HOUSE BILL NO. 730
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 12 AND TITLE 26 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO COOPERATIVE ELECTRIC UTILITIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend § 1198(10), Title 12 of the Delaware Code, by striking all of said subsection appearing after the phrase "property' does not" as it appears in the last sentence of said subsection and substituting in lieu thereof the following: "include: (a) credits or deposits evidenced by cash balances on unclaimed or refused personal property nor any property, except the items mentioned in items (I) through (xii) of this subdivision including specifically and without limitation consideration received for unredeemed gift certificates, the right to recover which in a proceeding brought by the owner would be barred by and statute of limitations, state or federal; or (b) non-escheat capital credits as defined in § 909 of Title 26.".
Section 2. Amend § 1210, Title 12 of the Delaware Code, by inserting between the words "property" and "which" as they appear together is said section on the following phrase: "with the exception of non-escheat capital credits as defined in § 909 of Title 26,".
Section 3. Amend Title 26 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new § 909 which shall read as follows:
"§ 909. Special Duties of Electric Utility Corporations Organized as Cooperatives.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) 'Cooperative electric utility' shall mean an entity incorporated in the State of Delaware that is engaged primarily in providing electric service on a cooperative basis.
(2) 'Non-escheat capital credits' means monies due to any past member of a cooperative electric utility in retirement of capital allocated on a patronage basis to the account of such member for amounts received and receivable by the cooperative from the furnishing of electric energy to such member in excess of operating costs and expenses properly chargeable against the furnishing of electric energy, provided that a five-year period has elapsed since such credits were retired and the members to which such amounts were allocated have not claimed them.
(3) 'Member' shall mean any person currently or previously receiving electric service from a cooperative electric utility.
(b) A cooperative electric utility shall use all non-escheat capital credits, net of claims pursuant to subsection (g), to fund low income energy assistance programs in its service area and to donate to such nonprofit charitable and community organizations as shall be authorized by the Board of Directors.
() Non-escheat capital credits shall be expended within three calendar years after being deemed non-escheat capital credits. Non-escheat capital credits not expended within three calendar years shall be remitted to the State Escheator in the same manner as all other property subject to Chapter 11 of Title 12.
(d) Cooperative electric utilities shall submit a written report to the Division of Revenue of the retired capital credits going unclaimed during the previous calendar year no later than the 20th day of January of each year.
(e) Cooperative electric utilities shall make available the name, last known address, and credit amount owed to past members requesting such information. In addition, the utility shall prominently display in all marketing materials directed at current and/or prospective members the name, office address and phone number of the individual(s) within the corporation responsible for processing past member claims for the return of capital credits. Such information shall also be included in the annual report, the notice of the annual meeting and on any Internet site(s) maintained by the cooperative electric utility.
(f) In the event a cooperative electric utility ceases to do business in this state, or elects to recognize as a non-cooperative business, all outstanding non-escheat capital credits shall be remitted to the State Escheator in the same manner as all other property subject to Chapter 11 of Title 12.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve a cooperative electric utility from refunding non-escheat capital credits on application by past members. Past members of a cooperative electric utility may file a claim for the return of funds deemed non-escheat capital credits, allocated to them at the time they were members. The cooperative electric utility shall provide standard claim forms with which all such members can file for a return of their non-escheat capital credits. No provision of a contract or agreement between the cooperative electric utility and a member or any statute of limitations shall limit the time period in which such a claim may be filed.".
Section 4. This act shall apply to electric cooperative capital credits retired on or after the first day of the calendar year following its enactment into law.
Approved July 14, 1998