SENATE BILL NO. 423
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 22 AND TITLE 26, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND PUBLIC UTILITIES; AND PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SERVICE TERRITORIES FOR PUBLIC UTILITIES PROVIDING RETAIL ELECTRIC SERVICE.
WHEREAS, the General Assembly finds and declares that it is in the public interest to provide for the establishment of service territories within the State of Delaware for all public utilities which provide retail electric service so as to avoid duplication of facilities by such utilities; to preserve and enhance the State's physical environment; to minimize inconvenience, diminished efficiency and higher cost in serving retail customers; and that in the interest of public convenience and necessity, the State should be divided into territories within which such public utilities shall be obligated and allowed to provide service; and that the Delaware Public Service Commission be specifically empowered and directed to administer the division of such territories.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Chapter 13, Title 22, Delaware Code by striking §1309 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"Except as otherwise provided in Sections 201, 203A and 203B of Subchapter II of Title 26, the Delaware Public Service Commission shall have no supervision or regulation over any municipal electric company formed pursuant to this chapter or over the budget, operations, rates, property, property rights, equipment, facilities or franchises of any municipal electric company formed under this chapter."
Section 2. Amend Subchapter I, Section 114, Title 26, Delaware Code by
adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
"(c) In connection with any Commission proceedings under §§203A and 203B the Commission shall charge the public utilities involved therein, including any electric utility that is municipally owned or a municipal electric company formed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 22, the expenses of the Commission and its employees related to such proceedings as is reasonably attributable thereto prorated among such public utilities upon the basis of their gross intrastate electric revenues for the last preceding calendar year."
Section 3. Amend Subchapter II, Section 202, Title 26, Delaware Code by deleting subsection (a) and inserting in place thereof the following:
"(a) Except insofar as may be necessary to implement Sections 203A and 203B regarding the establishment and administration of retail electric service territories the Commission shall have no supervision or regulation over any public utility, or over the rates, property, property rights, equipment, facilities or franchises of any public utility that is municipally owned or any municipal electric company formed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 22."
Section 4. Amend Subchapter II, Section 203B, Title 26, Delaware Code by replacing subsections (a) and (b) with the following:
"(a) Subject to the provisions of §202 of this title, the Commission shall, upon notice and after hearing, establish boundaries throughout the State within which public utilities providing retail electric service shall have the obligation and authority to provide retail electric service. All certificates of public convenience and necessity granted by the Commission shall be issued or amended to reflect such boundaries. Upon establishment, reestablishment or adjustment of any such boundaries the Commission shall cause maps to be issued designating and certifying the territorial
boundaries within which such public utilities shall be authorized and obligated to provide service. In acting hereunder, except with respect to customers residing within the boundaries of a municipality which owns an electric utility or a municipal electric company formed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 22 and who, as of the date of this Act are served by another public utility, the Commission shall not authorize or obligate any public utility to provide retail electric service to any customer within the boundaries of a municipality which owns an electric utility or municipal electric company formed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 22 without its consent. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection (a) or subsection (d), if such a municipality shall annex adjacent or adjoining territory, any retail electric customer of another public utility within such territory may be acquired by such municipality pursuant to Chapter 61 of Title 10. Nothing contained herein shall invalidate or otherwise affect any contract entered into on or before June 30, 1992, between any municipality and a public utility relating to the acquisition of retail electric customers within the boundaries of the municipality listing as of such date. In the event a municipality which owns an electric utility or a municipal electric company formed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 22 shall annex adjacent or adjoining territory whether or not such territory contains retail electric customers, upon notice to the Commission by such municipality, the Commission shall issue or revise maps previously issued to reflect such acquisition.
(b) In acting under this section, the Commission shall consider and
account for as the primary factor, currently existing territories within which utility electric customers are being served at retail including the boundaries of municipalities which serve such customers. In acting further under this section, the Commission shall consider among other pertinent factors, which of 2 or more public utilities:
Had distribution facilities in nearest proximity to a
designated area as of July 1, 1992;
Was the first to furnish retail service to, or in close
proximity to, a designated area;
Can install and/or upgrade its facilities to furnish service to a designated area with the smaller amount of additional investment; and
Is demonstrably capable of providing adequate and reliable
service to a designated area within a reasonable period of time and in a feasible manner. In connection with any proceedings undertaken by
the Commission pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section the Commission shall approve and implement agreements between two or more public utilities if such agreements are consistent with the public interest."
Section 5. Nothing herein shall be deemed to invalidate any action
heretofore taken by the Commission pursuant to Section 203B of Title 26, Delaware Code.
Approved July 2, 1992