that the commission determines appropriate and the public utility and the public utility's contractor has access to the affected customer's property during the term of the warranty.

(B)  Provide for a reimbursement to a customer who has replaced the customer's lead water service line or customer-owned damaged wastewater lateral within one year of commencement of a project in accordance with a commission-approved tariff.

(3)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the existing ratemaking authority of the commission nor invalidate nor void any rates approved by the commission before the effective date of this paragraph.

(4)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any provision or requirement of the act of May 1, 1984 (P.L.206, No.43), known as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act, or the regulations promulgated thereunder.

(5)  For the purposes of this subsection, the term "lead water service line" means a service line made of lead that connects a water main to a building inlet and a lead pigtail, gooseneck or other fitting that is connected to the lead line.

(c)  Segregation of property.--When any public utility furnishes more than one of the different types of utility service, the commission shall segregate the property used and useful in furnishing each type of such service, and shall not consider the property of such public utility as a unit in determining the value of the rate base of such public utility for the purpose of fixing base rates. A utility that provides water and wastewater service shall be exempt from this subsection upon petition of a utility to combine water and wastewater revenue requirements. The commission, when setting base rates, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, may allocate a portion of the wastewater revenue requirement to the combined water and wastewater customer base if in the public interest.

(d)  Common carriers.--In fixing any rate of a public utility engaged exclusively as a common carrier by motor vehicle, the commission may, in lieu of other standards established by law, fix the fair return by relating the fair and reasonable operating expenses, depreciation, taxes and other costs of furnishing service to operating revenues.

(e)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "utility that provides both water and wastewater service" shall include separate companies that individually provide water or wastewater service so long as the companies are wholly owned by a common parent company.

66c1311v

(Sept. 27, 1984, P.L.721, No.153, eff. 60 days; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1265, No.240, eff. imd.; Feb. 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, eff. 60 days; Oct. 24, 2018, P.L.738, No.120, eff. 60 days)

 

2018 Amendment.  Act 120 amended subsec. (b).

2012 Amendment.  Act 11 amended subsec. (c) and added subsec. (e).

1984 Amendments.  Acts 153 and 240 amended the entire section. Act 240 overlooked the amendment by Act 153, but the amendments do not conflict in substance and have both been given effect in setting forth the text of section 1311.

66c1312s

§ 1312.  Refunds.

(a)  General rule.--If, in any proceeding involving rates, the commission shall determine that any rate received by a public utility was unjust or unreasonable, or was in violation of any regulation or order of the commission, or was in excess of the applicable rate contained in an existing and effective tariff of such public utility, the commission shall have the power and authority to make an order requiring the public utility to refund the amount of any excess paid by any patron, in consequence of such unlawful collection, within four years prior to the date of the filing of the complaint, together with interest at the legal rate from the date of each such excessive payment. In making a determination under this section, the commission need not find that the rate complained of was extortionate or oppressive. Any order of the commission awarding a refund shall be made for and on behalf of all patrons subject to the same rate of the public utility. The commission shall state in any refund order the exact amount to be paid, the reasonable time within which payment shall be made, and shall make findings upon pertinent questions of fact.

(b)  Suit for refund.--If the public utility fails to make refunds within the time for payment fixed by any final order of the commission or court, any patron entitled to any refund may sue therefor and the findings and order made by the commission shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated, and that the amount awarded is justly due the plaintiff in such suit, and the defendant public utility shall not be permitted to avail itself of the defense that the service was, in fact, rendered to the plaintiff at the rate contained in its tariffs in force at the time payment was made and received, nor shall the defendant public utility be permitted to avail itself of the defense that the rate was reasonable. Any patron entitled to any refund shall be entitled to recover, in addition to the amount of refund, a penalty of 50% of the amount of such refund, together with all court costs and reasonable attorney fees. No suit may be maintained for a refund unless instituted within one year from the date of the order of the commission or court. Any number of patrons entitled to such refund may join as plaintiffs and recover their several claims in a single action, in which action the court shall render a judgment severally for each plaintiff as his interest may appear.

(c)  Condition for suit.--No action shall be brought in any court for a refund, unless and until the commission shall have determined that the rate in question was unjust or unreasonable, or in violation of any regulation or order of the commission, or in excess of the applicable rate contained in an existing and effective tariff, and then only to recover such refunds as may have been awarded and directed to be paid by the commission in such order.

66c1312v

 

Cross References.  Section 1312 is referred to in sections 1308, 3019 of this title.

66c1313s

§ 1313.  Price upon resale of public utility services.

Whenever any person, corporation or other entity, not a public utility, electric cooperative corporation, municipality authority or municipal corporation, purchases service from a public utility and resells it to consumers, the bill rendered by the reseller to any residential consumer shall not exceed the amount which the public utility would bill its own residential consumers for the same quantity of service under the residential rate of its tariff then currently in effect.

66c1313v

 

Cross References.  Section 1313 is referred to in section 3313 of this title.

66c1314s

§ 1314.  Limitation on prices paid for property and fuel.

The commission shall adopt regulations prohibiting public utilities subject to its jurisdiction from paying for or agreeing to pay for goods, services, equipment or fuels at prices in excess of those contained in contracts existing between the utilities and providers of such goods, services, equipment or fuel services.

66c1314v

(Nov. 26, 1978, P.L.1245, No.297, eff. 60 days)

 

1978 Amendment.  Act 297 added section 1314.

66c1315s

§ 1315.  Limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities.

Except for such nonrevenue producing, nonexpense reducing investments as may be reasonably shown to be necessary to improve environmental conditions at existing facilities or improve safety at existing facilities or as may be required to convert facilities to the utilization of coal, the cost of construction or expansion of a facility undertaken by a public utility producing, generating, transmitting, distributing or furnishing electricity shall not be made a part of the rate base nor otherwise included in the rates charged by the electric utility until such time as the facility is used and useful in service to the public. Except as stated in this section, no electric utility property shall be deemed used and useful until it is presently providing actual utility service to the customers.

66c1315v

(Dec. 30, 1982, P.L.1473, No.335, eff. imd.)

 

1982 Amendment.  Act 335 added section 1315. Section 2 of Act 335 provided that Act 335 shall be applicable to all proceedings pending before the Public Utility Commission and the courts at the time and also provided that nothing contained in Act 335 shall be construed to modify or change existing law with regard to rate making treatment of investment in facilities of fixed utilities other than electric utilities.

Cross References.  Section 1315 is referred to in sections 315, 514, 521, 530, 1319 of this title.

66c1316s

§ 1316.  Recovery of advertising expenses.

(a)  General rule.--For purposes of rate determinations, no public utility may charge to its consumers as a permissible operating expense for ratemaking purposes any direct or indirect expenditure by the utility for political advertising. The commission shall also disallow as operating expense for ratemaking purposes expenditures for other advertising, unless and only to the extent that the commission finds that such advertising is reasonable and meets one or more of the following criteria:

(1)  Is required by law or regulation.

(2)  Is in support of the issuance, marketing or acquisition of securities or other forms of financing.

(3)  Encourages energy independence by promoting the wise development and use of domestic sources of coal, oil or natural gas and does not promote one method of generating electricity as preferable to other methods of generating electricity.

(4)  Provides important information to the public regarding safety, rate changes, means of reducing usage or bills, load management or energy conservation.

(5)  Provides a direct benefit to ratepayers.

(6)  Is for the promotion of community service or economic development.

(b)  Charging expenses to stockholders.--Any direct or indirect expenditure by a public utility for political advertising, or any other advertising not meeting the criteria set forth in subsection (a), shall be charged to its stockholders and shall not be included as an operating expense for ratemaking purposes.

(c)  Filing of information and materials.--Whenever a public utility proposes a change in rates under section 1308 (relating to voluntary changes in rates), the public utility shall file with the commission a listing of each type of advertising prepared, distributed or presented by the public utility or to be prepared, distributed or presented by the public utility during the test year utilized by the public utility in discharging its burden of proof, and a listing of each type of advertising prepared, distributed or presented by the public utility during the year immediately preceding the test year, as well as an accounting of the expenditures by the public utility for such advertising, to the extent such advertising is proposed to be included as operating expense for ratemaking purposes. The filing requirements imposed by this subsection shall not be construed to limit the right of any party to discovery under this or any other provision of law.

(d)  Definition.--As used in this section the term "political advertising" means any advertising for the purpose of influencing public opinion with respect to any legislative, administrative action or candidate election or with respect to any controversial issue to be decided by public voting. The term includes money spent for lobbying but not money spent for appearances before regulatory or other governmental bodies in connection with a public utility's existing or proposed operations.

66c1316v

(Mar. 7, 1984, P.L.104, No.22, eff. 60 days; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

66c1316.1s

§ 1316.1.  Recovery of club dues.

No public utility may charge to its customers as a permissible operating expense for ratemaking purposes membership fees, dues or charges to fraternal, social or sports clubs or organizations.

66c1316.1v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 1316.1.

66c1317s

§ 1317.  Regulation of natural gas costs.

(a)  General rule.--In every rate proceeding instituted by a natural gas distribution utility, pursuant to section 1307(f) (relating to sliding scale of rates; adjustments), each such utility shall be required to supply to the commission such information, to be established by commission regulation within 120 days of the passage of this section, that will permit the commission to make specific findings as to whether the utility is pursuing a least cost fuel procurement policy, consistent with the utility's obligation to provide safe, adequate and reliable service to its customers. Such information shall include, but need not be limited to, information, data and statements regarding:

(1)  The utility's participation in rate proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which affect the utility's gas costs.

(2)  The utility's efforts to negotiate favorable contracts with gas suppliers and to renegotiate existing contracts with gas suppliers or take legal actions necessary to relieve the utility from existing contract terms which are or may be adverse to the interests of the utility's ratepayers.

(3)  The utility's efforts to secure lower cost gas supplies both within and outside of the Commonwealth, including the use of transportation arrangements with pipelines and other gas distribution companies.

(4)  The sources and amounts of all gas supplies which have been withheld or have been caused to be withheld from the market by the utility and the reasons why such gas is not to be utilized.

(b)  Integrated gas companies.--In the case of a natural gas distribution utility which purchases all or part of its gas supplies from an affiliated interest, as that term is defined in section 2101 (relating to definition of affiliated interest), such utility shall, in addition to the materials required in subsection (a), be required to provide to the commission such information, to be established by commission regulation within 120 days of the passage of this section, that will permit the commission to make specific findings as to whether any purchases of gas from an affiliated interest are consistent with a least cost fuel procurement policy, consistent with the utility's obligation to provide safe, adequate and reliable service to its customers. Such information shall include, but need not be limited to, statements regarding:

(1)  Efforts made by the utility to obtain gas supplies from nonaffiliated interests.

(2)  The specific reasons why the utility has purchased gas supplies from an affiliated interest and demonstration that such purchases are consistent with a least cost fuel procurement policy.

(3)  The sources and amounts of all gas supplies which have been withheld from the market by the utility or any affiliated interest and the reasons why such gas is not being utilized.

(c)  Reliability plans.--As part of its filing under section 1307(f) or if it is not required to make such a filing on an annual basis, a natural gas distribution company, as defined in section 2202 (relating to definitions), shall file a proposed reliability plan with the commission which shall, at a minimum, identify the following:

(1)  The projected peak day and seasonal requirements of the firm customers utilizing the distribution system of the natural gas distribution company during the 12-month projected period specified in section 1307(f)(1). Where operationally required, the design peak day requirements shall be specified for discrete segments of each natural gas distribution system.

(2)  The transportation capacity, storage, peaking or on-system production that ensures deliverability of the natural gas supplies necessary to meet such projected period peak day and seasonal requirements.

(d)  Supply plans.--As part of its filing under section 1307(f), a natural gas distribution company shall file a proposed plan with the commission for acquisition or receipt of natural gas supplies.

(e)  Definition.--As used in this section, the terms "natural gas costs," "gas costs," "natural gas" and "gas" shall have the same definitions as provided in section 1307(h).

66c1317v

(May 31, 1984, P.L.370, No.74, eff. 60 days; June 22, 1999, P.L.122, No.21, eff. July 1, 1999)

 

Cross References.  Section 1317 is referred to in sections 1307, 1318, 2107 of this title.

66c1318s

§ 1318.  Determination of just and reasonable gas cost rates.

(a)  General rule.--In establishing just and reasonable rates for those natural gas distribution companies, as defined in section 2202 (relating to definitions), with gross intrastate operating revenues in excess of $40,000,000 under section 1307(f) (relating to sliding scale of rates; adjustments) or 1308(d) (relating to voluntary changes in rates) or any other rate proceeding, the commission shall consider the materials provided by the utilities pursuant to section 1317 (relating to regulation of natural gas costs). No rates for a natural gas distribution utility shall be deemed just and reasonable unless the commission finds that the utility is pursuing a least cost fuel procurement policy, consistent with the utility's obligation to provide safe, adequate and reliable service to its customers. In making such a determination, the commission shall be required to make specific findings which shall include, but need not be limited to, findings that:

(1)  The utility has fully and vigorously represented the interests of its ratepayers in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(2)  The utility has taken all prudent steps necessary to negotiate favorable gas supply contracts and to relieve the utility from terms in existing contracts with its gas suppliers which are or may be adverse to the interests of the utility's ratepayers.

(3)  The utility has taken all prudent steps necessary to obtain lower cost gas supplies on both short-term and long-term bases both within and outside the Commonwealth, including the use of gas transportation arrangements with pipelines and other distribution companies.

(4)  The utility has not withheld from the market or caused to be withheld from the market any gas supplies which should have been utilized as part of a least cost fuel procurement policy.

(b)  Limitation on gas purchased from affiliates.--In any instance in which a natural gas distribution company purchases all or part of its gas supplies from an affiliated interest, as that term is defined in section 2101 (relating to definition of affiliated interest), the commission, in addition to the determinations and findings set forth in subsection (a), shall be required to make specific findings with regard to the justness and reasonableness of all such purchases. Such findings shall include, but not be limited to findings:

(1)  That the utility has fully and vigorously attempted to obtain less costly gas supplies on both short-term and long-term bases from nonaffiliated interests.

(2)  That each contract for the purchase of gas from its affiliated interest is consistent with a least cost fuel procurement policy.

(3)  That neither the utility nor its affiliated interest has withheld from the market any gas supplies which should have been utilized as part of a least cost fuel procurement policy.

(c)  Shut-in gas; special rule.--In determining whether a gas utility has purchased the least costly natural gas available, the commission shall consider as available to the utility any gas supplies that reasonably could have been brought to market during the relevant period but which were voluntarily withheld from the market by the utility or an affiliated interest of the utility.

(d)  Other regulatory approvals.--The fact that a contract or rate has been approved by a Federal regulatory agency for interstate ratemaking purposes shall not, in and of itself, be adequate to satisfy the utility's burden of proof that gas prices and volumes associated with such contract or rate are just and reasonable for purposes of this section.

(e)  Reports.--Each natural gas distribution utility with gross intrastate annual operating revenues in excess of $40,000,000 shall file with the commission, the Office of Consumer Advocate and the Office of Small Business Advocate, in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by the commission, quarterly reports setting forth the actual gas costs incurred by the utility on a monthly basis. Actual gas costs shall be reviewed for their accuracy by the Bureau of Audits at least annually and the results of that review shall be submitted to the commission.

(f)  Definition.--As used in this section, the terms "natural gas," "natural gas costs," "gas costs" and "gas" shall have the same definitions as provided in section 1307(h).

66c1318v

(May 31, 1984, P.L.370, No.74, eff. 60 days; June 22, 1999, P.L.122, No.21, eff. July 1, 1999)

 

Cross References.  Section 1318 is referred to in sections 1307, 2107 of this title.

66c1319s

§ 1319.  Financing of energy supply alternatives.

(a)  Recovery of certain additional expenses.--If:

(1)  a natural gas or electric public utility elects to establish a conservation or load management program and that program is approved by the commission after a determination by the commission that the program is prudent and cost-effective; or

(2)  the commission orders a natural gas or electric public utility to establish a conservation or load management program that the commission determines to be prudent and cost-effective;

the commission shall allow the public utility to recover all prudent and reasonable costs associated with the development, management, financing and operation of the program, provided that such prudent and reasonable costs shall be recovered only in accordance with appropriate accounting principles. Nothing in this section shall permit the recovery of costs in a manner prohibited by section 1315 (relating to limitation on consideration of certain costs for electric utilities). Nothing in this section shall permit the recovery of the cost of producing, generating, transmitting, distributing or furnishing electricity or natural gas.

(b)  Option for recovery.--The commission may consider allowing the recovery of those costs permitted to be recovered by subsection (a) through charges to those persons who are participants in the financing program.

66c1319v

(Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1270, No.241, eff. imd.; July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

66c1320s

§ 1320.  Fuel purchase audits by complaint.

(1)  Upon complaint, the commission shall conduct an audit of an electric public utility's purchases of fuel for generating purposes. Such an audit shall examine the utility's fuel purchasing activities for the two years prior to the date of such complaint, provided that:

(i)  The utility does its own testing or procures its own analysis of its fuel.

(ii)  The fuel cost of the utility for the most recently completed fiscal year exceeds that of the prior fiscal year by more than 5%.

(iii)  The commission has not completed and made available to the public a fuel purchase audit of the utility in the past two years.

(2)  This audit, which shall be completed within one year of the date of initiation of the complaint, shall include, but not be limited to, a comparison of unit price paid for fuel for generating purposes, considering such factors as ash, sulfur content, British thermal units, transportation costs and reliability of supply.

(3)  The audit shall seek to determine whether the public utility's fuel purchasing procedures are conducted in such a manner as to result in the greatest benefit to the ratepayers.

(4)  The commission's audit report shall contain recommendations as to methods by which the utility's fuel purchasing procedures can be adjusted so as to result in the greatest benefit to the ratepayers.

(5)  The commission shall take the audit report into consideration at the utility's next request for a rate adjustment.

(6)  Upon completion and release by the commission, copies of the audit report summary shall be mailed to every person who requests a copy.

66c1320v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 1320.

66c1321s

§ 1321.  Recovery of certain employee meeting expenses.

No public utility may charge to its customers as a permissible operating expense for ratemaking purposes any portion or portions of the direct or indirect costs of meetings, conferences, seminars or other events conducted by the utility for its employees, managers or directors which portion or portions of such costs represent expenditures for activities or items unrelated to the business or civic purpose of the event, such as costs for entertainment, recreation, athletic activities, personal clothing or other personal effects.

66c1321v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 1321.

66c1322s

§ 1322.  Outages of electric generating units.

(a)  General rule.--Whenever an electric generating unit, determined by the commission to be a base load unit, is out of service for more than 120 consecutive days, a utility owning a share of that unit shall not be permitted to recover, through base rates, a sliding scale of rates, or by any other means, the excess energy costs incurred to generate or purchase replacement power occasioned by any portion of the outage which the commission determines to be unreasonable or imprudent. In making its determination under this subsection, the commission shall consider, in addition to any other relevant evidence, whether the outage could have been shortened or avoided if the unit had been properly constructed, operated or maintained.

(b)  Notice of outage.--Whenever an electric generating unit, determined by the commission to be a base load unit, is out of service for 45 consecutive days, any utility owning a share of that unit shall submit to the commission and the Office of Consumer Advocate a status report on that outage. The utility shall submit subsequent status reports on the outage to the commission and the Office of Consumer Advocate at least by the 20th day of each subsequent month until the unit returns to service. If more than one utility owns a share in the electric generating unit, the commission may designate one utility to make the reports required by this subsection.

(c)  Operation at less than reasonable level of generation.--Whenever the actual generation of an electric generating unit, determined by the commission to be a base load unit, is less than 50% of the unit's potential generation during any calendar year or other 12-month period specified by the commission, the commission, on its own motion or upon complaint, may initiate an investigation to determine a reasonable level of generation for that unit. In establishing rates as part of that investigation or in any subsequent proceeding, the commission shall not permit recovery of the excess energy costs incurred to generate or purchase replacement power occasioned by the failure of the unit to operate at or above such reasonable level of generation, if such failure is determined to be unreasonable or imprudent.

(d)  Procedure.--In carrying out its powers and duties under this section, the commission may hold such hearings as it deems necessary. The utility shall have the burden of proof in any proceeding under this section.

(e)  Other powers and duties preserved.--This section shall not be construed to diminish the powers and duties of the commission under any other provision of law to reduce rates in the event of an outage of an electric generating unit, regardless of the duration of that outage.

(f)  Definition.--As used in this section the term "excess energy costs" means the additional costs incurred to purchase or generate replacement power minus the fuel costs which would have been incurred to generate an equivalent amount of power from the affected base load unit.

66c1322v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 1322.

66c1323s

§ 1323.  Procedures for new electric generating capacity.

(a)  Excess capacity costs.--Whenever a public utility claims the costs of an electric generating unit in its rates for the first time and the commission finds that the unit results in the utility having excess capacity, the commission shall disallow from the utility's rates, in the same proportion as found to be excess capacity:

(1)  the return on specific unit or units of any excess generating reserve;

(2)  the return on the average net original cost per megawatt of the utility's generating capacity; or

(3)  the equity investment in the new unit.

In addition to the disallowances set forth in this subsection, the commission may disallow any other costs of the unit or units which the commission deems appropriate. For the purposes of this section, a rebuttable presumption is created that a unit or units or portion thereof shall be determined to be excess unless found to be needed to meet the utility's customer demand plus a reasonable reserve margin in the test year or the year following the test year, or, if it is a base load unit, it is also found to produce annual economic benefits which will exceed the total annual cost of the plant during the test year or within a reasonable period following the test year.

(b)  Units which are out of service.--Whenever an electric generating unit, determined by the commission to be a base load unit, is first claimed in the rates of a public utility and the unit is out of service at the time that the commission makes its final decision in the case in which the unit's costs are claimed, the commission shall make either of the following adjustments:

(1)  exclude from the utility's rates all costs associated with the unit; or

(2)  for a period of one year from the date of the final decision, require that the utility shall guarantee at least the level of either generation or energy savings, whichever produces the rate or rates most advantageous to the ratepayer, that the utility had estimated would be produced by the unit in the first year of its operation.

An adjustment shall be made under this subsection regardless of whether or not the new base load unit had been in service during or at the end of the test year used in the proceeding.

(c)  Other powers and duties preserved.--This section shall not be construed to diminish the powers and duties of the commission under any other provision of law to reduce rates because of excess capacity or any other reason, provided that, in determining whether a base load unit, which was in commercial operation for at least one year prior to the effective date of this section, results in a public utility having excess capacity, cogeneration, for which an agreement has been entered into by the public utility within three years after the in-service date of the base load unit, shall not be considered by the commission in determining the reserve margins or economic benefits resulting from the base load unit for the first five years after the date of the cogeneration agreement.

(d)  Record evidence.--Any adjustments to rates made under this section shall be made on the basis of specific findings upon evidence of record, which findings shall be set forth explicitly, together with their underlying rationale, in the final order of the commission.

66c1323v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 1323. Section 19 of Act 114 provided that section 1323 shall be applicable to all cases pending before the commission.

66c1324s

§ 1324.  Residential telephone service rates based on duration or distance of call.

(a)  Required charging method.--In addition to any other method of charging offered on an optional basis, a telecommunications utility providing local exchange telephone service to residential customers within a certified exchange area must provide service which charges, for calls originating and terminating within the same local calling area, on the basis of a flat monthly fee for all such calls made.

(b)  Options.--If the commission determines that a telecommunications utility may offer to residential customers an optional method of charging for calls originating and terminating within the same local calling area based, in whole or in part, on the duration or distance of the call, it shall also offer a rate which charges for such calls only on the basis of the number of calls made.

(c)  Rate relationship.--In addition to any other requirements imposed by this title, the rates for services required or permitted pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) shall be maintained at just and reasonable levels in comparison to one another.

(d)  Nonresidential rates pursuant to another section.--Nothing in this section shall preclude the commission from establishing rates for other classes of telephone service based upon another section of this title.

66c1324v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 114 added section 1324.

66c1325s

§ 1325.  Local exchange service increases; limitation (Repealed).

66c1325v

 

2004 Repeal.  Section 1325 was repealed November 30, 2004, P.L.1398, No.183, effective immediately.

66c1326s

§ 1326.  Standby charge prohibited.

(a)  Prohibition.--A public utility that furnishes water to or for the public shall not impose a standby charge on owners of residential structures equipped with automatic fire protection systems.

(b)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "standby charge" means an amount, in addition to the regular rate, assessed against the owner of a residential structure for the reason that the residential structure is equipped with an automatic fire protection system.

66c1326v

(July 6, 1988, P.L.490, No.83, eff. imd.)

 

1988 Amendment.  Act 83 added section 1326.

66c1327s

§ 1327.  Acquisition of water and sewer utilities.

(a)  Acquisition cost greater than depreciated original cost.--If a public utility acquires property from another public utility, a municipal corporation or a person at a cost which is in excess of the original cost of the property when first devoted to the public service less the applicable accrued depreciation, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the excess is reasonable and that excess shall be included in the rate base of the acquiring public utility, provided that the acquiring public utility proves that:

(1)  the property is used and useful in providing water or sewer service;

(2)  the public utility acquired the property from another public utility, a municipal corporation or a person which had 3,300 or fewer customer connections or which was nonviable in the absence of the acquisition;

(3)  the public utility, municipal corporation or person from which the property was acquired was not, at the time of acquisition, furnishing and maintaining adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service and facilities, evidence of which shall include, but not be limited to, any one or more of the following:

(i)  violation of statutory or regulatory requirements of the Department of Environmental Resources or the commission concerning the safety, adequacy, efficiency or reasonableness of service and facilities;

(ii)  a finding by the commission of inadequate financial, managerial or technical ability of the small water or sewer utility;

(iii)  a finding by the commission that there is a present deficiency concerning the availability of water, the palatability of water or the provision of water at adequate volume and pressure;

(iv)  a finding by the commission that the small water or sewer utility, because of necessary improvements to its plant or distribution system, cannot reasonably be expected to furnish and maintain adequate service to its customers in the future at rates equal to or less than those of the acquiring public utility; or

(v)  any other facts, as the commission may determine, that evidence the inability of the small water or sewer utility to furnish or maintain adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service and facilities;

(4)  reasonable and prudent investments will be made to assure that the customers served by the property will receive adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service;

(5)  the public utility, municipal corporation or person whose property is being acquired is in agreement with the acquisition and the negotiations which led to the acquisition were conducted at arm's length;

(6)  the actual purchase price is reasonable;

(7)  neither the acquiring nor the selling public utility, municipal corporation or person is an affiliated interest of the other;

(8)  the rates charged by the acquiring public utility to its preacquisition customers will not increase unreasonably because of the acquisition; and

(9)  the excess of the acquisition cost over the depreciated original cost will be added to the rate base to be amortized as an addition to expense over a reasonable period of time with corresponding reductions in the rate base.

(b)  Procedure.--The commission, upon application by a public utility, person or corporation which has agreed to acquire property from another public utility, municipal corporation or person, may approve an inclusion in rate base in accordance with subsection (a) prior to the acquisition and prior to a proceeding under this subchapter to determine just and reasonable rates if:

(1)  the applicant has provided notice of the proposed acquisition and any proposed increase in rates to the customers served by the property to be acquired, in such form and manner as the commission, by regulation, shall require;

(2)  the applicant has provided notice to its customers, in such form and manner as the commission, by regulation, shall require, if the proposed acquisition would increase rates to the acquiring public utility's customers by an amount in excess of 1% of the acquiring public utility's base annual revenue;

(3)  the applicant has provided notice of the application to the Director of Trial Staff and the Consumer Advocate; and

(4)  in addition to any other information required by the commission, the application includes a full description of the proposed acquisition and a plan for reasonable and prudent investments to assure that the customers served by the property to be acquired will receive adequate, efficient, safe and reasonable service.

(c)  Hearings.--The commission may hold such hearings on the application as it deems necessary.

(d)  Forfeiture.--Notwithstanding section 1309 (relating to rates fixed on complaint; investigation of costs of production), the commission, by regulation, shall provide for the removal of the excess costs of acquisition from its rates, or any portion thereof, found by the commission to be unreasonable and to refund any excess revenues collected as a result of this section, plus interest, which shall be the average rate of interest specified for residential mortgage lending by the Secretary of Banking in accordance with the act of January 30, 1974 (P.L.13, No.6), referred to as the Loan Interest and Protection Law, during the period or periods for which the commission orders refunds, if the commission, after notice and hearings, determines that the reasonable and prudent investments to be made in accordance with this section have not been completed within a reasonable time.

(e)  Acquisition cost lower than depreciated original cost.--If a public utility acquires property from another public utility, a municipal corporation or a person at a cost which is lower than the original cost of the property when first devoted to the public service less the applicable accrued depreciation and the property is used and useful in providing water or sewer service, that difference shall, absent matters of a substantial public interest, be amortized as an addition to income over a reasonable period of time or be passed through to the ratepayers by such other methodology as the commission may direct. Notice of the proposed treatment of an acquisition cost lower than depreciated original cost shall be given to the Director of Trial Staff and the Consumer Advocate.

(f)  Reports.--The commission shall annually transmit to the Governor and to the General Assembly and shall make available to the public a report on the acquisition activity under this title. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, the number of small water or sewer public utilities, municipal corporations or persons acquired by public utilities, and the amounts of any rate increases or decreases sought and granted due to the acquisition.

66c1327v

(Apr. 4, 1990, P.L.107, No.24, eff. 60 days; June 1, 1995, P.L.49, No.7, eff. 60 days; Feb. 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, eff. 60 days)

 

2012 Amendment.  Act 11 amended subsec. (b) intro. par.

References in Text.  The Department of Environmental Resources, referred to in subsec. (a), was abolished by Act 18 of 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection.

66c1328s

§ 1328.  Determination of public fire hydrant rates.

(a)  General rule.--A public utility that furnishes water to or for the public shall be allowed to recover in rates the full cost of service related to public fire hydrants.

(b)  Charge to municipalities and other customers of the public utility.--

(1)  In determining the rates to be charged for public fire hydrants by a public utility that furnishes water to or for the public, the commission shall as part of a utility's general rate proceeding provide for the recovery of the costs of public fire hydrants in such a manner that the municipalities in which those public fire hydrants are located are not charged for more than 25% of the cost of service for those public fire hydrants, as such cost of service is reasonably determined by the commission.

(2)  The commission shall also as part of the utility's general rate proceeding provide for the recovery of the remaining cost of service for those public fire hydrants not recovered from the municipalities under paragraph (1) by assessing all customers of the public utility the remaining cost of service to the public fire hydrants. The remaining cost of service for those public fire hydrants shall be included in the public utility's fixed or service charge or minimum bill.

(c)  Effect on current rates.--The legal rates charged to municipalities for public fire hydrants in effect on the effective date of this section shall remain frozen and shall not be changed until the present rates for those public fire hydrants are determined to be below the 25% ceiling established under subsection (b). The remaining cost of service for those public fire hydrants not recovered from the municipality shall be recovered from all customers of the public utility in the public utility's fixed or service charge or minimum bill.

(d)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "public fire hydrant" means a fire hydrant that is charged, at least in part, to a municipality such as a city, borough, town or township.

66c1328v

(June 30, 1995, P.L.165, No.23, eff. 60 days)

 

1995 Amendment.  Act 23 added section 1328.

66c1329s

§ 1329.  Valuation of acquired water and wastewater systems.

(a)  Process to establish fair market value of selling utility.--Upon agreement by both the acquiring public utility or entity and the selling utility, the following procedure shall be used to determine the fair market value of the selling utility:

(1)  The commission will maintain a list of utility valuation experts from which the acquiring public utility or entity and selling utility will choose.

(2)  Two utility valuation experts shall perform two separate appraisals of the selling utility for the purpose of establishing its fair market value.

(3)  Each utility valuation expert shall determine fair market value in compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, employing the cost, market and income approaches.

(4)  The acquiring public utility or entity and selling utility shall engage the services of the same licensed engineer to conduct an assessment of the tangible assets of the selling utility. The assessment shall be incorporated into the appraisal under the cost approach required under paragraph (3).

(5)  Each utility valuation expert shall provide the completed appraisal to the acquiring public utility or entity and selling utility within 90 days of execution of the service contract.

(b)  Utility valuation experts.--

(1)  The utility valuation experts required under subsection (a) shall be selected as follows:

(i)  one shall be selected by the acquiring public utility or entity; and

(ii)  one shall be selected by the selling utility.

(2)  The utility valuation experts shall not:

(i)  derive any material financial benefit from the sale of the selling utility other than fees for services rendered; or

(ii)  be an immediate family member of a director, officer or employee of either the acquiring public utility, entity or selling utility within a 12-month period of the date of hire to perform an appraisal.

(3)  Fees paid to utility valuation experts may be included in the transaction and closing costs associated with acquisition by the acquiring utility or entity. Fees eligible for inclusion may be of an amount not exceeding 5% of the fair market value of the selling utility or a fee approved by the commission.

(c)  Ratemaking rate base.--The following apply:

(1)  The ratemaking rate base of the selling utility shall be incorporated into the rate base of:

(i)  the acquiring public utility during the acquiring public utility's next base rate case; or

(ii)  the entity in its initial tariff filing.

(2)  The ratemaking rate base of the selling utility shall be the lesser of the purchase price negotiated by the acquiring public utility or entity and selling utility or the fair market value of the selling utility.

(d)  Acquisitions by public utility.--The following apply:

(1)  If the acquiring public utility and selling utility agree to use the process outlined in subsection (a), the acquiring public utility shall include the following as an attachment to its application for commission approval of the acquisition filed pursuant to section 1102 (relating to enumeration of acts requiring certificate):

(i)  Copies of the two appraisals performed by the utility valuation experts under subsection (a).

(ii)  The purchase price of the selling utility as agreed to by the acquiring public utility and selling utility.

(iii)  The ratemaking rate base determined pursuant to subsection (c)(2).

(iv)  The transaction and closing costs incurred by the acquiring public utility that will be included in its rate base.

(v)  A tariff containing a rate equal to the existing rates of the selling utility at the time of the acquisition and a rate stabilization plan, if applicable to the acquisition.

(2)  The commission shall issue a final order on an application submitted under this section within six months of the filing date of an application meeting the requirements of subsection (d)(1).

(3)  If the commission issues an order approving the application for acquisition, the order shall include:

(i)  The ratemaking rate base of the selling utility, as determined under subsection (c)(2).

(ii)  Additional conditions of approval as may be required by the commission.

(4)  The tariff submitted pursuant to subsection (d)(1)(v) shall remain in effect until such time as new rates are approved for the acquiring public utility as the result of a base rate case proceeding before the commission. The acquiring public utility may collect a distribution system improvement charge during this time, as approved by the commission under this chapter.

(5)  The selling utility's cost of service shall be incorporated into the revenue requirement of the acquiring public utility as part of the acquiring utility's next base rate case proceeding. The original source of funding for any part of the water or sewer assets of the selling utility shall not be relevant to determine the value of said assets.

(e)  Acquisitions by entity.--An entity shall provide all the information required by subsection (d)(1) to the commission as an attachment to its application for a certificate of public convenience filed pursuant to section 1102.

(f)  Postacquisition projects.--The following apply:

(1)  An acquiring public utility's postacquisition improvements that are not included in a distribution improvement charge shall accrue allowance for funds used during construction after the date the cost was incurred until the asset has been in service for a period of four years or until the asset is included in the acquiring public utility's next base rate case, whichever is earlier.

(2)  Depreciation on an acquiring public utility's postacquisition improvements that have not been included in the calculation of a distribution system improvement charge shall be deferred for book and ratemaking purposes.

(g)  Definitions.--The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Acquiring public utility."  A water or wastewater public utility subject to regulation under this title that is acquiring a selling utility as the result of a voluntary arm's-length transaction between the buyer and seller.

"Allowance of funds used during construction."  An accounting practice that recognizes the capital costs, including debt and equity funds that are used to finance the construction costs of an improvement to a selling utility's assets by an acquiring public utility.

"Entity."  A person, partnership or corporation that is acquiring a selling utility and has filed or whose affiliate has filed an application with the commission seeking public utility status pursuant to section 1102.

"Fair market value."  The average of the two utility valuation expert appraisals conducted under subsection (a)(2).

"Ratemaking rate base."  The dollar value of a selling utility which, for postacquisition ratemaking purposes, is incorporated into the rate base of the acquiring public utility or entity.

"Rate stabilization plan."  A plan that will hold rates constant or phase rates in over a period of time after the next base rate case.

"Selling utility."  A water or wastewater company located in this Commonwealth, owned by a municipal corporation or authority that is being purchased by an acquiring public utility or entity as the result of a voluntary arm's-length transaction between the buyer and seller.

"Utility valuation expert."  A person hired by an acquiring public utility and selling utility for the purpose of conducting an economic valuation of the selling utility to determine its fair market value.

66c1329v

(Apr. 14, 2016, P.L.76, No.12, eff. 60 days)

 

2016 Amendment.  Act 12 added section 1329.

66c1330s

§ 1330.  Alternative ratemaking for utilities.

(a)  Declaration of policy.--The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

(1)  Innovations in utility operations and information technologies are creating new opportunities for all customers, and it is in the public interest for the commission to approve just and reasonable rates and rate mechanisms to facilitate customer access to these new opportunities while ensuring that utility infrastructure costs are reasonably allocated to and recovered from customers and market participants consistent with the use of the infrastructure.

(2)  It is the policy of the Commonwealth that utility ratemaking should encourage and sustain investment through appropriate cost-recovery mechanisms to enhance the safety, security, reliability or availability of utility infrastructure and be consistent with the efficient consumption of utility service.

(b)  Alternative rate mechanisms.--

(1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, sections 2806.1(k)(2) (relating to energy efficiency and conservation program) and 2807(f)(4) (relating to duties of electric distribution companies), the commission may approve an application by a utility in a base rate proceeding to establish alternative rates and rate mechanisms, including, but not limited to, the following mechanisms:

(i)  decoupling mechanisms;

(ii)  performance-based rates;

(iii)  formula rates;

(iv)  multiyear rate plans; or

(v)  rates based on a combination of more than one of the mechanisms in subparagraphs (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) or other ratemaking mechanisms as provided under this chapter.

(2)  An alternative rate mechanism established under this section may include rates under section 1307 (relating to sliding scale of rates; adjustments) or 1308 (relating to voluntary changes in rates) and may provide for recovery of returns on and return of capital investments or, in the case of city natural gas distribution operations, recovery under the cash flow ratemaking method.

(3)  Capital costs and expenses recovered through alternative rates and rate mechanisms shall be reasonable and  prudently incurred and used and useful in providing service. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit or limit the recovery of revenue, as appropriate, under a commission-approved performance-based rate plan.

(c)  Customer notice.--

(1)  A utility shall notify a customer of all of the following:

(i)  The filing of an application under subsection (b)(1).

(ii)  The commission's decision on the application.

(iii)  A summary and, if applicable, a schedule of the rate adjustments that will occur as a result of the commission's approval of a utility application under subsection (b) and the effective date of the adjustments.

(iv)  Any other information required by the commission by regulation or order.

(2)  Notice shall be provided through customer bill inserts and posted on the utility's publicly accessible Internet website.

(d)  Commission.--No later than six months after the effective date of this subsection, the commission, by regulation or order, shall prescribe the specific procedures for the approval of an application to establish alternative rates.

(e)  Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the existing ratemaking authority of the commission or be construed to invalidate or void any rate mechanisms approved by the commission prior to the effective date of this section.

(f)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Decoupling mechanism."  As follows:

(1)  A rate mechanism that reconciles authorized distribution rates or revenues for differences between the projected sales used to set rates and actual sales, which may include, but not be limited to, adjustments resulting from fluctuations in the number of customers served and other adjustments deemed appropriate by the commission.

(2)  In the case of water and wastewater, a rate mechanism that adjusts or reconciles authorized rates or revenues for differences between sales used to set rates and actual sales, which may include, but not be limited to, adjustments resulting from fluctuations in the number of customers served and other adjustments deemed appropriate by the commission.

"Formula rates."  Rates that are periodically adjusted based on a predetermined formula without the need for a full base rate proceeding.

"Multiyear rate plan."  A rate mechanism under which the commission sets base rates and revenue requirements for a multiyear plan period and authorizes periodic changes in base rates, including, but not limited to, adjustments to account for inflation and capital investments without the necessity for base rate proceedings during the approved plan period.

"Performance-based rates."  Rates that are set or adjusted based on a public utility's financial or operating performance. Such mechanisms can be part of, or in addition to, existing rate base/rate of return ratemaking or cash flow ratemaking method and may include capital costs and return thereon.

"Utility."  As defined in section 1351 (relating to definitions).

66c1330v

(June 28, 2018, P.L.417, No.58, eff. 60 days)

 

2018 Amendment.  Act 58 added section 1330.

66c1350h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

 

Sec.

1350.  Scope of subchapter.

1351.  Definitions.

1352.  Long-term infrastructure improvement plan.

1353.  Distribution system improvement charge.

1354.  Customer notice.

1355.  Review.

1356.  Asset optimization plans.

1357.  Computation of charge.

1358.  Customer protections.

1359.  Projects.

1360.  Applicability.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter B was added February 14, 2012, P.L.72, No.11, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in sections 3204, 3205 of this title.

66c1350s

§ 1350.  Scope of subchapter.

This subchapter shall provide an additional mechanism for a distribution system to recover costs related to the repair, improvement and replacement of eligible property.

66c1351s

§ 1351.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Capitalized cost."  Costs permitted to be capitalized pursuant to the Uniform System of Accounts and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

"Distribution system."  A system owned or operated by a utility. The term includes a natural gas distribution company, a city natural gas distribution operation, an electric distribution company, a water utility and a collection system for a wastewater utility.

"Distribution system improvement charge."  A charge imposed by a utility to recover the reasonable and prudent costs incurred to repair, improve or replace eligible property that is part of the utility's distribution system.

"Eligible property."  Property that is part of a distribution system and eligible for repair, improvement and replacement of infrastructure under this subchapter. Included property shall be as follows:

(1)  For electric distribution companies, eligible property shall include:

(i)  Poles and towers.

(ii)  Overhead and underground conductors.

(iii)  Transformers and substation equipment.

(iv)  Any fixture or device related to eligible property under subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii), including insulators, circuit breakers, fuses, reclosers, grounding wires, crossarms and brackets, relays, capacitors, converters and condensers.

(v)  Unreimbursed costs related to highway relocation projects where an electric distribution company must relocate its facilities.

(vi)  Other related capitalized costs.

(2)  For natural gas distribution companies and city natural gas distribution operations, eligible property shall include:

(i)  Piping.

(ii)  Couplings.

(iii)  Gas services lines and insulated and noninsulated fittings.

(iv)  Valves.

(v)  Excess flow valves.

(vi)  Risers.

(vii)  Meter bars.

(viii)  Meters.

(ix)  Unreimbursed costs related to highway relocation projects where a natural gas distribution company or city natural gas distribution operation must relocate its facilities.

(x)  Other related capitalized costs.

(3)  For water utilities, eligible property shall include:

(i)  Utility service lines, meters and hydrants installed as in-kind replacements for customers.

(ii)  Mains and valves installed as replacements for existing facilities that have worn out, are in deteriorated condition or are required to be upgraded to meet under 52 Pa. Code Ch. 65 (relating to water service).

(iii)  Main extensions installed to eliminate dead ends and to implement solutions to regional water supply problems that present a significant health and safety concern for customers currently receiving service from the water utility.

(iv)  Main cleaning and relining projects.

(v)  Unreimbursed costs related to highway relocation projects where a water utility must relocate its facilities.

(vi)  Other related capitalized costs.

(4)  For wastewater utilities, eligible property shall include:

(i)  Collection sewers, collecting mains and service laterals, including sewer taps, curbstops and lateral cleanouts installed as in-kind replacements for customers.

(ii)  Collection mains and valves for gravity and pressure systems and related facilities such as manholes, grinder pumps, air and vacuum release chambers, cleanouts, main line flow meters, valve vaults and lift stations installed as replacements or upgrades for existing facilities that have worn out, are in deteriorated condition or are required to be upgraded by law, regulation or order.

(iii)  Collection main extensions installed to implement solutions to wastewater problems that present a significant health and safety concern for customers currently receiving service from the wastewater utility.

(iv)  Collection main rehabilitation including inflow and infiltration projects.

(v)  Unreimbursed costs related to highway relocation projects where a wastewater utility must relocate its facilities.

(vi)  Other related capitalized costs.

"Utility."  A natural gas distribution company, electric distribution company, water or wastewater utility or city natural gas distribution operation.

66c1351v

 

Cross References.  Section 1351 is referred to in section 1330 of this title.

66c1352s

§ 1352.  Long-term infrastructure improvement plan.

(a)  Submission.--In order to be eligible to recover costs under section 1353 (relating to distribution system improvement charge), a utility must submit a long-term infrastructure improvement plan. The plan shall include the following:

(1)  Identification of the types and age of eligible property owned or operated by the utility for which the utility would seek recovery under this subchapter.

(2)  An initial schedule for the planned repair and replacement of eligible property.

(3)  A general description of the location of the eligible property.

(4)  A reasonable estimate of the quantity of eligible property to be improved.

(5)  Projected annual expenditures to implement the plan and measures taken to ensure that the plan is cost effective.

(6)  The manner in which the replacement of aging infrastructure will be accelerated and how the repair, improvement or replacement will ensure and maintain adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service.

(7)  If the plan is not adequate and sufficient to ensure and maintain adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service, the commission shall order a new or revised plan.

(b)  Periodic review.--

(1)  The commission shall promulgate regulations for the periodic review at least once every five years of long-term infrastructure plans. The regulations may authorize a utility to revise, update or resubmit a plan as appropriate.

(2)  The regulations shall ensure that a distribution system improvement charge shall terminate if the commission determines that the utility is not in compliance with the approved plan.

66c1352v

 

Cross References.  Section 1352 is referred to in sections 1353, 1360 of this title.

66c1353s

§ 1353.  Distribution system improvement charge.

(a)  Authority.--Except as provided under this subchapter, after January 1, 2013, a utility may petition the commission, or the commission, after notice and hearing, may approve the establishment of a distribution system improvement charge to provide for the timely recovery of the reasonable and prudent costs incurred to repair, improve or replace eligible property in order to ensure and maintain adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service.

(b)  Petition.--A petition for commission approval of a distribution system improvement charge shall include the following:

(1)  An initial tariff that complies with a model tariff adopted by the commission. The proposed tariff shall include the following:

(i)  A description of the eligible property.

(ii)  The effective date of the distribution system improvement charge.

(iii)  Computation of the distribution system improvement charge.

(iv)  The method by which the utility will provide quarterly updates of the distribution improvement charge.

(v)  A description of consumer protections.

(2)  Testimony, affidavits, exhibits or other evidence that demonstrates that a distribution improvement system charge is in the public interest and will facilitate utility compliance with the following:

(i)  The provision and maintenance of adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service consistent with section 1501 (relating to character of service and facilities).

(ii)  Commission regulations and orders relating to the provision and maintenance of adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service.

(iii)  Any other requirement under Federal or State law relating to the provision and maintenance of adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service.

(3)  A long-term infrastructure improvement plan under section 1352 (relating to long-term infrastructure improvement plan).

(4)  Certification that a base rate case has been filed within five years prior to the date of the filing of the petition under section 1308(d) (relating to voluntary changes in rates).

(5)  If a base rate case has not been filed within five years prior to the date of the filing of the petition, the utility must file a base rate case in order to be eligible for a distribution system improvement charge.

(6)  Any other information required by the commission.

66c1353v

 

Cross References.  Section 1353 is referred to in sections 1352, 1355 of this title.

66c1354s

§ 1354.  Customer notice.

Utilities shall provide notice to customers in bill inserts or through other means as prescribed by the commission of the following:

(1)  Submission of the proposed distribution system improvement charge and initial tariff.

(2)  Notice of the commission's disposition of the submission under paragraph (1).

(3)  Any changes that occur as a result of quarterly  adjustments.

(4)  Any other information required by the commission.

66c1355s

§ 1355.  Review.

Following the filing of a petition in compliance with section 1353 (relating to distribution system improvement charge), the commission shall, after notice and opportunity to be heard, approve, modify or reject the distribution system improvement charge and initial tariff. The commission shall hold evidentiary and public input hearings as necessary to review the petition.

66c1356s

§ 1356.  Asset optimization plans.

A utility with an approved distribution system charge and long-term infrastructure plan shall file annual asset optimization plans. The plan shall include the following:

(1)  A description that specifies all eligible property repaired, improved and replaced in the immediately preceding 12-month period pursuant to the utility's long-term infrastructure improvement plan and prior year's asset optimization plan.

(2)  A detailed description of all the facilities to be improved in the upcoming 12-month period.

66c1357s

§ 1357.  Computation of charge.

(a)  Recovery.--The following shall apply:

(1)  The initial distribution system improvement charge shall be calculated to recover the fixed cost of eligible property that has:

(i)  Not previously been reflected in the utility's rates or rate base.

(ii)  Been placed in service during the three-month period ending one month prior to the effective date of the distribution improvement system charge.

(2)  After calculation of the initial charge under paragraph (1), the distribution system improvement charge must be updated on a quarterly basis to reflect eligible property placed in service during the three-month period ending one month prior to the effective date of each distribution system improvement charge update.

(3)  The fixed cost of eligible property shall consist of depreciation and pretax return, except as provided for in subsection (c) for city natural gas distribution operation.

(b)  Depreciation calculation.--Depreciation shall be calculated by applying the original cost of the eligible property to the annual accrual rates employed in the utility's most recent base rate case for the plant accounts in which each retirement unit of distribution system improvement charge eligible property is recorded. The following shall apply:

(1)  The pretax return shall be calculated using the Federal and State income tax rates, the utility's actual capital structure and actual cost rates for long-term debt and preferred stock as of the last day of the three-month period ending one month prior to the effective date of the distribution system improvement charge and subsequent updates.

(2)  The cost of equity shall be the equity return rate approved in the utility's most recent fully litigated base rate proceeding for which a final order was entered not more than two years prior to the effective date of the distribution system improvement charge.

(3)  If more than two years have elapsed between the entry of a final order and the effective date of the distribution system improvement charge, the equity return rate used in the calculation shall be the equity return rate calculated by the commission in the most recent Quarterly Report on the Earnings of Jurisdictional Utilities released by the commission.

(c)  Recovery of costs.--Utilities may file tariffs establishing a sliding scale of rates or other method for the automatic adjustment of the rates of the utility to provide for recovery of the depreciation and pretax return fixed costs of eligible property, as approved by the commission, that are completed and placed in service between base rate proceedings. For city natural gas distribution operations, recoverable costs shall be amounts reasonably expended or incurred to purchase and install eligible property and associated financing costs, if any, including debt service, debt service coverage and issuance costs.

(d)  Calculation.--

(1)  The distribution system improvement charge shall be expressed as a percentage carried to two decimal places and shall be applied in a manner consistent with section 1358 (relating to customer protections) to each customer under the utility's applicable rates and charges. The charge shall not be applied to amounts billed for public fire protection service by water utilities and the State tax adjustment surcharge.

(2)  The distribution system improvement charge shall be calculated by dividing one-fourth of the annual fixed costs associated with all eligible property under the distribution system improvement charge by the projected revenue for the quarterly period during which the distribution system will be collected. The projected revenues shall not include revenues from public fire protection service earned by water utilities and the State tax adjustment surcharge.

(3)  Supporting data for each quarterly update shall be filed with the commission and served upon the commission, the Office of Consumer Advocate and the Office of Small Business Advocate at least ten days prior to the effective date of the update.

66c1357v

 

Cross References.  Section 1357 is referred to in section 1311 of this title.

66c1358s

§ 1358.  Customer protections.

(a)  Limitation.--As follows:

(1)  Except as provided under paragraph (2), the distribution system improvement charge may not exceed 5% of the amount billed to customers under the applicable rates of the wastewater utility or distribution rates of the electric distribution company, natural gas distribution company or city natural gas distribution operation. The commission may upon petition grant a waiver of the 5% limit under this paragraph for a utility in order to ensure and maintain adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service.

(2)  A distribution system improvement charge granted to a water utility under former section 1307(g) (relating to sliding scale of rates; adjustments) or this subchapter may not exceed 7.5% of the amount billed to customers. All proceedings, orders and other actions of the commission related to a distribution system improvement charge granted to a water utility and all practices and procedures of a water utility operating under a distribution system improvement charge prior to the effective date of this paragraph shall remain in effect unless specifically amended or revoked by the commission.

(b)  Charge reset.--

(1)  The distribution system improvement charge shall be reset at zero as of the effective date of new base rates that provide for prospective recovery of the annual costs previously recovered under the distribution system improvement charge.

(2)  After the reset date under paragraph (1), only the fixed costs of new eligible property that have not previously been reflected in the utility's rate base shall be reflected in the quarterly updates of the distribution system improvement charge.

(3)  The distribution system improvement charge shall be reset at zero if, in any quarter, data filed with the commission in the utility's most recent annual or quarterly earnings report show that the utility will earn a rate of return that would exceed the allowable rate of return used to calculate its fixed costs under the distribution system improvement charge.

(c)  Construction.--Except as otherwise expressly provided under this subchapter, nothing under this subchapter shall be construed as limiting the existing ratemaking authority of the commission, including the authority to permit recovery of operating expenses through an automatic adjustment clause, or as indicating that the existing authority of the commission over rate structure or design is limited.

(d)  Commission.--The commission, by regulation or order, shall prescribe the specific procedures to be followed to approve a distribution system improvement charge. A distribution system improvement charge approved by the commission shall provide:

(1)  That the distribution system improvement charge shall be applied equally to all customer classes as a percentage of each customer's billed revenue, consistently with subsection (a).

(2)  A process to adjust the charge and to provide:

(i)  Credit to customer accounts for over collections and collections for ineligible projects.

(ii)  Charges to customer accounts for under collections.

(3)  A cap on the amount that may be collected from customers under this subchapter.

(e)  Audit and reconciliation.--The following shall apply:

(1)  The distribution system improvement charge shall be subject to the following:

(i)  Audit at intervals determined by the commission.

(ii)  Annual reconciliation based on a reconciliation period consisting of the 12 months ending December 31 of each year. The commission may also permit quarterly reconciliation.

(2)  The revenue received under the distribution system improvement charge for the reconciliation period shall be compared to the utility's eligible costs for that period. The difference between revenue and costs shall be recouped or refunded, as appropriate, in accordance with section 1307(e), over a one-year period or quarterly period commencing April 1 of each year.

(3)  If revenues received from the distribution system improvement charge exceed eligible costs, the over collections shall be refunded with interest. Interest on the over collections shall be calculated at the residential mortgage lending rate specified by the Secretary of Banking in accordance with the act of January 30, 1974 (P.L.13, No.6), referred to as the Loan Interest and Protection Law, and shall be refunded in the same manner as an over collection.

(f)  Complaint.--The distribution system improvement charge shall be subject to complaint under section 701 (relating to complaints).

66c1358v

 

Cross References.  Section 1358 is referred to in section 1357 of this title.

66c1359s

§ 1359.  Projects.

(a)  Standards.--The commission shall establish standards to ensure that work on utility systems to repair, improve or replace eligible property is performed by qualified employees of either the utility or an independent contractor in a manner that protects system reliability and the safety of the public.

(b)  Inspection.--Projects for which work to repair, improve or replace eligible property is performed by independent contractors shall be subject to reliability and safety standards and to inspection by utility employees.

(c)  Cost.--Work on projects to repair, improve or replace eligible property that is not performed by qualified employees or contractors or inspected by the utility's qualified personnel shall not be eligible for recovery of a distribution system improvement charge.

66c1360s

§ 1360.  Applicability.

(a)  Acceptance.--The commission may accept a long-term infrastructure plan filed by a water utility prior to the effective date of this subsection in order to comply with section 1352 (relating to long-term infrastructure improvement plan).

(b)  Submission.--The commission may require the submission of a new long-term infrastructure plan by a water utility.

66c1401h

 

 

CHAPTER 14

RESPONSIBLE UTILITY CUSTOMER PROTECTION

 

Sec.

1401.  Scope of chapter.

1402.  Declaration of policy.

1403.  Definitions.

1404.  Cash deposits and household information requirements.

1405.  Payment arrangements.

1406.  Termination of utility service.

1407.  Reconnection of service.

1408.  Surcharges for uncollectible expenses prohibited.

1409.  Late payment charge waiver.

1410.  Complaints filed with commission.

1410.1. Public utility duties

1411.  Automatic meter readings.

1412.  Reporting of delinquent customers.

1413.  Reporting of recipients of public assistance.

1414.  Liens by city natural gas distribution operations.

1415.  Reporting to General Assembly and Governor.

1416.  Notice.

1417.  Nonapplicability.

1418.  Construction.

1419.  Expiration.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 14 was added November 30, 2004, P.L.1578, No.201, effective in 14 days.

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See sections 4, 5 and 6 of Act 201 of 2004 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability, expiration and administration and enforcement of chapter.

66c1401s

§ 1401.  Scope of chapter.

This chapter relates to protecting responsible customers of public utilities.

66c1402s

§ 1402.  Declaration of policy.

The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

(1)  Formal service rules were first adopted by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in 1978 with the stated goal of enforcing uniform, fair and equitable residential utility service standards governing eligibility criteria, credit and deposit practices, account billing, termination and restoration of service procedures and customer complaint procedures. These rules have not successfully managed the issue of bill payment. Increasing amounts of unpaid bills now threaten paying customers with higher rates due to other customers' delinquencies.

(2)  The General Assembly believes that it is now time to revisit these rules and provide protections against rate increases for timely paying customers resulting from other customers' delinquencies. The General Assembly seeks to achieve greater equity by eliminating opportunities for customers capable of paying to avoid the timely payment of public utility bills.

(3)  Through this chapter, the General Assembly seeks to provide public utilities with an equitable means to reduce their uncollectible accounts by modifying the procedures for delinquent account collections and by increasing timely collections. At the same time, the General Assembly seeks to ensure that service remains available to all customers on reasonable terms and conditions.

(4)  The General Assembly believes that it is appropriate to provide additional collection tools to city natural gas distribution operations to recognize the financial circumstances of the operations and protect their ability to provide natural gas for the benefit of the residents of the city.

66c1403s

§ 1403.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Applicant."  A natural person not currently receiving service who applies for residential service provided by a public utility or any adult occupant whose name appears on the mortgage, deed or lease of the property for which the residential utility service is requested. The term does not include a person who, within 30 days after service termination or discontinuance of service, seeks to have service reconnected at the same location or transferred to another location within the service territory of the public utility.

"Change in income."  A decrease in household income of 20% or more if the customer's household income level exceeds 200% of the Federal poverty level or a decrease in household income of 10% or more if the customer's household income level is 200% or less of the Federal poverty level.

"Creditworthiness."  An assessment of an applicant's or customer's ability to meet bill payment obligations for utility service.

"Customer."  A natural person in whose name a residential service account is listed and who is primarily responsible for payment of bills rendered for the service or any adult occupant whose name appears on the mortgage, deed or lease of the property for which the residential utility service is requested. The term includes a person who, within 30 days after service termination or discontinuance of service, seeks to have service reconnected at the same location or transferred to another location within the service territory of the public utility.

"Customer assistance program."  A plan or program sponsored by a public utility for the purpose of providing universal service and energy conservation, as defined by section 2202 (relating to definitions) or 2803 (relating to definitions), in which customers make monthly payments based on household income and household size and under which customers must comply with certain responsibilities and restrictions in order to remain eligible for the program.

"Electric distribution utility."  An entity providing facilities for the jurisdictional transmission and distribution of electricity to retail customers, except building or facility owners or operators that manage the internal distribution system serving such building or facility and that supply electric power and other related electric power services to occupants of the building or facility.

"Formal complaint."  A complaint filed before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission requesting a legal proceeding before a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission administrative law judge or a mediation under the management of a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission administrative law judge.

"Household income."  The combined gross income of all adults in a residential household who benefit from the public utility service.

"Informal complaint."  A complaint filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission by a customer that does not involve a legal proceeding before a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission administrative law judge or a mediation under the management of a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission administrative law judge.

"LIHEAP" or "Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program."  A federally funded program that provides financial assistance in the form of cash and crisis grants to low-income households for home energy bills and is administered by the Department of Public Welfare.

"Medical certificate."  A written document, in a form approved by the commission:

(1)  certifying that a customer or member of the customer's household is seriously ill or has been diagnosed with a medical condition which requires the continuation of service to treat the medical condition; and

(2)  signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant.

"Natural gas distribution service."  The delivery of natural gas to retail gas customers utilizing the jurisdictional facilities of a natural gas distribution utility.

"Natural gas distribution utility."  A city natural gas distribution operation or entity that provides natural gas distribution services and may provide natural gas supply services and other services. The term does not include either of the following:

(1)  Any public utility providing natural gas distribution services subject to the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission that has annual gas operating revenues of less than $6,000,000 per year, except where the public utility voluntarily petitions the commission to be included within this definition or where the public utility seeks to provide natural gas supply services to retail gas customers outside its service territory.

(2)  Any public utility providing natural gas distribution services subject to the jurisdiction of the commission that is not connected to an interstate gas pipeline by means of a direct connection or an indirect connection through the distribution system of another natural gas public utility or through a natural gas gathering system.

"Natural gas supply services."  The sale or arrangement of the sale of natural gas to retail gas customers and services that may be unbundled by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission under section 2203(3) (relating to standards for restructuring of natural gas utility industry). The term does not include natural gas distribution service.

"Occupant."  (Reserved).

"Payment arrangement."  An agreement whereby a customer who admits liability for billed service is permitted to amortize or pay the unpaid balance of the account in one or more payments.

"Public utility."  Any electric distribution utility, natural gas distribution utility, small natural gas distribution utility, steam heat utility, wastewater utility or water distribution utility in this Commonwealth that is within the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

"Significant change in circumstance."  Any of the following criteria when verified by the public utility and experienced by customers with household income less than 300% of the Federal poverty level:

(1)  The onset of a chronic or acute illness resulting in a significant loss in the customer's household income.

(2)  Catastrophic damage to the customer's residence resulting in a significant net cost to the customer's household.

(3)  Loss of the customer's residence.

(4)  Increase in the customer's number of dependents in the household.

"Small natural gas distribution utility."  A public utility providing natural gas distribution services subject to the jurisdiction of the commission that:

(1)  has annual gas operating revenues of less than $6,000,000 per year; or

(2)  is not connected to an interstate gas pipeline by means of a direct connection or any indirect connection through the distribution system of another natural gas public utility or through a natural gas gathering system.

"Steam heat utility."  An entity producing, generating, distributing or furnishing steam for the production of heat or to or for the public for compensation.

"Wastewater utility."  An entity owning or operating equipment or facilities for the collection, treatment or disposal of sewage to or for the public for compensation. The term includes separate companies that individually provide water or wastewater service so long as the separate companies are  wholly owned by a common parent company.

"Water distribution utility."  An entity owning or operating equipment or facilities for diverting, developing, pumping, impounding, distributing or furnishing water to or for the public for compensation.

66c1403v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 amended the defs. of "applicant," "customer," "payment agreement," and "public utility" and added the defs. of "creditworthiness," "medical certificate," "small natural gas distribution utility," "steam heat utility" and "wastewater utility."

References in Text.  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

66c1404s

§ 1404.  Cash deposits and household information requirements.

(a)  General rule.--In addition to the right to collect a deposit under any commission regulation or order, the commission shall not prohibit a public utility from requiring a cash deposit, payable during a 90-day period in accordance with commission regulations, in an amount that is equal to one-sixth of the applicant's estimated annual bill, at the time the public utility determines a deposit is required, from the following:

(1)  An applicant who previously received utility distribution services and was a customer of the public utility and whose service was terminated for any of the following reasons:

(i)  Nonpayment of an undisputed delinquent account.

(ii)  Failure to complete payment of a deposit, provide a guarantee or establish credit.

(iii)  Failure to permit access to meters, service connections or other property of the public utility for the purpose of replacement, maintenance, repair or meter reading.

(iv)  Unauthorized use of the utility service delivered on or about the affected dwelling.

(v)  Failure to comply with the material terms of a settlement or payment arrangement.

(vi)  Fraud or material misrepresentation of identity for the purpose of obtaining utility service.

(vii)  Tampering with meters, including, but not limited to, bypassing a meter or removal of an automatic meter reading device or other public utility equipment.

(viii)  Violating tariff provisions on file with the commission so as to endanger the safety of a person or the integrity of the delivery system of the public utility.

(2)  Any applicant or customer who is unable to establish creditworthiness to the satisfaction of the public utility through the use of a generally accepted credit scoring methodology, as provided in a commission-approved tariff, and which employs standards for using the methodology that fall within the range of general industry practice.

(3)  A customer who fails to comply with a material term or condition of a settlement or payment arrangement.

(a.1)  Cash deposit prohibition.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), no public utility may require a customer or applicant that is confirmed to be eligible for a customer assistance program to provide a cash deposit.

(b)  Third-party guarantor.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude an applicant from furnishing a third-party guarantor in lieu of a cash deposit. The guaranty shall be in writing and shall state the terms of the guaranty. The guarantor shall be responsible for all missed payments owed to the public utility.

(c)  Deposit hold period.--

(1)  A public utility may hold a deposit until a timely payment history is established.

(2)  A timely payment history is established when a customer has paid in full and on time for twelve consecutive months.

(3)  At the end of the deposit holding period as established in paragraph (1), the public utility shall deduct the outstanding balance from the deposit and return or credit any positive difference to the customer.

(4)  If service is terminated before the end of the deposit holding period as established in paragraph (1), the public utility shall deduct the outstanding balance from the deposit and return any positive difference to the customer within 60 days of the termination.

(5)  If a customer becomes delinquent before the end of the deposit holding period as established in paragraph (1), the public utility may deduct the outstanding balance from the deposit.

(6)  The public utility shall accrue interest on the deposit until it is returned or credited.

(i)  Interest shall be computed at the simple annual interest rate determined by the Secretary of Revenue for interest on the underpayment of tax under section 806 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as The Fiscal Code.

(ii)  The interest rate in effect when deposit is required to be paid shall remain in effect until the later of:

(A)  the date the deposit is refunded or credited; or

(B)  December 31.

(iii)  On January 1 of each year, the new interest rate for that year will apply to the deposit.

(d)  Adult occupants.--Prior to providing utility service, a public utility may require the applicant to provide the names of each adult occupant residing at the location and proof of their identity.

(e)  Failure to pay full amount of cash deposit.--A public utility shall not be required to provide service if the applicant or customer fails to pay the full amount of the cash deposit within the time period under subsection (a).

(f)  City natural gas distribution operation; additional deposit rules for city natural gas distribution operations.--Except for applicants who are subject to a deposit under subsection (a), a city natural gas distribution operation may require a deposit from the applicant as follows:

(1)  If an applicant has household income above 300% of the Federal poverty level, one-sixth of the applicant's estimated annual bill paid in full at the time the city natural gas distribution operation determines a deposit is required; or

(2)  If an applicant has household income no greater than 300% of the Federal poverty level, one-twelfth of the applicant's estimated annual bill paid in full at the time the city natural gas distribution operation determines a deposit is required. Applicants who enroll into the Customer Assistance Program made available by the city natural gas distribution operation are not subject to this paragraph.

(g)  Estimated annual bill.--When used in this section, an estimated annual bill shall be calculated on the basis of the annual bill to the dwelling at which service is being requested for the prior 12 months or, if unavailable, a similar dwelling in close proximity.

(h)  Time for paying deposits upon reconnection.--Applicants and customers required to pay a deposit upon reconnection under subsection (a)(1) shall have up to 90 days to pay the deposit in accordance with commission regulations.

66c1404v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 amended subsecs. (a) intro. par., (1)(v), (2) and (3), (c)(1) and (6), (e) and (f) and added subsec. (a.1).

66c1405s

§ 1405.  Payment arrangements.

(a)  General rule.--The commission is authorized to investigate complaints regarding payment disputes between a public utility, applicants and customers. The commission is authorized to establish payment arrangements between a public utility, customers and applicants within the limits established by this chapter.

(b)  Length of payment arrangements.--The length of time for a customer to resolve an unpaid balance on an account that is subject to a payment arrangement that is investigated by the commission and is entered into by a public utility and a customer shall not extend beyond:

(1)  Five years for customers with a gross monthly household income level not exceeding 150% of the Federal poverty level.

(2)  Three years for customers with a gross monthly household income level exceeding 150% and not more than 250% of the Federal poverty level.

(3)  One year for customers with a gross monthly household income level exceeding 250% of the Federal poverty level and not more than 300% of the Federal poverty level.

(4)  Six months for customers with a gross monthly household income level exceeding 300% of the Federal poverty level.

(c)  Customer assistance programs.--Customer assistance program rates shall be timely paid and shall not be the subject of payment arrangements negotiated or approved by the commission.

(d)  Number of payment arrangements.--Absent a change in income, the commission shall not establish or order a public utility to establish a second or subsequent payment arrangement if a customer has defaulted on a previous payment arrangement established by a commission order or decision. A public utility may, at its discretion, enter into a second or subsequent payment arrangement with a customer.

(e)  Extension of payment arrangements.--If the customer defaults on a payment arrangement established under subsections (a) and (b) as a result of a significant change in circumstance, the commission may reinstate the payment arrangement and extend the remaining term for an initial period of six months. The initial extension period may be extended for an additional six months for good cause shown.

(f)  Failure to comply with payment arrangement.--Failure of a customer to comply with the terms of a payment arrangement shall be grounds for a public utility to terminate the customer's service. Pending the outcome of a complaint filed with the commission, a customer shall be obligated to pay that portion of the bill which is not in dispute and subsequent bills which are not in dispute.

66c1405v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 amended the section heading and subsecs. (a), (b) intro. par. and (2), (c), (d), (e) and (f).

66c1406s

§ 1406.  Termination of utility service.

(a)  Authorized termination.--A public utility may notify a customer and terminate service provided to a customer after notice as provided in subsection (b) for any of the following actions by the customer:

(1)  Nonpayment of an undisputed delinquent account.

(2)  Failure to comply with the material terms of a payment arrangement.

(3)  Failure to complete payment of a deposit, provide a guarantee of payment or establish credit.

(4)  Failure to permit access to meters, service connections or other property of the public utility for the purpose of replacement, maintenance, repair or meter reading.

(b)  Notice of termination of service.--

(1)  Prior to terminating service under subsection (a), a public utility:

(i)  Shall provide written notice of the termination to the customer at least ten days prior to the date of the proposed termination. The termination notice shall remain effective for 60 days.

(ii)  Shall attempt to contact the customer or occupant to provide notice of the proposed termination at least three days prior to the scheduled termination, using one or more of the following methods:

(A)  in person;

(B)  by telephone. Phone contact shall be deemed complete upon attempted calls on two separate days to the residence between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. if the calls were made at various times each day; or

(C)  by e-mail, text message or other electronic messaging format consistent with the commission's privacy guidelines and approved by commission order.

(D)  In the case of electronic notification only, the customer must affirmatively consent to be contacted using a specific electronic messaging format for purpose of termination.

(iii)  During the months of December through March, unless personal contact has been made with the customer or responsible adult by personally visiting the customer's residence, the public utility shall, within 48 hours of the scheduled date of termination, post a notice of the proposed termination at the service location.

(iv)  After complying with paragraphs (ii) and (iii), the public utility shall attempt to make personal contact with the customer or responsible adult at the time service is terminated. Termination of service shall not be delayed for failure to make personal contact.

(2)  The public utility shall not be required by the commission to take any additional actions prior to termination.

(c)  Grounds for immediate termination.--

(1)  A public utility may immediately terminate service for any of the following actions by the customer:

(i)  Unauthorized use of the service delivered on or about the affected dwelling.

(ii)  Fraud or material misrepresentation of the customer's identity for the purpose of obtaining service.

(iii)  Tampering with meters or other public utility's equipment.

(iv)  Violating tariff provisions on file with the commission so as to endanger the safety of a person or the integrity of the public utility's delivery system.

(v)  Tendering payment for reconnection of service that is subsequently dishonored, revoked, canceled or otherwise not authorized under subsection (h) and which has not been cured or otherwise made full payment within three business days of the utility's notice to the customer, made in accordance with the notice provisions of subsection (b)(1)(ii), of the dishonored payment.

(2)  Upon termination, the public utility shall make a good faith attempt to provide a post termination notice to the customer or a responsible person at the affected premises, and, in the case of a single meter, multiunit dwelling, the public utility shall conspicuously post the notice at the dwelling, including in common areas when possible.

(d)  Timing of termination.--Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1503 (relating to discontinuance of service), a public utility may terminate service for the reasons set forth in subsection (a) from Monday through Thursday as long as the public utility can accept payment to restore service on the following day and can restore service consistent with section 1407 (relating to reconnection of service).

(e)  Winter termination.--

(1)  Unless otherwise authorized by the commission, after November 30 and before April 1, an electric distribution utility or natural gas distribution utility shall not terminate service to customers with household incomes at or below 250% of the Federal poverty level except for customers whose actions conform to subsection (c)(1). The commission shall not prohibit an electric distribution utility or natural gas distribution utility from terminating service in accordance with this section to customers with household incomes exceeding 250% of the Federal poverty level.

(2)  In addition to the winter termination authority set forth in paragraph (1), a city natural gas distribution operation may terminate service to a customer whose household income exceeds 150% of the Federal poverty level but does not exceed 250% of the Federal poverty level, and starting January 1, has not paid at least 50% of his charges for each of the prior two months unless the customer has done one of the following:

(i)  Has proven in accordance with commission rules that his household contains one or more persons who are 65 years of age or over.

(ii)  Has proven in accordance with commission rules that his household contains one or more persons 12 years of age or younger.

(iii)  Has obtained a medical certification in accordance with commission rules.

(iv)  Has paid to the city natural gas distribution operation an amount representing at least 15% of the customer's monthly household income for each of the last two months.

(3)  At the time that the notice of termination required by subsection (b)(1)(i) is provided to the customer, the city natural gas distribution operation shall provide notice to the commission. The commission shall not stay the termination of service unless the commission finds that the customer meets the criteria in paragraph (2)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv).

(f)  Medical certification.--A public utility shall not terminate service to a premises when a customer has submitted a medical certificate to the public utility. The customer shall obtain a medical certificate verifying the condition and shall promptly forward it to the public utility. The medical certification procedure shall be implemented in accordance with commission regulations.

(g)  Qualification for LIHEAP.--A notice of termination to a customer of a public utility shall be sufficient proof of a crisis for a customer with the requisite income level to receive a LIHEAP Crisis Grant from the Department of Public Welfare or its designee as soon as practicable after the date of the notice. Termination of service is not necessary to demonstrate sufficient proof of crisis.

(h)  Dishonorable tender of payment after receiving termination notice.--

(1)  After a public utility has provided a written termination notice under subsection (b)(1)(i) and attempted telephone contact as provided in subsection (b)(1)(ii), termination of service may proceed without additional notice if:

(i)  a customer tenders payment which is subsequently dishonored under 13 Pa.C.S. § 3502 (relating to dishonor);

(ii)  a customer tenders payment with an access device, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 4106(d) (relating to access device fraud), which is unauthorized, revoked or canceled; or

(iii)  a customer tenders payment electronically that is subsequently dishonored, revoked, canceled or is otherwise not authorized and which has not been cured or otherwise made full payment within three business days of the utility's notice to the customer, made in accordance with the notice provisions of subsection (b)(1)(ii), of the dishonored payment.

(2)  The public utility shall not be required by the commission to take any additional actions prior to the termination.

66c1406v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 amended subsecs. (a)(2), (b)(1)(ii), (d), (f), (g) and (h) and added subsec. (c)(1)(v).

References in Text.  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

Cross References.  Section 1406 is referred to in section 1407 of this title.

66c1407s

§ 1407.  Reconnection of service.

(a)  Fee.--A public utility may require a reconnection fee based upon the public utility's cost as approved by the commission prior to reconnection of service following lawful termination of the service.

(b)  Timing.--When service to a dwelling has been terminated and provided the applicant has met all applicable conditions, the public utility shall reconnect service as follows:

(1)  Within 24 hours for erroneous terminations or upon receipt by the public utility of a valid medical certification.

(2)  Within 24 hours for terminations occurring after November 30 and before April 1.

(3)  Within three days for erroneous terminations requiring street or sidewalk digging.

(4)  Within three days from April 1 to November 30 for proper terminations.

(5)  Within seven days for proper terminations requiring street or sidewalk digging.

(c)  Payment to restore service.--

(1)  A public utility shall provide for and inform the applicant or customer of a location where the customer can make payment to restore service.

(2)  A public utility may require:

(i)  Full payment of any outstanding balance incurred together with any reconnection fees by the customer or applicant prior to reconnection of service if the customer or applicant has an income exceeding 300% of the Federal poverty level or has defaulted on two or more payment arrangements. If a customer or applicant with household income exceeding 300% of the Federal poverty level experiences a life event, the customer shall be permitted a period of not more than three months to pay the outstanding balance required for reconnection. For purposes of this subparagraph, a life event is:

(A)  A job loss that extended beyond nine months.

(B)  A serious illness that extended beyond nine months.

(C)  Death of the primary wage earner.

(ii)  Full payment of any reconnection fees together with repayment over 12 months of any outstanding balance incurred by the customer or applicant if the customer or applicant has an income exceeding 150% of the Federal poverty level but not greater than 300% of the Federal poverty level.

(iii)  Full payment of any reconnection fees together with payment over 24 months of any outstanding balance incurred by the customer or applicant if the customer or applicant has an income not exceeding 150% of the Federal poverty level. A customer or applicant of a city natural gas distribution operation whose household income does not exceed 135% of the Federal poverty level shall be reinstated pursuant to this subsection only if the customer or applicant enrolls in the customer assistance program of the city natural gas distribution operation except that this requirement shall not apply if the financial benefits to such customer or applicant are greater if served outside of that assistance program.

(3)  Payment tendered by a customer to reconnect service that is subsequently dishonored, revoked, canceled or is otherwise not authorized under section 1406(h)(1) (relating to termination of utility service) and which has not been cured or otherwise made full payment within three business days of the utility's notice to the customer, made in accordance with the notice provisions of section 1406(b)(1)(ii), of the dishonored payment is grounds for immediate termination under section 1406(c). A public utility may require a customer or applicant to cure a dishonored payment, as provided for in section 1406(h), as a condition of entering into a payment agreement with the customer or applicant for a remaining account balance.

(d)  Payment of outstanding balance at premises.--A public utility may also require the payment of any outstanding balance or portion of an outstanding balance if the applicant resided at the property for which service is requested during the time the outstanding balance accrued and for the time the applicant resided there.

(e)  Approval.--A public utility may establish that an applicant previously resided at a property for which residential service is requested through the use of mortgage, deed or lease information, a commercially available consumer credit reporting service or other methods approved as valid by the commission.

66c1407v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 amended subsec. (c)(2)(i) and added subsec. (c)(3).

Cross References.  Section 1407 is referred to in section 1406 of this title.

66c1408s

§ 1408.  Surcharges for uncollectible expenses prohibited.

The commission shall not grant or order for any public utility a cash receipts reconciliation clause or another automatic surcharge mechanism for uncollectible expenses. Any orders by the commission entered after the effective date of this chapter for a cash receipts reconciliation clause or other automatic surcharge for uncollectible expenses shall be null and void. This section shall not affect any clause associated with universal service and energy conservation.

66c1409s

§ 1409.  Late payment charge waiver.

A public utility shall waive late payment charges on any customer accounts if the charges were improperly assessed. The commission may order a waiver of any late payment charges levied by a public utility as a result of a delinquent account for customers with a gross monthly household income not exceeding 150% of the Federal poverty level.

66c1409v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

66c1410s

§ 1410.  Complaints filed with commission.

The following apply:

(1)  The commission shall accept formal and informal  complaints only from customers or applicants who affirm that they have first contacted the public utility for the purpose of resolving the problem about which the customer wishes to file a complaint. If the customer has not contacted the public utility, the commission shall direct the customer to the public utility.

(2)  Pending the outcome of a formal or informal  complaint filed with the commission, the customer shall be obligated to pay that portion of the bill which is not in dispute and subsequent bills which are not in dispute.

(3)  For a formal complaint filing to be valid, the customer or applicant must provide a statement attesting to the truth as to the facts alleged in the complaint. All testimony in formal complaint proceedings must be under oath.

66c1410v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 1410 is referred to in section 1410.1 of this title.

66c1410.1s

§ 1410.1.  Public utility duties.

When a customer or applicant contacts a public utility to make a payment agreement as required by section 1410 (relating to complaints filed with commission), the public utility shall:

(1)  Provide information about the public utility's universal service programs, including a customer assistance program.

(2)  Refer the customer or applicant to the universal service program administrator of the public utility to determine eligibility for a program and to apply for enrollment in a program.

(3)  Have an affirmative responsibility to attempt to collect payment on an overdue account. The utility shall report to the commission annually residential customer accounts which have accumulated $10,000 or more in arrearages and shall demonstrate what efforts are being taken to collect the arrearages. Failure to make reasonable attempts to collect payments on overdue accounts with arrearages in excess of $10,000 may result in civil fines or other appropriate sanctions by the commission.

(4)  Report to the commission on an annual basis the number of medical certificates and renewals submitted and accepted in the service territory.

66c1410.1v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 added section 1410.1.

66c1411s

§ 1411.  Automatic meter readings.

All readings by an automatic meter reader device shall be deemed actual readings for the purposes of this title. Upon a customer request, the public utility shall secure an in-person meter reading to confirm the accuracy of an automatic meter reading device when a customer disconnects service or a new service request is received. A public utility may charge a fee, as provided in a commission-approved tariff.

66c1411v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

66c1412s

§ 1412.  Reporting of delinquent customers.

A city natural gas distribution operation shall report to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority established pursuant to the act of June 5, 1991 (P.L.9, No.6), known as the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Act for Cities of the First Class, an assisted city or corporate entity of an assisted city, as those terms are defined in the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority Act, that has not paid in full for charges for service by the due dates stated on the bill or otherwise agreed upon.

66c1413s

§ 1413.  Reporting of recipients of public assistance.

The Department of Public Welfare shall annually provide a city natural gas distribution operation with the listing of recipients of public assistance in a city of the first class. A city natural gas distribution operation shall not use the listing for anything but qualification and continued eligibility for a customer assistance program or LIHEAP.

66c1413v

 

References in Text.  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

66c1414s

§ 1414.  Liens by city natural gas distribution operations.

(a)  General rule.--A city natural gas distribution operation furnishing gas service to a property is entitled to impose or assess a municipal claim against the property and file as liens of record claims for unpaid natural gas distribution service and other related costs, including natural gas supply, in the court of common pleas of the county in which the property is situated or, if the claim for the unpaid natural gas distribution service does not exceed the maximum amount over which the Municipal Court of Philadelphia has jurisdiction, in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia, pursuant to sections 3 and 9 of the act of May 16, 1923 (P.L.207, No.153), referred to as the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law, and Chapter 22 (relating to natural gas competition).

(b)  Residential field visit charge.--A city natural gas distribution operation is authorized to charge a minimum fee of $10 for each instance in which its representative is required to visit the residence of a customer in the process of attempting to complete required service termination steps.

(c)  Refusal of service.--The commission shall permit a city natural gas distribution operation to refuse to provide service to an applicant if the applicant has a pending lien or civil judgment by the city natural gas distribution operation outstanding against the applicant or against property owned in whole or in part by the applicant unless the applicant enters into a payment arrangement for the payment of the amount associated with the lien or judgment that remains outstanding at the time of the application.

66c1415s

§ 1415.  Reporting to General Assembly and Governor.

No later than five years following the effective date of this chapter and every five years thereafter, the commission shall submit a report to the Governor, the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate reviewing the implementation of the provisions of this chapter. The report shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)  The degree to which the chapter's requirements have been successfully implemented.

(2)  The effect upon the cash working capital or cash flow, uncollectible levels and collections of the affected public utilities.

(3)  The level of access to utility services by residential customers, including low-income customers.

(4)  The effect upon the level of consumer complaints and mediations filed with and adjudicated by the commission.

Public utilities affected by this chapter shall provide data required by the commission to complete this report. In its recommendations, the commission may also propose any legislative or other changes which it deems appropriate to the Governor and the General Assembly.

66c1415v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 amended the intro. par.

66c1416s

§ 1416.  Notice.

Within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter, public utilities affected by this chapter shall provide notice to the customers explaining the changes to be implemented.

66c1417s

§ 1417.  Nonapplicability.

This chapter shall not apply to victims under a protection from abuse order as provided by 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to protection from abuse) or a court order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in this Commonwealth, which provides clear evidence of domestic violence against the applicant or customer.

66c1417v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

66c1418s

§ 1418.  Construction.

Nothing in this chapter shall affect any rights or procedure under the act of November 26, 1978 (P.L.1255, No.299), known as the Utility Service Tenants Rights Act, or the provisions of Subchapter B of Chapter 15 (relating to discontinuance of service to leased premises).

66c1418v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

66c1419s

§ 1419.  Expiration.

This chapter shall expire December 31, 2024.

66c1419v

(Oct. 22, 2014, P.L.2545, No.155, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 155 added section 1419.

66c1501h

 

 

CHAPTER 15

SERVICE AND FACILITIES

 

Subchapter

A.  General Provisions

B.  Discontinuance of Service to Leased Premises

 

Enactment.  Chapter 15 was added July 1, 1978, P.L.598, No.116, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Chapter 15 is referred to in section 2603 of this title.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Sec.

1501.  Character of service and facilities.

1501.1. Certain utilities prohibited from using foreign coal.

1502.  Discrimination in service.

1503.  Discontinuance of service.

1504.  Standards of service and facilities.

1505.  Proper service and facilities established on complaint; authority to order conservation and load management programs.

1506.  Copies of service contracts, etc., to be filed with commission.

1507.  Testing of appliances for measurement of service.

1508.  Reports of accidents.

1509.  Billing procedures.

1510.  Ownership and maintenance of natural and artificial gas service lines.

1511.  Electricity supplied to certain organizations.

 

Subchapter Heading.  The heading of Subchapter A was added November 26, 1978, P.L.1245, No.297, effective in 60 days.

66c1501s

§ 1501.  Character of service and facilities.

Every public utility shall furnish and maintain adequate, efficient, safe, and reasonable service and facilities, and shall make all such repairs, changes, alterations, substitutions, extensions, and improvements in or to such service and facilities as shall be necessary or proper for the accommodation, convenience, and safety of its patrons, employees, and the public. Such service also shall be reasonably continuous and without unreasonable interruptions or delay. Such service and facilities shall be in conformity with the regulations and orders of the commission. Subject to the provisions of this part and the regulations or orders of the commission, every public utility may have reasonable rules and regulations governing the conditions under which it shall be required to render service. Any public utility service being furnished or rendered by a municipal corporation beyond its corporate limits shall be subject to regulation and control by the commission as to service and extensions, with the same force and in like manner as if such service were rendered by a public utility. The commission shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to promulgate rules and regulations for the allocation of natural or artificial gas supply by a public utility.

66c1501v

 

Cross References.  Section 1501 is referred to in sections 102, 1353, 2205, 2207, 2807, 3205 of this title.

66c1501.1s

§ 1501.1.  Certain utilities prohibited from using foreign coal.

(a)  General rule.--No public utility which provides electricity or heat to a State-owned facility shall use coal mined in a foreign country for the purpose of generating electricity or providing heat.

(b)  Definition.--As used in this section the phrase "State-owned facility" means a building owned by the Commonwealth or any agency or authority of the Commonwealth.

66c1501.1v

(Dec. 20, 1985, P.L.363, No.103, eff. 60 days)

 

1985 Amendment.  Act 103 added section 1501.1.

66c1502s

§ 1502.  Discrimination in service.

No public utility shall, as to service, make or grant any unreasonable preference or advantage to any person, corporation, or municipal corporation, or subject any person, corporation, or municipal corporation to any unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage. No public utility shall establish or maintain any unreasonable difference as to service, either as between localities or as between classes of service, but this section does not prohibit the establishment of reasonable classifications of service.

66c1503s

§ 1503.  Discontinuance of service.

(a)  Days discontinuance prohibited.--Except when required to prevent or alleviate an emergency as defined by the commission, except in the case of danger to life or property, no public utility, as defined in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (v) or (vii) of the definition of "public utility" in section 102 (relating to definitions), shall discontinue, and the commission shall not authorize such a public utility to discontinue, except upon request of the customer, for nonpayment of charges or for any other reason, the rendering of service during the following periods:

(1)  On Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

(2)  On a bank holiday or on the day preceding a bank holiday.

(3)  On a holiday observed by the public utility or on the day preceding such holiday. A holiday observed by a public utility shall mean any day on which the business office of the public utility is closed to observe a legal holiday, to attend public utility meetings or functions or for any other reason.

(4)  On a holiday observed by the commission or on the day preceding such holiday.

(b)  Personal contact before service discontinued.--Except when required to prevent or alleviate an emergency as defined by the commission or except in the case of danger to life or property, no public utility referred to in subsection (a) shall discontinue, and the commission shall not authorize such a public utility to discontinue, except upon request of a customer, for nonpayment of charges or for any other reason, the rendering of service without personally contacting the customer at least three days prior to such discontinuance, in addition to any written notice of discontinuance of service. Personal contact shall mean:

(1)  contacting the customer by means other than writing; or

(2)  contacting another person whom the customer has designated to receive a copy of any notice of disconnection; or

(3)  if the customer has not made such designation, contacting a community interest group or other entity, including local police departments, which have previously agreed to receive a copy of the notice of disconnection and to attempt to contact the customer; or

(4)  if the customer has not made such designation and no such community interest group or other entity has previously agreed to receive a copy of the notice of disconnection, contacting the commission or such other local government unit as the commission shall, by rule or regulation, designate.

66c1503v

 

Cross References.  Section 1503 is referred to in section 1406 of this title.

66c1504s

§ 1504.  Standards of service and facilities.

The commission may, after reasonable notice and hearing, upon its own motion or upon complaint:

(1)  Prescribe as to service and facilities, including the crossing of facilities, just and reasonable standards, classifications, regulations and practices to be furnished, imposed, observed and followed by any or all public utilities.

(2)  Prescribe adequate and reasonable standards for the measurement of quantity, quality, pressure, initial voltage or other condition pertaining to the supply of the service of any and all public utilities.

(3)  Prescribe reasonable regulations for the examination and testing of such service, and for the measurement thereof.

(4)  Prescribe or approve reasonable rules, regulations, specifications and standards to secure the accuracy of all meters and appliances for measurement.

(5)  Provide for the examination and testing of any and all appliances used for the measurement of any service of any public utility.

66c1505s

§ 1505.  Proper service and facilities established on complaint; authority to order conservation and load management programs.

(a)  General rule.--Whenever the commission, after reasonable notice and hearing, upon its own motion or upon complaint, finds that the service or facilities of any public utility are unreasonable, unsafe, inadequate, insufficient, or unreasonably discriminatory, or otherwise in violation of this part, the commission shall determine and prescribe, by regulation or order, the reasonable, safe, adequate, sufficient, service or facilities to be observed, furnished, enforced, or employed, including all such repairs, changes, alterations, extensions, substitutions, or improvements in facilities as shall be reasonably necessary and proper for the safety, accommodation, and convenience of the public.

(b)  Authority to order conservation and load management.--In determining or prescribing safe, adequate and sufficient services and facilities of a public utility, the commission may order the utility to establish a conservation or load management program that the commission determines to be prudent and cost-effective.

66c1505v

(July 10, 1986, P.L.1238, No.114, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 1505 is referred to in section 102 of this title.

66c1506s

§ 1506.  Copies of service contracts, etc., to be filed with commission.

Any public utility shall, when required by the commission, file with the commission verified copies of any and all contracts, writings, agreements, leases, arrangements, or other engagements, in relation to its public service, entered into by such public utility with any person, corporation, State Government, or the Federal Government, or any branch or subdivision thereof, or any other public utility.

66c1507s

§ 1507.  Testing of appliances for measurement of service.

Every public utility, furnishing service upon meter or other similar measurement, shall provide, and keep in and upon the premises of such public utility, suitable and proper apparatus, to be approved from time to time and stamped or marked by the commission, for testing and proving the accuracy of meters furnished by such public utility for use; and by which apparatus every meter may be tested, upon the written request of the consumer to whom the same shall be furnished, and in the presence of the consumer, if he shall so desire. If the meter so tested shall be found to be accurate, within such commercially reasonable limits as the commission may fix for such meters, a reasonable fee, to be fixed by the commission, sufficient to cover the cost of such test, shall be paid by the consumer requiring such test; but, if not so found, then the cost thereof shall be borne by the public utility furnishing the meter.

66c1508s

§ 1508.  Reports of accidents.

Every public utility shall give immediate notice to the commission of the happening of any accident in or about, or in connection with, the operation of its service and facilities, wherein any person shall have been killed or injured, and furnish such full and detailed report of such accident, within such time and in such manner as the commission shall require. Such report shall not be open for public inspection, except by order of the commission, and shall not be admitted in evidence for any purpose in any suit or action for damages growing out of any matter or thing mentioned in such report.

66c1508v

 

Cross References.  Section 1508 is referred to in section 102 of this title.

66c1509s

§ 1509.  Billing procedures.

All bills rendered by a public utility as defined in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (vi) or (vii) of the definition of "public utility" in section 102 (relating to definitions) to its service customers, except bills for installation charges, shall allow at least 15 days for nonresidential customers and 20 days for residential customers from the date of transmittal of the bill for payment without incurring any late payment penalty charges therefor. All customers shall be permitted to receive bills monthly and shall be notified of their right thereto. All bills shall be itemized to separately show amounts for basic service, Federal excise taxes, applicable State sales and gross receipts taxes, to the extent practicable, fuel adjustment charge, if any, State tax adjustment charge or such other similar components of the total bill as the commission may order. Any electric or gas public utility billing customers on a bimonthly or quarterly basis and rendering interim statements or bills each month shall include in such interim statement or bill an amount for the fuel adjustment charge based upon one-half of the total expected bimonthly kilowatt hour or cubic foot billing or one-third of the total expected quarterly billing and using the fuel adjustment charge rate applicable in the month of the interim statement or bill. At the time of preparing the bimonthly or quarterly bill, an appropriate adjustment shall be made in the total fuel adjustment charge billing for the period. Any public utility rendering bills on a bimonthly basis or quarterly basis shall calculate the fuel adjustment charge per kilowatt hour or cubic foot for the entire period as the weighted average of the two monthly rates or the three monthly rates whichever is applicable.

66c1509v

 

1994 Partial Repeal.  Section 42(e) of Act 48 of 1994 provided that section 1509 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with Act 48.

Cross References.  Section 1509 is referred to in section 2205 of this title.

66c1510s

§ 1510.  Ownership and maintenance of natural and artificial gas service lines.

When connecting the premises of the customer with the gas utility distribution mains, the public utility shall furnish, install and maintain the service line or connection according to the rules and regulations of the filed tariff. A public utility shall not be authorized or required to acquire or assume ownership of any customer's service line. A public utility shall not be authorized or required to acquire or assume ownership of any pipe or appurtenances installed after the effective date of this section between its main and the meter unless the utility would have been authorized or required to do so according to the rules and regulations of its filed tariff if the pipe or appurtenances had been installed on or before the effective date of this section. Maintenance of service lines shall be the responsibility of the owner of the service line.

66c1510v

(Mar. 7, 1984, P.L.104, No.22, eff. 60 days)

 

1984 Amendment.  Act 22 added section 1510.

66c1511s

§ 1511.  Electricity supplied to certain organizations.

Any public utility company supplying electric service shall, upon application, permit a volunteer fire company, a nonprofit rescue squad or ambulance service or a nonprofit senior citizen center to elect to have its electric service rendered pursuant to a rate schedule which provides equivalent charges for such service as residential rates upon execution of a contract for a minimum term of one year.

66c1511v

(Dec. 20, 1985, P.L.363, No.103, eff. 60 days; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1556, No.203, eff. 60 days)

66c1521h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE TO LEASED PREMISES

 

Sec.

1521.  Definitions.

1522.  Applicability of subchapter.

1523.  Notices before service to landlord terminated.

1524.  Request to landlord to identify tenants.

1525.  Delivery and contents of termination notice to landlord.

1526.  Delivery and contents of first termination notice to tenants.

1527.  Right of tenants to continued service.

1528.  Delivery and contents of subsequent termination notice to tenants.

1529.  Right of tenant to recover payments.

1529.1. Duty of owners of rental property.

1530.  Waiver of subchapter prohibited.

1531.  Retaliation by landlord prohibited.

1532.  Penalties.

1533.  Petition to appoint receiver.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter B was added November 26, 1978, No.297, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in sections 1418, 2206 of this title.

66c1521s

§ 1521.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Billing month."  A period of time not to exceed 35 days. The bill shall not include any previously billed service furnished during a period other than that covered by the current bill. If previously unbilled utility service is included in the current utility bill, the utility shall use an estimated bill for the 30-day period.

"Discontinuance."  Any cancellation of the service contract at the request of the ratepayer and in accordance with section 1523(b) (relating to notices before service to landlord terminated).

"Landlord ratepayer."  One or more individuals or an organization listed on a gas, electric, steam, sewage or water utility's records as the party responsible for payment of the gas, electric, steam, sewage or water service provided to one or more residential units of a residential building or mobile home park of which building or mobile home park the party is not the sole occupant. In the event the landlord ratepayer is not the party to a lease between the landlord ratepayer and the tenant, the term also includes the individual or organization to whom the tenant makes rental payments pursuant to a rental arrangement.

"Mobile home."  A transportable, single-family dwelling unit intended for permanent occupancy and constructed as a single unit, or as two or more units designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations and constructed so that it may be used without a permanent foundation.

"Mobile home park."  Any site, lot, field or tract of land, privately or publicly owned or operated, upon which three or more mobile homes, occupied for dwelling or sleeping purposes, are or are intended to be located.

"Residential building."  A building containing one or more dwelling units occupied by one or more tenants. The term does not include nursing homes, hotels and motels or any dwelling of which the landlord ratepayer is the only resident.

"Tenant."  Any person or group of persons who are contractually obligated to make rental payments to the landlord ratepayer pursuant to a rental arrangement, including, but not limited to, an oral or written lease with the landlord ratepayer for a dwelling unit in a residential building or mobile home park which is provided gas, electric, steam, sewer or water as an included service under the rental agreement and who are not the ratepayers of the utility which supplied the gas, electric, steam, sewer or water service.

"Termination."  The cessation of service, whether temporary or permanent, without the consent of the ratepayer. For the purposes of this subchapter, this term shall include cessation of service at the request of the landlord ratepayer when a tenant does not agree to the cessation of service.

66c1521v

(July 2, 1993, P.L.379, No.54, eff. 60 days)

 

1993 Amendment.  Act 54 amended the defs. of "landlord ratepayer," "residential building" and "tenant" and added the defs. of "billing month," "discontinuance" and "termination."

Cross References.  Section 1521 is referred to in section 1522 of this title.

66c1522s

§ 1522.  Applicability of subchapter.

(a)  General rule.--This subchapter applies to public utilities as defined in paragraph (1)(i) and (ii) of the definition of "public utility" in section 102 (relating to definitions) and to public utility service rendered by those public utilities if the premises served constitute residential buildings as defined in section 1521 (relating to definitions).

(b)  Municipal service beyond corporate limits.--

(1)  Public utility service being furnished or rendered by a municipal corporation, or by the operating agencies of any municipal corporation, beyond its corporate limits shall be subject to the provisions of this subchapter establishing the procedures, rights, duties and remedies for the termination of service to landlord ratepayers.

(2)  Tenants and landlord ratepayers of a dwelling unit in residential buildings or mobile home parks receiving public utility service being furnished or rendered by a municipal corporation, or by the operating agencies of any municipal corporation, beyond its corporate limits shall be subject to the provisions of this subchapter establishing the procedures, rights, duties and remedies for the termination of service, the right of the tenants to withhold rent, the prohibition of waiver and the prohibition against retaliation by the landlord ratepayer with respect to the public utility service.

66c1522v

(July 2, 1993, P.L.379, No.54, eff. 60 days)

66c1523s

§ 1523.  Notices before service to landlord terminated.

(a)  Nonpayment of charges.--Except when required to prevent or alleviate an emergency as defined by the commission or except in the case of danger to life or property, before any termination of service to a landlord ratepayer for nonaccess as defined by the commission in its rules and regulations or nonpayment of charges, a public utility shall:

(1)  Notify the landlord ratepayer of the proposed termination in writing as prescribed in section 1525 (relating to delivery and contents of termination notice to landlord) at least 37 days before the date of termination of service.

(2)  Notify the following agencies which serve the community in which the affected premises are located in writing not less than ten days before the proposed termination of service:

(i)  The Department of Licenses and Inspections of any city of the first class.

(ii)  The Department of Public Safety of any city of the second class, second class A or third class.

(iii)  The city or county Public Health Department or, in the event that such a department does not exist, the Department of Health office responsible for that county.

(3)  Notify each dwelling unit reasonably likely to be occupied by an affected tenant of the proposed termination in writing as prescribed in section 1526 (relating to delivery and contents of first termination notice to tenants) at least seven days after notice to the landlord ratepayer pursuant to this section and at least 30 days before the termination of service. If within seven days of delivery or mailing of the notice to the landlord issued pursuant to this section the landlord ratepayer files a complaint with the commission disputing the right of the utility to terminate service, the notice shall not be rendered until the complaint has been adjudicated by the commission, but the landlord ratepayer shall continue to pay the undisputed portion of current bills when due pending the final decision of the complaint.

(b)  Voluntary relinquishment of service.--Before any discontinuance of service by a public utility to a landlord ratepayer due to a request for voluntary relinquishment of service by the landlord ratepayer:

(1)  the landlord ratepayer shall state in a form bearing his notarized signature that all of the affected dwelling units are either unoccupied or the tenants affected by the proposed discontinuance have consented in writing to the proposed discontinuance, which form shall conspicuously bear a notice that the information provided by the landlord ratepayer will be relied upon by the commission in administering a system of uniform service standards for public utilities, and that false statements are punishable criminally;

(2)  all of the tenants affected by the proposed discontinuance shall inform the utility orally or in writing of their consent to the discontinuance; or

(3)  the landlord ratepayer shall provide the utility with the names and addresses of the affected tenants pursuant to section 1524 (relating to request to landlord to identify tenants) and the utility shall notify the community service agencies and each dwelling unit pursuant to this section and section 1526.

(c)  Rights of tenants.--Under the voluntary relinquishment discontinuance procedures of subsection (b)(3) the tenants shall have all of the rights provided in section 1527 (relating to right of tenants to continued service) through section 1531 (relating to retaliation by landlord prohibited).

66c1523v

(July 2, 1993, P.L.379, No.54, eff. 60 days)

 

1993 Amendment.  Act 54 amended the section heading and subsec. (a).

Cross References.  Section 1523 is referred to in sections 1521, 1524, 1525, 1526, 1527 of this title.

66c1524s

§ 1524.  Request to landlord to identify tenants.

(a)  Duty of public utility and landlord.--At least 37 days before the termination of service, it is the duty of any public utility to request from the landlord ratepayer the names and addresses of the affected tenants. Upon receiving such a request for the names and addresses of the affected tenants pursuant to this subchapter, the landlord ratepayer shall provide the utility with the names and addresses of every affected tenant of any residential building or mobile home park for which the utility is proposing to terminate service unless within seven days of delivery or mailing of the notice the landlord ratepayer pays the amount due the utility or makes an arrangement with the utility to pay the balance.

(b)  Time for providing information.--The information shall be provided by the landlord ratepayer:

(1)  within seven days of receipt of a request from a public utility for tenants' names under subsection (a);

(2)  within seven days of delivery or mailing of the notice to the landlord ratepayer required by section 1523 (relating to notices before service to landlord terminated);

(3)  within three days of any adjudication by the commission that the landlord ratepayer must provide the requested information if the landlord files a complaint with the commission within seven days of receipt of the notice to the landlord disputing the right of the utility to terminate service; or

(4)  upon such terms as may be ordered by a court in an action brought by the utility under section 1532(b) (relating to penalties).

(c)  Right of public utility.--In the event the public utility is unable to obtain the names and addresses of all affected tenants from the landlord ratepayer, the public utility may pursue any appropriate legal or equitable remedy it has in order to obtain from the landlord ratepayer the names and addresses of all affected tenants of a residential building or mobile home park for which the utility is proposing termination of service to the landlord ratepayer. The commission may order the public utility to obtain the information from the landlord ratepayer.

66c1524v

(July 2, 1993, P.L.379, No.54, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 1524 is referred to in sections 1523, 1525, 1526, 1528, 1532 of this title.

66c1525s

§ 1525.  Delivery and contents of termination notice to landlord.

(a)  General rule.--The notice required to be given to a landlord ratepayer pursuant to section 1523 (relating to notices before service to landlord terminated) shall contain the following information:

(1)  The amount owed the utility by the landlord ratepayer for each affected account.

(2)  The date on or after which service will be terminated.

(3)  The date on or after which the company will notify tenants of the proposed termination of service and of their rights under sections 1527 (relating to right of tenants to continued service), 1529 (relating to right of tenant to recover payments) and 1531 (relating to retaliation by landlord prohibited).

(4)  The obligation of the landlord ratepayer under section 1524 (relating to request to landlord to identify tenants) to provide the utility with the names and addresses of every affected tenant or to pay the amount due the utility or make an arrangement with the utility to pay the balance including a statement:

(i)  That the list must be provided or payment or arrangement must be made within seven days of receipt of the notice.

(ii)  Of the penalties and liability which the landlord ratepayer may incur under section 1532 (relating to penalties) by failure to comply.

(5)  The right of the landlord ratepayer to stay the notification of tenants by filing a complaint with the commission disputing the right of the utility to terminate service.

(b)  Service of notice.--Any one of the following procedures shall constitute effective notice to the landlord under section 1523:

(1)  Notice by certified mail if the utility receives a return receipt signed by the landlord ratepayer or the agent of the landlord ratepayer.

(2)  Notice by personal service of the landlord ratepayer or the agent of the landlord ratepayer on one business day and conspicuously posting at the landlord ratepayer's principal place of business or the business address which the landlord provided the utility as his address for receiving communications.

(3)  Notice by first class mail to the landlord ratepayer only after an unsuccessful attempt at personal service on one business day. Notice by first class mail may occur on the same business day as the attempt at personal service.

(4)  If the landlord ratepayer's place of business is located outside of this Commonwealth and no agent of the landlord ratepayer is located in the State, notice by certified mail and notice by first class mail to the landlord ratepayer