Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities And Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 203. Regulations Governing the Separation of Regulated and Unregulated Businesses of Utility Consumer Services Cooperatives and Utility Aggregation Cooperatives

20VAC5-203-40. Codes of conduct governing cooperatives and affiliates thereof not engaged in regulated utility services.

Except as otherwise provided in any commission order or regulation, any cooperative subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be governed by the following codes of conduct when transacting business within this Commonwealth with a nonregulated affiliate.

1. A cooperative shall not give any preference related to the provision of its regulated electric service to a nonregulated affiliate over the interest of any competing supplier.

2. A cooperative shall be prohibited from providing sales leads, customer lists and other customer information to its nonregulated affiliate unless:

a. Such disclosure is authorized by the customer or other entity whose information is to be disclosed; and

b. Such information is made available to competing suppliers upon the same price, terms and conditions.

3. Joint promotions, advertising and marketing shall be prohibited between a cooperative and its nonregulated affiliate unless made available to competing suppliers upon the same price, terms and conditions.

4. A cooperative's name, logo or trademark may be used by a nonregulated affiliate provided such use is not misleading. A disclaimer that clearly and conspicuously discloses that the nonregulated affiliate is not the same company as the cooperative shall accompany any such use. Such disclaimers shall not be required, however, on company vehicles, clothing, trinkets, writing instruments, or similar promotional materials. Upon complaint of any competing supplier or other interested person, or upon motion of the Attorney General or the commission staff, or upon its own motion, the commission may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, make a determination whether any such usage is misleading, and if so, take appropriate corrective actions.

5. Employees of the cooperative may provide services to nonregulated affiliates provided the provision of such services is not anticompetitive or discriminatory.

6. A cooperative shall document each occasion that one of its employees transfers to a nonregulated affiliate and each occasion that an employee of one of its nonregulated affiliates transfers to the cooperative. Upon staff's request, such information shall be filed with the commission that identifies each such occasion. Such information shall include a listing of each employee transferred and a brief description of each associated position and responsibility.

7. A cooperative and its nonregulated affiliates may share the use of vehicles, equipment and office space provided the provision of such services is not anticompetitive or discriminatory.

8. A cooperative shall not condition the provision of any services on the purchase of any other service or product from any of its nonregulated affiliates.

9. Neither a cooperative nor any of its nonregulated affiliates shall:

a. Suggest that the quality of regulated utility services provided to a customer by the cooperative will be any different if the customer purchases goods or services from the cooperative's nonregulated affiliates.

b. Suggest that the goods and services provided by any of the nonregulated affiliates are being provided by the cooperative rather than the nonregulated affiliates.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13, 56-231.34:1 and 56-231.50:1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2000.

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