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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 312. Rules Governing Retail Access to Competitive Energy Services
4/3/2020

20VAC5-312-10. Applicability; Definitions.

A. These regulations are promulgated pursuant to the provisions of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act (§ 56-576 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) and to the provisions of retail supply choice for natural gas customers, § 56-235.8 of the Code of Virginia. The provisions in this chapter apply to suppliers of electric and natural gas services including local distribution companies and competitive service providers, and govern retail access to competitive energy services, to the extent permissible by statute, in the electricity and natural gas markets, including the conduct of market participants. The provisions in this chapter shall be effective January 1, 2009, and applicable to retail access to competitive energy services in the service territory of each local distribution company.

B. The following terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Affiliated competitive service provider" means a competitive service provider that is a separate legal entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control of, a local distribution company or its parent. For the purpose of this chapter, any unit or division created by a local distribution company for the purpose of acting as a competitive service provider shall be treated as an affiliated competitive service provider and shall be subject to the same provisions and regulations.

"Aggregator" means a person licensed by the State Corporation Commission that, as an agent or intermediary, (i) offers to purchase, or purchases, electricity or natural gas supply service, or both, or (ii) offers to arrange for, or arranges for, the purchase of electricity supply service or natural gas supply service, or both, for sale to, or on behalf of, two or more retail customers not controlled by or under common control with such person. The following activities shall not, in and of themselves, make a person an aggregator under this chapter: (i) furnishing legal services to two or more retail customers or competitive service providers; (ii) furnishing educational, informational, or analytical services to two or more retail customers, unless direct or indirect compensation for such services is paid by a competitive service provider supplying electricity or natural gas, or both; (iii) furnishing educational, informational, or analytical services to two or more competitive service providers; (iv) conducting business as a competitive service provider licensed under 20VAC5-312-40; and (v) engaging in actions of a retail customer, acting in common with one or more other such retail customers, to issue a request for proposal or to negotiate a purchase of electricity supply service or natural gas supply service, or both, for consumption by such retail customers.

"Billing party" means a person who renders a consolidated or separate bill directly to a retail customer for competitive energy services, or distribution services, or both.

"Bill-ready" means the consolidated billing practice in which the nonbilling party calculates each retail customer's billing charges for services provided and forwards such charges to the billing party for inclusion on the consolidated bill.

"Business day" means any calendar day or computer processing day in the Eastern United States time zone in which the general office of the applicable local distribution company is open for business with the public.

"Competitive energy service" means the retail sale of electricity supply service, natural gas supply service, or any other competitive service as provided by legislation and approved by the State Corporation Commission as part of retail access by an entity other than the local distribution company as a regulated utility. For the purpose of this chapter, competitive energy services include services provided to retail customers by aggregators.

"Competitive service provider" means a person, licensed by the State Corporation Commission, that sells or offers to sell a competitive energy service within the Commonwealth. This term includes affiliated competitive service providers, as defined above, but does not include a party that supplies electricity or natural gas, or both, exclusively for its own consumption or the consumption of one or more of its affiliates. For the purpose of this chapter, competitive service providers include aggregators.

"Consolidated billing" means the rendering of a single bill to a retail customer that includes the billing charges of a competitive service provider and the billing charges of the local distribution company.

"Customer" means retail customer.

"Distribution service" means the delivery of electricity or natural gas, or both, through the distribution facilities of the local distribution company to a retail customer.

"Electricity supply service" means the generation of electricity, or when provided together, the generation of electricity and its transmission to the distribution facilities of the local distribution company on behalf of a retail customer.

"Electronic Data Interchange" (EDI) means computer-to-computer exchange of business information using common standards for high volume electronic transactions.

"Local Distribution Company" means an entity regulated by the State Corporation Commission that owns or controls the distribution facilities required for the transportation and delivery of electricity or natural gas to the retail customer.

"Minimum stay period" means the minimum period of time a customer who requests electricity supply service from the local distribution company, pursuant to §§ 56-577 A 3 c, 56-577 C 1, and 56-582 D of the Code of Virginia, after a period of receiving electricity supply service from a competitive service provider, is required to use such service from the local distribution company.

"Natural gas supply service" means the procurement of natural gas, or when provided together, the procurement of natural gas and its transportation to the distribution facilities of a local distribution company on behalf of a retail customer.

"Nonbilling party" means a person who provides retail customer billing information for competitive energy services or regulated service to the billing party for the purpose of consolidated billing.

"Person" means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, company, business, trust, joint venture, or other private legal entity, and the Commonwealth or any city, county, town, authority or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

"Price-to-compare" means the portion of the electric local distribution company's regulated rate applicable to electricity supply service or the portion of the natural gas local distribution company's regulated rate applicable to natural gas supply service.

"Rate-ready" means the consolidated billing practice in which the nonbilling party provides rate information to the billing party to calculate and include the nonbilling party's charges on the consolidated bill.

"Residential customer" means any person receiving retail distribution service under a residential tariff of the local distribution company.

"Retail access" means the opportunity for a retail customer in the Commonwealth to purchase a competitive energy service from a licensed competitive service provider seeking to sell such services to that customer.

"Retail customer" means any person who purchases retail electricity or natural gas for his or her own consumption at one or more metering points or nonmetered points of delivery located within the Commonwealth.

"Separate billing" means the rendering of separate bills to a retail customer for the billing charges of a competitive service provider and the billing charges of the local distribution company.

"Transmission provider" means an entity regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that owns or operates, or both, the transmission facilities required for the delivery of electricity or natural gas to the local distribution company or retail customer.

"Virginia Electronic Data Transfer Working Group" (VAEDT) means the group of representatives from electric and natural gas local distribution companies, competitive service providers, the staff of the State Corporation Commission, and the Office of Attorney General whose objective is to formulate guidelines and practices for the electronic exchange of information necessitated by retail access.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-576 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 17, Issue 22, eff. August 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 04, eff. October 10, 2001; Errata, 18:7 VA.R. December 17, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 08, eff. January 1, 2009.

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