Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/20/2024

Chapter 350. Rules Governing Exemptions for Large General Services Companies

20VAC5-350-10. Applicability and scope.

This chapter is promulgated pursuant to the provisions of § 56-585.1 A 5 c of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act, Chapter 23 (§ 56-576 et seq.) of Title 56 of the Code of Virginia. This chapter is specifically applicable to the large general service customers of Virginia's electric utilities subject to the provisions of § 56-585.1 A 5 c that have verifiable histories of using more than one megawatt of monthly demand from a single site, in any single billing month, during each of the previous three calendar years. As used in this chapter, a customer comprises all of the individual electric utility accounts owned by a single entity, located on a single site each of the previous three calendar years, and that are engaged in the same business. This chapter is also applicable to customers with highest measured demands from a single site of more than one megawatt in any single billing month if such customers do not have three calendar years of history. A customer is eligible for an exemption from any rate adjustment clause approved for a utility by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to § 56-585.1 A 5 c, if any customer can certify to the commission that it has implemented energy efficiency programs, at the customer's expense, that have produced measured and verified results within the prior five years. Such certification shall be consistent with industry standards for similar customers and meet other regulatory criteria in § 56-585.1 A 5 c that the commission reasonably deems appropriate.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. February 4, 2021.

20VAC5-350-20. Administrative procedures for notice to utility and commission.

A. Except for the 2021 notice period, any customer seeking to establish its exemption from a rate adjustment clause authorized by the commission pursuant to § 56-585.1 A 5 c of the Code of Virginia shall provide a notice of nonparticipation concerning the rate adjustment clause to its utility on or before March 1 of the upcoming rate year in which the customer seeks to begin its exemption. Any customer seeking to establish its exemption from a rate adjustment clause authorized by the commission pursuant to § 56-585.1 A 5 c for the rate year beginning in 2021 shall provide a notice of nonparticipation concerning the rate adjustment clause to its utility on or before April 1, 2021. All notices of nonparticipation shall be filed concurrently by the customer with the commission's Division of Public Utility Regulation. Notices provided after the April 1, 2021, or subsequent annual March 1 deadlines, will not be accepted during that calendar year and must be resubmitted for the next period being sought.

B. Upon receipt of the notice of nonparticipation, a utility shall, on or before June 1, verify the customer's highest measured demand in the three prior calendar years preceding the receipt of such notice. The exemption will commence with the effective date of the utility's next rate adjustment clause. The utility shall accept the exemption request if the customer meets the criteria for a large general service customer set forth in 20VAC5-350-10 and has submitted the information required by 20VAC5-350-30. In the event the utility fails to notify the customer of any deficiency in its notice of nonparticipation by June 1, the exemption shall be deemed accepted by the utility. The utility's acceptance or denial of any exemption request shall concurrently be sent to the customer and provided by the utility to the commission's Division of Public Utility Regulation.

C. Once a utility has accepted a customer's exemption request, that customer shall be exempt from any rate adjustment clause approved for the utility by the commission pursuant to § 56-585.1 A 5 c of the Code of Virginia, beginning with the effective date of the utility's next rate adjustment clause on or after July 1, following the date of acceptance of the exemption request and continuing throughout the life of the customer's energy efficiency improvements described in the customer's notice of nonparticipation. A customer shall notify the utility and the commission if the conditions of the customer's notice of nonparticipation change in any material respect within 60 days of the change.

D. Each notice of nonparticipation that contains confidential information shall be treated in accordance with 5VAC5-20-170 of State Corporation Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (5VAC5-20).

E. Customers seeking to continue a previous statutory exemption must provide a new notice of nonparticipation, as defined in 20VAC5-350-30, concerning the rate adjustment clause to its utility on or before April 1, 2021.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. February 4, 2021.

20VAC5-350-30. Standard criteria for notice to utility.

A. Each notice of nonparticipation shall identify the customer, the customer's billing address and all applicable utility account numbers, and the location of the specific facility and single site for which any such exemption is being sought.

B. The notice of nonparticipation shall also contain an affidavit signed by the customer's president, corporate secretary, or other officer of the customer concerning the energy efficiency programs. Such affidavit shall attest to the validity of information submitted in support of the customer's notice of nonparticipation.

C. The notice of nonparticipation shall certify the energy efficiency savings achieved from investment in such programs, in kWhs, within the prior five years as well as the specific measures undertaken to achieve those savings and the life expectancy of each measure. The notice of nonparticipation shall certify the energy efficiency savings achieved by the customer meets or exceeds the requirements of § 56-596.2 of the Code of Virginia.

D. To qualify for the exemption, each customer shall have measurable and verifiable energy efficiency savings in the prior five years consistent with § 56-585.1 A 5 c of the Code of Virginia. It shall be the customer's sole responsibility to ensure the energy savings claimed in the customer's notice of nonparticipation meets the definition of measured and verified as set forth in § 56-576 of the Code of Virginia, and such compliance shall be attested to in the customer's affidavit. Additionally, each customer providing a notice of nonparticipation to its utility pursuant to this chapter shall subsequently furnish yearly reports to the utility and the commission's Division of Public Utility Regulation describing the energy efficiency savings achieved by the customer during each 12-month period in which such notice of nonparticipation is intended to be in effect. The annual reports shall include the status of energy efficiency measures and operational changes included in the customer's notice of nonparticipation. Each customer shall certify that each such annual report demonstrates energy efficiency savings at a level consistent with commonly accepted industry standards for energy efficiency savings obtained by similarly situated customers and adheres to any other regulatory criteria the commission reasonably deems appropriate. Such reports shall be filed on or about March 1 of the year following such customer's filing of its notice of nonparticipation, with such March 1 filings continuing thereafter throughout the life of the customer's energy efficiency improvements described in the customer's notice of nonparticipation.

E. Each notice of nonparticipation shall also include a measurement and verification plan conforming to the protocol set forth in the definition of "measured and verified" as provided in § 56-576 of the Code of Virginia. It shall be the customer's sole responsibility to ensure its measurement and verification plan conforms to this definition.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. February 4, 2021.

20VAC5-350-40. Dispute resolution.

A. Customers and utilities shall seek to resolve all disputes arising out of the exemption process established under this chapter pursuant to the provisions of this section.

B. In the event of any such dispute, either party shall furnish the other a written notice of dispute. The notice shall describe in detail the nature of the dispute. The parties shall make good faith efforts to resolve the dispute informally within 10 business days of the receipt of such notice.

C. If any such dispute has not been resolved within 10 business days following receipt of the notice, either party may seek resolution assistance from the commission's Division of Public Utility Regulation where such matter will be treated as an informal complaint under State Corporation Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (5VAC5-20).

Alternatively, the parties may, upon mutual agreement, seek resolution through the assistance of a dispute resolution service for the purpose of assisting the parties in (i) resolving the dispute or (ii) selecting an appropriate dispute resolution method or mechanism (e.g., mediation, settlement judge, early neutral evaluation, or technical expert) to assist the parties in resolving their dispute. In any such dispute resolution proceeding, each party shall conduct all negotiations in good faith and shall be responsible for one half of any charges for the dispute resolution provider, but each party shall bear its own legal fees and other costs incurred as a result of the dispute resolution process.

D. If any such dispute remains unresolved following the parties' good faith exercise of the dispute resolution alternatives set forth in this section, either party may file a formal complaint with the commission pursuant to State Corporation Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (5VAC5-20).

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. February 4, 2021.

20VAC5-350-50. Waiver and enforcement.

A. The commission may waive any or all parts of this chapter for good cause shown.

B. The commission on its own motion may initiate steps necessary to verify a nonparticipating customer's achievement of energy efficiency if the commission has a body of evidence that the nonparticipating customer has knowingly misrepresented its energy efficiency achievement. Such proceedings shall be governed by State Corporation Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (5VAC5-20).

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. February 4, 2021.

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