Senate Bill No. 171

(By Senator Snyder and McCabe)


[Introduced January 21, 2000; referred to the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining.]

A BILL to amend article three, chapter twenty-four of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section nine, relating to inspection of electric service installations prior to electric service being connected; requiring inspections after a certain date; public service commission to establish parameters for inspections; electric utilities to develop and submit inspection program to commission for approval; and exemptions from inspection.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article three, chapter twenty-four of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section nine, to read as follows:

§24-3-9. Electric service installation inspections.

(a) On and after the first day of July, two thousand two, no electric utility subject to the provisions of this chapter may connect electric service to a residential, commercial or industrial electric service installation unless and until such installation has been inspected from the point of service attachment up to and including the service equipment and grounding, and approved pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(b) The commission shall, by rule, establish parameters for an electric inspection program to be adopted by an electric utility in developing such a program. Such parameters shall include:
(1) The type and content of inspection necessary to ensure that the electric service meets the relevant requirements of the National Electrical Code and any requirements of the electric utility as approved by the commission;
(2) The conditions under which an electric service installation is subject to inspection;
(3) A requirement that the inspection shall be performed by a certified electrical inspector who is not an employee or agent of the electric utility which would serve the installation;
(4) The type of notice to be used:
(A) By the electric utility to inform an electric customer that an inspection under this section is required; and
(B) By the electrical inspector to inform the electric customer and the electric utility that the installation has been inspected and approved for service;
(5) A schedule of fees which may be charged a customer by the electrical inspector for performing an initial inspection and any necessary subsequent inspection should the installation fail the initial inspection; and
(6) Any other requirements the commission deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
(c) Each electric utility regulated by the commission shall develop and submit to the commission for approval an electric inspection program which conforms to the parameters established under subsection (b) of this section. The commission may require revision of any provision of such program which does not so conform. Any inspection program which has been approved by the commission prior to the effective date of this section shall be resubmitted to the commission for approval only if any provision of such program does not conform to the parameters or any provision of this section.
(d) The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(1) Any installation which is subject to inspection under an established inspection program of a county or municipality;
(2) Any installation in ships, water craft, railway rolling stock, aircraft or motor vehicles;
(3) Any installation of railways for the generation, transformation, transmission or distribution of electricity used exclusively for operation of rolling stock, or any installation used exclusively for railway signaling and communication purposes;
(4) Any installation underground in mines;
(5) Any installation under the control of an electric utility for the purposes of communication or metering, or for the generation, control, transformation, transmission and distribution of electricity located in building spaces used by such utilities for such purposes or located on property owned or leased by the utility or on public highways, streets or roads, or by established rights on private property;
(6) Any installation for communication equipment under the control of communication utilities and providers;
(7) Any installation of high voltage service of six hundred volts or more which is subject to the provisions of the National Electrical Safety Code; and
(8) Any other electric installation the commission may exempt by rule or regulation.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require, after July 1, 2002, electric utilities to submit to the public service commission for approval, a program for inspection of electric installations based on the parameters established by the public service commission through its rules.

This is a new section, therefore strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.