CHAPTER 431

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 7

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 303, CHAPTER 397, VOLUME 59, LAWS OF DELAWARE TO REQUIRE PUBLIC HEARINGS ON APPLICATIONS TO CHANGE THE FUEL ADJUSTMENT RATE.

WHEREAS, customers of the Delmarva Power and Light Company have been shocked at the large increase in their electric bills caused by application of the special Fuel Adjustment Clause; and

WHEREAS, the Fuel Adjustment Clause has been applied by the said utility with only pro forma approval by the Public Service Commission, without benefit of the adversary proceedings normally required for rate changes; and

WHEREAS, such hearings are necessary so that the public may know of impending changes in the utility rates and may offer evidence.

NOW, THEREFORE:

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

Section 1. Amend Section 303 of Chapter 397,

Volume 59, Laws of Delaware by designating all of the existing paragraph as paragraph (a) and adding thereto a new paragraph to be designated as paragraph (b) and to read as follows:

"(b) The Public Service Commission shall require all utilities operating within its jurisdiction to produce evidence at a public hearing of the need for a change in the fuel ad-

justment as a part of the rate-making procedure. Notice of such hearing shall be advertised in at least one newspaper in each of the three counties. As in other applications before the Public Service Commission the burden of proof that the fuel adjustment change is required shall upon the utility. No change in the fuel adjustment shall be authorized by the commission except by affirmative vote of the majority of all members appointed to the said commission. The commission shall consider the evidence for and against the proposed change as it would all evidence in any other rate-making procedure."

Section 2. This act shall become effective 30 days

after it has been signed by the Governor.

Approved May 28, 1976