Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
1/23/2020

Chapter 303. Rules Governing Utility Promotional Allowances

20VAC5-303-10. Purpose.

The purpose of these rules is to establish the conditions under which electric and gas utilities operating in Virginia may propose to recover reasonable costs associated with promotional allowances to customers. Any utility proposing a promotional allowance program shall demonstrate that such program is reasonably calculated to promote the maximum effective conservation and use of energy and capital resources in providing energy services. Promotional allowance programs shall he cost justified using appropriate cost/benefit methodologies.

Statutory Authority

§§ 56-235.1 and 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE900070 §I, eff. March 27, 1992.

20VAC5-303-20. Promotional allowances prohibited for ratemaking.

Except as provided for under 20VAC5-303-30, no electric or gas utility shall give or offer to give any payment, subsidy or allowance, directly or indirectly. or through a third party, to influence the installation, sale, purchase, or use of any appliance or equipment.

No electric utility shall give or offer to give any monetary or other allowance or credits based on anticipated revenues for the installation of underground service. Schedules of charges for underground service based on revenue-cost ratios or cost differentials shall be filed with the Commission.

Statutory Authority

§§ 56-235.1 and 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE900070 §II, eff. March 27, 1992.

20VAC5-303-30. Permitted activities.

1. Unless otherwise specifically prohibited in writing by the Commission, the following activities are not prohibited by these rules:

a. Advertising by a utility in its own name, consistent with § 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

b. Joint advertising with others, if the utility is prominently identified as a sponsor of the advertisement consistent with § 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

c. Financing the purchase of appliances by utilities so long as the interest rate or carrying charge to the purchaser is not less than the interest rate paid by the utility for short term debt.

d. Merchandising of appliances or equipment by utilities.

e. Inspection and adjustment of appliances by utilities. Repairs and other maintenance to appliances and equipment if charges are at cost, or above.

f. Donation or lending of appliances by utilities to schools for instructional purposes.

g. Technical assistance offered to customers by employees of utilities.

h. Incentives to full time employees of utilities.

2. Promotional allowance programs designed to achieve energy conservation, load reduction, or improved energy efficiency are permitted under these rules, subject to the prior approval of the Commission. Any promotional allowance program proposed under this chapter shall comply with the standards contained in 20VAC5-303-40.

Statutory Authority

§§ 56-235.1 and 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE900070 §III, eff. March 27, 1992.

20VAC5-303-40. Promotional allowance program standards.

1. Any utility offering a promotional allowance program shall adhere to the following standards:

a. The promotional allowance program shall not vary the rates, charges and schedules of the tariff under which service is rendered to the customer.

b. A utility may not, directly or indirectly, offer or grant to a customer any form of promotional allowance except as is uniformly and contemporaneously extended to all customers in the same reasonably defined class.

c. Any utility promotional allowance program should be designed in such a manner so as to minimize the potential for placing private businesses at an undue competitive disadvantage.

d. To the extent applicable, any appliances or equipment promoted by a utility under a promotional allowance program shall have energy efficiency ratings which meet or exceed current federal standards as contained in the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (Public Law 100-12), or any subsequent amendments thereof. The Commission may, at its discretion, impose other standards for appliances or equipment promoted under a utility promotional allowance program.

e. Any utility proposing a promotional allowance program that would have a significant effect on the sales levels of an alternative energy supplier shall consider the effect of the program on that supplier, and demonstrate that the program serves the overall public interest.

Statutory Authority

§§ 56-235.1 and 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE900070 §IV, eff. March 27, 1992.

20VAC5-303-50. Waivers.

A utility may file for exemptions from any or all of these rules. In making its decision regarding exemptions. the Commission will consider the size of the utility's operations in Virginia. the requirements of other regulatory bodies having jurisdiction over the utility, and the specific Virginia statutory authority under which the utility operates.

Statutory Authority

§§ 56-235.1 and 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE900070 §V, eff. March 27, 1992.

20VAC5-303-60. Commission authority.

Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this chapter, the Commission may authorize an otherwise prohibited promotional allowance program if the Commission finds that it is in the public interest.

Nothing in the provisions of this chapter shall preclude the Commission from investigating, formally or informally, a utility promotional activity and, if it determines the activity to be adverse to the public interest, modifying or eliminating the activity.

Statutory Authority

§§ 56-235.1 and 56-235.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. PUE900070 §VI, eff. March 27, 1992.



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