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
1/27/2023

§ 56-231.39. Organization and purpose.

A. Subject to § 56-231.50:1, any utility consumer service cooperative or utility aggregation cooperative may form a cooperative in accordance with this article, either stock or nonstock, not for pecuniary profit, with the exception of for-profit affiliates, for the purpose of purchasing, generating or transmitting energy products and services for sale or resale, operating or participating in an independent system operator, regional transmission entity, regional power exchange, or both, and any other lawful purpose, consistent with sound business principles and prudent management practices; (i) provided, however, that within the certificated service territory of any member distribution cooperative that existed as of January 1, 1999, no such cooperative shall, prior to July 1, 2000, undertake or initiate any new program (a) to buy or maintain an inventory of HVACR equipment or household appliances, (b) to install or service any such equipment or household appliances for customers, unless such service is not provided by the cooperative but by a third party individual, firm or corporation licensed to perform such service, (c) to sell HVACR equipment or household appliances to customers who are metered and billed on residential rates, (d) to sell HVACR equipment to customers other than those metered and billed on residential rates except where such sale is an incidental part of providing other energy services or providing traditional cooperative activities, (e) to sell or distribute propane or fuel oil; sell, install or service propane or fuel oil equipment; or maintain or buy an inventory of propane or fuel oil equipment for resale, or (f) to serve as a coordinator of nonelectric energy services or provide engineering consulting services except when such energy or engineering services are an incidental part of a marketing effort to provide other energy or engineering services or as a part of providing services that are traditional cooperative activities; (ii) provided further, that notwithstanding clause (i), such cooperative may, within the certificated service territory of a specific distribution cooperative that existed as of January 1, 1999, and then only to the extent that such specific distribution cooperative could lawfully do so, engage in any of the activities enumerated in clause (i) that (a) have received State Corporation Commission approval prior to February 1, 1998, (b) such cooperative is ordered or required to undertake by any jurisdictional court or regulatory authority, (c) were lawfully undertaken prior to February 1, 1998, (d) are specifically permitted by statute, or (e) are undertaken by any other regulated public service company or its unregulated affiliate within such distribution cooperative's certificated service territory; and (iii) also provided that such cooperative or its affiliate may not undertake such activities as are prohibited by clause (i) within the certificated service territory of another public service company unless such activities are undertaken by such public service company or its unregulated affiliate within the certificated service territory of a specific distribution cooperative existing as of January 1, 1999, and the certificated service territories of the public service company and the specific distribution cooperative overlap. In addition, such cooperative may establish one or more subsidiaries to engage in any other business activities not prohibited by law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no such subsidiary may engage in any business activities that the cooperatives are prohibited from engaging in under this section. For purposes of determining whether a cooperative is formed not for pecuniary profit, the establishment of one or more affiliates thereof on a for-profit basis shall not disqualify such entity from being formed as a cooperative pursuant to this article.

B. Nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize a cooperative formed pursuant to this article, or any affiliate thereof, to engage, within any political subdivision of the Commonwealth on a not-for-profit basis, in the sale of products, the provision of services, or other business activity, except for electric power services and traditional cooperative activities. However, if such business activities are not currently provided by any person other than a cooperative formed under or subject to this chapter or its affiliate and the Commission determines that no such other person is likely, within a reasonable time, to effectively provide such products and services in such political subdivision, an affiliate of a cooperative may provide such products or services on a not-for-profit basis. The Commission shall also permit an affiliate of a cooperative formed under or subject to this chapter to provide such products or services on a not-for-profit basis upon a finding that the affiliate will not receive the benefit of any federal income tax exemption that is not available to persons other than cooperatives and will not receive the benefit of any federally guaranteed or subsidized financing that is not available to persons other than cooperatives; and provided further, that nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the continued operation of any business activities of any not-for-profit cooperative or affiliate formed, operating, and actively providing products or services to customers on or before July 1, 1999.

1999, c. 874; 2000, cc. 964, 989.

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.