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
1/26/2020

20VAC5-312-80. Enrollment and Switching.

A. A competitive service provider may offer to enroll a customer upon: (i) receiving a license from the State Corporation Commission; (ii) receiving EDI certification as required from the VAEDT or completing other data exchange testing requirements as provided by the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission, including the subsequent provision of a sample bill as required by 20VAC5-312-20 L; and (iii) completing registration with the local distribution company.

B. A competitive service provider may enroll, or modify the services provided to, a customer only after the customer has affirmatively authorized such enrollment or modification. A competitive service provider shall maintain adequate records allowing it to verify a customer's enrollment authorization. Examples of adequate records of enrollment authorization include: (i) a written contract signed by the customer; (ii) a written statement by an independent third party that witnessed or heard the customer's verbal commitments; (iii) a recording of the customer's verbal commitment; or (iv) electronic data exchange, including the Internet, provided that the competitive service provider can show that the electronic transmittal of a customer's authorization originated with the customer. Such authorization records shall contain the customer's name and address; the date the authorization was obtained; the name of the product, pricing plan, or service that is being subscribed; and acknowledgment of any switching fees, minimum contract terms or usage requirements, or cancellation fees. Such authorization records shall be retained for at least 12 months after enrollment and shall be provided within five business days upon request by the customer or the State Corporation Commission.

C. A competitive service provider shall send a written contract to a customer prior to, or contemporaneously with, sending the enrollment request to the local distribution company.

D. Upon a customer's request, a competitive service provider may re-enroll such customer at a new address under the existing contract, without acquiring new authorization records, if the competitive service provider is licensed to provide service to the customer's new address and is registered with the local distribution company.

E. The local distribution company shall advise eligible customers initiating new service of the customer's right and opportunity to choose a competitive service provider.

F. In the event that multiple enrollment requests are submitted regarding the same customer within the same enrollment period, the local distribution company shall process the first one submitted and reject all others for the same enrollment period.

G. Except as otherwise provided by the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission, the competitive service provider shall submit an enrollment request to the local distribution company at least 15 days prior to the customer's next scheduled meter reading date for service to be effective on that meter reading date. For an enrollment request received less than 15 days prior to the customer's next scheduled meter reading date, service shall be effective on the customer's subsequent meter reading date, except as provided by subsection H of this section.

H. A competitive service provider may request, pursuant to the local distribution company's tariff, a special meter reading, in which case the enrollment may become effective on the date of the special meter reading. The local distribution company shall perform the requested special meter reading as promptly as working conditions permit.

I. Upon receipt of an enrollment request from a competitive service provider, the local distribution company shall, normally within one business day of receipt of such notice, mail notification to the customer advising of the enrollment request, the approximate date that the competitive service provider's service commences, and the caption and statement as to cancellation required by 20VAC5-312-70 C 8. The customer shall have until the close of business on the tenth day following the mailing of such notification to advise the local distribution company to cancel such enrollment without penalty.

J. In the event a competitive service provider receives a cancellation request within the cancellation period provided by 20VAC5-312-70 C 8 or 20VAC5-312-70 D, it shall notify, by any means specified by the VAEDT or as otherwise provided by the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission, the local distribution company of the customer's cancellation in order to terminate the enrollment process.

K. In the event the local distribution company receives notice of a cancellation request from a competitive service provider or a customer within the cancellation period provided by 20VAC5-312-70 C 8 or 20VAC5-312-70 D, the local distribution company shall terminate the enrollment process by any means specified by the VAEDT or as otherwise provided by the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission.

L. In the event a customer terminates a contract beyond the cancellation period as provided by 20VAC5-312-70 C 8 and 20VAC5-312-70 D, the competitive service provider or the local distribution company shall provide notice of termination to the other party by any means specified by the VAEDT or as otherwise provided by the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission.

M. If a competitive service provider terminates an individual contract for any reason, including expiration of the contract, the competitive service provider shall provide notice of termination to the local distribution company by any means specified by the VAEDT or as otherwise provided by the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission and also shall send written notification of such termination, for reasons other than nonpayment, to the customer at least 30 days prior to the date that service to the customer is scheduled to terminate. A competitive service provider shall send written notification to the customer for termination for nonpayment at least 15 days prior to the date that service to such customer is scheduled to terminate.

N. If the local distribution company is notified by a competitive service provider that the competitive service provider will terminate service to a customer, the local distribution company shall respond to the competitive service provider by any means specified by the VAEDT or as otherwise provided by the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission to acknowledge (i) receipt of the competitive service provider's notice, and (ii) the date that the competitive service provider's service to the customer is scheduled to terminate. Additionally, the local distribution company shall send written notification to the customer, normally within five business days, that it was so informed and describe the customer's opportunity to select a new supplier. The local distribution company shall inform the affected customer that if the customer does not select another competitive service provider, the local distribution company shall provide the customer's electricity supply service or natural gas supply service pursuant to the prices, terms, and conditions of its tariffs approved by the State Corporation Commission.

O. If a competitive service provider decides to terminate service to a customer class or to abandon service within the Commonwealth, the competitive service provider shall provide at least 60 days advanced written notice to the local distribution company, to the affected customers, and to the State Corporation Commission.

P. If the local distribution company issues a final bill to a customer, the local distribution company shall notify, by any means specified by the VAEDT or as otherwise provided in the local distribution company's tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission, the customer's competitive service provider.

Q. The local distribution company may require a 12-month minimum stay period for electricity customers with an annual peak demand of 500 kW or greater. If the local distribution company does not offer an approved tariff for electric energy provided 100% from renewable energy pursuant to § 56-577 A 5 of the Code of Virginia, such electricity customers that return to service provided by the local distribution company as a result of a competitive service provider's abandonment of service in the Commonwealth may choose another competitive service provider at any time without the requirement to remain for the minimum stay period of 12 months. For individual or aggregated customers greater than 5 MW and pursuant to § 56-577 A 3 c of the Code of Virginia such electricity customers choosing to purchase supply service from a licensed supplier after December 31, 2008, may return to service provided by the local distribution company upon five years' written notice and at the prices, terms, and conditions of the tariffs approved by the State Corporation Commission. Alternatively, such electricity customers may seek an exemption from the State Corporation Commission to provide less than five years' notice and, if such exemption is granted, return to service provided by the local distribution company at prices based on market-based costs pursuant to § 56-577 A 3 d.

R. The local distribution company may, upon a proper showing with evidence acquired by actual experience, apply for approval from the State Corporation Commission to implement alternative minimum stay period requirements. If the applicant proposes to lower the applicability limit below 500 kW, such application shall include at a minimum, the detailed information prescribed by the State Corporation Commission in the text of its Final Order in Case No. PUE010296, or as may be revised in a subsequent order.

S. The local distribution company electing to implement a minimum-stay period in conformance with this chapter shall notify, in writing, applicable customers at least 30 days in advance of such implementation date and within each subsequent notification letter as required by 20VAC5-312-80 I. Electricity customers who have selected a competitive service provider prior to the local distribution company's notice of implementing a minimum-stay period will not be subject to the minimum stay period until such time as the customer renews an existing contract or chooses a new competitive service provider.

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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