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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 300. Energy Regulation; in General
1/21/2020

20VAC5-300-20. Virginia Electric Energy Emergency Conservation Plan.

In the event of an electric energy shortage the following emergency procedures shall be adopted so as to minimize the potential adverse effects on the public health, safety and welfare.

STEP I

When the system average fuel supply for the electric utility or its major supplier has decreased to 50 days and a continued downward trend in fuel supplies is anticipated:

1. Curtail all non-essential uses of electrical energy at company owned facilities.

2. Discontinue all economy sales to neighboring utility systems.

3. Discontinue economic dispatch of all generation and implement a loading procedure which will (i) maximize the generation of electricity for load from a given quantity of coal (ii) levelize the distribution of fuel in storage at System plants.

4. Make public appeals to all wholesale and retail customers to reduce their electric consumption.

5. Discontinue all non-firm sales to neighboring utility systems except where the dropping of regular customers or severe equipment overload would result or where the transaction is part of a wheeling arrangement.

6. Make a determination as to what amounts of energy, if any, would be available from outside of the system. Such data shall include such amounts of energy which could reasonably be anticipated to be purchased, time period, cost of such energy, anticipated impact on cost to consumer and effect such purchases would have on the life expectancy of existing in-system inventories. This data shall be submitted to the appropriate governmental body having jurisdiction.

7. Notify large customers and customers who use electricity to process raw materials of impending mandatory curtailments.

STEP II

When the system average fuel supply has decreased to 40 days and a continued downward trend in fuel supplies is anticipated:

1. Make public appeals to all wholesale and retail customers to further reduce their consumption of electricity only to their most minimal needs.

2. Request authorization from the proper authorities to curtail use of air pollution control facilities where such curtailment will enhance availability of electricity.

3. Request all commercial and industrial customers to utilize self-generation equipment to supplement utility generation to the maximum extent practicable.

4. Blend or mix oil or natural gas with coal where plant design permits and when such alternate fuels are available.

5. Limit emergency deliveries to neighboring utilities to situations where regular customers of such utilities would otherwise be dropped.

6. Curtail electric energy consumption by customers on interruptible contracts to a maximum of 132 hours of use at contract demand per week.

7. Make maximum purchases of energy from any source so as to maintain an effective life of existing inventories to 50 days. Report to the appropriate governmental agency having jurisdiction the magnitude of such purchases, cost, duration, effect on life of existing investories, etc.

8. Utility system shall advise customers of the nature of the mandatory program to be introduced in STEP III below, through direct contact and mass media, and establish an effective means of answering specific customer inquiries concerning the impact of the mandatory program on their electric availability.

STEP III

Prior to the anticipated date by which the system average fuel supply reaches a level of 30 days (based on the utility having to rely solely on its own resources) and a continued downward trend in fuel supplies is anticipated, the utility shall:

Request authority from the appropriate governmental body having jurisdiction to curtail all industrial and commercial customers (other than residential) to levels approximately 90% of the customers' corresponding month's usage in the previous year. Such usage will be adjusted for any abnormalities reflected in the prior year's usage, i.e., strikes, maintenance outages, etc.

Upon receipt of authorization the following shall be required:

1. All industrial and commercial customers (other than residential) shall be required to curtail electric usage to levels approximately 90% of the customers' corresponding month's usage in the previous year, adjusted for abnormalities, i.e., strikes, maintenance outages, etc. Facilities whose function is to provide life support, and national, state or local security, and essential public services as outlined in Appendix A should strive to meet the curtailment level indicated, but shall not be required to do so.

2. Request curtailment of all outdoor flood and advertising lighting except for the minimum level necessary to protect life and property and a single illuminated sign identifying commercial facilities that are open after dark.

3. Direct reduction of general lighting levels in stores and offices as close to minimum functional levels as possible.

4. Direct elimination of show window and display lighting.

5. Direct reductions of temperature settings of no more than 68 degrees during operation of heating equipment and no less than 78% during operation of cooling equipment.

6. Direct minimization of work schedules, as for building cleaning and maintenance, restocking, etc. which would require office or industrial facilities to be illuminated, cooled, or heated beyond normal working hours.

7. Direct residential customers to reduce consumption by 10%.

With regard to mandatory curtailments identified in STEP III, when authorized, and any others that follow below, the Company shall monitor compliance after the fact. A customer exceeding their electric energy allotment would be warned to curtail usage or face disconnection of electric service for the duration of the energy emergency after 24 hours written notice.

STEP IV

Prior to the anticipated date by which the system average fuel supply reaches a level of 25 days (based on utility having to rely solely on its own resources) and a continued downward trend in fuel supplies is anticipated, the utility system shall:

1. Request authority from the appropriate governmental body having jurisdiction to curtail all industrial and commercial customers (other than residential) to levels approximately 70% of the customers' corresponding months usage in the previous year or to levels not less than those required for the protection of human life and safety and protection of physical plant facilities, whichever is greater. Such usage will be adjusted for any abnormalities reflected in the prior years; usage, i.e., strikes, maintenance outages, etc. Facilities whose function is to provide life support, and national, state, or local security, and essential public services as outlined in Appendix A should strive to meet the curtailment level indicated, but shall not be required to do so.

STEP V

Prior to the anticipated date by which the system average fuel supply reaches a level of 15 days (based on the utility having to rely solely on its own resources) and a continued downward trend in fuel supplies is anticipated, the utility shall:

Request authority from the appropriate governmental body having jurisdiction to curtail all industrial and commercial customers other than residential to levels not less than those required for protection of human life and safety or protection of physical plant facility.

APPENDIX A. ESSENTIAL CUSTOMERS

Essential health and safety customers given special consideration in these procedures shall, insofar as the situation permits, include the following types of customers (and such other customers as the Commission may designate because of the immediate critical nature of the goods or services they provide):

1. Uses essential for the operation of any facility known to be necessary for the support of life, such as hospitals, kidney machines, iron lungs and other life support systems.

2. Uses required for fire, police and prison services.

3. Refrigeration for the storage and preservation of food or medicine, when that is substantially all the customers' load.

4. Operation, guidance control and navigation services for public transportation and shipping, including rail, mass transit, licensed commercial air transportation, and other forms of transportation.

5. Communication services, including telephone and telegraph systems, television and radio stations, newspapers and traffic control and signal systems.

6. Water supply and sanitation services, including waterworks, pumping, and sewage disposal activities which cannot be reduced without seriously affecting public health.

7. Federal activities essential for national defense and state and local activities essential for providing emergency services.

8. Uses necessary for the manufacture, directly or as a by-product, the transmission or the distribution of natural or manufactured gas or fuel.

9. Uses necessary for the mining and transportation of coal.

10. Uses necessary for the production, refining, transmission or distribution of oil and gas for the fuel.

11. Essential construction, operation, and maintenance activities for energy production and supply.

12. Food and kindred products, except ice cream and frozen desserts; cookies and crackers; confectionary and related products, beverages, all of which are not exempt.

Although these types of customers will be given special consideration from manual load shedding provisions, they are encouraged to install emergency generation equipment if continuity of service is essential. In case of customers supplied from two utility sources, only one source will be given special consideration. Other customers who, in their opinion, have critical equipment should install emergency battery or portable generating equipment.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13, 56-234, 56-249.1, 56-250 and 56-265 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. 19958, eff. February 22, 1978.

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