TITLE 26

Public Utilities

CHAPTER 1. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

Subchapter I. General Provisions


This chapter shall be known and referred to as the "Public Utilities Act of 1974."

59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

As used in this title, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Commission" means the Public Service Commission.

(2) "Public utility" includes every individual, partnership, association, corporation, joint stock company, agency or department of the State or any association of individuals engaged in the prosecution in common of a productive enterprise (commonly called a "cooperative"), their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever, that now operates or hereafter may operate for public use within this state, (however, electric cooperatives shall not be permitted directly or through an affiliate to engage in the production, sale or distribution of propane gas or heating oil), any natural gas, electric (excluding electric suppliers as defined in § 1001 of this title), water, wastewater (which shall include sanitary sewer charge), telecommunications (excluding telephone services provided by cellular technology or by domestic public land mobile radio service) service, system, plant or equipment.

(3) "Rate base" means:

a. The original cost of all used and useful utility plant and intangible assets either to the first person who committed said plant or assets to public use or, at the option of the Commission, the first recorded book cost of said plant or assets; less

b. Related accumulated depreciation and amortization; less

c. The actual amount received and unrefunded as customer advances or contributions in aid of construction of utility plant, and less

d. Any accumulated deferred and unamortized income tax liabilities and investment credits, adjusted to reflect any accumulated deferred income tax assets including, but not limited to, those arising from the payment of alternative minimum tax, related to plant included in paragraph a. above, plus

e. Accumulated depreciation of customer advances and contributions in aid of construction related to plant included in paragraph a. above, and plus

f. Materials and supplies necessary to the conduct of the business and investor supplied cash working capital, and plus

g. Any other element of property which, in the judgment of the Commission, is necessary to the effective operation of the utility.

(4) "Cable television system," "community antenna television," "cable system" or "system" shall mean a facility within this State which is constructed in whole or in part in, on, under or over any highway, road, street, alley, or other public place and which is operated to perform the service of receiving and amplifying the signals of 1 or more radio and/or television broadcasting stations and distributing such signals by cable, wire or other means to members of the public who subscribe to such service; provided that nothing herein is intended to prohibit any system from engaging in any other activity not expressly prohibited by law; except that such definition shall not include (i) any system which serves fewer than 50 subscribers; or (ii) any system which serves only the residents of 1 or more apartment dwellings or mobile home or trailer parks under common ownership, control or management, and commercial establishments located on the premises of such dwellings; or (iii) telephone, telegraph or electric utilities in those cases where the activity of such utility in connection with a cable system is limited to leasing or renting to cable systems, cables, wires, poles, towers or other electronic equipment or rights to use real property as part of, or for use in connection with, the operation of a cable system.

(5) The term "franchise" shall mean authorization lawfully adopted or agreed to by the Commission pursuant to this chapter to construct or operate a cable television system or systems in whole or in part within a county of this State.

(6) The term "franchisee" shall mean the person, persons or entity holding a franchise.

(7) The term "written notice" shall mean notice in writing which is hand-delivered or mailed by certified mail, to the person who is to be given notice.

(8) "Water utility" shall mean any person or entity operating within this State any water service, system, plant or equipment for public use.

(9) The terms "ancillary services," "distribution facilities," "distribution services," "electric distribution company," "electric supplier," "retail competition," "retail electric customer," "transmission facilities," and "transmission services," as used in Chapters 1, 2 [repealed] and 3 [repealed] of this title, shall have the same definitions as set forth in § 1001 of this title.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 2; 48 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 4; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 101; 54 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 2; 57 Del. Laws, c. 665, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 125, § 6; 64 Del. Laws, c. 342, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 484, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 124, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 585, §§ 1, 2; 72 Del. Laws, c. 10, §§ 4, 5; 73 Del. Laws, c. 157, § 4[5]; 74 Del. Laws, c. 317, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 1.;

In any matter or proceeding before the Commission, the Commission may decide the manner and method of giving notice to those persons affected by, likely to be affected by or likely to be interested in the matter or proceeding. In making this determination, the Commission shall not be governed by the provisions for notice by publication set out in §§ 10115(b) and 10124(1) of Title 29. Instead, such notice may be made by:

(1) Publication in 1 or more newspapers of general circulation;

(2) Delivery, by mail or other means, of a written notice to those directly affected, such as ratepayers or subscribers;

(3) A combination of the above 2 procedures; or

(4) Any other means which is reasonably likely to afford the affected and interested persons notice of the pendency of the matter so that they have the opportunity to present their views, such as the placement of a notice in a customer's bill.

In making its determination, the Commission may consider the nature of the proceedings, the number of persons affected or interested, the ability of alternative means to reach those affected and interested and the comparative costs of the alternative methods. When, under this chapter, a public utility is required to give notice to the public, the Commission shall set the form and manner of such notice.

70 Del. Laws, c. 585, § 3.;

(a) The Public Service Commission is continued except that it shall consist of only 5 members, each of whom shall have been or shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by a majority of the members elected to the Senate. The terms of office of the members of the Commission serving as of June 28, 1974, shall not be affected. Subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, each member shall continue to serve out the term for which each such member was originally appointed, and until each such member's successor shall have been appointed and qualified. Each member of the Commission appointed after June 28, 1974, except a member appointed pursuant to subsection (d) of this section to fill an unexpired term, shall be appointed for a term of 5 years from May 1 in the year of that member's appointment, and until that member's successor shall have been appointed and qualified.

(b) Not more than 3 of the members of the Commission shall be members of the same political party. One of the members shall be a resident of the City of Wilmington, 2 shall be residents of New Castle County outside of Wilmington, 1 shall be a resident of Kent County and 1 shall be a resident of Sussex County; provided, however, that beginning with the appointment of the member for a term of 5 years beginning as of May 1, 1976, and continuously thereafter, 1 of the members shall be a resident of the City of Wilmington, 1 shall be a resident of New Castle County outside of Wilmington, 1 shall be a resident of Kent County, 1 shall be a resident of Sussex County and 1 shall be a member at large who shall be a resident of this State.

(c) A Commissioner shall continue to reside in the political subdivision of which that Commissioner was a resident at the time of the Commissioner's appointment.

(d) In case of a vacancy on the Commission for any reason other than expiration of the term of office, the Governor shall fill such vacancy for the unexpired term by and with the consent of a majority of the members elected to the Senate.

(e) The Governor shall designate 1 of the Commissioners as Chairman of the Commission who shall serve as Chairman at the pleasure of the Governor.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 102; 57 Del. Laws, c. 139, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 182, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 740, § 12A; 58 Del. Laws, c. 511, § 61; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 1, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, may remove any member of the Commission for neglect of duty or misconduct in office, giving to the member a copy of the charges against such person and affording an opportunity of being publicly heard in person or by counsel, upon 10 days' notice.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 103; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

The members of the Commission shall each receive a salary of $6,000 per year, to be paid in equal monthly payments by the Treasurer of the State.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 104; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 383, § 1.;

The Commission shall have such office or offices as may be necessary and shall be provided with all necessary furniture, stationery and supplies, and office appliances. It shall provide itself with a seal for the authentication of its proceedings and orders. It may make all needful rules for its government and other proceedings not inconsistent with this title. It shall meet at such times and places within this State as it may provide by rule or by special order.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 105; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum and shall be sufficient for any action by the Commission; provided, however, that a single Commissioner may sit for the purpose of hearing testimony in any matter provided:

(1) The parties consent; and

(2) Any final decision in the matter must be approved by a majority of the members of the Commission.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 48 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 3; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 106; 57 Del. Laws, c. 139, § 2; 57 Del. Laws, c. 182, § 2; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

Subject to the provision of Title 29, Chapters 25 (Department of Justice) and 59 (Merit System of Personnel Administration), the Commission may appoint, fix the compensation and terms of service, and prescribe the duties and powers of an executive director, a secretary and such officers, accountants, attorneys, experts, engineers, inspectors, clerks and other persons, as it deems necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the Commission.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 48 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 1; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 107; 57 Del. Laws, c. 740, § 12B; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

(a) No person shall be eligible for appointment to or shall hold the office of Commissioner, or be appointed by the Commission to hold any office or position under it, who is a director, officer or employee of any public utility or owns or directly or indirectly controls any stock of any public utility entitled to vote for election of directors.

(b) No Commissioner, and no employee, appointee or official engaged in the service of, or in any manner connected with the Commission shall hold any office or position, or be engaged in any business, employment or vocation, the duties of which are incompatible with the duties of his or her office as Commissioner, or his or her employment in the service or in connection with the work of the Commission.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 48 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 2; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 108; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 419, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Commissioners, executive director, secretary and other persons engaged in the service of the Commission shall be entitled to receive from the State their necessary traveling expenses while traveling on the business of the Commission.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 1; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 109; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

All expenditures of the Commission, within the limits of its appropriations, including the necessary traveling expenses of the Commissioners, executive director, secretary and other persons engaged in the service of the Commission shall, prior to April 1, 1975, be paid by the State Treasurer out of the general funds of the State on proper voucher therefor approved by the Chairman of the Commission or, at the direction of the Chairman, by the executive director. On and after April 1, 1975, said expenditures of the Commission, within the limits of its appropriations, shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund on proper voucher therefor approved by the Chairman of the Commission or, at the direction of the Chairman, by the executive director.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, §§ 1, 20; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 110; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 151, § 1.;

Copies of all official documents and orders filed or deposited in the office of the Commission, certified by the Chairman or the secretary to be true copies of the original and given under the official seal of the Commission, shall be evidence in like manner as the original in all courts of this State. Such charges may be taxed and collected for such copies as are taxed and collected for like services in the Superior Court of this State.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 17; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 111; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

No member, employee or investigator of the Commission shall be required to give testimony in any court suit to which the Commission is not a party with regard to information obtained by such member or employee in the discharge of official duty.

47 Del. Laws, c. 254, § 10; 48 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 15; 26 Del. C. 1953, § 112; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1.;

(a) The Commission may impose charges and fees for filing and for other services rendered by it in accordance with the following schedule of fees:

1. For filing the annual financial statement of any public utility

2. Certificates of public convenience and necessity:

(a) For filing each original application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (except for telecommunications local exchange service or application for approval of a transfer of such certificate) 750

(b) For filing each extension to a certificate of public convenience and necessity (except for telecommunications local exchange service) 300

(c) For filing each application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (for original or for extension) to provide telecommunications local exchange service or application for approval of a transfer of such certificate 3000

3. For filing each application for approval or authority to discontinue or abandon all or any part of any public utility operation or service 150

4. (a) For each filing of rate or tariff schedules, or any amendment thereto or notice of changes therein 50

(b) For each filing of petition or application to increase rates

5. For filing each petition or application under § 215(a)(1) of this title 100

6. For filing each petition or application under § 215(a)(2) of this title in accordance with the following schedule based upon the aggregate amount of the stocks (by par value or by stated value if no par), notes, bonds, or other evidence of indebtedness. The fee so established is to be used to evaluate such petition or application in lieu of any other assessment

AGGREGATE AMOUNT

Under $1,000,001 150

$1,000,001 - $10,000,000 250

$10,000,001 and above 350

7. For preparing and certifying to the Superior Court any record in appeal 400

8. For certifying a copy of each paper, order, record, transcript or any other official document other than to the Superior Court 10

9. Upon request therefor by either a consumer or a utility for testing each water meter having an outlet not exceeding 1 inch 10

10. Upon request therefor by either a consumer or a utility for testing each water meter having an outlet of more than 1 inch but not exceeding 2 inches 15

11. Upon request therefor by either a consumer or a utility for testing each electric meter 10

12. The charge or fee for any services rendered by the Commission in filing papers, documents, records or other items not expressly provided for in this subsection shall be a reasonable charge or fee in relation to the service rendered, not to exceed the highest fee or charge permitted on this schedule of fees fixed by the Commission from time to time.

(b)(1) Whenever the Commission, in a proceeding upon its own initiative or upon complaint or upon written application to it, shall deem it necessary in order to carry out its statutory duties, to investigate the operations, services, practices, accounting records and/or procedures, rates, charges, rules and regulations, of any public utility, and/or to make valuations or revaluations of the property of any public utility, and/or to enter into and hold a hearing or hearings in connection therewith, such public utility shall be charged with and pay such portion of the expenses of the Commission, and the compensation and expenses of its agents, representatives, consultants and employees, including, but not limited to those temporarily employed or retained, as is reasonably attributable to such investigation, valuation and revaluation, hearing or hearings. In addition, if the Division of the Public Advocate elects to intervene or participate in a natural gas, electric, water or wastewater rate proceeding under subchapter III of this chapter including fuel adjustments pursuant to § 303(b) of this title and water utility distribution system improvement charges pursuant to § 314 of this title. The public utility involved shall also be charged with and pay such portion of the expenses of the Division of the Public Advocate, and the compensation and expenses of its agents, representatives, consultants and employees, including but not limited to those temporarily employed or retained, as is reasonably attributable to such proceeding. At the time the Commission or the Division of the Public Advocate determines that such charges will be required, the Commission or Division shall provide notice to the public utility, or its counsel of record at such time, of its intent to impose and collect any charges. No charges shall be made for the compensation of Commissioners or the Public Advocate.

a. If the Commission or an appellate court determines by order that the Commission or the Public Advocate brought or defended all or a portion of a proceeding

1. For an improper purpose;

2. Without any basis in existing law;

3. Without a justifiable basis for seeking the extension, modification or reversal of existing law; or

4. Without evidentiary support after reasonable opportunity for investigation and discovery,

then to such extent the public utility shall not be charged with or required to pay such expenses.

b. If the Commission or an appellate court determines by order that a utility brought or defended all or a portion of a proceeding

1. For an improper purpose;

2. Without any basis in existing law;

3. Without a justifiable basis for seeking the extension, modification or reversal of existing law; or

4. Without evidentiary support after reasonable opportunity for investigation and discovery,

then to such extent the utility shall not be permitted to include the costs associated with that proceeding in its rates.

(2) From time to time as the investigation, valuation, revaluation, hearing or hearings progress, or upon completion thereof, the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate shall ascertain each agency's costs incurred in connection therewith, including, but not limited to the expenses of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate and the compensation and expenses of each agency's respective agents, representatives, consultants and employees, including those temporarily employed or retained, and shall determine the amount thereof to be paid by the public utility and shall render separate bills therefor to the public utility. The Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate shall furnish the public utility such itemization of each said bill as may be requested by said public utility. The public utility shall have the right to audit said bill within a reasonable period after its rendition by the Commission or the Division of Public Advocate and shall have the opportunity to be heard before the Commission as to any or all of the items included in the bill. The amount of such bill as finally determined by the Commission following such hearing and any appeal therefrom shall be paid into the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund within 30 days from the date of its determination. If any amount so assessed against a public utility is not paid within 30 days after the date of rendition of the bill with respect thereto, the utility shall pay a penalty of 1% of the amount due for each month or fraction thereof that such amount is unpaid. The charges imposed for the costs of the Division of the Public Advocate shall be paid to the Commission and shall be deposited to the credit of the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund.

(3) The expenses of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate and the compensation and expenses of each agency's respective agents, representatives, consultants and employees, including but not limited to those temporarily employed or retained, reasonably attributable to any appellate court proceedings in either or both the Superior or Supreme Court of the State growing out of any order, opinion, decision or findings of the Commission shall also be ascertained, charged, billed to and paid for by the public utility in accordance with the foregoing conditions and procedures.

(4) Whenever the investigation, valuation, revaluation, hearing, hearings or appellate court proceedings involve the affairs and operations of 2 or more public utilities jointly, the charges made under this section for such investigation, valuation, revaluation, hearing, hearings, or appellate court proceedings shall be prorated among such public utilities upon the basis of their gross intrastate operating revenues for the last preceding calendar year.

(5) The total aggregate amount to be charged by both the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate to any public utility under authority of this subsection (b) in any calendar year shall not exceed 1 percent of such public utility's gross operating revenues derived from intrastate utility operations in the last preceding calendar year.

(c) In connection with any Commission proceedings under §§ 203A and 203B of this title the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate 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 the Division of the Public Advocate 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.

26 Del. C. 1953, § 113; 50 Del. Laws, c. 552, § 1; 52 Del. Laws, c. 155; 53 Del. Laws, c. 389; 57 Del. Laws, c. 667, §§ 1, 2; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 299, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 405, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 151, §§ 2-7.;

(a) It is declared to be the public policy of this State that in order to maintain and foster the effective regulation of public utilities under this title, in the interests of the people of this State and the public utilities as well, the public utilities subject to regulation of the Public Service Commission which enjoy the privilege of operating as public utilities in this State shall bear the expense of regulation by means of an assessment on such privilege measured by the annual gross revenue of such public utilities in the manner hereinafter provided. This assessment shall be in addition to all other fees and charges imposed by the Public Service Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate pursuant to this title.

(b) As used in subsection (c) of this section, the term "intrastate public utility business" includes all that portion of the business of the public utilities designated in § 102 of this title and over which the Commission has jurisdiction under the provisions of this title.

(c) As used in this section, the term "gross revenue" includes all revenue which:

(1) Is collected by a public utility subject to regulation by the Public Service Commission, and

(2) Is derived from the intrastate public utility business of such a utility.

Such term does not include revenue derived by such a public utility from the sale of public utility services, products or commodities to another public utility or to an electric cooperative or municipality for resale by such public utility or electric cooperative or municipality.

(d) An assessment is imposed upon each public utility subject to regulation by the Public Service Commission in an amount equal to the product of .003 (3 mills) multiplied by its gross operating revenue for each calendar year, commencing with the calendar year beginning January 1, 1974. No assessment shall be imposed upon a public utility having a gross operating revenue of less than $10,000 in any calendar year.

(e) On or before March 31 of each year, each public utility subject to the provisions of this title shall file with the Commission an annual gross revenue return containing a statement of the amount of its gross revenue for the immediately preceding calendar year, and a statement of the amount of assessment due for such calendar year accompanied by a check in payment thereof. A copy of such return shall also be delivered to the Division of the Public Advocate. A utility subject to this section which paid an annual assessment greater than $10,000 in the preceding year shall make an estimated payment of at least 40% of the expected assessment no later than 6 months prior to the March 31 due date for the return and final payment. Forms for such returns and amended returns shall be devised and supplied by the Commission.

(f) All returns submitted to the Commission by a public utility, as provided in this section, shall be sworn to by an appropriate officer of the public utility. The Commission may audit each such return submitted and may take such measures as are necessary to ascertain the correctness of the returns submitted. The Commission has the power to direct the filing of an amended return by any utility which has filed an incorrect return and to direct the filing of a return by any utility which has failed to submit a return.

(g) Each payment of the assessment imposed by subsection (d) of this section becomes delinquent at midnight of the date that it is due. If upon filing a return or an amended return it shall appear that a public utility has failed to pay, or has underpaid, the proper amount, it shall pay a penalty to the Commission of 2% of the amount due for each month or fraction thereof that such amount is unpaid. The Commission may enforce the collection of any delinquent installment or payment, or portion thereof, by legal action or in any other manner by which the collection of debts due the State may be enforced under the laws of this State.

(h) In lieu of the regulatory assessment imposed under this section, a service provider shall pay an assessment into the Delaware Broadband Fund. On August 1, 2013, the service provider shall pay into the fund 1/2 of the amount of its 2011 regulatory assessment in lieu of the amounts due under this section for the period January 1, 2013, through June 2013 and shall continue making payments into the Fund in lieu of any amounts due under this section for an additional 3 years beginning on January 30, 2014, and ending on January 30, 2016, in an amount equal to the regulatory assessment for the year 2011, after which time the obligation under subsections (a)-(g) of this section or to make payments under this subsection shall cease.

26 Del. C. 1953, § 114; 57 Del. Laws, c. 667, § 3; 59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 260, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 142, §§ 1, 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 151, §§ 8, 9; 79 Del. Laws, c. 53, § 8.;

(a) There is hereby created within the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund which shall be used in the operations of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate in the performance of the various functions and duties required by law.

(b)(1) All fees, licenses, assessments and other charges, collected by the Commission pursuant to this title shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of said Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund to be used in the operation of the Commission as authorized by the General Assembly in its annual operating budget. However, if the General Assembly is not in session, any funds requested by the Department for the performance of the various functions and duties of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate, and which exceed the Commission's annual operating budget, shall be officially submitted for approval or disapproval to the Controller General of the State and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget of the State.

(2) All penalties or fines assessed and collected by the Commission shall not be deposited in said fund but shall be deposited in the General Fund of the State.

(c) All payments to the Commission under §§ 114 and 115 of this title shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund to be used in the operations of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate, as authorized by the General Assembly. However, if the General Assembly is not in session, any funds requested by the Department for the performance of the various functions and duties, of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate, and which exceed the Commission's or Division's annual operating budget, shall be officially submitted for approval or disapproval to the Controller General of the State and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget of the State.

(d) Money reposing in the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund shall be used by the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate in the performance of each agency's various functions and duties as provided by law; subject always to annual appropriations by the General Assembly for salaries and other routine operating expenses of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate. If the General Assembly is not in session, any funds requested by the Department for the performance of the various functions and duties of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate, and which exceed the Commission's or Division's annual operating budget, shall be officially submitted for approval or disapproval to the Controller General of the State and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget of the State.

(e) Annual appropriations from the General Fund of the State for the operation of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate shall be credited to the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund in appropriated monthly amounts and all expenditures authorized by the General Assembly for the operation of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate shall be made from said revolving fund. If the General Assembly is not in session, any funds requested by the Department for the performance of the various functions and duties required of the Commission and the Division of the Public Advocate by law and which exceed their respective operating budgets shall be officially submitted for approval or disapproval to the Controller General of the State and the Direction of the Office of Management and Budget of the State.

(f) The maximum balance which shall remain in the Delaware Public Utility Regulatory Revolving Fund at the end of any fiscal year shall not exceed $750,000 in addition to the annual appropriation for the next fiscal year as authorized by the General Assembly for the operation of the Commission. Any amount in excess thereof shall be reverted to each public utility in an amount proportionate to the sum paid by that public utility in the previous calendar year pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

59 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 348, § 125; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 21(12); 77 Del. Laws, c. 151, §§ 1, 10-16.;

(a) Definitions.

(1) For purposes of this section, "employee" shall include, but not be limited to:

a. Any person who is an employee of such utility authorized to accept payment for sales and services;

b. The individual who is to terminate such sale or service.

(2) For purposes of this section, "person" shall include, but not be limited to, any individual, corporation, partnership, association or joint-stock company.

(b) No person who engages in the distribution and sale of gas, water, wastewater, or electricity for use or consumption in any dwelling unit shall discontinue service or sale thereof due to nonpayment of past charges for such service or sale to the occupants of that dwelling unit and owed by the occupants thereof without at least 72 hours' notice to said occupants of intention to so terminate, except as otherwise provided by this section.

(c) In no event shall such termination occur between 12:00 noon on any Friday and 12:00 noon on the succeeding Monday, unless such utility provides facilities for payment and restoration of such services at all times during such period. Should Friday be a legal, state or national holiday, the last preceding business day shall be substituted for Friday. Should Monday be a state or national, legal holiday, the next succeeding business day shall be substituted for Monday.

(d) In no event shall such termination occur if any occupant of any dwelling unit shall be so ill that the termination of such sale or service shall adversely affect his or her health or recovery, which has been so certified by a signed statement from any duly licensed physician, physician assistant or advanced nurse practitioner, of this State or of a state with similar accreditation and received by any employee or officer of such person engaging in the distribution or sale of gas, water or electricity. Signed statements from a licensed physician, physician assistant or advanced nurse practitioner, obtained pursuant to this section are effective for 120 days. Signed statements may be renewed by means of a new signed statement to prevent termination only if a customer makes a good faith effort to make payments towards the utility service being provided. The Delaware Public Service Commission, may promulgate regulations defining "good faith effort to make payments". If a utility is subject to the jurisdiction of the Delaware Public Service Commission, that utility or a customer of the utility may petition the Delaware Public Service Commission for review of any dispute under this section. While such dispute is pending, a utility shall continue to provide utility service to the customer until a final Commission adjudication on the petition is issued. When possible no termination under this section shall occur without advance notice to any known case manager or coordinator of an occupant in an affected dwelling unit.

(e) Violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor.

60 Del. Laws, c. 452, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 317, § 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 374, §§ 1, 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 337, § 1.;

(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) of this section. 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 30 days after that status has ended.

(e) A Qualifying Customer receiving assistance under this section shall notify the Service Provider no later than 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 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.

74 Del. Laws, c. 294, § 1.;