DIVISION OF LEGISLATIVE SERVICES
2002 SESSION: General Assembly Issues
Business - Campaigns/Elections
- Constitutional Amendments - Courts
Electric Utility Restructuring
The Electric Utility Restructuring Act, adopted by the General Assembly in 1999, establishes the framework under which suppliers may compete for customers of electric generation service in the Commonwealth. The distribution and transmission of electricity will continue to be regulated by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) and federal regulators.
Commencing January 1, 2002, customers of AEP-Virginia, Allegheny Power, and Delmarva Power & Light will be eligible to select their supplier of electricity. On the same date customer choice will begin for Dominion Virginia Power's residential customers in Northern Virginia and one-third of its statewide non-residential load. Customer choice will be phased in for other regions of the state through January 1, 2004.
Several firms have been licensed by the SCC to serve as competitive suppliers. Whether any licensed competitors will elect to offer services to the various classes of customers in specific regions of the state will depend on pricing and other market factors.
The Legislative Transition Task Force continues to work collaboratively with the SCC in conjunction with the phase-in of retail competition in the generation of electricity. This year the task force reviewed a proposal submitted by electric distribution cooperatives that would the give them the option of adopting "member regulation." Similar legislation was introduced in the 2001 Session.
The cooperative's board of directors or one percent of its members may call a referendum on the adoption of member regulation. If the referendum is approved, the SCC would no longer regulate the rates, terms and conditions of its electric distribution service. Charges for service will be set by the cooperative's board, subject to requirements that they be nondiscriminatory, reasonable and just. The SCC will be empowered to determine, upon receipt of complaints by 25 percent of a customer class, whether the rates, terms and conditions of service are nondiscriminatory, just and reasonable. However, the cooperative would continue to be subject to the capped rate, wires charges, and default service provisions of the Restructuring Act. To date, the task force has taken no action on the proposal.
- Campaigns/Elections - Constitutional
Amendments - Courts -