Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 10. Heat, Light, Power, Water and Other Utility Companies Generally
12/5/2022

Article 1. Definitions.

§ 56-232. Public utility and schedules defined.

A. The term "public utility" as used in §§ 56-233 to 56-240 and 56-246 to 56-250:

1. Shall mean and embrace every corporation (other than a municipality), company, individual, or association of individuals or cooperative, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, that now or hereafter may own, manage or control any plant or equipment or any part of a plant or equipment within the Commonwealth for the conveyance of telephone messages or for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of heat, chilled air, chilled water, light, power, or water, or sewerage facilities, either directly or indirectly, to or for the public.

2. Notwithstanding any provision of subdivision 1 of this subsection or subsection G of § 13.1-620, shall also include any governmental entity established pursuant to the laws of any other state, corporation (other than a municipality established under the laws of this Commonwealth), company, individual, or association of individuals or cooperative, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, that at any time owns, manages or controls any plant or equipment, or any part thereof, located within the Commonwealth, which plant or equipment is used in the provision of sewage treatment services to or for an authority as defined in § 15.2-5101; however, the Commission shall have no jurisdiction to regulate the rates, terms and conditions of sewage treatment services that are provided by any such public utility directly to persons pursuant to the terms of a franchise agreement between the public utility and a municipality established under the laws of this Commonwealth.

3. Except as provided in subdivision 2, shall not be construed to include any corporation created under the provisions of Title 13.1 unless the articles of incorporation expressly state that the corporation is to conduct business as a public service company.

B. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall be deemed a public utility or public service company, solely by virtue of engaging in production, transmission, or sale at retail of electric power as a qualifying small power producer using renewable or nondepletable primary energy sources within the meaning of regulations adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-617) and not exceeding 7.5 megawatts of rated capacity, nor solely by virtue of serving as an aggregator of the production of such small power producers, provided that the portion of the output of any qualifying small power producer which is sold at retail shall not be sold to residential consumers.

C. No qualifying small power producer, within the meaning of regulations adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, shall be deemed a public utility within the meaning of Chapter 7 (§ 62.1-80 et seq.) of Title 62.1.

D. The term "public utility" as herein defined shall not be construed to include any chilled water air-conditioning cooperative serving residences in less than a one square mile area, or any company that is excluded from the definition of "public utility" by subdivision (b)(4), (b)(8), (b)(9), or (b)(10) of § 56-265.1.

E. Subject to the provisions of § 56-232.1, the term "schedules" as used in §§ 56-234 through 56-245 shall include schedules of rates and charges for service to the public and also contracts for rates and charges in sales at wholesale to other public utilities or for divisions of rates between public utilities, but shall not include contracts of telephone companies with the state government or contracts of other public utilities with municipal corporations or the federal or state government, or any contract executed prior to July 1, 1950.

Code 1919, § 4067; 1918, p. 413; 1922, p. 887; 1942, p. 20; 1950, pp. 54, 481; 1954, c. 525; 1956, c. 436; 1964, c. 195; 1966, c. 620; 1975, c. 358; 1981, c. 385; 1984, c. 341; 1985, cc. 2, 41; 1990, c. 488; 1999, c. 419; 2000, cc. 528, 543; 2002, c. 813; 2003, c. 172; 2006, c. 411; 2009, c. 746.

§ 56-232.1. Regulation of service by certain gas pipeline companies to municipalities.

Notwithstanding any provision of law the Commission shall regulate, to the same extent as it regulates other public utilities, the utility service furnished to any municipal corporation by a natural gas pipeline transmission company, all of whose facilities are located within the Commonwealth, and the rates, charges and facilities of such company used to furnish such service.

1985, c. 41.

§ 56-232.2. Regulation of compressed natural gas service.

The Commission may refrain from regulating and prescribing the rates, charges, and fees for the provision of retail compressed natural gas service provided by corporations other than public service corporations. Wholesale compressed natural gas sales provided by public service corporations shall continue to be regulated by the Commission to the same extent as are services provided by other public utilities under this chapter. The Commission may adopt regulations implementing this statute.

1991, c. 263.

§ 56-232.2:1. Regulation of electric vehicle charging service.

The Commission shall not regulate or prescribe the rates, charges, and fees for the provision of retail electric vehicle charging service provided by any agency as defined in § 2.2-128, persons, localities, park authority created by a locality pursuant to § 15.2-5702, or school boards other than public service corporations. Sales of electricity by public utilities to an agency as defined in § 2.2-128, a person, a locality, park authority created by a locality pursuant to § 15.2-5702, or a school board that (i) is not a public service corporation and (ii) provides electric vehicle charging service shall continue to be regulated by the Commission to the same extent as are other services provided by public utilities. The Commission may adopt regulations implementing this section.

2011, c. 408; 2017, c. 239; 2018, cc. 295, 446; 2019, c. 248; 2020, c. 490; 2022, c. 255.

§ 56-232.3. Regulation of service by certain gas distribution companies to federal, state and local governmental facilities.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 56-232, the Commission shall regulate, to the same extent as it regulates other public utility service, the utility service furnished to any federal, state or local governmental facility by a natural gas distribution company for which a service area has been determined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or its predecessor, under Section 717(f)(1) of the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. § 717(f)(1).

1995, c. 454.

§ 56-233. Service defined.

The term "service" is used in this chapter in its broadest and most inclusive sense and includes not only the use and quality of accommodations afforded consumers or patrons, but also any product or commodity furnished by any public utility and equipment, apparatus, appliances and facilities devoted to the purposes in which such public utility is engaged and to the use and accommodation of the public.

Code 1919, § 4068; 1980, c. 249.