Administrative Code

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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

20VAC5-312-40. Licensing.

A. Each person applying for a license to conduct business as a competitive service provider, including entities described in § 56-589 A 1 of the Code of Virginia, shall file an original and 15 copies of its application with the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission. If there are any material changes to the applicant's information while the application is pending, the applicant shall inform the State Corporation Commission within 10 calendar days. Each application shall include the following:

1. Legal name of the applicant as well as any trade name.

2. A description of the applicant's authorized business structure, identifying the state authorizing such structure and the date thereof; e.g., if incorporated, the state and date of incorporation; if a limited liability company, the state issuing the certificate of organization and the date thereof.

3. Name and business addresses of all principal corporate officers and directors, partners, and LLC members, as appropriate.

4. Physical business addresses and telephone numbers of the applicant's principal office and any Virginia office location or locations.

5. A list of states in which the applicant or an affiliate conducts business related to electricity supply service or natural gas supply service, the names under which such business is conducted, and a description of the businesses conducted.

6. Names of the applicant's affiliates and subsidiaries. If available, applicant shall satisfy this requirement by providing a copy of its most recent form 10K, Exhibit 21 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

7. Disclosure of any affiliate relationships with local distribution companies or competitive service providers, or both, that conduct business in Virginia, and any agreements with the affiliated local distribution company that affect the provision of competitive energy services within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

8. If an affiliated competitive service provider, a description of internal controls the applicant has designed to ensure that it and its employees, contractors, and agents that are engaged in the (i) merchant, operations, transmission, or reliability functions of the electric generation or natural gas supply systems, or (ii) customer service, sales, marketing, metering, accounting or billing functions, do not receive information from an affiliated local distribution company or from entities that provide similar functions for or on behalf of its affiliated local distribution company or affiliated transmission provider as would give such affiliated competitive service provider an undue advantage over non-affiliated competitive service providers. For purposes of this subdivision, "undue advantage" means an advantage that is reasonably likely to adversely affect the development of effective competition in the Commonwealth.

9. Toll-free telephone number of the customer service department.

10. Name, title, address, telephone number, facsimile number, and e-mail address of the company liaison with the State Corporation Commission.

11. Name, title, and address of the applicant's registered agent in Virginia for service of process.

12. If a foreign corporation, a copy of the applicant's authorization to conduct business in Virginia from the State Corporation Commission or if a domestic corporation, a copy of the certificate of incorporation from the State Corporation Commission.

13. Sufficient information to demonstrate, for purposes of licensure with the State Corporation Commission, financial fitness commensurate with the service or services proposed to be provided. Applicant shall submit the following information related to general financial fitness:

a. If available, applicant's audited balance sheet and income statement for the most recent fiscal year and published financial information such as the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission forms 10K and 10Q. If not available, other financial information for the applicant or any other entity that provides financial resources to the applicant.

b. If available, proof of a minimum bond rating (or other senior debt) of "BBB-" or an equivalent rating by a major rating agency, or a guarantee with a guarantor possessing a credit rating of "BBB-" or higher from a major rating agency. If not available, other evidence that will demonstrate the applicant's financial responsibility.

14. The name of the local distribution company that is certificated to provide service in the area in which the applicant proposes to provide service, the type of service or services it proposes to provide, and the class of customers to which it proposes to provide such services.

15. a. Disclosure of any (i) civil, criminal, or regulatory sanctions or penalties imposed or in place within the previous five years against the company, any of its affiliates, or any officer, director, partner, or member of an LLC or any of its affiliates, pursuant to any state or federal consumer protection law or regulation; and (ii) felony convictions within the previous five years, which relate to the business of the company or to an affiliate thereof, of any officer, director, partner, or member of an LLC.

b. Disclosure of whether any application for license or authority to conduct the same type of business as it proposes to offer in Virginia has ever been denied, and whether any license or authority issued to it or an affiliate has ever been suspended or revoked and whether other sanctions have been imposed.

c. If applicant has engaged in the provision of electricity supply service or natural gas supply service, or both, in Virginia or any other state, a report of all instances of violations of reliability standards that were determined to be the fault of the applicant, including unplanned outages, failure to meet service obligations, and any other deviations from reliability standards during the previous three years. The report shall include, for each instance, the following information: (i) a description of the event; (ii) its duration; (iii) its cause; (iv) the number of customers affected; (v) any reports, findings or issuances by regulators or electric and natural gas system reliability organizations relating to the instance; (vi) any penalties imposed; and (vii) whether and how the problem has been remedied.

16. A $250 registration fee payable to the State Corporation Commission.

17. Sufficient information to demonstrate technical fitness commensurate with the service or services to be provided, to include:

a. The applicant's experience.

b. Identity of applicant's officers directly responsible for the business operations conducted in Virginia and their experience in the generation of electricity, procurement of electricity or natural gas, or both, and the provision of energy services to retail customers.

c. If applying to sell electricity supply service at retail, documentation of any membership or participation in regional reliability councils or regional transmission organizations.

d. If applying to sell electricity supply service or natural gas supply service, or both, at retail, information concerning access to generation, supply, reserves, and transmission. If applying to sell electricity supply service, provide information specifying, to the extent possible, the expected sources of electricity or electricity procurement practices and transmission arrangements that will be used to support retail sales of electricity in Virginia. If applying to sell natural gas supply service, provide information regarding pipeline capacity and storage arrangements, including assurances that such suppliers will be able to meet the requirements of their essential human needs customers.

e. Billing service options the applicant intends to offer and a description of the applicant's billing capability including a description of any related experience.

18. A copy of the applicant's dispute resolution procedure.

B. An officer with appropriate authority, under penalty of perjury shall attest that all information supplied on the application for licensure form is true and correct, and that, if licensed, the applicant will abide by all applicable regulations of the State Corporation Commission.

C. Upon receipt of an application for a license to conduct business as a competitive service provider, the State Corporation Commission shall enter an order providing notice to appropriate persons and an opportunity for written comments on the application.

D. If any application fails to conform to the requirements herein, the application shall not be regarded as complete. No action shall be taken on any application until deemed complete and filed.

E. A license to conduct business as a competitive service provider granted under this section is valid until revoked or suspended by the State Corporation Commission after providing due notice and an opportunity for a hearing, or until the competitive service provider abandons its license in accordance with 20VAC5-312-80 O.

F. A competitive service provider shall comply with all initial and continuing requirements of the State Corporation Commission's licensure process and any reasonable registration processes required by the local distribution company and the transmission provider. Should the State Corporation Commission determine, upon complaint of any interested person, the Attorney General, upon staff motion, or its own motion, that a competitive service provider has failed to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter or a State Corporation Commission order related thereto, the State Corporation Commission may, after providing due notice and an opportunity for a hearing, suspend or revoke the competitive service provider's license or take any other actions permitted by law or regulations as it may deem necessary to protect the public interest.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-235.8 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 17, Issue 22, eff. August 1, 2001.

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