Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 9.1. Utility Consumer Services Cooperatives and Utility Aggregation Cooperatives

§ 56-231.34:1. Separation of regulated and unregulated businesses.

A. No cooperative that engages in a regulated utility service shall conduct any unregulated business activity, other than traditional cooperative activities, except in or through one or more affiliates of such cooperative, provided that a cooperative that provides regulated utility services shall have the right to offer and make unregulated sales of electric power to its members within its certificated service territory. No such affiliates, formed to engage in any business that is not a regulated utility service, shall engage in regulated utility services.

B. The Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations, governing the conduct of the cooperatives, to promote effective and fair competition between (i) affiliates of cooperatives that are engaged in business activities which are not regulated utility services and (ii) other persons engaged in the same or similar businesses. The rules and regulations shall be effective by July 1, 2000, and shall include provisions:

1. Prohibiting cost-shifting or cross-subsidies between a cooperative and its affiliates;

2. Prohibiting anticompetitive behavior or self-dealing between a cooperative and its affiliates;

3. Prohibiting a cooperative from engaging in discriminatory behavior towards nonaffiliated entities; and

4. Establishing codes of conduct detailing permissible relations between a cooperative and its affiliates. In establishing such codes, the Commission shall consider, among other things, whether and, if so, under what circumstances and conditions (i) a cooperative may provide its affiliates with customer lists or other customer information, sales leads, procurement advice, joint promotions, and access to billing or mailing systems unless such information or services are made available to third parties under the same terms and conditions, (ii) the cooperative's name, logos or trademarks may be used in promotional, advertising or sales activities conducted by its affiliates, and (iii) the cooperative's vehicles, equipment, office space and employees may be used by its affiliates.

C. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to abrogate or modify the Commission's authority under Chapter 4 (§ 56-76 et seq.) of this title.

1999, c. 874; 2000, cc. 944, 999.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.