Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 23. Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act
1/28/2021

§ 56-592. Consumer education and marketing practices.

A. The Commission shall develop an electric energy consumer education program designed to provide the following information to retail customers:

1. Information regarding energy conservation, energy efficiency, demand-side management, demand response, and renewable energy;

2. Information concerning demand-side management and demand response programs offered in the Commonwealth to retail customers;

3. Information regarding the matters described in subdivisions 1 and 2 that are specifically designed for the industrial, commercial, residential, and government sectors; and

4. Such other information as the Commission may deem necessary and appropriate in the public interest.

B. The Commission shall complete the development of the consumer education program described in subsection A, and report its findings and recommendations to the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation as frequently as may be required by such Commission concerning:

1. The scope of such recommended program consistent with the requirements of subsection A;

2. Materials and media required to effectuate any such program;

3. State agency and nongovernmental entity participation;

4. Program duration;

5. Funding requirements and mechanisms for any such program; and

6. Such other findings and recommendations the Commission deems appropriate in the public interest.

C. The Commission shall develop regulations governing marketing practices by public service companies, licensed suppliers, aggregators or any other providers of services made competitive by this chapter, including regulations to prevent unauthorized switching of suppliers, unauthorized charges, and improper solicitation activities. The Commission shall also establish standards for marketing information to be furnished by licensed suppliers, aggregators or any other providers of services made competitive by this chapter, which information shall include standards concerning:

1. Pricing and other key contract terms and conditions;

2. To the extent feasible, fuel mix and emissions data on at least an annualized basis;

3. Customer's rights of cancellation following execution of any contract;

4. Toll-free telephone number for customer assistance; and

5. Such other and further marketing information as the Commission may deem necessary and appropriate in the public interest.

D. The Commission shall also establish standards for billing information to be furnished by public service companies, suppliers, aggregators or any other providers of services made competitive by this chapter. Such billing information standards shall require that billing formation:

1. Distinguishes between charges for regulated services and unregulated services;

2. Is presented in a format that complies with standards to be established by the Commission;

3. Discloses, to the extent feasible, fuel mix and emissions data on at least an annualized basis; and

4. Includes such other billing information as the Commission deems necessary and appropriate in the public interest.

E. The Commission shall establish or maintain a complaint bureau for the purpose of receiving, reviewing and investigating complaints by retail customers against public service companies, licensed suppliers, aggregators and other providers of any services made competitive under this chapter. Upon the request of any interested person or the Attorney General, or upon its own motion, the Commission shall be authorized to inquire into possible violations of this chapter and to enjoin or punish any violations thereof pursuant to its authority under this chapter, this title, and under Title 12.1. The Attorney General shall have a right to participate in such proceedings consistent with the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure.

F. The Commission shall establish reasonable limits on customer security deposits required by public service companies, suppliers, aggregators or any other persons providing competitive services pursuant to this chapter.

1999, c. 411; 2003, c. 885; 2008, c. 883.

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.