CHAPTER 735

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 122, SUBCHAPTER 11, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 26, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO JURISDICTION OF PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OVER MUNICIPALLY OWNED PUBLIC UTILITIES, BY AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION TO SUPERVISE OR REGULATE RATES AND CHARGES FOR WATER AND ELECTRICITY SUPPLIED NONRESIDENTS.

WHEREAS, many county residents obtain water and electricity from nearby municipalities; and

WHEREAS, certain municipally owned companies are permitted to sell water and electricity to county residents unregulated by statute; and

WHEREAS, unregulated municipally owned water and electric companies are now permitted to unilaterally impose charges for water and electricity; and

WHEREAS, county residents have no recourse or protection against the unfettered authority of municipally owned water and electric companies to charge unreasonable water and electric rates; and

WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission is authorized to supervise and regulate public utilities except for those which are owned by a municipality; and

WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission's authority is designed to protect the public against the unreasonable imposition of utility charges; and

WHEREAS, no substantial reason exists to maintain the exception of municipally owned utilities from the supervision or regulation of the Public Service Commission.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend §122, Subchapter II, Chapter 1, Title 26, Delaware Code, to read as follows:

The Commission shall have no supervision or regulation over any public utility or over the property, property rights, equipment, facilities or franchises of any public utility that is municipally owned, except that in the case where a municipally owned public utility supplies water or electricity to non-residents outside the boundaries of the municipality the rates and charges imposed on non-resident users of municipally owned water and electricity, as well as the service and the service territory of same, shall be subject to the supervision and regulation of the Commission, if the rates exceed 150% of the published rates for residents inside the municipal boundaries.

Approved July 22, 1970.