HOUSE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1
HOUSE BILL NO. 408
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 26 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
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 Title 26 of the Delaware Code by adding a new § 118 to read as follows:
“§ 118. Continuation of Service for Activated Reserve and National Guard Military Personnel.
(a) Except as otherwise provided by this Section, a person who engages in the distribution and sale of electric, gas, water, sewer service, telecommunications, cable, or satellite television for use or consumption, including municipalities, (a ‘Service Provider’) shall not discontinue such service to the residence of a Qualifying Customer, as defined in subsection (g). With respect to telecommunications services, this Section shall apply only to the provisioning of dial tone line, touchtone and local usage services. With respect to cable service, this Section shall apply only to the provisioning of the most basic tier of television service.
(b) A Qualifying Customer may apply for protection from disconnection of such service by notifying the Service Provider that the Qualifying Customer is in need of assistance caused by a reduction in household income as a result of a household member’s call to active duty status in the military reserves or National Guard.
(c) A Service Provider may request periodic verification of the call to active duty status from the Qualifying Customer. A Service Provider may also request periodic verification of the Qualified Customer’s reduction in household income.
(d) A Qualifying Customer may receive protection from disconnection under this Section for as long as the emergency active duty status continues and for thirty (30) days after that status has ended.
(e) A Qualifying Customer receiving assistance under this Section shall notify the Service Provider no later than ten (10) days after the return from active duty status.
(f) The protection from disconnection provided under this Section does not void or limit the obligation of the Qualifying Customer to pay for such services received.
(g) As used in this Section, ‘Qualifying Customer’ means:
(1) A residential household where the income is reduced because the customer of record, or the spouse of the customer of record, is a member of the National Guard or the military reserve and is called to active military service by the President of the United States or the Governor of this State during a time of declared national or State emergency of war.
(2) Assistance is needed by the residential household to maintain one (1) or more of the services subject to this Section; and
(3) The residential household notifies the Service Provider of the need for assistance and, if requested by the Service Provider, provides verification of the call to active duty status and the reduction in household income.”.
Approved June 29, 2004