Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities And Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 10. In General

20VAC5-10-20. Utility customer deposit requirements.

Each utility may require deposits from customers to protect against uncollectible accounts. The maximum amount of any deposit shall not exceed the equivalent of the customer's estimated liability for two months usage. At the request of the commission, any public utility which bills in advance for any part of its services, yet requires a deposit as herein authorized, must justify the requirement as being reasonably necessary to protect against uncollectibles from its customers.

Each utility shall be liable for interest on deposits held longer than 90 days, to accrue from the date the deposit is made until it has been refunded, or until a reasonable effort has been made to effect refund. All investor-owned utilities will pay interest on deposits at a rate established annually. The interest rate for such deposits in a given year will be established in December of the preceding year to equal the average of the one year Constant Maturity Treasury rate for September, October, and November of the preceding year. Nonprofit utilities that are owned by their customers will pay 75% of the above described interest rate. The commission's Director of Utility Accounting and Finance shall notify utilities in December of each year of the rate prevailing for the ensuing year. At the option of each customer making a security deposit, each utility shall annually make either direct payment to the customer of all accrued interest, or shall credit same to the customer's account.

Customer deposits may be refunded by a utility at any time. Residential customers' deposits should not be held longer than one year and all other deposits should not be held longer than two years provided the customer has established satisfactory credit during that period.

Whenever a utility requires a deposit from any residential customer, the customer shall be permitted to pay it in three consecutive equal monthly installments whenever the total amount of the required deposit exceeds the sum of $40. However, each utility shall have the discretion to allow payment of any deposit (more or less than $40 total) over a longer period of time to avoid undue hardship.

Statutory Authority

§ 12.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE820073, eff. February 22, 1983; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 10, eff. December 23, 2003; Errata, 20:13 VA.R. 1644 March 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2013.

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