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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 24- CHAPTER 24. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

WVC 24 - 1 - ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.


WVC 24 - 1 - 1 §24-1-1. Legislative purpose and policy; plan for internal reorganization; promulgation of plan as rule; cooperation with Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

     (a) It is the purpose and policy of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to confer upon the Public Service Commission of this state the authority and duty to enforce and regulate the practices, services and rates of public utilities in order to:

     (1) Ensure fair and prompt regulation of public utilities in the interest of the using and consuming public;

     (2) Provide the availability of adequate, economical and reliable utility services throughout the state;

     (3) Encourage the well-planned development of utility resources in a manner consistent with state needs and in ways consistent with the productive use of the state's energy resources, such as coal;

     (4) Ensure that rates and charges for utility services are just, reasonable, applied without unjust discrimination or preference, applied in a manner consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in article two-a of this chapter, and based primarily on the costs of providing these services;

     (5) Encourage energy conservation and the effective and efficient management of regulated utility enterprises; and

     (6) Encourage removal of artificial barriers to rail carrier service, stimulate competition, stimulate the free flow of goods and passengers throughout the state and promote the expansion of the tourism industry, thereby improving the economic condition of the state.

     (b) The Legislature creates the Public Service Commission to exercise the legislative powers delegated to it. The Public Service Commission is charged with the responsibility for appraising and balancing the interests of current and future utility service customers, the general interests of the state's economy and the interests of the utilities subject to its jurisdiction in its deliberations and decisions.

     (c) The Legislature directs the Public Service Commission to identify, explore and consider the potential benefits or risks associated with emerging and state-of-the-art concepts in utility management, rate design and conservation. The commission may conduct inquiries and hold hearings regarding such concepts in order to provide utilities subject to its jurisdiction and other interested persons the opportunity to comment, and shall report to the Governor and the Legislature regarding its findings and policies to each of these areas not later than the first day of the regular session of the Legislature in the year 1985, and every two years thereafter.

     (d) It is legislative policy to ensure that the Legislature and the general public become better informed regarding the regulation of public utilities in this state and the conduct of the business of the Public Service Commission. To aid in the achievement of this policy, the Public Service Commission annually shall present to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, created by article three, chapter four of this code, or a subcommittee designated by the joint committee, a management summary report which describes in a concise manner:

     (1) The major activities of the commission for the year especially as such activities relate to the implementation of the provisions of this chapter;

     (2) Important policy decisions reached and initiatives undertaken during the year;

     (3) The current balance of supply and demand for natural gas and electric utility services in the state and forecast of the probable balance for the next ten years; and

     (4) Other information considered by the commission to be important including recommendations for statutory reform and the reasons for such recommendations.

     (e) In addition to any other studies and reports required to be conducted and made by the Public Service Commission pursuant to any other provision of this section, the commission shall study and initially report to the Legislature no later than the first day of the regular session of the Legislature in the year 1980 upon:

     (1) The extent to which natural gas wells or wells heretofore supplying gas utilities in this state have been capped off or shut in; the number of such wells; their probable extent of future production and the reasons given and any justification for capping off or shutting in such wells; the reasons, if any, why persons engaged or heretofore engaged in the development of gas wells in this state or the Appalachian areas have been discouraged from drilling, developing or selling the production of such wells; and whether there are fixed policies by any utility or group of utilities to avoid the purchase of natural gas produced in the Appalachian region of the United States generally and in West Virginia specifically.

     (2) The extent of the export and import of natural gas utility supplies in West Virginia.

     (3) The cumulative effect of the practices mentioned in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection upon rates theretofore and hereafter charged gas utility customers in West Virginia.

     In carrying out the provisions of this section the commission shall have jurisdiction over such persons, whether public utilities or not, as may be in the opinion of the commission necessary to the exercise of its mandate and may compel attendance before it, take testimony under oath and compel the production of papers or other documents. Upon reasonable request by the commission, all other state agencies shall cooperate with the commission in carrying out the provisions and requirements of this subsection.

     (f) No later than the first day of the regular session of the Legislature in the year 1980, the Public Service Commission shall submit to the Legislature a plan for internal reorganization which plan shall specifically address the following:

     (1) A division within the Public Service Commission which shall include the office of the commissioners, the hearing examiners and such support staff as may be necessary to carry out the functions of decisionmaking and general supervision of the commission, which functions shall not include advocacy in cases before the commission;

     (2) The creation of a division which shall act as an advocate for the position of and in the interest of all customers;

     (3) The means and procedures by which the division to be created pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection shall protect the interests of each class of customers and the means by which the commission will assure that such division will be financially and departmentally independent of the division created by subdivision (1) of this subsection;

     (4) The creation of a division within the Public Service Commission which shall assume the duties and responsibilities now charged to the commissioners with regard to motor carriers which division shall exist separately from those divisions set out in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection and which shall relieve the commissioners of all except minimal administrative responsibilities as to motor carriers and which plan shall provide for a hearing procedure to relieve the commissioners from hearing motor carrier cases;

     (5) Which members of the staff of the Public Service Commission shall be exempted from the salary schedules or pay plan adopted by the civil service commission and identify such staff members by job classification or designation, together with the salary or salary ranges for each such job classification or designation;

     (6) The manner in which the commission will strengthen its knowledge and independent capacity to analyze key conditions and trends in the industries it regulates extending from general industry analysis and supply-demand forecasting to continuing and more thorough scrutiny of the capacity planning, construction management, operating performance and financial condition of the major companies within these industries.

     Such plan shall be based on the concept that each of the divisions mentioned in subdivisions (1), (2) and (4) of this subsection shall exist independently of the others and the plan shall discourage ex parte communications between them by such means as the commission shall direct, including, but not limited to, separate clerical and professional staffing for each division. Further, the Public Service Commission is directed to incorporate within the said plan to the fullest extent possible the recommendations presented to the subcommittee on the Public Service Commission of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance in a final report dated February, 1979, and entitled "A Plan for Regulatory Reform and Management Improvement."

     The commission shall, before January 5, 1980, adopt said plan by order, which order shall promulgate the same as a rule of the commission to be effective upon the date specified in said order, which date shall be no later than December 31, 1980. Certified copies of such order and rule shall be filed on the first day of the 1980 regular session of the Legislature, by the chairman of the commission with the clerk of each house of the Legislature, the Governor and the Secretary of State. The chairman of the commission shall also file with the Office of the Secretary of State the receipt of the clerk of each house and of the Governor, which receipt shall evidence compliance with this section.

     Upon the filing of a certified copy of such order and rule, the clerk of each house of the Legislature shall report the same to their respective houses and the presiding officer thereof shall refer the same to appropriate standing committee or committees.

     Within the limits of funds appropriated therefor, the rule of the Public Service Commission shall be effective upon the date specified in the order of the commission promulgating it unless an alternative plan be adopted by general law or unless the rule is disapproved by a concurrent resolution of the Legislature adopted prior to adjournment sine die of the regular session of the Legislature to be held in the year 1980: Provided, That if such rule is approved in part and disapproved in part by a concurrent resolution of the Legislature adopted prior to such adjournment, such rule shall be effective to the extent and only to the extent that the same is approved by such concurrent resolution.

     The rules promulgated and made effective pursuant to this section shall be effective notwithstanding any other provisions of this code for the promulgation of rules or regulations.

     (g) The Public Service Commission is hereby directed to cooperate with the Joint Committee on Government and Finance of the Legislature in its review, examination and study of the administrative operations and enforcement record of the Railroad Safety Division of the Public Service Commission and any similar studies.

     (h) (1) The Legislature hereby finds that rates for natural gas charged to customers of all classes have risen dramatically in recent years to the extent that such increases have adversely affected all customer classes. The Legislature further finds that it must take action necessary to mitigate the adverse consequences of these dramatic rate increases.

     (2) The Legislature further finds that the practices of natural gas utilities in purchasing high-priced gas supplies, in purchasing gas supplies from out-of-state sources when West Virginia possesses abundant natural gas, and in securing supplies, directly or indirectly by contractual agreements including take-or- pay provisions, indefinite price escalators or most-favored nation clauses have contributed to the dramatic increase in natural gas prices. It is therefore the policy of the Legislature to discourage such purchasing practices in order to protect all customer classes.

     (3) The Legislature further finds that it is in the best interests of the citizens of West Virginia to encourage the transportation of natural gas in intrastate commerce by interstate or intrastate pipelines or by local distribution companies in order to provide competition in the natural gas industry and in order to provide natural gas to consumers at the lowest possible price.

     (i) The Legislature further finds that transactions between utilities and affiliates are a contributing factor to the increase in natural gas and electricity prices and tend to confuse consideration of a proper rate of return calculation. The Legislature therefore finds that it is imperative that the Public Service Commission have the opportunity to properly study the issue of proper rate of return for lengthy periods of time and to limit the return of a utility to a proper level when compared to return or profit that affiliates earn on transactions with sister utilities.
WVC 24 - 1 - 1 A §24-1-1a. Supplemental rule for reorganization; certain reports to be made to the Legislature; filing of such rule and reports and the procedure therefor.

(a) The public service commission shall submit to the Legislature a supplemental rule for reorganization to supplement General Order No. 195, Rule for Reorganization, previously submitted to the Legislature on the first day of the regular session one thousand nine hundred eighty. Such supplemental rule shall specifically address and incorporate to the fullest extent possible each matter disapproved in a concurrent resolution of the Legislature adopted at its regular session in the year one thousand nine hundred eighty approving in part and disapproving in part the said General Order No. 195, Rule for Reorganization.

(b) The commission shall before the second day of January, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, adopt such supplemental rule by order, which order shall promulgate the same as a rule of the commission to be effective upon the date specified in said order, which date shall be no later than the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one. Certified copies of such order and rule shall be filed on the first day of the regular session of the Legislature, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, by the chairman of the commission with the clerk of each house of the Legislature, the governor and the secretary of state. The chairman of the commission shall also file with the office of the secretary of state the receipt of the clerk of each house and of the governor, which receipt shall evidence compliance with this section.

Upon the filing of a certified copy of such order and rule, the clerk of each house of the Legislature shall report the same to their respective houses and the presiding officer thereof shall refer the same to appropriate standing committee or committees.

Within the limits of funds appropriated therefor, the rule of the public service commission adopted pursuant to this section shall be effective upon the date specified in the order of the commission promulgating it unless an alternative plan be adopted by general law or unless the rule is disapproved by a concurrent resolution of the Legislature adopted prior to adjournment sine die of the regular session of the Legislature to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred eighty-one: Provided, That if such rule is approved in part and disapproved in part by a concurrent resolution of the Legislature adopted prior to such adjournment, such rule shall be effective to the extent and only to the extent that the same is approved by such concurrent resolution.

The rule promulgated and made effective pursuant to this section shall be effective notwithstanding any other provision of this code for the promulgation of rules or regulations.

(c) In addition to filing the supplemental rule for reorganization as provided for in subsection (a) of this section, the chairman of the public service commission shall also file, according to procedure provided in subsection (b) of this section, those additional reports set forth in the concurrent resolution referred to in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) The public service commission may include in such supplemental rule an itemization of which members of the staff of the public service commission required for the consumer advocate division shall be exempted from the salary schedules or any plan adopted by the civil service commission and identify such staff members by job classification or designation, together with the salary or salary ranges for each job classification or designation.


WVC 24 - 1 - 1 B §24-1-1b. Supplemental rule for reorganization.

The public service commission shall, by general order, create a division within its staff which shall provide legal, engineering, financial and accounting advice and assistance to public service districts and Class III cities and Class IV towns or villages in operational, financial and regulatory matters, and may perform or participate in the studies required under section one-b, article thirteen-a, chapter sixteen of this code: Provided, That advice and assistance to a Class III city or Class IV town or village shall only be given if such advice or assistance is specifically requested by the Class III city or the Class IV town or village. The request may be withdrawn by the city or town at any time, after which the commission shall not provide further assistance or advice.


WVC 24 - 1 - 2 §24-1-2. Definitions.
Except where a different meaning clearly appears from the context the words "public utility" when used in this chapter shall mean and include any person or persons, or association of persons, however associated, whether incorporated or not, including municipalities, engaged in any business, whether herein enumerated or not, which is, or shall hereafter be held to be, a public service. Whenever in this chapter the words "commission" or "public service commission" occur such word or words shall, unless a different intent clearly appears from the context, be taken to mean the public service commission of West Virginia. Whenever used in this chapter, "customer" shall mean and include any person, firm, corporation, municipality, public service district or any other entity who purchases a product or services of any utility and shall include any such person, firm, corporation, municipality, public service district or any other entity who purchases such services or product for resale.


WVC 24 - 1 - 3 §24-1-3. Commission continued; membership; chairman; compensation;  quorum.
 (a) The Public Service Commission of West Virginia is continued and directed as provided by this chapter, chapter twenty- four-a, chapter twenty-four-b and chapter twenty-four-d of this code. The Public Service Commission may sue and be sued by that name.

 (b) The Public Service Commission shall consist of three members who shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The commissioners shall be citizens and residents of this state and at least one of them shall be duly licensed to practice law in West Virginia, with not less than ten years' actual work experience in the legal profession as a member of a state bar.

 (c) No more than two of the commissioners shall be members of the same political party.

 (d) Each commissioner shall, before entering upon the duties of his or her office, take and subscribe to the oath provided by section five, article IV of the Constitution of this state. The oath shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.

 (e) The Governor shall designate one of the commissioners to serve as chairman at the Governor's will and pleasure. The chairman shall be the chief administrative officer of the commission. The Governor may remove any commissioner only for incompetency, neglect of duty, gross immorality, malfeasance in office or violation of subsections (g) and (h) of this section.

 (f) Upon expiration of the terms, appointments are for terms of six years, except that an appointment to fill a vacancy is for the unexpired term only.

 (g) No person while in the employ of, or holding any official relation to, any public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter or holding any stocks or bonds of a public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter or who is pecuniarily interested in a public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter may serve as a member of the commission or as an employee of the commission.

 (h) Nor may any commissioner be a candidate for or hold public office or be a member of any political committee while acting as a commissioner; nor may any commissioner or employee of the commission receive any pass, free transportation or other thing of value, either directly or indirectly, from any public utility or motor carrier subject to the provisions of this chapter. In case any of the commissioners becomes a candidate for any public office or a member of any political committee, the Governor shall remove him or her from office and shall appoint a new commissioner to fill the vacancy created.

 (i) The annual salary of each commissioner provided in section two-a, article seven, chapter six of this code shall be paid in monthly installments from the special funds in the percentages that follow:

 (1) From the Public Service Commission Fund collected under the provisions of section six, article three of this chapter, eighty percent;

 (2) From the Public Service Commission Motor Carrier Fund collected under the provisions of section six, article six, chapter twenty-four-a of this code, seventeen percent; and

 (3) From the Public Service Commission Gas Pipeline Safety Fund collected under the provisions of section three, article five, chapter twenty-four-b of this code, three percent.

 (j) In addition to the salary provided for all commissioners in section two-a, article seven, chapter six of this code, the chairman of the commission shall receive $5,000 per annum to be paid in monthly installments from the Public Service Commission Fund collected under the provisions of section six, article three of this chapter.
WVC 24 - 1 - 4 §24-1-4. Appointment, duties and compensation of secretary and other employees; hearings generally; public comment; outside employment by certain employees prohibited. .
 The commission shall appoint a secretary and such other employees as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and shall fix their respective salaries or compensations. It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep a full and true record of all proceedings, acts, orders and judgments of the commission, to issue all necessary process, returns and notices, to keep all books, maps, documents and papers ordered filed by the commission, and all orders made by the commission or approved and confirmed by it and ordered to be filed; and he shall be responsible to the commission for the safe custody and preservation of all such documents in his office. He may administer oaths in all parts of the state, so far as the exercise of such power is properly incidental to the performance of his duty or that of the commission.

 The commission may designate such of its employees as it deems necessary to hold hearings, held or required by this chapter, and to take evidence at such hearings, which employees are hereby empowered to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, require the production of documentary evidence and exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be delegated to them and required by the commission, in any proceeding or examination instituted or conducted by the commission under this chapter, at any designated place of hearing within the state.

 The commission shall provide a web site to accept comments from West Virginia residents regarding any matter under the auspices of the commission or before the commission. The commission staff shall report to the full commission all comments and suggestions received through the web site.

 Any commissioner or person employed by the commission other than on a part-time basis shall devote full time to the performance of his duties as such commissioner or employee during the regular working hours as set by the commission.
WVC 24 - 1 - 5 §24-1-5. Seal to be adopted; collection and disposition of fees.
The commission shall adopt a seal which shall be affixed to all papers under such regulations as the commission may prescribe. The commission shall likewise prescribe a schedule of fees to be charged for the certification of all records and papers, and sums to be paid witnesses and other costs necessary and incident to hearings before it and order the same paid by the unsuccessful party. All sums collected by the secretary, except witness fees, shall be paid by him into the state treasury and be credited to the public service commission fund provided for in section six, article three of this chapter. The witness fee shall be paid to the person to whom they are allowed. The sums to be paid into the public service commission fund representing the collection of any month shall be so paid on or before the tenth of the following month.


WVC 24 - 1 - 6 §24-1-6. Office of commission; time and place of hearings; number of commissioners required for taking action. .
 The general office of the commission shall be kept at the seat of government and in charge of the secretary or his or her deputy. Hearings and the taking of evidence may be had at such times and places and in such manner in each particular case as the commission may designate. If the sole purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment or protest, then not less than one commissioner is required to be present.

 The concurrent judgment of two of the commissioners, when in session as the commission, shall be deemed the action of the commission, and a vacancy in the commission shall not affect the right or duty of the remaining commissioners to function as a commission.
WVC 24 - 1 - 7 §24-1-7. Rules of procedure; commission not bound by rules of evidence or pleadings; inscription on, use of and judicial notice of seal.

The commission shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, including rules of procedure and for taking evidence in all matters that may come before it, and enter such orders as may be just and lawful: Provided, That no such rule or regulation shall be effective unless promulgated pursuant to the provisions of sections one through ten, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code: Provided, however, That no such rule or regulation shall become effective until sixty days after its final adoption or until the effective date proposed by the commission, whichever is later: Provided further, That any rules and regulations promulgated prior to the effective date of this section shall remain in full force and effect unless changed, modified or repealed in accordance herewith. The rules and regulations promulgated hereunder by the public service commission shall not be subject to the legislative rule-making review procedures established in sections eleven through fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. In the investigations, preparations and hearings of cases, the commission shall not be bound by the technical rules of pleading and evidence, but in that respect it may exercise such discretion as will facilitate its efforts to understand and learn all the facts bearing upon the right and justice to the matters before it.

Meetings of the commission wherein the sole purpose is to decide or deliberate toward a decision on any matter are exempt from the requirements of article nine-a, chapter six of this code, any other provision of this code to the contrary notwithstanding.

All orders of the commission shall set forth separately findings of facts and conclusions of law, which findings of fact shall make specific reference to the evidence in the record which supports such findings.

The commission shall have a seal bearing the following inscription: "The Public Service Commission of West Virginia." The seal shall be affixed to all writs and authentications of copies of records, and to such other instruments as the commission shall direct. All courts shall take judicial notice of said seal.


WVC 24 - 1 - 8 §24-1-8. Legal counsel for the commission.
The commission may employ counsel to represent it in proceedings before it on application, complaint, or otherwise, and proceedings of any nature in any and all courts or before administrative or executive boards and to act as legal advisers to the commission in all matters for which their services, in the opinion of the commission, are required. The compensation of such counsel shall be fixed by the commission and shall be paid as are other employees of the commission. The commission shall notify the attorney general of any action or suit brought against the commission.


WVC 24 - 1 - 9 §24-1-9. Recommended decision by hearing commissioner, hearing examiner or panel.
(a) Any order recommended by a single hearing commissioner, a hearing examiner or a panel consisting of a hearing examiner and a single commissioner with respect to any matter referred for hearing shall be in writing and shall set forth separately findings of fact and conclusions of law, which findings of fact shall make specific reference to the evidence in the record which supports such findings and shall be filed with the commission. A copy of such recommended order shall be served upon the parties who have appeared in the proceeding.

(b) Before any order is recommended, the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to submit, within the time prescribed by the hearing commissioner, hearing examiner or panel, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and briefs.

(c) The commission shall serve a copy of the recommended order on the parties by one of the following means:

(1) By certified U.S. mail, return receipt requested; or

(2) By electronic transmission: Provided, That the party has the capability to receive the electronic transmission, has furnished an electronic address and has agreed in writing to accept recommended orders electronically. Electronic transmissions shall contain a "return receipt" or "read receipt" mechanism to assure that a recommended order was received by the party: Provided, however, That if the commission does not receive a confirmatory electronic transmission acknowledging the recommended order was received by the party, via return receipt, read receipt or electronic mail, within three business days of service, the commission shall serve the recommended order by certified U.S. mail, return receipt requested.

(d) Service is complete when the recommended order is placed in the mail or transmitted electronically to the party.

(e) Within the time prescribed, the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to file exceptions to the recommended order and a brief in support, provided the time fixed is not less than fifteen days from the date of service of such recommended order.

(f) In all proceedings in which exceptions have been filed to a recommended order, the commission, before issuing its final order, may afford the parties an opportunity for oral argument. When exceptions are filed, the commission shall consider the exceptions. If sufficient reason appears for the exceptions, the commission may grant the review or make an order or hold or authorize further hearings or proceedings. The commission, after review, upon the whole record, or as supplemented by a further hearing, shall decide the matter in controversy and make appropriate order thereon.

(g) When no exceptions are filed within the time specified, the recommended order shall become the order of the commission five days following the expiration of the period for filing exceptions unless the order is stayed or postponed by the commission: Provided, That the commission may, on its own motion before the order becomes the order of the commission, review any matter and take action as if exceptions had been filed.

(h) The commission, a hearing commissioner, a hearing examiner or panel to whom a matter is referred may expedite the hearing and decision of any case, if the public interest requires, by the use of pretrial conferences, stipulations and agreements, prepared testimony, depositions, daily transcripts of evidence, trial briefs and oral argument in lieu of briefs.


WVC 24 - 1 - 10 §24-1-10.
Repealed.

Acts, 2010 Reg. Sess., Ch. 32.
WVC 24 - 2 - ARTICLE 2. POWERS AND DUTIES OF PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 §24-2-1. Jurisdiction of commission; waiver of jurisdiction.
(a) The jurisdiction of the commission shall extend to all public utilities in this state and shall include any utility engaged in any of the following public services:

Common carriage of passengers or goods, whether by air, railroad, street railroad, motor or otherwise, by express or otherwise, by land, water or air, whether wholly or partly by land, water or air; transportation of oil, gas or water by pipeline; transportation of coal and its derivatives and all mixtures and combinations thereof with other substances by pipeline; sleeping car or parlor car services; transmission of messages by telephone, telegraph or radio; generation and transmission of electrical energy by hydroelectric or other utilities for service to the public, whether directly or through a distributing utility; supplying water, gas or electricity, by municipalities or others; sewer systems servicing twenty-five or more persons or firms other than the owner of the sewer systems: Provided, That if a public utility intends to provide sewer service by an innovative, alternative method, as defined by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, the innovative, alternative method is a public utility function and subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission regardless of the number of customers served by the innovative, alternative method; any public service district created under the provisions of article thirteen-a, chapter sixteen of this code; toll bridges, wharves, ferries; solid waste facilities; and any other public service: Provided, however, That natural gas producers who provide natural gas service to not more than twenty-five residential customers are exempt from the jurisdiction of the commission with regard to the provisions of such residential service: Provided further, That upon request of any of the customers of such natural gas producers, the commission may, upon good cause being shown, exercise such authority as the commission may deem appropriate over the operation, rates and charges of such producer and for such length of time as the commission may consider to be proper: And provided further, That the jurisdiction the commission may exercise over the rates and charges of municipally operated public utilities is limited to that authority granted the commission in section four-b of this article: And provided further, That the decision-making authority granted to the commission in sections four and four-a of this article shall, in respect to an application filed by a public service district, be delegated to a single hearing examiner appointed from the commission staff, which hearing examiner shall be authorized to carry out all decision-making duties assigned to the commission by said sections, and to issue orders having the full force and effect of orders of the commission.

(b) The commission may, upon application, waive its jurisdiction and allow a utility operating in an adjoining state to provide service in West Virginia when:

(1) An area of West Virginia cannot be practicably and economically served by a utility licensed to operate within the State of West Virginia;

(2) Said area can be provided with utility service by a utility which operates in a state adjoining West Virginia;

(3) The utility operating in the adjoining state is regulated by a regulatory agency or commission of the adjoining state; and

(4) The number of customers to be served is not substantial. The rates the out-of-state utility charges West Virginia customers shall be the same as the rate the utility is duly authorized to charge in the adjoining jurisdiction. The commission, in the case of any such utility, may revoke its waiver of jurisdiction for good cause.

(c) Any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding:

(1) An owner or operator of an electric generating facility located or to be located in this state that has been designated as an exempt wholesale generator under applicable federal law, or will be so designated prior to commercial operation of the facility, and for which such facility the owner or operator holds a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the commission on or before the first day of July, two thousand three, shall be subject to subsections (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) and (j), section eleven-c of this article as if the certificate of public convenience and necessity for such facility were a siting certificate issued under said section and shall not otherwise be subject to the jurisdiction of the commission or to the provisions of this chapter with respect to such facility except for the making or constructing of a material modification thereof as provided in subdivision (5) of this subsection.

(2) Any person, corporation or other entity that intends to construct or construct and operate an electric generating facility to be located in this state that has been designated as an exempt wholesale generator under applicable federal law, or will be so designated prior to commercial operation of the facility, and for which facility the owner or operator does not hold a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the commission on or before the first day of July, two thousand three, shall, prior to commencement of construction of the facility, obtain a siting certificate from the commission pursuant to the provisions of section eleven-c of this article in lieu of a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to the provisions of section eleven of this article. An owner or operator of an electric generating facility as is described in this subdivision for which a siting certificate has been issued by the commission shall be subject to subsections (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) and (j), section eleven-c of this article and shall not otherwise be subject to the jurisdiction of the commission or to the provisions of this chapter with respect to such facility except for the making or constructing of a material modification thereof as provided in subdivision (5) of this subsection.

(3) An owner or operator of an electric generating facility located in this state that had not been designated as an exempt wholesale generator under applicable federal law prior to commercial operation of the facility, that generates electric energy solely for sale at retail outside this state or solely for sale at wholesale in accordance with any applicable federal law that preempts state law or solely for both such sales at retail and such sales at wholesale, and that had been constructed and had engaged in commercial operation on or before the first day of July, two thousand three, shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of the commission or to the provisions of this chapter with respect to such facility, regardless of whether such facility subsequent to its construction has been or will be designated as an exempt wholesale generator under applicable federal law: Provided, That such owner or operator shall be subject to subdivision (5) of this subsection if a material modification of such facility is made or constructed.

(4) Any person, corporation or other entity that intends to construct or construct and operate an electric generating facility to be located in this state that has not been or will not be designated as an exempt wholesale generator under applicable federal law prior to commercial operation of the facility, that will generate electric energy solely for sale at retail outside this state or solely for sale at wholesale in accordance with any applicable federal law that preempts state law or solely for both such sales at retail and such sales at wholesale and that had not been constructed and had not been engaged in commercial operation on or before the first day of July, two thousand three, shall, prior to commencement of construction of the facility, obtain a siting certificate from the commission pursuant to the provisions of section eleven-c of this article in lieu of a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to the provisions of section eleven of this article. An owner or operator of an electric generating facility as is described in this subdivision for which a siting certificate has been issued by the commission shall be subject to subsections (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) and (j), section eleven-c of this article and shall not otherwise be subject to the jurisdiction of the commission or to the provisions of this chapter with respect to such facility except for the making or constructing of a material modification thereof as provided in subdivision (5) of this subsection.

(5) An owner or operator of an electric generating facility described in this subsection shall, before making or constructing a material modification of the facility that is not within the terms of any certificate of public convenience and necessity or siting certificate previously issued for the facility or an earlier material modification thereof, obtain a siting certificate for the modification from the commission pursuant to the provisions of section eleven-c of this article in lieu of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the modification pursuant to the provisions of section eleven of this article and, except for the provisions of section eleven-c of this article, shall not otherwise be subject to the jurisdiction of the commission or to the provisions of this chapter with respect to such modification.

(6) The commission shall consider an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity filed pursuant to section eleven of this article to construct an electric generating facility described in this subsection or to make or construct a material modification of such electric generating facility as an application for a siting certificate pursuant to section eleven-c of this article if the application for the certificate of public convenience and necessity was filed with the commission prior to the first day of July, two thousand three, and if the commission has not issued a final order thereon as of that date.

(7) The limitations on the jurisdiction of the commission over, and on the applicability of the provisions of this chapter to, the owner or operator of an electric generating facility as imposed by, and described in this subsection, shall not be deemed to affect or limit the commission's jurisdiction over contracts or arrangements between the owner or operator of such facility and any affiliated public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 A §24-2-1a. Authority of commission to enter and inspect railroad property.
The commission or its duly authorized representatives are hereby authorized and empowered to enter and inspect any property, premise or place, owned or operated by a railroad, whether fixed facilities or rolling stock, including, but not limited to, locomotives, cars and cabooses, stationary or in motion, at any reasonable time for the purpose of ascertaining the state of compliance with this article and rules and regulations in force pursuant thereto. No person shall refuse entry or access to the commission or any authorized representative of the commission who requests entry for purposes of inspection, and who presents appropriate credentials; nor shall any person obstruct, hamper or interfere with any such inspection.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 B §24-2-1b. Additional jurisdiction of commission.
(a) Effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-eight, in addition to all other powers and duties of the commission as defined in this article, the commission shall establish, prescribe and enforce rates and fees charged by commercial solid waste facilities, as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter twenty-two of this code, that are owned or under the direct control of persons or entities who are regulated under section five, article two, chapter twenty-four-a of this code. The commission shall establish, prescribe and enforce rules providing for the safe transportation of solid waste in the state. The commission shall establish rules for the collection of waste tires by private commercial carriers of solid waste.

(b) The public service commission shall study the feasibility of incorporating and adopting guidelines for solid waste collection fees that are based upon the volume of solid waste generated by any person. This report shall be submitted to the governor and the members of the Legislature on or before the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-three.


WVC 24-2-1C §24-2-1c. Certificates of need required for solid waste facilities.
(a) Any person applying for a permit to construct, operate or expand a commercial solid waste facility as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter twenty-two of this code, or any person seeking a major permit modification for a commercial solid waste facility from the division of environmental protection first shall obtain a certificate of need from the public service commission. Application for such certificate shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the commission. The commission shall grant or deny a certificate of need, in accordance with provisions set forth in this chapter. If the commission grants a certificate of need, the commission may include conditions not inconsistent with the criteria set forth in this section.

(b) For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, a complete application consists of the following and notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, such information contained in the application provided by the applicant is not confidential and may be disclosed pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code:

(1) The names of the owners or operators of the facility including any officer, director, manager, person owning five percent or more interest or other person conducting or managing the affairs of the applicant as to the proposed facility;

(2) The location of the facility;

(3) A description of the geographic area to be served by the facility;

(4) The anticipated total number of citizens to be served by the facility;

(5) The average monthly tonnage of solid waste anticipated to be disposed of by the facility;

(6) The total monthly tonnage of solid waste for which the facility is seeking a permit from the division of environmental protection;

(7) The anticipated life span and closure date of the facility; and

(8) Any other information requested on the forms prescribed by the commission.

(c) In considering whether to grant a certificate of need the commission shall consider, but is not limited to considering, the following factors:

(1) The total tonnage of solid waste, regardless of geographic origin, that is likely to be delivered each month to the facility if the certificate is granted;

(2) The current capacity and life-span of other solid waste facilities that are likely to compete with the applicant's facility;

(3) The life span of the proposed or existing facility;

(4) The cost of transporting solid waste from the points of generation to the disposal facility;

(5) The impact of the proposed or existing facility on needs and criteria contained in the statewide solid waste management plan; and

(6) Any other criteria which the commission regularly utilizes in making such determinations.

(d) The public service commission shall deny a certificate of need upon one or more of the following findings:

(1) The proposed capacity is unreasonable in light of the total tonnage of solid waste that is likely to be delivered each month to the facility if the certificate is granted;

(2) The location of the facility is inconsistent with the statewide solid waste management plan;

(3) The location of the facility is inconsistent with any applicable county or regional solid waste management plan;

(4) The proposed facility is not reasonably cost effective in light of alternative disposal sites;

(5) The proposal, taken as a whole, is inconsistent with the needs and criteria contained in the statewide solid waste management plan; or

(6) The proposal, taken as a whole, is inconsistent with the public convenience and necessity.

(e) An application for a certificate of need shall be submitted prior to submitting an application for certificate of site approval in accordance with section twenty-four, article four, chapter twenty-two-c of this code. Upon the decision of the commission to grant or deny a certificate of need, the commission shall immediately notify the solid waste management board and the division of environmental protection.

(f) Any party aggrieved by a decision of the commission granting or denying a certificate of need may obtain judicial review thereof in the same manner provided in section one, article five of this chapter.

(g) No person may sell, lease or transfer a certificate of need without first obtaining the consent and approval of the commission pursuant to the provisions of section twelve, article two of this chapter.

(h) The commission shall promulgate rules relating to the types of commercial solid waste facility modification or construction that require certificates of need.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 D §24-2-1d. Future electric generating capacity requirements.

(a) In order to maximize the use of electricity generated within the state by using coal or natural gas produced within the state, the public service commission shall by order, no later than the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine, establish the schedule and amount of future electric generating capacity additions required by each West Virginia electric utility, for the next ten years, taking into account: (i) Projected load growth; (ii) existing generating capacity; (iii) existing contractual commitments to sell or purchase capacity; (iv) planned retirement and life extensions of existing capacity; (v) planned construction of capacity; (vi) availability of capacity from generating units of affiliated companies; and (vii) such other reasonable factors as the commission may deem relevant and appropriate to consider.

(b) If the commission determines after considering all such named and other relevant and appropriate factors that a utility will be required to purchase electric generating capacity beyond those agreements approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the West Virginia public service commission in order to serve its West Virginia customers, the amount of such required additional purchased capacity so identified by the commission will for purposes of this section be referred to as the utility's "projected deficient capacity": Provided, That this subsection shall not include power generating facilities whose total production of electricity is sold outside the state of West Virginia.

(c) In the interests of: Keeping utility rates of residential customers as low as possible; keeping utility rates for commercial and industrial customers competitive with those of other states; attracting new industry for which electric power costs are a major factor in location determinations; and of not placing any greater cost burden on government than is absolutely necessary for its electric power needs, each utility shall acquire, if reasonable, its projected deficient capacity from electric generation situate in West Virginia which burns coal or gas produced in West Virginia and which will provide the most reliable supply of capacity and energy at the least cost to those customers of the utility who will be served by such electric generation: Provided, That all power purchase contracts executed prior to the effective date of this section which satisfy the following requirements, regardless of location, shall be considered, for the purposes of this subsection, as electric generation situate in West Virginia: (1) Said contracts were negotiated in accordance with procedures and priced according to methodologies of other contracts which the commission has ordered approved; (2) said contracts either guarantee or are substantially amended to guarantee for the life of the contract the use of an amount of West Virginia fuel which equals or exceeds the amount which would be required, on a percentage of output basis, to produce the amount of electric power to be consumed in West Virginia; and (3) said contracts meet the requirements for a qualifying facility established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 E §24-2-1e. Rate recovery for construction of electric transmission facilities.

In order to encourage the construction of transmission facilities necessary to transmit electric power from generating facilities located in this state to areas where such power can be economically marketed, the commission may allow an electric utility accelerated rate recovery for transmission facilities constructed or upgraded for the purpose of increasing the capacity to transmit electric power to areas outside the utility's service territory where such power can be economically marketed. In allowing accelerated rate recovery, the commission shall include the impact of the investment in transmission facilities on any investment equalization agreement in which the utilities participate.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 F §24-2-1f. Jurisdiction of commission over solid waste facilities.

Effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine, in addition to all other powers and duties of the commission as defined in this article, the commission shall establish, prescribe and enforce rates and fees charged by commercial solid waste facilities, as defined in subsection (b), section two, article four, chapter twenty-two-c of this code.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 G §24-2-1g. Rate incentives for utility investment in qualified clean coal and clean air control technology facilities.

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the state of West Virginia has been a major supplier of coal to the electric power industry both within and outside of the state of West Virginia; the congress of the United States is currently considering legislation to limit the emissions of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen from coal fired electric generating plants; the continued use of coal for generating electrical energy can be accomplished in an environmentally acceptable manner through the use of current state of the art and emerging clean coal and clean air technology; it is in the interest of the economy of West Virginia to encourage the use of such technologies for the production of electricity and steam; revenues from the continued production of coal are important to the State of West Virginia and are necessary for the funding of education and other vital state services; the construction of electric utility generation and transmission facilities may continue for many years following the finalization of plans for such facilities; and the prudence of the construction of such facilities may be affected by changing conditions during the extended interval between finalization of plans and completion of construction.

(b) Upon a finding that it is in the public interest of this state, as provided in section one, article one of this chapter, the public service commission shall authorize rate-making allowances for electric utility investment in clean coal and clean air technology facilities or electric utility purchases of power from clean coal technology facilities located in West Virginia which shall provide an incentive to encourage investments in such technology.

(c) For purposes of this section a qualified clean coal or clean air technology facility must use coal produced in West Virginia for no less than seventy-five percent of its fuel requirements.

(d) The public service commission shall determine, at such time and in such proceeding, form and manner as is considered appropriate by the commission, the extent to which any electric utility investment or purchases of power qualify for incentive rate-making pursuant to this section.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 H §24-2-1h. Additional powers and duties of commission to control flow of solid waste.

(a) Upon the petition of any county or regional solid waste authority, motor carrier or solid waste facility, or upon the commission's own motion, the commission may issue an order that solid waste generated in the surrounding geographical area of a solid waste facility and transported for processing or disposal by solid waste collectors and haulers who are "motor carriers", as defined in chapter twenty-four-a of this code, be processed or disposed of at a designated solid waste facility or facilities: Provided, That such order shall not include:

(1) Disposal of solid waste at a solid waste facility by the person who owns, operates or leases the solid waste disposal facility if it is used exclusively to dispose of waste originally produced by such person in such person's regular business or personal activities or by persons utilizing the facility on a cost-sharing or nonprofit basis;

(2) Reuse or recycling of any solid waste; or

(3) Disposal of residential solid waste by an individual not in the business of hauling or disposing of solid waste on such days and times as designated pursuant to the provisions of section seven, article fifteen, chapter twenty-two of this code.

(b) In determining whether to issue an order establishing flow control to a solid waste facility, the commission shall consider, but is not limited to considering, the nature and composition of the solid waste, the environmental impact of controlling the flow of solid waste, the efficient disposal of solid waste, financial feasibility of proposed or existing solid waste facilities, the county or region solid waste control plan, the statewide solid waste control plan and the public convenience and necessity.

(c) The public service commission shall promulgate rules providing standards and criteria to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, excepting rules of the public service commission from legislative rule-making review, the public service commission shall propose a legislative rule in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, which shall mandate that motor carriers transport source-separated recyclable materials to a recycling facility. Such legislative rule shall provide, at a minimum, for a separate rate for the transportation of such materials or that such motor carriers may contract with a customer to waive the charge for transporting such materials in exchange for the value of such materials.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the public service commission is hereby authorized to employ ten persons, who shall be in the classified exempt service, in addition to any personnel positions otherwise authorized or allocated to the commission as of the effective date of this section to facilitate enforcement of duties imposed upon the commission in the regulation of solid waste disposal during the second extraordinary session of the Legislature, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 I §24-2-1i. Commission authorized to issue emergency certificate of need to certain commercial solid waste facilities; division of environmental protection to modify facility permit; criteria for emergency certificates.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this article, or any provision of article five-f or nine, chapter twenty, or any other provision of this code, upon the application of any commercial solid waste facility, the commission may grant to a commercial solid waste facility an emergency certificate of need to increase the maximum monthly solid waste disposal tonnage for a period not to exceed one year, to the extent deemed necessary to prevent any disruption of solid waste disposal services in any county or wasteshed of the state resulting from the closure of an existing landfill in said county or wasteshed: Provided, That the commission is not required to make any determination of need, necessity or reasonableness when acting on any application filed pursuant to this article regarding an existing commercial solid waste disposal facility, which is owned or operated by a county government or by an agency, board or entity thereof, and which has previously been denied a certificate of need prior to the effective date of this section. The authority granted to the commission under this section shall expire after the thirtieth day of September, one thousand nine hundred ninety-three. No temporary certificate issued pursuant to this section shall extend beyond the thirtieth day of September, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four. The director of the division of environmental protection shall modify any commercial solid waste facility permit, issued under article five-f, chapter twenty of this code, to conform with the maximum monthly solid waste disposal tonnage and any other terms and conditions set forth in a temporary certificate issued under this section.

(b) If the net tonnage increase under a temporary certificate application made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section would cause the gross monthly solid waste disposal tonnage of such facility to exceed ten thousand tons, a temporary certificate shall be issued only if the solid waste facility has: (1) Obtained from the county or regional solid waste authority for the county or counties in which the facility is located a certificate of site approval or approval for conversion from a Class B facility to a Class A facility; and (2) obtained from the county or regional solid waste authority for the county or counties in which the facility is located approval to increase the maximum monthly tonnage disposed at the facility; and (3) obtained from the county commission for the county or counties in which the landfill is located approval to operate as a Class A facility; and (4) has a certificate of need application pending before the public service commission; and (5) has installed a composite liner system in compliance with the requirements set forth in the solid waste management rules promulgated by the division of environmental protection or its predecessor. Such emergency certificate shall not authorize an increase in the maximum monthly solid waste disposal tonnage in an amount greater than that approved by the county or regional solid waste authority for the county or counties in which the landfill is located.


WVC 24 - 2 - 1 J §24-2-1j. Special rates for energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power.

     (a) The Legislature hereby finds that:

     (1) West Virginia enjoys relatively low cost electric power rates for residential customers, business and industry and these relatively low rates constitute a competitive economic advantage for West Virginia;

     (2) West Virginia has many energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power, and has the ability to retain its existing energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power and attract additional energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power in the future, through the adoption of policies and the establishment of rates that enhance and preserve the attractiveness of West Virginia as a place for energy intensive industrial consumers to do business;

     (3) Energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power create jobs, provide a substantial tax base and enhance the productive capacity, competitiveness and economic opportunities of West Virginia and all of its citizens;

     (4) Energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power help keep power rates low for all consumers of electric power, including residential customers, by providing a large consumption base over which the cost of producing electric power may be spread from time to time;

     (5) It is in the best interests of West Virginia, the citizens of West Virginia, electric public utilities in West Virginia, and all consumers of electric power in West Virginia, including residential customers, to encourage the continued development, construction, operation, maintenance and expansion in West Virginia of industrial plants and facilities which are energy intensive consumers of electric power, thereby increasing the creation, preservation and retention of jobs, expanding the tax base, helping keep power rates low for all consumers of electric power, and enhancing the productive capacity, competitiveness and economic opportunities of all citizens of West Virginia;

     (6) To encourage the continued development, construction, operation, maintenance and expansion in West Virginia of industrial plants and facilities which are energy intensive consumers of electric power, the commission may establish special rates under this section that in its judgment are necessary or appropriate for the continued, new or expanded operation of energy intensive industrial consumers and that can reasonably be expected to support the long-term operation of energy intensive industrial consumers, and that do not impose an unreasonable burden upon electric public utilities or their other customers; and

     (7) To assist the commission in the exercise of its authority to establish special rates under this section, the Legislature creates in article thirteen-cc, chapter eleven of this code a tax credit mechanism to provide a source of funding to support special rates of which the commission may avail itself in exercising said authority in certain circumstances.

     (b) As used in this section:

     (1) "Energy intensive industrial consumer" means an industrial facility, plant or enterprise that has a contract demand of at least fifty thousand kilowatts of electric power at its West Virginia facilities under normal operating conditions.

     (2) "Special rate" means a rate set for an energy intensive industrial consumer pursuant to this section.

     (c) In addition to any authority of the commission to allow special rates or contracts under any other provision of the code or rule, and in addition to all other factors which the commission may consider in setting rates for consumers of electric power, including, but not limited to, the commission's responsibilities under subsection (b), section one, article one of this chapter, and notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, in setting a special rate the commission may take into consideration fluctuations in market prices for the goods or products produced by the energy intensive industrial consumer of electric power, or other variables or factors which may be relevant to or affect the continuing vitality of the energy intensive industrial consumer of electric power in dynamic markets. In setting a special rate by reference to fluctuations in market prices for the goods and products produced by an energy intensive industrial consumer of electric power, the commission may establish variable rates including, but not limited to, ceilings and floors on the special rate, banking or crediting mechanisms, caps, limits or other similar types of safeguards that are intended by the commission, in its reasonable judgment, to provide appropriate flexibility and predictability in the special rate over time, to permit the energy intensive industrial customer the ability to make the capital investments and other commitments necessary to support the continued operation of the facility.

     (d) An energy intensive industrial consumer wishing to apply for a special rate shall first enter into negotiations with the utility that provides it with electric power, regarding the terms and conditions of a mutually agreeable special rate. If the negotiations result in an agreement between the energy intensive industrial consumer and the utility, the energy intensive industrial consumer and the utility shall make a joint filing with the commission seeking approval of the proposed special rate. If the negotiations are unsuccessful, the energy intensive industrial consumer may file a petition with the commission to consider establishing a special rate. The commission shall have the authority to establish a special rate upon the filing of either a joint filing or a petition pursuant to this section.

     (e) In order to qualify for a special rate, an energy intensive industrial consumer shall:

     (1) Have a contract demand of at least fifty thousand kilowatts of electric power at its West Virginia facilities under normal operating conditions;

     (2) Create or retain at least twenty-five full-time jobs in West Virginia;

     (3) Have invested not less than $500,000 in fixed assets, including machinery and equipment, in West Virginia;

     (4) Provide reasonable evidence that due to market conditions in the industry in which the energy intensive industrial consumer operates, or other factors bearing on investment in and operation of the industrial facility or facilities, without the special rate the operation or continued operation of the industrial facility or facilities is threatened or not economically viable under reasonable assumptions and projections regarding the market and the operation of the industrial facility or facilities;

     (5) Provide reasonable evidence that, with the special rate, the energy intensive industrial consumer intends to operate the industrial facility or facilities in West Virginia for an extended period of time, and that the operation or continued operation of the industrial facility or facilities for an extended period of time appears economically viable, under reasonable assumptions and projections regarding the market in which the energy intensive industrial consumer operates and regarding the operation of the industrial facility or facilities; and

     (6) Provide information and data setting forth how the energy intensive industrial consumer meets the qualifications of this section, and how the special rate advances the policy goals set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

     (f) The commission shall determine whether any excess revenue or revenue shortfall created by a special rate authorized pursuant to this section should be allocated among any other customers of the utility. In making that determination, the commission shall consider all relevant factors, including whether such allocation is just, reasonable, and fairly balances the interests of other customers, the utility, and the customer receiving the special rate.

     (g) If the commission determines that: (1) A special rate is necessary for the creation, preservation or retention of jobs by the energy intensive industrial consumer; (2) in connection with the initial special rate that is authorized by the commission for an energy intensive industrial consumer, the energy intensive industrial consumer will increase the number of persons it employs, including both persons who have been previously employed by the energy intensive industrial consumer and persons not previously employed by the energy intensive industrial consumer, by at least one hundred fifty persons as a result of the special rate; (3) the energy intensive industrial consumer will employ no fewer than three hundred persons, which number may include, but is not limited to, the persons newly hired or rehired pursuant to the preceding clause in this subsection; (4) the energy intensive industrial consumer has a contract demand of at least two hundred fifty thousand kilowatts of electric power at its West Virginia facilities under normal operating conditions; and (5) a special rate for an energy intensive industrial consumer of electric power would create a revenue shortfall, the commission shall, prior to determining whether it is reasonable to allocate all or a portion of the revenue shortfall amount among a public utility's other customers, first consider the availability of tax credits and payments required to be made to public utilities pursuant to article thirteen-cc, chapter eleven of this code to reduce or eliminate a revenue shortfall. The commission shall identify in each proceeding in which it establishes a special rate for an eligible energy intensive industrial consumer the amount of any unallocated revenue shortfall in need of funding pursuant to article thirteen-cc, chapter eleven of this code to defray it and shall project the amount of the gross tax credits needed for that purpose after taking into consideration the net amounts of credits that are required to be paid to utilities pursuant to subsection (a), section four, article thirteen-cc, chapter eleven of this code and the limits specified in section three, article thirteen-cc, chapter eleven of this code. Tax credits authorized under this section may be designated by the commission only in respect of periods of time during which the eligible energy intensive industrial consumer employs at least three hundred persons. The commission's determination as to the amount of tax credits on which it relies in establishing a given special rate, shall constitute an authorization for each supplier of West Virginia coal to the utility offering that special rate to claim its allocated share of the total amount of tax credits. The allocated share shall be calculated by the affected public utility, subject to the approval of the commission.

     (h) The commission shall include in the annual report to the Legislature which it makes pursuant to subsection (d), section one, article one of this chapter a report on the tax credits being employed pursuant to article thirteen-cc, chapter eleven of this code to help fund special rates created under this section.
WVC 24-2-2 §24-2-2. General power of commission to regulate public utilities.
(a) The commission is hereby given power to investigate all rates, methods and practices of public utilities subject to the provisions of this chapter; to require them to conform to the laws of this state and to all rules, regulations and orders of the commission not contrary to law; and to require copies of all reports, rates, classifications, schedules and timetables in effect and used by the public utility or other person, to be filed with the commission, and all other information desired by the commission relating to the investigation and requirements, including inventories of all property in such form and detail as the commission may prescribe. The commission may compel obedience to its lawful orders by mandamus or injunction or other proper proceedings in the name of the state in any circuit court having jurisdiction of the parties or of the subject matter, or the supreme court of appeals direct, and the proceedings shall have priority over all pending cases. The commission may change any intrastate rate, charge or toll which is unjust or unreasonable or any interstate charge with respect to matters of a purely local nature which have not been regulated by or pursuant to an act of Congress and may prescribe a rate, charge or toll that is just and reasonable, and change or prohibit any practice, device or method of service in order to prevent undue discrimination or favoritism between persons and between localities and between commodities for a like and contemporaneous service. But in no case shall the rate, toll or charge be more than the service is reasonably worth, considering the cost of the service. Every order entered by the commission shall continue in force until the expiration of the time, if any, named by the commission in the order, or until revoked or modified by the commission, unless the order is suspended, modified or revoked by order or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction: Provided, That in the case of utilities used by emergency shelter providers, the commission shall prescribe such rates, charges or tolls that are the lowest available. "Emergency shelter provider" means any nonprofit entity which provides temporary emergency housing and services to the homeless or to victims of domestic violence or other abuse.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, rates are not discriminatory if, when considering the debt costs associated with a future water or sewer project which would not benefit existing customers, the commission establishes rates which ensure that the future customers to be served by the new project are solely responsible for the debt costs associated with the project.


WVC 24 - 2 - 3 §24-2-3. General power of commission with respect to rates.
The commission shall have power to enforce, originate, establish, change and promulgate tariffs, rates, joint rates, tolls and schedules for all public utilities: Provided, That the commission may exercise such rate authority over municipal utilities only under the circumstances set forth in section four-b of this article. And whenever the commission shall, after hearing, find any existing rates, tolls, tariffs, joint rates or schedules unjust, unreasonable, insufficient or unjustly discriminatory or otherwise in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the commission shall by an order fix reasonable rates, joint rates, tariffs, tolls or schedules to be followed in the future in lieu of those found to be unjust, unreasonable, insufficient or unjustly discriminatory or otherwise in violation of any provisions of law, and the said commission, in fixing the rate of any railroad company, may fix a fair, reasonable and just rate to be charged on any branch line thereof, independent of the rate charged on the main line of such railroad.

In determining just and reasonable rates, the commission may audit and investigate management practices and policies, or have performed an audit and investigation of such practices and policies, in order to determine whether the utility is operating with efficiency and is utilizing sound management practices. The commission shall adopt rules and regulations setting forth the scope, frequency and application of such audits and investigations to the various utilities subject to its jurisdiction. The commission may include the cost of conducting the management audit in the cost of service of the utility.

In determining just and reasonable rates, the commission shall investigate and review transactions between utilities and affiliates. The commission shall limit the total return of the utility to a level which, when considered with the level of profit or return the affiliate earns on transactions with the utility, is just and reasonable.


WVC 24 - 2 - 3 A §24-2-3a. Advance notice of filing of general rate case required.

All public utilities subject to the provisions of section four or four-a of this article, intending to institute a general rate case, shall give the commission not less than thirty days' notice before proceeding under the provision of those sections unless the commission modifies or waives such notice requirement.


WVC 24 - 2 - 3 B §24-2-3b. Transitional suspension of schedule; legislative findings; procedure.

The Legislature finds that in anticipation of the operative date of the provisions of section four-a of this article, certain regulated utilities have presented to the public service commission a large number of proceedings pursuant to section four of this article. In the public interest, the commission should be granted sufficient authority to make disposition of those cases in an orderly and just manner, consistent with the duties of the commission requiring conversion of its procedure from that provided in section four of this article to that provided in section four-a. In view of the increased demands upon the commission, it is in the public interest to grant to the public service commission additional authority for the suspension of rates in cases filed pursuant to section four of this article.

In any proceeding commenced pursuant to the provisions of section four of this article which is pending on the effective date of this section or is thereafter commenced, the commission may at the commencement of, or during the pendency of, any period of suspension provided for in section four, further suspend the operation of any such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice for a further and additional period of one hundred fifty days or such shorter further and additional period as the commission may order. The total period of suspension including the original suspension and the suspension resulting from the application of this section shall not exceed a period equal to the maximum suspension prescribed for the public utility as it is classified in section four-a of this article, according to the number of customers. The statement of reasons adopted pursuant to section four of this article shall be a sufficient statement of reasons for such further and additional period under this section. Any such order for a further and additional period of suspension shall be effective upon its service upon the utility affected thereby, and may make provision for interim rate relief or may provide only for such rates as have been fully approved previously. At the expiration of any such additional period of suspension, the commission shall authorize rates under bond under the provisions of section four of this article, or shall make a final order: Provided, That proceedings in which such further and additional period of suspension have commenced but not expired on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, shall not be treated as filed anew on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, pursuant to section four of this article.


WVC 24 - 2 - 3 C §24-2-3c. Cessation of jurisdiction over rates for certain services subject to competition.

(a) Upon the application of any telephone utility, the commission shall, unless it finds that the continued availability of adequate, economical and reliable local exchange telephone service will be adversely affected thereby, permanently cease its regulation of the rates charged by the telephone utility for any commodity or service, except carrier access service, which the commission determines to be subject to workable competition: Provided, That if any such commodity or service thereafter ceases being subject to workable competition by reason of lawful governmental action, or, if the market forces fail to constrain monopolistic practices or anticompetitive behavior, the commission shall upon notice and hearing, reinstitute its regulation of the rates charged for such commodity or service. Evidence of ease of market entry, the presence of other competitors and the availability of like or substitute services shall, for purposes of this section, be sufficient to show that a commodity or service is subject to workable competition. In making its determination, the commission shall not be bound by any previous determination of competitiveness for any other purpose. The furnishing of all such commodities and services shall in all other respects remain fully subject to the commission's jurisdiction.

(b) The commission shall ensure through such accounting system as it deems appropriate that the costs and revenues associated with the furnishing of those commodities and services that the commission determines to be subject to workable competition are not charged against or credited to the utility's cost of furnishing other services; except, however, that the commission may, in connection with any general increase in local exchange telephone rates proposed by the telephone utility within ten years from the effective date of this section, credit to the utility's cost of furnishing local exchange telephone service the contribution, if any, then being yielded by those competitive commodities or services that such utility was offering as of the effective date of this section: Provided, That if the contribution from such competitive commodities or services is less than the contribution that was being yielded by those commodities or services during the year preceding the year in which such commodities or services were determined to be subject to workable competition, the commission may, in order to eliminate such deficiency, further credit to the cost of furnishing local exchange telephone service any contribution that is then being yielded by those competitive commodities or services that were not being offered by the utility as of the effective date of this section. In no case, however, shall the additional contribution so credited exceed the contribution that is actually being yielded by such new commodities or services, nor shall the commission, in connection with the crediting of any contribution under the provisions of this subsection, credit any amount of contribution that exceeds that which is reasonably necessary to the continued availability of adequate, economical, and reliable local exchange telephone service. Contribution shall be defined to mean the excess of revenues over costs.

(c) The application of the telephone utility shall be in such form as the commission may prescribe and shall contain:

(1) A designation of the commodities or services that are the subject of the application;

(2) A statement explaining why the applicant believes that each commodity or service so designated is subject to workable competition; and

(3) Such other information as the applicant may deem relevant or the commission may require.

(d) Within sixty days after the filing of the application, or if hearing shall be held thereon, within ninety days after final submission upon oral argument or brief, but in no event longer than one hundred eighty days after the filing of the application, the commission shall enter a final order granting, in whole or in part,or denying the application.

(e) Nothing in this section limits the commission's power to require telephone utilities to maintain uniform, statewide toll rates, or to require that public and semi-public coin telephone service be offered at a flat per message rate. Nothing in this section limits the commission's power to continue to engage in incentive or other innovative forms of ratemaking in connection with its regulation of those services which it has not determined to be subject to workable competition.

Nothing in this section limits the power or right of the consumer advocate division to petition to decrease rates and tariffs in the event of decreases in costs of service.

(f) The provisions of this section do not go into effect until the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one.


WVC 24 - 2 - 4 §24-2-4. Procedure for changing rates.
No public utility subject to this chapter, except those utilities subject to the provisions of section four-b of this article, shall change, suspend or annul any rate, joint rate, charge, rental or classification except after thirty days' notice to the commission and the public, which notice shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made in the schedule then in force and the time when the changed rates or charges shall go into effect; but the commission may enter an order suspending the proposed rate as hereinafter provided. The proposed changes shall be shown by printing new schedules, or shall be plainly indicated upon the schedules in force at the time, and kept open to public inspection: Provided, That the commission may, in its discretion, and for good cause shown, allow changes upon less time than the notice herein specified, or may modify the requirements of this section in respect to publishing, posting and filing of tariffs, either by particular instructions or by general order.

Whenever there shall be filed with the commission any schedule stating a change in the rates or charges, or joint rates or charges, or stating a new individual or joint rate or charge or joint classification or any new individual or joint regulation or practice affecting any rate or charge, the commission shall have authority, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint, to enter upon a hearing concerning the propriety of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice; and, if the commission so orders, it may proceed without answer or other form of pleading by the interested parties, but upon reasonable notice, and, pending such hearing and the decision thereon, the commission, upon filing with such schedule and delivering to the public utility affected thereby a statement in writing of its reasons for such suspension, may suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice, but not for a longer period than one hundred and twenty days beyond the time when such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice would otherwise go into effect; and after full hearing, whether completed before or after the rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice goes into effect, the commission may make such order in reference to such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice as would be proper in a proceeding initiated after the rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice had become effective: Provided, That if any such hearing and decision thereon cannot be concluded within the period of suspension, as above stated, such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice shall go into effect at the end of such period. In such case the commission may require such public utility to enter into a bond in an amount deemed by the commission to be reasonable and conditioned for the refund to the persons or parties entitled thereto of the amount of the excess, plus interest at the rate of not less than seven percent per annum, as may be specified by the commission, if such rate so put into effect is subsequently determined to be higher than those finally fixed for such utility. In specifying the applicable interest rate, the commission shall be guided by the interest rate which such public utility would in all probability have to agree to pay if such public utility at that time borrowed in the marketplace a sum of money equivalent to the amount of money the commission estimates the increase in rates will produce between the effective date of such increase and the anticipated date the rates will be finally fixed for such public utility, it being intended that a public utility should be discouraged from imposing higher rates than it should reasonably anticipate will be finally fixed as a means in effect of borrowing money at a rate of interest less than such public utility would have to agree to pay if it borrowed money in the marketplace. No such accrued interest paid on any such refund shall be deemed part of the cost of doing business in a subsequent application for changing rates or any decision thereon. At any hearing involvinga rate sought to be increased or involving the change of any fare, charge, classification, regulation or practice, the burden of proof to show that the increased rate or proposed increased rate, or the proposed change of fare, charge, classification, regulation or practice is just and reasonable shall be upon the public utility making application for such change. When in any case pending before the commission all evidence shall have been taken, and the hearing completed, the commission shall, within three months, render a decision in such case.

Where more than twenty members of the public are affected by a proposed change in rates, it shall be a sufficient notice to the public within the meaning of this section if such notice is published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provision of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the community where the majority of the resident members of the public affected by such change reside or, in case of nonresidents, have their principal place of business within this state. The provisions of this section shall expire on and be of no further force and effect after the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, except that as to any case pending on said date in which the suspension period has expired and rates are in effect under bond such case shall be proceeded with in accordance with this section; as to any other case pending on said date, the commission shall treat the case as filed anew on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty- one, except that it shall not be necessary for any new process or notice to be served or published.


WVC 24 - 2 - 4 A §24-2-4a. Procedure for changing rates after June 30, 1981.

     After June 30, 1981, no public utility subject to this chapter except those utilities subject to the provisions of section four-b and section four-d of this article, shall change, suspend or annul any rate, joint rate, charge, rental or classification except after thirty days' notice to the commission and the public, which notice shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made in the schedule then in force and the time when the changed rates or charges shall go into effect; but the commission may enter an order suspending the proposed rate as hereinafter provided. The proposed changes shall be shown by printing new schedules, or shall be plainly indicated upon the schedules in force at the time, and kept open to public inspection: Provided, That the commission may, in its discretion, and for good cause shown, allow changes upon less time than the notice herein specified, or may modify the requirements of this section in respect to publishing, posting and filing of tariffs, either by particular instructions or by general order.

     Whenever there shall be filed with the commission any schedule stating a change in the rates or charges, or joint rates or charges, or stating a new individual or joint rate or charge or joint classification or any new individual or joint regulation or practice affecting any rate or charge, the commission may either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint enter upon a hearing concerning the propriety of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice; and, if the commission so orders, it may proceed without answer or other form of pleading by the interested parties, but upon reasonable notice, and, pending such hearing and the decisions thereon, the commission, upon filing with such schedule and delivering to the public utility affected thereby a statement in writing of its reasons for such suspension, may suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice, but not for a longer period than two hundred seventy days beyond the time when such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice would otherwise go into effect; and after full hearing, whether completed before or after the rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice goes into effect, the commission may make such order in reference to such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice as would be proper in a proceeding initiated after the rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice had become effective: Provided, That in the case of a public utility having two thousand five hundred customers or less and which is not principally owned by any other public utility corporation or public utility holding corporation, the commission may suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice, but not for a longer period than one hundred twenty days beyond the time when such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice would otherwise go into effect; and in the case of a public utility having more than two thousand five hundred customers, but not more than five thousand customers, and which is not principally owned by any other public utility corporation or public utility holding corporation, the commission may suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice, but not for a longer period than one hundred fifty days beyond the time when such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice would otherwise go into effect; and in the case of a public utility having more than five thousand customers, but not more than seven thousand five hundred customers, and which is not principally owned by any other public utility corporation or public utility holding corporation, the commission may suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice, but not for a longer period than one hundred eighty days beyond the time when such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice would otherwise go into effect; and after full hearing, whether completed before or after the rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice goes into effect, the commission may make such order in reference to such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice as would be proper in a proceeding initiated after the rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice had become effective: Provided, however, That, in the case of rates established or proposed that increase by less than twenty-five percent of the gross revenue of the public service district, there shall be no suspension period in the case of rates established by a public service district pursuant to section nine, article thirteen-a, chapter sixteen of this code, and the proposed rates of public service districts shall go into effect upon the date of filing with the commission, subject to refund modification at the conclusion of the commission proceeding. In the case of rates established or proposed that increase by more than twenty-five percent of the gross revenue of the public service district, the district may apply for, and the commission may grant, a waiver of the suspension period and allow rates to be effective upon the date of filing with the commission. The public service district shall provide notice by Class 1 legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in its service territory of the percentage increase in rates at least fourteen days prior to the effective date of the increased rates. Any refund determined to be determined to be due and owing as a result of any difference between any final rates approved by the commission and the rates placed into effect subject to refund shall be refunded by the public service district as a credit against each customer's account for a period of up to six months after entry of the commission's final order. Any remaining balance which is not fully credited by credit within six months after entry of the commission's final order shall be directly refunded to the customer by check: Provided, further, That if any such hearing and decision thereon is not concluded within the periods of suspension, as above stated, such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice shall go into effect at the end of such period not subject to refund: And provided further, That if any such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice goes into effect because of the failure of the commission to reach a decision, the same shall not preclude the commission from rendering a decision with respect thereto which would disapprove, reduce or modify any such proposed rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice, in whole or in part, but any such disapproval, reduction or modification shall not be deemed to require a refund to the customers of such utility as to any rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice so disapproved, reduced or modified. The fact of any rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice going into effect by reason of the commission's failure to act thereon shall not affect the commission's power and authority to subsequently act with respect to any such application or change in any rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice. Any rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice which shall be approved, disapproved, modified or changed, in whole or in part, by decision of the commission shall remain in effect as so approved, disapproved, modified or changed during the period or pendency of any subsequent hearing thereon or appeal therefrom. Orders of the commission affecting rates, charges, classifications, regulations or practices which have gone into effect automatically at the end of the suspension period are prospective in effect only.    At any hearing involving a rate sought to be increased or involving the change of any rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice, the burden of proof to show the justness and reasonableness of the increased rate or proposed increased rate, or the proposed change of rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice shall be upon the public utility making application for such change. The commission shall, whenever practicable and within budgetary constraints, conduct one or more public hearings within the area served by the public utility making application for such increase or change, for the purpose of obtaining comments and evidence on the matter from local ratepayers.

     Each public utility subject to the provisions of this section shall be required to establish, in a written report which shall be incorporated into each general rate case application, that it has thoroughly investigated and considered the emerging and state-of- the-art concepts in the utility management, rate design and conservation as reported by the commission under subsection ©, section one, article one of this chapter, as alternatives to, or in mitigation of, any rate increase. The utility report shall contain as to each concept considered the reasons for adoption or rejection of each. When in any case pending before the commission all evidence shall have been taken and the hearing completed, the commission shall render a decision in such case. The failure of the commission to render a decision with respect to any such proposed change in any such rate, charge, classification, regulation or practice within the various time periods specified in this section after the application therefor shall constitute neglect of duty on the part of the commission and each member thereof.

     Where more than twenty members of the public are affected by a proposed change in rates, it shall be a sufficient notice to the public within the meaning of this section if such notice is published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the community where the majority of the resident members of the public affected by such change reside or, in case of nonresidents, have their principal place of business within this state.

     The commission may order rates into effect subject to refund, plus interest in the discretion of the commission, in cases in which the commission determines that a temporary or interim rate increase is necessary for the utility to avoid financial distress, or in which the costs upon which these rates are based are subject to modification by the commission or another regulatory commission and to refund to the public utility. In such case the commission may require such public utility to enter into a bond in an amount deemed by the commission to be reasonable and conditioned upon the refund to the persons or parties entitled thereto of the amount of the excess if such rates so put into effect are subsequently determined to be higher than those finally fixed for such utility.

     No utility may make application for a general rate increase while another general rate application is pending before the commission and not finally acted upon, except pursuant to the provisions of the next preceding paragraph of this section. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be construed so as to prohibit any such rate application from being made while a previous application which has been finally acted upon by the commission is pending before or upon appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
WVC 24 - 2 - 4 B §24-2-4b. Procedures for changing rates of electric and natural gas cooperatives, local exchange services of telephone cooperatives and municipally operated public utilities.

     (a) The rates and charges of electric cooperatives, natural gas cooperatives and municipally operated public utilities, except for municipally operated commercial solid waste facilities as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter twenty-two of this code, and the rates and charges for local exchange services provided by telephone cooperatives are not subject to the rate approval provisions of section four or four-a of this article, but are subject to the limited rate provisions of this section.

     (b) All rates and charges set by electric cooperatives, natural gas cooperatives and municipally operated public utilities and all rates and charges for local exchange services set by telephone cooperatives shall be just, reasonable, applied without unjust discrimination or preference and based primarily on the costs of providing these services. The rates and charges shall be adopted by the electric, natural gas or telephone cooperative's governing board and in the case of the municipally operated public utility by municipal ordinance to be effective not sooner than forty-five days after adoption: Provided, That notice of intent to effect a rate change shall be specified on the monthly billing statement of the customers of the utility for the month next preceding the month in which the rate change is to become effective or the utility shall give its customers, and in the case of a cooperative, its customers, members and stockholders, other reasonable notices as will allow filing of timely objections to the rate change or full participation in municipal rate legislation. The rates and charges or ordinance shall be filed with the commission, together with any information showing the basis of the rates and charges and other information as the commission considers necessary. Any change in the rates and charges with updated information shall be filed with the commission. If a petition, as set out in subdivision (1), (2) or (3), subsection (c) of this section is received and the electric cooperative, natural gas cooperative or telephone cooperative or municipality has failed to file with the commission the rates and charges with information showing the basis of rates and charges and other information as the commission considers necessary, the suspension period limitation of one hundred twenty days and the one hundred-day period limitation for issuance of an order by a hearing examiner, as contained in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, is tolled until the necessary information is filed. The electric cooperative, natural gas cooperative, telephone cooperative or municipality shall set the date when any new rate or charge is to go into effect.

     (c) The commission shall review and approve or modify the rates upon the filing of a petition within thirty days of the adoption of the ordinance or resolution changing the rates or charges by:

     (1) Any customer aggrieved by the changed rates or charges who presents to the commission a petition signed by not less than twenty-five percent of the customers served by the municipally operated public utility or twenty-five percent of the membership of the electric, natural gas or telephone cooperative residing within the state;

     (2) Any customer who is served by a municipally operated public utility and who resides outside the corporate limits and who is affected by the change in the rates or charges and who presents to the commission a petition alleging discrimination between customers within and without the municipal boundaries. The petition shall be accompanied by evidence of discrimination; or

     (3) Any customer or group of customers who are affected by the change in rates who reside within the municipal boundaries and who present a petition to the commission alleging discrimination between customer or group of customers and other customers of the municipal utility. The petition shall be accompanied by evidence of discrimination.

     (d)(1) The filing of a petition with the commission signed by not less than twenty-five percent of the customers served by the municipally operated public utility or twenty-five percent of the membership of the electric, natural gas or telephone cooperative residing within the state under subdivision (1), subsection (c) of this section shall suspend the adoption of the rate change contained in the ordinance or resolution for a period of one hundred twenty days from the date the rates or charges would otherwise go into effect or until an order is issued as provided herein.

     (2) Upon sufficient showing of discrimination by customers outside the municipal boundaries or a customer or a group of customers within the municipal boundaries under a petition filed under subdivision (2) or (3), subsection (c) of this section, the commission shall suspend the adoption of the rate change contained in the ordinance for a period of one hundred twenty days from the date the rates or charges would otherwise go into effect or until an order is issued as provided herein. A municipal rate ordinance enacted pursuant to the provisions of this section and municipal charter or state code that establishes or proposes a rate increase that results in an increase of less than twenty-five percent of the gross revenue of the utility shall be presumed valid and rates shall be allowed to go into effect, subject to refund, upon the date stated in that ordinance. In the case of rates established or proposed that increase by more than twenty-five percent of the gross revenue of the municipally operated public utility, the utility may apply for, and the commission may grant, a waiver of the suspension period and allow rates to be effective upon enactment.

     (e) The commission shall forthwith appoint a hearing examiner from its staff to review the grievances raised by the petitioners. The hearing examiner shall conduct a public hearing and shall, within one hundred days from the date the rates or charges would otherwise go into effect, unless otherwise tolled as provided in subsection (b) of this section, issue an order approving, disapproving or modifying, in whole or in part, the rates or charges imposed by the electric, natural gas or telephone cooperative or by the municipally operated public utility pursuant to this section.

     (f) Upon receipt of a petition for review of the rates under the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the commission may exercise the power granted to it under the provisions of section three of this article, consistent with the applicable rate provisions of section twenty, article ten, chapter eight of this code, section four, article nineteen, chapter eight of this code, and section sixteen, article thirteen, chapter sixteen of this code. The commission may determine the method by which the rates are reviewed and may grant and conduct a de novo hearing on the matter if the customer, electric, natural gas or telephone cooperative or municipality requests a hearing.

     (g) A municipal utility shall be required to refund revenues collected from rates enacted that are disapproved or modified upon subsequent order of the commission entered in a proceeding under this section. Any refund determined to be due and owing as a result of any difference between the municipal rates placed into effect subject to refund and any final rates approved the commission shall be refunded by the municipal utility as a credit against each customer's account for a period of up to six months after entry of the commission's final order. Any remaining balance which is not fully refunded by credit within six months after entry of the commission's final order shall be directly refunded to the individual customer by check.

      (h) The commission may, upon petition by a municipality or electric, natural gas or telephone cooperative, allow an interim or emergency rate to take effect, subject to refund or future modification, if it is determined that the interim or emergency rate is necessary to protect the municipality from financial hardship attributable to the purchase of the utility commodity sold, or the commission determines that a temporary or interim rate increase is necessary for the utility to avoid financial distress. In such cases, the commission shall waive the 45-day waiting period provided for in subsection (b) of this section and the one hundred twenty-day suspension period provided for in subsection (d) of this section.

     (i) Notwithstanding any other provision, the commission has no authority or responsibility with regard to the regulation of rates, income, services or contracts by municipally operated public utilities for services which are transmitted and sold outside of the State of West Virginia.
WVC 24 - 2 - 4 C §24-2-4c. Rate increases for natural gas public utilities relating to purchase of natural gas from suppliers.

Before granting any rate increase to a natural gas public utility the commission must determine that dependable lower-priced supplies of natural gas are not readily available to the applicant from other sources.

At any hearing involving a rate increase for a natural gas public utility, the burden of proof to demonstrate that dependable lower-priced supplies of natural gas are not readily available from other sources and that contracts between the public utility and its suppliers for purchase of natural gas are negotiated at arm's length and are not detrimental to the customers of the utility's services shall be upon the public utility making application for such change. Should the applying public utility not satisfactorily meet this burden, then the commission may not authorize an increase greater than that which reflects the reasonable cost of natural gas which is determined to be readily available.

If a gas utility purchases from an affiliate more than fifty percent of its gas supplied to its customers, any purchase cost adjustment increase shall be based on actual costs and may be subject to the general rate case requirements and review of section four-a of this article.

Before the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, the commission shall promulgate rules and regulations detailing what an applying natural gas utility must show in providing that dependable, lower-priced supplies of natural gas are not readily available to the applicant from other sources. Such rules and regulations shall include a requirement that each such utility let out bids for the purchase of a substantial quantity of natural gas supplied to its customers and that each such public utility present evidence demonstrating that all available sources of gas have been thoroughly investigated and that the utility's purchases were at the lowest available price among reliable sources at the time of the purchase. Such evidence shall include a list of all persons, firms and corporations which were investigated as sources of gas; the price per thousand cubic feet at which each investigated person, firm or corporation offered gas for sale; the availability and cost of transporting such gas and the amount of gas potentially available each month by such person, firm or corporation. Such list shall also include the same information resulting from investigation of all "shut-in" wells.


WVC 24 - 2 - 4 D §24-2-4d. Procedures for intrastate rail carrier rate-making and compliants.

Inasmuch as the commission retains authority over intrastate rail rates and complaints pursuant to 49 United States Code §11501 and other federal law, and inasmuch as the commission's procedures are subject to periodic review and certification by the interstate commerce commission for compliance with federal standards, the general rate-making procedures set forth in section four-a, article two, chapter twenty-four of this code, shall not be applied to intrastate railroad rates. The commission shall promulgate its rules and regulations for the government of intrastate rail rates. Such rules shall contain notice requirements, grounds for rate suspension and the permitted suspension period, procedures for protest, standards for determining market dominance and rate reasonableness, burdens of proof, refund provisions, contract rate procedures and trackage rights. These rules shall also contain procedures for complaints and filing of contract rates. All final orders of the commission concerning intrastate rail rates shall be appealable to the interstate commerce commission in conformance with federally established standards of review.


WVC 24 - 2 - 4 E §24-2-4e. Environmental control bonds.
(a) Legislative findings. -- The Legislature hereby finds and declares: (i) That electric utilities in the state face the need to install and construct emission control equipment at existing generating facilities in the state in order to meet the requirements of existing and anticipated environmental laws and regulations and otherwise to reduce emissions from those electric generating facilities; (ii) that the capital costs associated with the installation and construction of emission control equipment are considerable; (iii) that the financial condition of some electric utilities may make the use of traditional utility financing mechanisms to finance the construction and installation of emission control equipment difficult or impossible and that this situation may cause such utilities to defer the installation of emission control equipment, to incur higher financing costs, to minimize or eliminate their use of high-sulfur coal mined in the State or to use other financing alternatives that are less favorable to the state and its citizens; (iv) that the construction and installation of emission control equipment by utilities will create public health and economic benefits to the state and its citizens, including, without limitation, emissions reductions, economic development, job growth and retention and the increased use of high-sulfur coal mined in the State; (v) that customers of electric utilities in the state have an interest in the construction and installation of emission control equipment at electric-generating facilities in the state at a lower cost than would be afforded by traditional utility financing mechanisms; (vi) that alternative financing mechanisms exist which can result in lower costs to customers and the use of these mechanisms can ensure that only those costs associated with the construction and installation of emission control equipment at electric-generating facilities located in the state that generate electric energy for their ultimate use will be included in customer rates; and (vii) that in order to use such alternative financing mechanisms, the Commission must be empowered to adopt a financing order that advances these goals. The Legislature, therefore, finds that it is in the interest of the state and its citizens to encourage and facilitate the use of alternative financing mechanisms that will enable certain utilities to finance the construction and installation of emission control equipment at electric-generating facilities in the state under certain conditions and to empower the Commission to review and approve alternative financing mechanisms as being consistent with the public interest, as set forth in this section.

(b) Definitions. --

As used in this section:

(1) "Adjustment mechanism" means a formula-based mechanism for making any adjustments to the amount of the environmental control charges that are necessary to correct for any over-collection or under-collection of the environmental control charges or otherwise to ensure the timely and complete payment and recovery of environmental control costs and financing costs. The adjustment mechanism is not to be used as a means to authorize the issuance of environmental control bonds in a principal amount greater, or the payment or recovery of environmental control costs in an amount greater, than that which was authorized in the financing order which established the adjustment mechanism.

(2) "Ancillary agreement" means any bond insurance policy, letter of credit, reserve account, surety bond, swap arrangement, hedging arrangement, liquidity or credit support arrangement or other similar agreement or arrangement entered into in connection with the issuance of environmental control bonds that is designed to promote the credit quality and marketability of the bonds or to mitigate the risk of an increase in interest rates.

(3) "Assignee" means any person or legal entity to which an interest in environmental control property is sold, assigned, transferred or conveyed (other than as security) and any successor to or subsequent assignee of such a person or legal entity.

(4) "Bondholder" means any holder or owner of an environmental control bond.

(5) "Environmental control activity" means any of the following:

(A) The construction, installation and placing in operation of environmental control equipment at a qualifying generating facility.

(B) The shutdown or retirement of any existing plant, facility, unit or other property at a qualifying generating facility to reduce, control or eliminate environmental emissions.

(6) "Environmental control bonds" means bonds, debentures, notes, certificates of participation, certificates of beneficial interest, certificates of ownership or other evidences of indebtedness or ownership that are issued by a qualifying utility or an assignee, the proceeds of which are used directly or indirectly to recover, finance, or refinance environmental control costs and financing costs, and that are secured by or payable from environmental control revenues.

(7) "Environmental control charge" means a nonbypassable charge paid by a customer of a qualifying utility for the recovery of environmental control costs and financing costs.

(8) "Environmental control cost" means any cost, including capitalized cost relating to regulatory assets and capitalized cost associated with design and engineering work, incurred or expected to be incurred by a qualifying utility in undertaking an environmental control activity and, with respect to an environmental control activity, includes the unrecovered value of property that is retired, together with any demolition or similar cost that exceeds the salvage value of the property. "Environmental control cost" includes preliminary expenses and investments associated with environmental control activity that are incurred prior to the issuance of a financing order and that are to be reimbursed from the proceeds of environmental control bonds. "Environmental control cost" does not include any monetary penalty, fine or forfeiture assessed against a qualifying utility by a government agency or court under a federal or state environmental statute, rule or regulation.

(9) "Environmental control equipment" means any device, equipment, structure, process, facility or technology that is designed for the primary purpose of preventing, reducing or remediating environmental emissions and that has been or is to be constructed or installed at a qualifying generating facility.

(10) "Environmental control property" means all of the following:

(A) The rights and interests of a qualifying utility or an assignee under a financing order, including the right to impose, charge, collect and receive environmental control charges in the amount necessary to provide for the full payment and recovery of all environmental control costs and financing costs determined to be recoverable in the financing order and to obtain adjustments to the charges as provided in this section and any interest in the rights and interests.

(B) All revenues, receipts, collections, rights to payment, payments, moneys, claims or other proceeds arising from the rights and interests specified in paragraph (A) of this subdivision.

(11) "Environmental control revenues" means all revenues, receipts, collections, payments, moneys, claims or other proceeds arising from environmental control property.

(12) "Environmental emissions" means the discharge or release of emissions from electric generating facilities into the air, land or waters of the state.

(13) "Equity ratio" means, as of any given time of determination, the common equity of a qualifying utility as calculated pursuant to the uniform system of accounts required to be used in the filings of the qualifying utility with the federal Energy Regulatory Commission. "Equity ratio" shall be calculated excluding the effect of the issuance of environmental control bonds or the write down of discontinued operations.

(14) "Financing cost" means the costs to issue, service, repay, or refinance environmental control bonds, whether incurred or paid upon issuance of the bonds or over the life of the bonds, and approved for recovery by the Commission in a financing order. "Financing cost" may include any of the following:

(A) Principal, interest and redemption premiums that are payable on environmental control bonds.

(B) Any payment required under an ancillary agreement and any amount required to fund or replenish a reserve account or other account established under any indenture, ancillary agreement or other financing document relating to the environmental control bonds.

(C) The cost of retiring or refunding any existing debt and equity securities of a qualifying utility in connection with the issuance of environmental control bonds, but only to the extent the securities were issued for the purpose of financing environmental control costs.

(D) Any costs incurred by or on behalf of or allocated to a qualifying utility to obtain modifications of or amendments to any indenture, financing agreement, security agreement or similar agreement or instrument relating to any existing secured or unsecured obligation of a qualifying utility or an affiliate of a qualifying utility, or any costs incurred by or allocated to a qualifying utility to obtain any consent, release, waiver or approval from any holder of such an obligation, that are necessary to be incurred to permit a qualifying utility to issue or cause the issuance of environmental control bonds.

(E) Any taxes, franchise fees or license fees imposed on environmental control revenues.

(F) Any cost related to issuing and servicing environmental control bonds or the application for a financing order, including, without limitation, servicing fees and expenses, trustee fees and expenses, legal fees and expenses, administrative fees, placement fees, capitalized interest, rating agency fees and any other related cost that is approved for recovery in the financing order.

(15) "Financing order" means an order of the Commission pursuant to subsection (d) of this section that grants, in whole or in part, an application filed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and that authorizes the construction and installation of environmental control equipment, the issuance of environmental control bonds in one or more series, the imposition, charging and collection of environmental control charges, and the creation of environmental control property. A financing order may set forth conditions or contingencies on the effectiveness of the relief authorized therein and may grant relief that is different from that which was requested in the application.

(16) "Financing parties" means:

(A) Any trustee, collateral agent or other person acting for the benefit of any bondholder.

(B) Any party to an ancillary agreement the rights and obligations of which relate to or depend upon the existence of environmental control property, the enforcement and priority of a security interest in environmental control property, the timely collection and payment of environmental control revenues or a combination of these factors.

(17) "Financing statement" means a financing statement as defined in subdivision (39), subsection (a), section one hundred two, article nine, chapter forty-six of this code.

(18) "Investment grade" means, with respect to the unsecured debt obligations of a qualifying utility at any given time of determination, a rating that is within the top four investment rating categories as published by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization as recognized by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

(19) "Nonbypassable" means that the payment of an environmental control charge may not be avoided by any electric service customer located within a utility service area, and must be paid by any such customer that receives electric delivery service from the qualifying utility for as long as the environmental control bonds are outstanding.

(20) "Nonutility affiliate" means, with respect to any qualifying utility, a person that: (i) Is an affiliate of the qualifying utility as defined in 15 U.S.C. §79b(a)(11); and (ii) is not a public utility that provides retail utility service to customers in the state within the meaning of section two, article one of this chapter.

(21) "Parent" means, with respect to any qualifying utility, any registered holding company or other person that holds a majority ownership or membership interest in the qualifying utility.

(22) "Qualifying generating facility" means any electric generating facility that: (i) Has generated electric energy for ultimate sale to customers in the state before the effective date of this section; and (ii) is owned by a qualifying utility or, on the expected date of issuance of the environmental control bonds authorized in a financing order, will be owned by a qualifying utility.

(23) "Qualifying utility" means:

(A) Any public utility that is: (i) Engaged in the delivery of electric energy to customers in this state; and (ii) at any time between the date which is two years immediately preceding the effective date of this section and the date on which an application for a financing order is made, has or had a credit rating on its unsecured debt obligations that is below investment grade.

(B) For so long as environmental control bonds issued pursuant to a financing order are outstanding and the related environmental control costs and financing costs have not been paid in full, the public utility to which the financing order was issued and its successors.

(24) "Registered holding company" means, with respect to a qualifying utility, a person that is: (i) A registered holding company as defined in 15 U.S.C. §79b(a)(12); and (ii) an affiliate of the qualifying utility as defined in 15 U.S.C. §79b(a)(11).

(25) "Regulatory sanctions" means, under the circumstances presented, any regulatory or ratemaking sanction or penalty that the Commission is authorized to impose pursuant to this chapter or any proceeding for the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or any order of the Commission that the Commission is authorized to pursue or conduct pursuant to this chapter, including without limitation: (i) The initiation of any proceeding in which the qualifying utility is required to show cause why it should not be required to comply with the terms and conditions of a financing order or the requirements of this section; (ii) the imposition of civil penalties pursuant to section three, article four of this chapter and the imposition of criminal penalties pursuant to section four of said article, in either case with reference to the provisions of section eight of said article; and (iii) a proceeding by mandamus or injunction as provided in section two of this article.

(26) "Successor" means, with respect to any legal entity, another legal entity that succeeds by operation of law to the rights and obligations of the first legal entity pursuant to any bankruptcy, reorganization, restructuring or other insolvency proceeding, any merger, acquisition, or consolidation, or any sale or transfer of assets, whether any of these occur as a result of a restructuring of the electric power industry or otherwise.

(27) "Utility service area" means: (i) The geographic area of the state in which a qualifying utility provides electric delivery service to customers at the time of issuance of a financing order; and (ii) for as long as environmental control bonds issued pursuant to a financing order are outstanding, any additions to or enlargements of said geographic area, whether or not approved by the Commission in a formal proceeding.

(c) Application for financing order. --

(1) A qualifying utility, or two or more affiliated qualifying utilities, may apply to the Commission for a financing order under this section.

(2) An application for a financing order under this section shall be filed only as provided in this subdivision.

(A) An application for a financing order under this section shall be filed as part of the application of the qualifying utility or qualifying utilities under section eleven of this article for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to engage in environmental control activities.

(B) If a qualifying utility or qualifying utilities have an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to engage in environmental control activities pending before the Commission on the effective date of this section, the qualifying utility or qualifying utilities may file a separate application for a financing order and the Commission shall join or consolidate the application for a financing order with the pending application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. Notwithstanding any provision of section eleven of this article to the contrary or the total project cost of the proposed environmental control activities, the Commission shall render its final decision on any joined or consolidated proceeding for a certificate of public convenience and necessity and a financing order as described in this paragraph within two hundred seventy days of the filing of the application for the financing order and within ninety days after final submission of the joined or consolidated application for decision following a hearing.

(3) In addition to any other information required by the Commission, an application for a financing order shall include the following information:

(A) Evidence that the applicant is a qualifying utility;

(B) A description of the environmental control activities that the qualifying utility proposes to undertake, including a detailed description of the environmental control equipment to be constructed or installed at one or more qualifying generation facilities;

(C) An explanation why the environmental control activities described in the application are necessary in the context of the qualifying utility's operations, current and anticipated environmental regulations, the prospect of enforcement proceedings or litigation against the qualifying utility if the environmental control activities are not undertaken and the utility's long-range environmental compliance plans;

(D) A description of any alternatives to the environmental control activities described in the application that the qualifying utility considered and an explanation of why each alternative either is not feasible or was not selected;

(E) An estimate of the environmental control costs associated with the environmental control activities described in the application, including the estimated cost of the environmental control equipment proposed to be installed;

(F) An estimated schedule for the construction or installation of the environmental control equipment;

(G) An estimate of the date on which the environmental control bonds are expected to be issued and the expected term over which the financing costs associated with the issuance are expected to be recovered, or if the bonds are expected to be issued in more than one series, the estimated issuance date and expected term for each bond issuance;

(H) The portion of the environmental control costs the qualifying utility proposes to finance through the issuance of one or more series of environmental control bonds;

(I) An estimate of the financing costs associated with each series of environmental control bonds proposed to be issued;

(J) An estimate of the amount of the environmental control charges necessary to recover the environmental control costs and financing costs estimated in the application and the proposed calculation thereof, which estimate and calculation should take into account the estimated date of issuance and estimated principal amount of each series of environmental control bonds proposed to be issued;

(K) A proposed methodology for allocating financing costs among customer classes;

(L) A description of the proposed adjustment mechanism; and

(M) A description of the benefits to the customers of the qualifying utility and the state that are expected to result from the financing of the environmental control costs with environmental control bonds as opposed to the use of traditional utility financing mechanisms.

(4) An application for a financing order may restate or incorporate by reference any information required pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection that the qualifying utility previously filed with the Commission in connection with an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity under section eleven of this article as described in paragraph (B), subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(d) Issuance of financing order. --

(1) Notice of an application for a financing order shall be given as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, with the publication area being each county in which the environmental control activities are to be undertaken and each county in the state in which the qualifying utility provides service to customers. If no substantial protest is received within thirty days after the publication of notice, the Commission may waive formal hearing on the application.

(2) The Commission shall issue a financing order, or an order rejecting the application for a financing order, as part of its final order on the application of the qualifying utility or qualifying utilities for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to engage in environmental control activities as described in subdivision (2), subsection (c) of this section.

(3) The Commission shall issue a financing order if the Commission finds all of the following:

(A) That the applicant is a qualifying utility;

(B) That the environmental control activities, including the environmental control equipment to be constructed or installed at one or more qualifying generation facilities, are necessary and prudent under the circumstances and are preferable to any alternatives available to the qualifying utility;

(C) That the cost of the environmental control activities, including the environmental control equipment to be constructed or installed at one or more qualifying generation facilities, is reasonable;

(D) That the proposed issuance of environmental control bonds will result in overall costs to customers of the qualifying utility that: (1) Are lower than would result from the use of traditional utility financing mechanisms; and (2) are just and reasonable;

(E) That the financing of the environmental control costs with environmental control bonds will result in benefits to the customers of the qualifying utility and the state; and

(F) That the proposed issuance of environmental control bonds, together with the imposition and collection of the environmental control charges on customers of the qualifying utility, are just and reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the public interest and constitute a prudent, reasonable and appropriate mechanism for the financing of the environmental control activities described in the application.

(4) The Commission shall include the following findings and requirements in a financing order:

(A) A determination of the maximum amount of environmental control costs that may be financed from proceeds of environmental control bonds authorized to be issued in the financing order;

(B) A description of the financing costs that may be recovered through environmental control charges and the period over which the costs may be recovered, subject to the application of the adjustment mechanism as provided in subsection (e) of this section. As part of this description, the Commission may include qualitative or quantitative limitations on the financing costs authorized in the financing order;

(C) A description of the adjustment mechanism and a finding that it is just and reasonable; and

(D) A description of the environmental control property that is created and that may be used to pay, and secure the payment of, the environmental control bonds and financing costs authorized to be issued in the financing order.

(5) A financing order may provide that the creation of environmental control property shall be simultaneous with the sale of the environmental control property to an assignee as provided in the application and the pledge of the environmental control property to secure environmental control bonds.

(6) A financing order may authorize the qualifying utility to conduct environmental control activities, including the construction or installation of environmental control equipment, on an estimated schedule approved in the financing order and through the issuance of more than one series of environmental control bonds. In this case, the qualifying utility will not subsequently be required to secure a separate financing order for each issuance of environmental control bonds or for each scheduled phase of the construction or installation of environmental control equipment approved in the financing order.

(7) The Commission may require, as a condition to the effectiveness of the financing order but in every circumstance subject to the limitations set forth in subdivision (1), subsection (f) of this section, that the qualifying utility give appropriate assurances to the Commission that the qualifying utility and its parent will abide by the following conditions during any period in which any environmental control bonds issued pursuant to the financing order are outstanding, in addition to any other obligation either may have under this code or federal law:

(A) Without first obtaining the prior consent and approval of the Commission, the qualifying utility will not:

(1) Lend money, directly or indirectly, to a registered holding company or a nonutility affiliate; or

(2) Guarantee the obligations of a registered holding company or a nonutility affiliate.

(B) If: (i) For a period of twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the date of determination, the qualifying utility has had an equity ratio of below thirty percent and neither the qualifying utility nor its parent has had a credit rating on its unsecured debt obligations that is investment grade; and (ii) the Commission determines that the present ability of the qualifying utility to meet its public service obligations would be impaired by the payment of dividends, the Commission may order the qualifying utility to limit or cease the payment of dividends for a period not exceeding one hundred eighty days from the date of determination, which order may be extended for one or more additional periods not to exceed one hundred eighty days each if the Commission determines that the conditions set forth in this paragraph continue to exist as of the date of each such determination.

(C) Neither the parent nor a nonutility affiliate will direct or require the qualifying utility to file a voluntary petition in bankruptcy: Provided, That nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the qualifying utility from filing a voluntary petition in bankruptcy if in the determination of the board of directors of the qualifying utility in the exercise of its fiduciary duty, the filing of its own voluntary petition in bankruptcy would be proper under applicable federal statutory and common law.

(8) A financing order may require the qualifying utility to file with the Commission a periodic report showing the receipt and disbursement of proceeds of environmental control bonds. A financing order may authorize the staff of the Commission to review and audit the books and records of the qualifying utility relating to the receipt and disbursement of proceeds of environmental control bonds. The provisions of this subdivision shall not be construed to limit the authority of the Commission under this chapter to investigate the practices of the qualifying utility or to audit the books and records of the qualifying utility.

(9) In the case of two or more affiliated qualifying utilities that have jointly applied for a financing order as provided in subdivision (1), subsection (c) of this section, a financing order may authorize each affiliated qualifying utility:

(A) to impose environmental control charges on its customers, notwithstanding the fact that the qualifying generating facility at which the environmental control activities are to be conducted is owned, or on the expected date of issuance of the environmental control bonds authorized in the financing order will be owned, by fewer than all of the affiliated qualifying utilities; and

(B) To issue environmental control bonds and to receive and use the proceeds thereof as provided in subdivision (1), subsection (j) of this section, notwithstanding the fact that all or a portion of the proceeds are expected to be used for environmental control activities to be conducted at a qualifying generating facility the ownership of which is as specified in paragraph (A) of this subdivision.

(e) Application of adjustment mechanism. --

(1) If the Commission issues a financing order, the Commission shall periodically approve the application of the adjustment mechanism specified in the financing order to correct for any over-collection or under-collection of the environmental control charges and to provide for timely payment of scheduled principal of and interest on the environmental control bonds and the payment and recovery of other financing costs in accordance with the financing order. Application of the adjustment mechanism shall occur at least annually or more frequently as provided in the financing order.

(2) On the same day the qualifying utility files with the Commission its calculation of the adjustment, it shall cause notice of the filing to be given, in the form specified in the financing order, as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code in a newspaper of statewide circulation published each weekday in Kanawha County: Provided, That this publication shall be made only if the calculation of the adjustment filed by the qualifying utility with the Commission would result in an increase in the amount of the environmental control charge.

(3) The Commission shall allow interested parties thirty days from the date the qualifying utility filed the calculation of the adjustment within which to make comments, which shall be limited to the mathematical accuracy of the calculation and of the amount of the adjustment. If the Commission determines that a hearing is necessary, the Commission shall hold a hearing on the comments within forty days of the date the qualifying utility filed the calculation of the adjustment.

(4) Each adjustment to the environmental control charge, in an amount as calculated by the qualifying utility but incorporating any correction for mathematical inaccuracy as determined by the Commission at or after the hearing, shall automatically become effective: (i) Sixty days following the date on which the qualifying utility files with the Commission its calculation of the adjustment; or (ii) on any earlier date specified in an order of the Commission approving the application of the adjustment.

(5) No adjustment pursuant to this subsection, and no proceeding held pursuant to this subsection, shall in any way affect the irrevocability of the financing order as specified in subsection (f) of this section.

(f) Irrevocability of financing order. --

(1) A financing order is irrevocable and the Commission may not reduce, impair, postpone or terminate the environmental control charges approved in the financing order or impair the environmental control property or the collection or recovery of environmental control revenues.

(2) A financing order may be subsequently amended on or after the date of issuance of environmental control bonds authorized thereunder only: (A) At the request of the qualifying utility; (B) in accordance with any restrictions and limitations on amendment set forth in the financing order; and (C) subject to the limitations set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) No change in the credit rating on the unsecured obligations of a qualifying utility from the credit rating that supported the determination by the Commission required in paragraph (A), subdivision (3), subsection (d) of this section shall impair the irrevocability of the financing order specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(g) Judicial review. -- An order of the Commission issued pursuant to subdivision (2), subsection (d) of this section is a final order of the Commission. Any party aggrieved by the issuance of any such order may petition for suspension and review thereof by the Supreme Court of Appeals pursuant to section one, article five of this chapter. In the case of any petition for suspension and review, the Supreme Court of Appeals shall proceed to hear and determine the action as expeditiously as practicable and give the action precedence over other matters not accorded similar precedence by law.

(h) Effect of financing order. --

(1) A financing order shall remain in effect until the environmental control bonds issued pursuant to the financing order have been paid in full and all financing costs relating to the environmental control bonds have been paid in full.

(2) A financing order shall remain in effect and unabated notwithstanding the bankruptcy, reorganization or insolvency of the qualifying utility or any affiliate thereof or the commencement of any judicial or nonjudicial proceeding therefor.

(3) For so long as environmental control bonds issued pursuant to a financing order are outstanding and the related environmental control costs and financing costs have not been paid in full, the environmental control charges authorized to be imposed in the financing order shall be nonbypassable and shall apply to:

(A) All customers of the qualifying utility located within the utility service area, whether or not the customers may become entitled by law to purchase electric generation services from a provider of electric generation services other than a qualifying utility; and

(B) Any person or legal entity located within the utility service area that may subsequently receive electric delivery service from another public utility operating in the same service area.

(i) Limitations on jurisdiction of Commission. --

(1) If the Commission issues a financing order, the Commission may not, in exercising its powers and carrying out its duties regarding regulation and ratemaking, consider environmental control bonds issued pursuant to the financing order to be the debt of the qualifying utility, the environmental control charges paid under the financing order to be revenue of the qualifying utility, or the environmental control costs or financing costs specified in the financing order to be the costs of the qualifying utility, nor may the Commission determine that any action taken by a qualifying utility that is consistent with the financing order is unjust or unreasonable from a regulatory or ratemaking perspective: Provided, That subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (f) of this section, nothing in this subdivision shall: (i) Affect the authority of the Commission to apply the adjustment mechanism as provided in subsection (e) of this section; (ii) prevent or preclude the Commission from investigating the compliance of a qualifying utility with the terms and conditions of a financing order and requiring compliance therewith; or (iii) prevent or preclude the Commission from imposing regulatory sanctions against a qualifying utility for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a financing order or the requirements of this section.

(2) The Commission may not order or otherwise require, directly or indirectly, any public utility to use environmental control bonds to finance any project, addition, plant, facility, extension, capital improvement, environmental control equipment or any other expenditure.

(3) The Commission may not refuse to allow the recovery of any costs associated with the performance of environmental control activities by a public utility solely because the public utility has elected or may elect to finance the performance of those activities through a financing mechanism other than the issuance of environmental control bonds.

(j) Duties of qualifying utility. --

(1) A qualifying utility for which a financing order has been issued shall cause the proceeds of any environmental control bonds issued pursuant to a financing order to be placed in a separate account. A qualifying utility may use the proceeds of the issuance of environmental control bonds for paying environmental control costs and financing costs and for no other purpose.

(2) A qualifying utility for which a financing order has been issued shall annually provide to its customers a concise explanation of the environmental control charges approved in a financing order, as modified by subsequent issuances of environmental control bonds authorized under a financing order, if any, and by application of the adjustment mechanism as provided in subsection (e) of this section. These explanations may be made by bill inserts, website information or other appropriate means.

(3) Environmental control revenues shall be applied solely to the repayment of environmental control bonds and other financing costs.

(4) The failure of a qualifying utility to apply the proceeds of an issuance of environmental control bonds in a reasonable, prudent and appropriate manner or otherwise comply with any provision of this section shall not invalidate, impair or affect any financing order, environmental control property, environmental control charge or environmental control bonds: Provided, That subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (f) of this section, nothing in this subdivision shall prevent or preclude the Commission from imposing regulatory sanctions against a qualifying utility for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a financing order or the requirements of this section.

(k) Environmental control property. --

(1) Environmental control property that is specified in a financing order shall constitute an existing, present property right, notwithstanding the fact that the imposition and collection of environmental control charges depend on the qualifying utility continuing to provide electric energy or continuing to perform its servicing functions relating to the collection of environmental control charges or on the level of future energy consumption. Environmental control property shall exist whether or not the environmental control revenues have been billed, have accrued or have been collected and notwithstanding the fact that the value or amount of the environmental control property is dependent on the future provision of service to customers by the qualifying utility. (2) All environmental control property specified in a financing order shall continue to exist until the environmental control bonds issued pursuant to a financing order are paid in full and all financing costs relating to the bonds have been paid in full.

(3) All or any portion of environmental control property may be transferred, sold, conveyed or assigned to any person or entity not affiliated with the qualifying utility or to any affiliate of the qualifying utility created for the limited purposes of acquiring, owning or administering environmental control property or issuing environmental control bonds under the financing order or a combination of these purposes. All or any portion of environmental control property may be pledged to secure the payment of environmental control bonds, amounts payable to financing parties and bondholders, amounts payable under any ancillary agreement and other financing costs. Any transfer, sale, conveyance, assignment, grant of a security interest in or pledge of environmental control property by a qualifying utility or affiliate of a qualifying utility to an affiliate of the qualifying utility, to the extent previously authorized in a financing order, does not require the prior consent and approval of the Commission under section twelve of this article.

(4) If a qualifying utility defaults on any required payment of environmental control revenues, a court, upon application by an interested party and without limiting any other remedies available to the applying party, shall order the sequestration and payment of the environmental control revenues for the benefit of bondholders, any assignee and any financing parties. The order shall remain in full force and effect notwithstanding any bankruptcy, reorganization, or other insolvency proceedings with respect to the qualifying utility or any affiliate thereof.

(5) Environmental control property and environmental control revenues, and the interests of an assignee, bondholder or financing party in environmental control property and environmental control revenues, are not subject to setoff, counterclaim, surcharge or defense by the qualifying utility or any other person or in connection with the bankruptcy, reorganization or other insolvency proceeding of the qualifying utility, any affiliate thereof or any other entity.

(6) Any successor to a qualifying utility shall be bound by the requirements of this section and shall perform and satisfy all obligations of, and have the same rights under a financing order as, the qualifying utility under the financing order in the same manner and to the same extent as the qualifying utility, including, without limitation, the obligation to collect and pay to the person entitled to receive them environmental control revenues.

(l) Security interests. -- Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the creation, perfection and enforcement of any security interest in environmental control property to secure the repayment of the principal of and interest on environmental control bonds, amounts payable under any ancillary agreement and other financing costs are governed by this subsection and not the provisions of chapter forty-six of this code. All of the following shall apply:

(1) The description or indication of environmental control property in a transfer or security agreement and a financing statement is sufficient only if the description or indication refers to this section and the financing order creating the environmental control property. This subdivision applies to all purported transfers of, and all purported grants of liens on or security interests in, environmental control property, regardless of whether the related transfer or security agreement was entered into, or the related financing statement was filed, before or after the effective date of this section.

(2) A security interest in environmental control property is created, valid, and binding at the later of the time: (i) The financing order is issued; (ii) a security agreement is executed and delivered; and (iii) value is received for the environmental control bonds. The security interest attaches without any physical delivery of collateral or other act and the lien of the security interest shall be valid, binding and perfected against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the person granting the security interest, regardless of whether such parties have notice of the lien, upon the filing of a financing statement with the office of the Secretary of State. The office of the Secretary of State shall maintain any such financing statement in the same manner and in the same record-keeping system it maintains for financing statements filed pursuant to article nine, chapter forty-six of this code. The filing of any financing statement under this subdivision shall be governed by the provisions regarding the filing of financing statements in said article.

(3) A security interest in environmental control property is a continuously perfected security interest and has priority over any other lien, created by operation of law or otherwise, which may subsequently attach to the environmental control property unless the holder of any such lien has agreed in writing otherwise.

(4) The priority of a security interest in environmental control property is not affected by the commingling of environmental control revenues with other amounts. Any pledgee or secured party shall have a perfected security interest in the amount of all environmental control revenues that are deposited in any cash or deposit account of the qualifying utility in which environmental control revenues have been commingled with other funds and any other security interest that may apply to those funds shall be terminated when they are transferred to a segregated account for the assignee or a financing party.

(5) No subsequent order of the Commission amending a financing order pursuant to subdivision (2), subsection (f) of this section, and no application of the adjustment mechanism as provided in subsection (e) of this section, will affect the validity, perfection or priority of a security interest in or transfer of environmental control property.

(m) Sales of environmental control property. --

(1) Any sale, assignment or transfer of environmental control property shall be an absolute transfer and true sale of, and not a pledge of or secured transaction relating to, the seller's right, title and interest in, to and under the environmental control property if the documents governing the transaction expressly state that the transaction is a sale or other absolute transfer. A transfer of an interest in environmental control property may be created only when all of the following have occurred: (i) The financing order creating the environmental control property has become effective; (ii) the documents evidencing the transfer of environmental control property have been executed and delivered to the assignee; and (iii) value is received. Upon the filing of a financing statement with the office of the Secretary of State, a transfer of an interest in environmental control property shall be perfected against all third persons, including any judicial lien or other lien creditors or any claims of the seller or creditors of the seller, other than creditors holding a prior security interest, ownership interest or assignment in the environmental control property previously perfected in accordance with this subdivision or subdivision (2), subsection (l) of this section. The office of the Secretary of State shall maintain any such financing statement in the same manner and in the same record-keeping system it maintains for financing statements filed pursuant to article nine, chapter forty-six of this code.

(2) The characterization of the sale, assignment or transfer as an absolute transfer and true sale and the corresponding characterization of the property interest of the purchaser, shall not be affected or impaired by, among other things, the occurrence of any of the following factors:

(A) Commingling of environmental control revenues with other amounts;

(B) The retention by the seller of: (i) A partial or residual interest, including an equity interest, in the environmental control property, whether direct or indirect, or whether subordinate or otherwise; or (ii) the right to recover costs associated with taxes, franchise fees or license fees imposed on the collection of environmental control revenues;

(C) Any recourse that the purchaser may have against the seller;

(D) Any indemnification rights, obligations or repurchase rights made or provided by the seller;

(E) The obligation of the seller to collect environmental control revenues on behalf of an assignee;

(F) The treatment of the sale, assignment or transfer for tax, financial reporting or other purposes;

(G) Any subsequent order of the Commission amending a financing order pursuant to subdivision (2), subsection (f) of this section; or

(H) Any application of the adjustment mechanism as provided in subsection (e) of this section.

(n) Exemption from municipal taxation. -- The imposition, collection and receipt of environmental control revenues are not subject to taxation by any municipality of the state under the authority granted to municipalities in sections five and five-a, article thirteen, chapter eight of this code.

(o) Environmental control bonds not public debt. -- Environmental control bonds issued pursuant to a financing order and the provisions of this section shall not constitute a debt or a pledge of the faith and credit or taxing power of this state or of any county, municipality or any other political subdivision of this state. Bondholders shall have no right to have taxes levied by the Legislature or the taxing authority of any county, municipality or any other political subdivision of this state for the payment of the principal thereof or interest thereon. The issuance of environmental control bonds does not, directly or indirectly or contingently, obligate the state or a political subdivision of the state to levy any tax or make any appropriation for payment of the principal of or interest on the bonds.

(p) Environmental control bonds as legal investments. -- Any of the following may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys or other funds belonging to them or under their control in environmental control bonds:

(1) The state, the West Virginia Investment Management Board, the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, municipal corporations, political subdivisions, public bodies and public officers except for members of the Public Service Commission.

(2) Banks and bankers, savings and loan associations, credit unions, trust companies, building and loan associations, savings banks and institutions, deposit guarantee associations, investment companies, insurance companies and associations and other persons carrying on a banking or insurance business, including domestic for life and domestic not for life insurance companies; and

(3) Personal representatives, guardians, trustees and other fiduciaries.

(q) State pledge. --

(1) The state pledges to and agrees with the bondholders, any assignee and any financing parties that the state will not take or permit any action that impairs the value of environmental control property or, except as allowed under subsection (e) of this section, reduce, alter or impair environmental control charges that are imposed, collected and remitted for the benefit of the bondholders, any assignee, and any financing parties, until any principal, interest and redemption premium in respect of environmental control bonds, all financing costs and all amounts to be paid to an assignee or financing party under an ancillary agreement are paid or performed in full.

(2) Any person who issues environmental control bonds is permitted to include the pledge specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection in the environmental control bonds, ancillary agreements and documentation related to the issuance and marketing of the environmental control bonds.

(r) Choice of law. -- The law governing the validity, enforceability, attachment, perfection, priority and exercise of remedies with respect to the transfer of an interest or right or creation of a security interest in any environmental control property, environmental control charge or financing order shall be the laws of the State of West Virginia as set forth in this section and article nine, chapter forty-six of this code.

(s) Conflicts. -- In the event of conflict between this section and any other law regarding the attachment, assignment or perfection, or the effect of perfection, or priority of any security interest in or transfer of environmental control property, this section shall govern to the extent of the conflict.

(t) Effect of invalidity on actions. -- Effective on the date that environmental control bonds are first issued under this section, if any provision of this section is held to be invalid or is invalidated, superseded, replaced, repealed or expires for any reason, that occurrence shall not affect any action allowed under this section that is taken by the Commission, a qualifying utility, an assignee, a collection agent, a financing party, a bondholder, or a party to an ancillary agreement and any such action shall remain in full force and effect.

(u) Effectiveness of section. -- No qualifying utility may make initial application for a financing order after the date which is five years after the effective date of this section. This subsection shall not be construed to preclude any qualifying utility for which the Commission has initially issued a financing order from applying to the Commission: (i) For a subsequent order amending the financing order pursuant to subdivision (2), subsection (f) of this section; or (ii) for approval of the issuance of environmental control bonds to refund all or a portion of an outstanding series of environmental control bonds.

(v) Severability. -- If any subsection, subdivision, paragraph or subparagraph of this section or the application thereof to any person, circumstance or transaction is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or invalid, the unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of any other subsection, subdivision, paragraph or subparagraph of this section or its application or validity to any person, circumstance or transaction, including, without limitation, the irrevocability of a financing order issued pursuant to this section, the validity of the issuance of environmental control bonds, the imposition of environmental control charges, the transfer or assignment of environmental control property or the collection and recovery of environmental control revenues. To these ends, the Legislature hereby declares that the provisions of this section are intended to be severable and that the Legislature would have enacted this section even if any subsection, subdivision, paragraph or subparagraph of this section held to be unconstitutional or invalid had not been included in this section.


WVC 24 - 2 - 4 F §24-2-4f. Consumer rate relief bonds.

     (a) Legislative findings. - The Legislature hereby finds and declares as follows:

     (1) That some electric utilities in the state have experienced expanded net energy costs of a magnitude problematic to recover from their customers through the commission's traditional cost recovery mechanisms, which have resulted in unusually large under- recoveries;

     (2) That the financing costs of carrying such under-recovery balances and projected costs can be considerable;

     (3) That the use of traditional utility financing mechanisms to finance or refinance the recovery of such under-recovery balances and projected costs may result in considerable additional costs to be reflected in the approved rates of electric utility customers;

     (4) That customers of electric utilities in the state have an interest in the electric utilities financing the costs of such under-recovery balances and projected costs at a lower cost than would be afforded by traditional utility financing mechanisms;

     (5) That alternative financing mechanisms exist which can result in lower costs and mitigate rate impacts to customers and the use of these mechanisms can prove highly beneficial to such customers; and

     (6) That in order to use such alternative financing mechanisms, the commission must be empowered to adopt a financing order that advances these goals. The Legislature, therefore, determines that it is in the interest of the state and its citizens to encourage and facilitate the use of alternative financing mechanisms that will enable electric utilities to finance or refinance expanded net energy costs at the lowest reasonably practical cost under certain conditions and to empower the commission to review and approve alternative financing mechanisms when it determines that such approval is in the public interest, as set forth in this section.

     (b) Definitions. - As used in this section:

     (1) "Adjustment mechanism" means a formula-based mechanism for making adjustments to consumer rate relief charges to correct for over-collection or under-collection of such charges or otherwise to ensure the timely and complete payment and recovery of such charges and financing costs. The adjustment mechanism shall accommodate: (i) Standard adjustments to consumer rate relief charges that are limited to relatively stable conditions of operations; and (ii) nonstandard adjustments to consumer rate relief charges that are necessary to reflect significant changes from historical conditions of operations, such as the loss of significant electrical load. The adjustment mechanism is not to be used as a means to authorize the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds in a principal amount greater, or the payment or recovery of expanded net energy costs in an amount greater, than that which was authorized in the financing order which established the adjustment mechanism.

     (2) "Ancillary agreement" means a bond insurance policy letter of credit, reserve account, surety bond, swap arrangement, hedging arrangement, liquidity or credit support arrangement or other similar agreement or arrangement entered into in connection with the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds that is designed to promote the credit quality and marketability of the bonds or to mitigate the risk of an increase in interest rates.

     (3) "Assignee" means a person, corporation, limited liability company, trust, partnership or other entity to which an interest in consumer rate relief property is assigned, sold or transferred, other than as security. The term also includes any entity to which an assignee assigns, sells or transfers, other than as security, the assignee's interest in or right to consumer rate relief property.

     (4) "Bond" includes debentures, notes, certificates of participation, certificates of beneficial interest, certificates of ownership or other evidences of indebtedness or ownership that are issued by an electric utility or an assignee under a final financing order, the proceeds of which are used directly or indirectly to recover, finance, or refinance expanded net energy costs and that are secured by or payable from revenues from consumer rate relief charges.

     (5) "Bondholder" means any holder or owner of a consumer rate relief bond.

     (6) "Commission" means the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, as it may be constituted from time to time, and any successor agency exercising functions similar in purpose thereto.      (7) "Consumer rate relief charges" means the amounts which are authorized by the commission in a financing order to be collected from a qualifying utility's customers in order to pay and secure the debt service payments of consumer rate relief bonds and associated financing costs.

     (8) "Consumer rate relief costs" means those costs, including financing costs, which are to be defrayed through consumer rate relief charges.

     (9) "Consumer rate relief property" means the property, rights, and interests of a qualifying utility or an assignee under a final financing order, including the right to impose, charge, and collect the consumer rate relief charges that shall be used to pay and secure the payment of consumer rate relief bonds and financing costs, and including the right to obtain adjustments to those charges, and any revenues, receipts, collections, rights to payment, payments, moneys, claims, or other proceeds arising from the rights and interests created under the final financing order.

     (10) "Expanded net energy costs" means historical and, if deemed appropriate by the commission, projected costs, inclusive of carrying charges on under-recovery balances authorized by the commission, including costs incurred prior to the effective date of this statute, adjudicated pursuant to the commission's expanded net energy cost proceedings, which have been authorized for recovery by an order of the commission, whether or not subject to judicial appeal.

     (11) "Financing costs" means any of the following:

     (A) Principal, interest and redemption premiums that are payable on consumer rate relief bonds;

     (B) A payment required under an ancillary agreement;

     (C) An amount required to fund or replenish a reserve account or another account established under an indenture, ancillary agreement or other financing document relating to consumer rate relief bonds or the payment of any return on the capital contribution approved by the commission to be made by a qualifying utility to an assignee;

     (D) Costs of retiring or refunding an existing debt and equity securities of a qualifying utility in connection with the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds but only to the extent the securities were issued for the purpose of financing expanded net energy costs;

     (E) Costs incurred by a qualifying utility to obtain modifications of or amendments to an indenture, financing agreement, security agreement, or similar agreement or instrument relating to an existing secured or unsecured obligation of the utility in connection with the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds;

     (F) Costs incurred by a qualifying utility to obtain a consent, release, waiver, or approval from a holder of an obligation described in subparagraph (E) of this subdivision that are necessary to be incurred for the utility to issue or cause the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds;

     (G) Taxes, franchise fees or license fees imposed on consumer rate relief charges;

     (H) Costs related to issuing or servicing consumer rate relief bonds or related to obtaining a financing order, including servicing fees and expenses, trustee fees and expenses, legal fees and expenses, administrative fees, placement fees, underwriting fees, capitalized interest and equity, rating-agency fees and other related costs authorized by the commission in a financing order; and

     (I) Costs that are incurred by the commission for a financial adviser with respect to consumer rate relief bonds.

     (12) "Financing order" means an order issued by the commission under subsection (e) of this section that authorizes a qualifying utility to issue consumer rate relief bonds and recover consumer rate relief charges. A financing order may set forth conditions or contingencies on the effectiveness of the relief authorized therein and may grant relief that is different from that which was requested in the application.

     (13) "Final financing order" means a financing order that has become final and has taken effect as provided in subdivision (10) of subsection (e) of this section.

     (14) "Financing party" means either of the following:

     (A) A trustee, collateral agent or other person acting for the benefit of any bondholder; or

     (B) A party to an ancillary agreement, the rights and obligations of which relate to or depend upon the existence of consumer rate relief property, the enforcement and priority of a security interest in consumer rate relief property, the timely collection and payment of consumer rate relief charges or a combination of these factors.

     (15) "Financing statement" has the same meaning as in section one-hundred-two, article nine, chapter forty-six of this code.      (16) "Investment grade" means, with respect to the unsecured debt obligations of a utility at any given time of determination, a rating that is within the top four investment rating categories as published by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization as recognized by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

     (17) "Nonbypassable" means that the payment of consumer rate relief charges may not be avoided by any West Virginia retail customer of a qualifying utility or its successors and must be paid by any such customer that receives electric delivery service from such utility or its successors for as long as the consumer rate relief bonds are outstanding.

     (18) "Nonutility affiliate" means, with respect to any utility, a person that: (i) Is an affiliate of the utility as defined in 42 U.S.C.§16451(1); and (ii) is not a public utility that provides retail utility service to customers in the state within the meaning of section two, article one of this chapter.

     (19) "Parent" means, with respect to a utility, a registered holding company or other person that holds a majority ownership or membership interest in the utility.

     (20) "Qualifying utility" means a public utility engaged in the sale of electric service to retail customers in West Virginia which has applied for and received from the commission a final financing order under this section, including an affiliated electric public utility which has applied jointly for and received such an order.

     (21) "Registered holding company" means, with respect to a utility, a person that is: (i) A registered holding company as defined in 42 U.S.C.§16451(8); and (ii) an affiliate of the utility as defined in 42 U.S.C.§16451(1).

     (22) "Regulatory sanctions" means, under the circumstances presented, a regulatory or ratemaking sanction or penalty that the commission is authorized to impose pursuant to this chapter or any proceeding for the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or any order of the commission that the commission is authorized to pursue or conduct pursuant to this chapter, including without limitation: (i) The initiation of any proceeding in which the utility is required to show cause why it should not be required to comply with the terms and conditions of a financing order or the requirements of this section; (ii) the imposition of penalties pursuant to article four of this chapter; and (iii) a proceeding by mandamus, injunction or other appropriate proceeding as provided in section two of this article.

     (23) "Successor" means, with respect to an entity, another entity that succeeds by operation of law to the rights and obligations of the first legal entity pursuant to any bankruptcy, reorganization, restructuring, or other insolvency proceeding, any merger, acquisition, or consolidation, or any sale or transfer of assets, regardless of whether any of these occur as a result of a restructuring of the electric power industry or otherwise.

     (c) Application for financing order.

     (1) If an electric utility or affiliate obtains from the commission an authorization or waiver required by any other provision of this chapter or by commission order with respect to the underlying expanded net energy costs proposed to be financed through the mechanism of consumer rate relief bonds, an electric utility, or two or more affiliated electric utilities engaged in the delivery of electric service to customers in this state, may apply to the commission for a financing order that authorizes the following:

     (A) The issuance of consumer rate relief bonds, in one or more series, to recover only those expanded net energy costs that could result in an under-recovery;

     (B) The imposition, charging, and collection of consumer rate relief charges, in accordance with the adjustment mechanism approved by the commission under subparagraph (E), subdivision (6), subsection (e) of this section to recover sufficient amounts to pay and secure the debt service payments of consumer rate relief bonds and associated financing costs; and

     (C) The creation of consumer rate relief property under the financing order.

     (2) The commission may only consider applications made pursuant to this subsection for the recovery of underlying expanded net energy costs that would be reflected in schedules of rates filed in calendar year 2012.

     (d) Information required in application for financing order.

     The application shall include all of the following:

     (1) A description and quantification of the uncollected expanded net energy costs that the electric utility seeks to recover through the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds;

     (2) An estimate of the date each series of consumer rate relief bonds is expected to be issued;

     (3) The expected term during which the consumer rate relief costs for each series of consumer rate relief bonds are expected to be recovered;

     (4) An estimate of the financing costs associated with the issuance of each series of consumer rate relief bonds;

     (5) An estimate of the amount of consumer rate relief charges necessary to recover the consumer rate relief costs set forth in the application and the calculation for that estimate, which calculation shall take into account the estimated date or dates of issuance and the estimated principal amount of each series of consumer rate relief bonds;

     (6) A proposed methodology for allocating consumer rate relief charges between and within tariff schedules and to special contract customers;

     (7) A description of a proposed adjustment mechanism, reflecting the allocation methodology in subdivision (6) of this subsection;

     (8) A description of the benefits to the qualifying utility's customers that are expected to result from the issuance of the consumer rate relief bonds, including a demonstration that the bonds and their financing costs are just and reasonable and are reasonably expected to achieve the lowest reasonably attainable cost in order to produce cost savings to customers and to mitigate rate impacts on customers, as compared to traditional financing mechanisms or traditional cost-recovery methods available to the electric utility; and

     (9) Other information required by commission rules.

     (e) Issuance of financing order.

     (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, proceedings on an application submitted by an electric utility under subsection (c) of this section are governed by the commission's standard procedural rules. Any party that participated in a proceeding in which the subject expanded net energy costs were authorized or approved automatically has standing to participate in the financing order proceedings and the commission shall determine the standing or lack of standing of any other petitioner for party status.

     (2) Within thirty days after the filing of an application under subsection (c) of this section, the commission shall issue a scheduling order for the proceeding.

     (3) At the conclusion of proceedings on an application submitted by an electric utility under subsection (c) of this section, the commission shall issue either a financing order, granting the application, in whole or with modifications, or an order denying the application.

     (4) The commission may issue a financing order under this subsection if the commission finds that the issuance of the consumer rate relief bonds and the consumer rate relief charges authorized by the order are just and reasonable and are reasonably expected to achieve the lowest reasonably attainable cost in order to produce cost savings to customers and to mitigate rate impacts on customers, as compared to traditional financing mechanisms or traditional cost-recovery methods available to the electric utility.

     (5) The commission shall include all of the following in a financing order issued under this subsection:

     (A) A determination of the maximum amount and a description of the expanded net energy costs that may be recovered through consumer rate relief bonds issued under the financing order;

     (B) A description of consumer rate relief property, the creation of which is authorized by the financing order;

     (C) A description of the financing costs that may be recovered through consumer rate relief charges and the period over which those costs may be recovered;

     (D) A description of the methodology and calculation for allocating consumer rate relief charges between and within tariff schedules and to special contract customers;

     (E) A description and approval of the adjustment mechanism for use in the imposition, charging, and collection of the consumer rate relief charges, including: (i) The allocation referred to in paragraph (D) of this subdivision and (ii) any specific requirements for adjusting and reconciling consumer rate relief charges for standard adjustments that are limited to relatively stable conditions of operations and nonstandard adjustments that are necessary to reflect significant changes from historical conditions of operations, such as the loss of substantial electrical load, so long as each and every application of the adjustment mechanism is designed to assure the full and timely payment of consumer rate relief bonds and associated financing costs;

     (F) The maximum term of the consumer rate relief bonds;

     (G) A finding that the issuance of the consumer rate relief bonds, including financing costs, is just and reasonable and are reasonably expected to achieve the lowest reasonably attainable cost in order to produce cost savings to customers and to mitigate rate impacts on customers, as compared to traditional financing mechanisms or traditional cost-recovery methods available to the electric utility; and

     (H) Any other provision the commission considers appropriate to ensure the full and timely imposition, charging, collection and adjustment, pursuant to an approved adjustment mechanism, of the consumer rate relief charges.

     (6) To the extent the commission deems appropriate and compatible with the issuance advice letter procedure under subdivision (9) of this subsection, the commission, in a financing order, shall afford the electric utility flexibility in establishing the terms and conditions for the consumer rate relief bonds to accommodate changes in market conditions, including repayment schedules, interest rates, financing costs, collateral requirements, required debt service and other reserves, and the ability of the qualifying utility, at its option, to effect a series of issuances of consumer rate relief bonds and correlated assignments, sales, pledges, or other transfers of consumer rate relief property. Any changes made under this subdivision to terms and conditions for the consumer rate relief bonds shall be in conformance with the financing order.

     (7) A financing order shall provide that the creation of consumer rate relief property shall be simultaneous with the sale of that property to an assignee as provided in the application and the pledge of the property to secure consumer rate relief bonds.

     (8) The commission, in a financing order, shall require that, after the final terms of each issuance of consumer rate relief bonds have been established, and prior to the issuance of those bonds, the qualifying utility shall determine the resulting initial consumer rate relief charges in accordance with the adjustment mechanism described in the financing order. These consumer rate relief charges shall be final and effective upon the issuance of the consumer rate relief bonds, without further commission action.

     (9) Because the actual structure and pricing of the consumer rate relief bonds will not be known at the time the financing order is issued, in the case of every securitization approved by the commission, the qualifying utility which intends to cause the issuance of such bonds will provide to the commission and the commission's financial adviser, if any, prior to the issuance of the bonds, an issuance advice letter following the determination of the final terms of the bonds. The issuance advice letter shall indicate the final structure of the consumer rate relief bonds and provide the best available estimate of total ongoing costs. The issuance advice letter should report the initial consumer rate relief charges and other information specific to the consumer rate relief bonds to be issued, as the financing order may require. The qualifying utility may proceed with the issuance of the consumer rate relief bonds unless, prior to noon on the fourth business day after the commission receives the issuance advice letter, the commission issues a disapproval letter directing that the bonds as proposed shall not be issued and the basis for that disapproval. The financing order may provide such additional provisions relating to the issuance advice letter process as the commission deems appropriate.

     (10) An order of the commission issued pursuant to this subsection is a final order of the commission. Any party aggrieved by the issuance of any such order may petition for suspension and review thereof by the Supreme Court of Appeals pursuant to section one, article five of this chapter. In the case of a petition for suspension and review, the Supreme Court of Appeals shall proceed to hear and determine the action as expeditiously as practicable and give the action precedence over other matters not accorded similar precedence by law.

     (11) The financing order shall also provide for a procedure requiring the qualifying utility to adjust its rates or provide credits in a manner that would return to customers any overpayments resulting from the securitization for the expanded net energy costs in excess of actual prudently incurred costs as subsequently determined by the commission. The adjustment mechanism may not affect or impair the consumer rate relief property or the right to impose, collect, or adjust the consumer rate relief charges under this section.

     (12) The commission may require, as a condition to the effectiveness of the financing order but in every circumstance subject to the limitations set forth in subdivision (3), subsection (g) of this section, that the qualifying utility give appropriate assurances to the commission that the qualifying utility and its parent will abide by the following conditions during any period in which any consumer rate relief bonds issued pursuant to the financing order are outstanding, in addition to any other obligation either may have under this code or federal law. Without first obtaining the prior consent and approval of the commission, the qualifying utility will not:

     (A) Lend money, directly or indirectly, to a registered holding company or a nonutility affiliate; or

     (B) Guarantee the obligations of a registered holding company or a nonutility affiliate.

     (13) A financing order may require the qualifying utility to file with the commission a periodic report showing the receipt and disbursement of proceeds of consumer rate relief bonds and consumer rate relief charges. A financing order may authorize the staff of the commission to review and audit the books and records of the qualifying utility relating to the receipt and disbursement of such proceeds. The provisions of this subdivision do not limit the authority of the commission under this chapter to investigate the practices of the qualifying utility or to audit the books and records of the qualifying utility.

     (14) In the case of two or more affiliated utilities that have jointly applied for a financing order as provided in subdivision (1), subsection (c) of this section, a financing order may authorize each affiliated utility to impose consumer rate relief charges on its customers and to cause to be issued consumer rate relief bonds and to receive and use the proceeds which it receives with respect thereto as provided in subdivision (1), subsection (j) of this section.

     (15) The commission, in its discretion, may engage the services of a financial adviser for the purpose of assisting the commission in its consideration of an application for a financing order and a subsequent issuance of consumer rate relief bonds pursuant to a financing order.

     (f) Allowed disposition of consumer rate relief property.

     (1) The consumer rate relief property created in a final financing order may be transferred, sold, conveyed or assigned to any affiliate of the qualifying utility created for the limited purpose of acquiring, owning or administering that property, issuing consumer rate relief bonds under the final financing order or a combination of these purposes.

     (2) All or any portion of the consumer rate relief property may be pledged to secure the payment of consumer rate relief bonds, amounts payable to financing parties and bondholders, amounts payable under any ancillary agreement and other financing costs.

     (3) A transfer, sale, conveyance, assignment, grant of a security interest in or pledge of consumer rate relief property by a qualifying utility to an affiliate of the utility, to the extent previously authorized in a financing order, does not require the prior consent and approval of the commission under section twelve of this article.

     (4) The consumer rate relief property constitutes an existing, present property right, notwithstanding any requirement that the imposition, charging, and collection of consumer rate relief charges depend on the qualifying utility continuing to deliver retail electric service or continuing to perform its servicing functions relating to the billing and collection of consumer rate relief charges or on the level of future energy consumption. That property exists regardless of whether the consumer rate relief charges have been billed, have accrued or have been collected and notwithstanding any requirement that the value or amount of the property is dependent on the future provision of service to customers by the qualifying utility.

     (5) All such consumer rate relief property continues to exist until the consumer rate relief bonds issued under the final financing order are paid in full and all financing costs relating to the bonds have been paid in full.

     (g) Final financing order to remain in effect.

     (1) A final financing order remains in effect until the consumer rate relief bonds issued under the final financing order and all financing costs related to the bonds have been paid in full.

     (2) A final financing order remains in effect and unabated, notwithstanding the bankruptcy, reorganization or insolvency of the qualifying utility, or any affiliate of the qualifying utility, or the commencement of any judicial or nonjudicial proceeding on the final financing order.

     (3) A final financing order is irrevocable and the commission may not reduce, impair, postpone or terminate the consumer rate relief charges authorized in the final financing order or impair the property or the collection or recovery of consumer rate relief costs.

     (h) Subsequent commission proceeding.

     Upon petition, or upon its own motion, the commission may commence a proceeding and issue a subsequent financing order that provides for retiring and refunding consumer rate relief bonds issued under the final financing order if the commission finds that the subsequent financing order satisfies all of the requirements of subsection (e) of this section. Effective on retirement of the refunded consumer rate relief bonds and the issuance of new consumer rate relief bonds, the commission shall adjust the related consumer rate relief charges accordingly.

     (i) Limits on commission authority.

     (1) The commission, in exercising its powers and carrying out its duties regarding regulation and ratemaking, may not do any of the following:

     (A) Consider consumer rate relief bonds issued under a final financing order to be the debt of the qualifying utility;

     (B) Consider the consumer rate relief charges imposed, charged or collected under a final financing order to be revenue of the qualifying utility; or

     (C) Consider the consumer rate relief costs or financing costs authorized under a final financing order to be costs of the qualifying utility.

     (2) The commission may not order or otherwise require, directly or indirectly, an electric utility to use consumer rate relief bonds to finance the recovery of expanded net energy costs.

     (3) The commission may not refuse to allow the recovery of expanded net energy costs solely because an electric utility has elected or may elect to finance those costs through a financing mechanism other than the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds.

     (4) If a qualifying utility elects not to finance such costs through the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds as authorized in a final financing order, those costs shall be recovered as authorized by the commission previously or in subsequent proceedings.

     (j) Duties of qualifying utility.

     (1) A qualifying utility shall cause the proceeds which it receives with respect to consumer rate relief bonds issued pursuant to a financing order to be used for the recovery of the expanded net energy costs which occasioned the issuance of the bonds, including the retirement of debt and/or equity of the qualifying utility which was incurred to finance or refinance such costs and for no other purpose.

     (2) A qualifying utility shall annually provide a plain- English explanation of the consumer rate relief charges approved in the financing order, as modified by subsequent issuances of consumer rate relief bonds authorized under the financing order, if any, and by application of the adjustment mechanism as provided in subsection (k) of this section. These explanations may be made by bill inserts, website information or other appropriate means as required, or approved if proposed by the qualifying utility, by the commission.

     (3) Collected consumer rate relief charges shall be applied solely to the repayment of consumer rate relief bonds and other financing costs.

     (4) The failure of a qualifying utility to apply the proceeds which it receives with respect to an issuance of consumer rate relief bonds in a reasonable, prudent and appropriate manner or otherwise comply with any provision of this section does not invalidate, impair or affect any financing order, consumer rate relief property, consumer rate relief charges or consumer rate relief bonds. Subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (g) of this section, nothing in this subdivision prevents or precludes the commission from imposing regulatory sanctions against a qualifying utility for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a financing order or the requirements of this section.

     (k) Application of adjustment mechanism; filing of schedules with commission.

     (1) A qualifying utility shall file with the commission, and the commission shall approve, with or without such modification as is allowed under this subsection, at least annually, or more frequently as provided in the final financing order, a schedule applying the approved adjustment mechanism to the consumer rate relief charges authorized under the final financing order, based on estimates of demand and consumption for each tariff schedule and special contract customer and other mathematical factors. The qualifying utility shall submit with the schedule a request for approval to make the adjustments to the consumer rate relief charges in accordance with the schedule.

     (2) On the same day a qualifying utility files with the commission its calculation of the adjustment, it shall cause notice of the filing to be given, in the form specified in the financing order, as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code in a newspaper of general circulation published each weekday in Kanawha County. This publication is only required if the calculation of the adjustment filed by the utility with the commission would result in an increase in the amount of the consumer rate relief charges.

     (3) The commission's review of a request for a standard adjustment is limited to a determination of whether there is a mathematical error in the application of the adjustment mechanism to the consumer rate relief charges. No hearing is required for such an adjustment. Each standard adjustment to the consumer rate relief charges, in an amount as calculated by the qualifying utility but incorporating any correction for a mathematical error as determined by the commission, automatically becomes effective fifteen days following the date on which the qualifying utility files with the commission its calculation of the standard adjustment.

     (4) If the commission authorizes a nonstandard adjustment procedure in the financing order, and the qualifying utility files for such an adjustment, the commission shall allow interested parties thirty days from the date the qualifying utility filed the calculation of a nonstandard adjustment to make comments. The commission's review of the total amount required for a nonstandard adjustment shall be limited to the mathematical accuracy of the total adjustment needed to assure the full and timely payment of all debt service costs and related financing costs of the consumer rate relief bonds. The commission may also determine the proper allocation of those costs within and between classes of customers and to special contract customers, the proper design of the consumer rate relief charges and the appropriate application of those charges under the methodology set forth in the formula-based adjustment mechanism approved in the financing order. If the commission determines that a hearing is necessary, the commission shall hold a hearing on the comments within forty days of the date the qualifying utility filed the calculation of the nonstandard adjustment. The nonstandard adjustment, as modified by the commission, if necessary, shall be approved by the commission within sixty days and the commission may shorten the filing and hearing periods above in the financing order to ensure this result. Any procedure for a nonstandard adjustment must be consistent with assuring the full and timely payment of debt service of the consumer rate relief bonds and associated financing costs.

     (5) No adjustment approved or deemed approved under this section affects the irrevocability of the final financing order as specified in subdivision (3) of subsection (g) of this section.

     (l) Nonbypassability of consumer rate relief charges.

     (1) As long as consumer rate relief bonds issued under a final financing order are outstanding, the consumer rate relief charges authorized under the final financing order are nonbypassable and apply to all existing or future West Virginia retail customers of a qualifying utility or its successors and must be paid by any customer that receives electric delivery service from the utility or its successors.

     (2) The consumer rate relief charges shall be collected by the qualifying utility or the qualifying utility's successors or assignees, or a collection agent, in full through a charge that is separate and apart from the qualifying utility's base rates.

     (m) Utility default.

     (1) If a qualifying utility defaults on a required payment of consumer rate relief charges collected, a court, upon application by an interested party, or the commission, upon application to the commission or upon its own motion, and without limiting any other remedies available to the applying party, shall order the sequestration and payment of the consumer rate relief charges collected for the benefit of bondholders, assignees and financing parties. The order remains in full force and effect notwithstanding a bankruptcy, reorganization or other insolvency proceedings with respect to the qualifying utility or any affiliate thereof.

     (2) Customers of a qualifying utility shall be held harmless by the qualifying utility for its failure to remit any required payment of consumer rate relief charges collected but such failure does not affect the consumer rate relief property or the rights to impose, collect and adjust the consumer rate relief charges under this section.

     (3) Consumer rate relief property under a final financing order and the interests of an assignee, bondholder or financing party in that property under a financing agreement are not subject to set off, counterclaim, surcharge or defense by the qualifying utility or other person, including as a result of the qualifying utility's failure to provide past, present, or future services, or in connection with the bankruptcy, reorganization, or other insolvency proceeding of the qualifying utility, any affiliate, or any other entity.

     (n) Successors to qualifying utility.

     A successor to a qualifying utility is bound by the requirements of this section. The successor shall perform and satisfy all obligations of the electric utility under the final financing order in the same manner and to the same extent as the qualifying utility including the obligation to collect and pay consumer rate relief charges to the person(s) entitled to receive them. The successor has the same rights as the qualifying utility under the final financing order in the same manner and to the same extent as the qualifying utility.

     (o) Security interest in consumer rate relief property.

     (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (3) through (5) of this subsection, the creation, perfection and enforcement of a security interest in consumer rate relief property under a final financing order to secure the repayment of the principal of and interest on consumer rate relief bonds, amounts payable under any ancillary agreement and other financing costs are governed by this section and not article nine of chapter forty-six of this code.

     (2) The description of the consumer rate relief property in a transfer or security agreement and a financing statement is sufficient only if the description refers to this section and the final financing order creating the property. This section applies to all purported transfers of, and all purported grants of, liens on or security interests in that property, regardless of whether the related transfer or security agreement was entered into or the related financing statement was filed, before or after the effective date of this section.

     (3) A security interest in consumer rate relief property under a final financing order is created, valid and binding at the latest of the date that the security agreement is executed and delivered or the date that value is received for the consumer rate relief bonds.

     (4) The security interest attaches without any physical delivery of collateral or other act and upon the filing of the financing statement with the Office of the Secretary of State. The lien of the security interest is valid, binding and perfected against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the person granting the security interest, regardless of whether the parties have notice of the lien. Also upon this filing, a transfer of an interest in the consumer rate relief property is perfected against all parties having claims of any kind, including any judicial lien, or other lien creditors or any claims of the seller or creditors of the seller, other than creditors holding a prior security interest, ownership interest or assignment in the property previously perfected in accordance with this subsection.

     (5) The Secretary of State shall maintain any financing statement filed under this subsection in the same manner that the secretary maintains financing statements filed by utilities under article nine of chapter forty-six of this code. The filing of a financing statement under this subsection is governed by the provisions regarding the filing of financing statements in article nine of chapter forty-six of this code. However, a person filing a financing statement under this subsection is not required to file any continuation statements to preserve the perfected status of its security interest.

     (6) A security interest in consumer rate relief property under a final financing order is a continuously perfected security interest and has priority over any other lien, created by operation of law or otherwise, that may subsequently attach to that property or those rights or interests unless the holder of any such lien has agreed in writing otherwise.

     (7) The priority of a security interest in consumer rate relief property is not affected by the commingling of collected consumer rate relief charges with other amounts. Any pledged or secured party has a perfected security interest in the amount of all consumer rate relief charges collected that are deposited in a cash or deposit account of the qualifying utility in which such collected charges have been commingled with other funds. Any other security interest that may apply to those funds shall be terminated when the funds are transferred to a segregated account for an assignee or a financing party.

     (8) No application of the adjustment mechanism as described in subsection (k) of this section affects the validity, perfection or priority of a security interest in or the transfer of consumer rate relief property under the final financing order.

     (p) Transfer, sale, etc. of consumer rate relief property.

     (1) A sale, assignment or transfer of consumer rate relief property under a final financing order is an absolute transfer and true sale of, and not a pledge of or secured transaction relating to, the seller's right, title and interest in, to and under the property, if the documents governing the transaction expressly state that the transaction is a sale or other absolute transfer. A transfer of an interest in that property may be created only when all of the following have occurred:

     (A) The financing order has become final and taken effect;

     (B) The documents evidencing the transfer of the property have been executed and delivered to the assignee; and

     (C) Value has been received for the property.

     (2) The characterization of the sale, assignment or transfer as an absolute transfer and true sale and the corresponding characterization of the property interest of the purchaser shall be effective and perfected against all third parties and is not affected or impaired by, among other things, the occurrence of any of the following:

     (A) Commingling of collected consumer rate relief charges with other amounts;

     (B) The retention by the seller of any of the following:

     (i) A partial or residual interest, including an equity interest, in the consumer rate relief property, whether direct or indirect, or whether subordinate or otherwise;

     (ii) The right to recover costs associated with taxes, franchise fees or license fees imposed on the collection of consumer rate relief charges;

     (iii) Any recourse that the purchaser or any assignee may have against the seller;

     (iv) Any indemnification rights, obligations or repurchase rights made or provided by the seller;

     (v) The obligation of the seller to collect consumer rate relief charges on behalf of an assignee;

     (vi) The treatment of the sale, assignment or transfer for tax, financial reporting or other purposes; or

     (vii) Any application of the adjustment mechanism under the final financing order.

     (q) Taxation of consumer rate relief charges; consumer rate relief bonds not debt of governmental entities or a pledge of taxing powers.

     (1) The imposition, billing, collection and receipt of consumer rate relief charges under this section are exempt from state income, sales, franchise, gross receipts, business and occupation and other taxes or similar charges: Provided, That neither this exemption nor any other provision of this subsection shall preclude any municipality from taxing consumer rate relief charges under the authority granted to municipalities pursuant to sections five and five-a of article thirteen in chapter eight of this code.

     (2) Consumer rate relief bonds issued under a final financing order do not constitute a debt or a pledge of the faith and credit or taxing power of this state or of any county, municipality or any other political subdivision of this state. Bondholders have no right to have taxes levied by this state or the taxing authority of any county, municipality or any other political subdivision of this state for the payment of the principal of or interest on the bonds. The issuance of consumer rate relief bonds does not, directly, indirectly or contingently, obligate this state or a county, municipality or political subdivision of this state to levy a tax or make an appropriation for payment of the principal of or interest on the bonds.

     (r) Consumer rate relief bonds as legal investments. Any of the following may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys or other funds belonging to them or under their control in consumer rate relief bonds:

     (1) The state, the West Virginia Investment Management Board, the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, municipal corporations, political subdivisions, public bodies and public officers except for members of the Public Service Commission;

     (2) Banks and bankers, savings and loan associations, credit unions, trust companies, building and loan associations, savings banks and institutions, deposit guarantee associations, investment companies, insurance companies and associations and other persons carrying on a banking or insurance business, including domestic for life and domestic not for life insurance companies; and

     (3) Personal representatives, guardians, trustees and other fiduciaries.

     (s) Pledge of state.

     (1) The state pledges to and agrees with the bondholders, assignees and financing parties under a final financing order that the state will not take or permit any action that impairs the value of consumer rate relief property under the final financing order or revises the consumer rate relief costs for which recovery is authorized under the final financing order or, except as allowed under subsection (k) of this section, reduce, alter or impair consumer rate relief charges that are imposed, charged, collected or remitted for the benefit of the bondholders, assignees and financing parties, until any principal, interest and redemption premium in respect of consumer rate relief bonds, all financing costs and all amounts to be paid to an assignee or financing party under an ancillary agreement are paid or performed in full.

     (2) A person who issues consumer rate relief bonds is permitted to include the pledge specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection in the consumer rate relief bonds, ancillary agreements and documentation related to the issuance and marketing of the consumer rate relief bonds.

     (t) West Virginia law governs; this section controls.

     (1) The law governing the validity, enforceability, attachment, perfection, priority and exercise of remedies with respect to the transfer of consumer rate relief property under a final financing order, the creation of a security interest in any such property, consumer rate relief charges or final financing order are the laws of this state as set forth in this section.

     (2) This section controls in the event of a conflict between its provisions and any other law regarding the attachment, assignment, or perfection, the effect of perfection or priority of any security interest in or transfer of consumer rate relief property under a final financing order.

     (u) Severability.

     If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person, circumstance or transaction is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or invalid, the unconstitutionality or invalidity does not affect the Constitutionality or validity of any other provision of this section or its application or validity to any person, circumstance or transaction, including, without limitation, the irrevocability of a financing order issued pursuant to this section, the validity of the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds, the imposition of consumer rate relief charges, the transfer or assignment of consumer rate relief property or the collection and recovery of consumer rate relief charges. To these ends, the Legislature hereby declares that the provisions of this section are intended to be severable and that the Legislature would have enacted this section even if any provision of this section held to be unconstitutional or invalid had not been included in this section.

     (v) Non-utility status.

     An assignee or financing party is not an electric public utility or person providing electric service by virtue of engaging in the transactions with respect to consumer rate relief bonds.
WVC 24 - 2 - 5 §24-2-5. Supervision of public utilities licensed by municipalities, county courts or otherwise; right to enter premises, inspect and correct meters.
The commission shall have general supervision of all public utilities having authority under any charter or franchise of any city, town or municipality, county court, or tribunal in lieu thereof, or otherwise, to lay down and maintain wires, pipes, conduits, ducts or other fixtures in, over or under streets, highways or public places for the purpose of furnishing and distributing gas, or for furnishing and transmitting electricity for light, heat or power, or maintaining underground conduits, or ducts for electrical conductors, or for telegraph or telephone purposes, and for the purpose of furnishing water, either for domestic or power purposes, and shall have general supervision of oil and gas pipelines, and shall have general supervision over any utility engaged in the transportation of coal and its derivatives and all mixtures and combinations thereof with any substance by pipelines.

The commission may ascertain the quality and quantity of water, or the quality and quantity of gas or electricity supplied by such utilities and examine the methods employed, and shall have power to order such improvements as will best promote the public interests. In ascertaining and regulating the quality of water, the commission shall use the quality standards established by the state board of health by regulations governing public water supplies.

The commission shall have power, through its members, inspectors, or employees to enter in, upon and to inspect the property, buildings, plants, fixtures, powerhouses and offices of any such utilities or municipalities, and shall have power to examine the books and affairs to be investigated by it. The commission shall, when and as necessary, appoint inspectors of gas, electric and water meters. And, when such inspectors are required to act, it shall be their duty to inspect, examine, prove and ascertain the accuracy of any gas, electric, or water meters used or intended to be used for measuring or ascertaining the quantity of gas, electricity or water furnished to, by or for the use of any person, firm or corporation, and, when found to be correct, or made correct, the inspector shall stamp or mark each of such meters with some suitable device, which device shall be recorded in the office of the commission. No public utility shall furnish or put in use any gas, electric or water meter which shall not have been inspected, proved and stamped or marked by an inspector of the commission: Provided, That in cases of emergency, gas, electric or water meters may be installed and used before being inspected, but notice thereof shall be immediately given to the public service commission by the public utility installing the same, and such meters shall be inspected, proved and stamped or marked, as soon thereafter as practicable. Every gas, electric and water utility shall provide and keep in and upon its premises suitable and proper apparatus, to be approved and stamped or marked by the commission, for testing and proving the accuracy of gas, electric and water meters furnished for use by it and by which apparatus every meter may and shall be tested on the written request of the consumer to whom the same shall be furnished, and in his presence if he so desires.

If any person, firm or corporation to or by whom a meter has been furnished shall request the commission in writing to inspect such meter, the commission shall have the same inspected and tested. If the same on being tested shall be found to be two percent from being correct, or shall be found to be to the prejudice of the user, the inspector shall order the owner of such meter forthwith to remove the same and to place instead thereof a correct meter. The expense of such inspecting and testing shall be borne by the owner if such meter be found to be incorrect by two percent or more. If the meter, on being so tested, shall be found to be correct or within two percent of being correct, the expense of such inspection and testing shall be borne by the user. A uniform charge and rule shall be fixedby the commission for this service: Provided, That nothing in this chapter shall prevent the commission from changing and modifying the method of inspecting meters and adopting such rules and regulations therefor as to the commission may seem just and proper.


WVC 24 - 2 - 6 §24-2-6. Power as to connecting telephone and telegraph services.
Whenever, after hearing, upon notice, the public service commission shall determine that public convenience or necessity requires that conduits, subways, poles or other equipment on, over or under any street or highway belonging to or used by any public utility should be used in part by another public utility for the operation of its property in any locality not reached by the lines or connections of one of such utilities, or a municipality, the public service commission may, by order, fix the just and reasonable terms and conditions of such use, and prescribe the compensation to be paid therefor. And, whenever, after hearing, upon notice, the public service commission shall determine that public convenience and necessity require a physical connection for the establishment of a continuous line of communication between any two or more public utilities regularly engaged in the conveyance of telephone or telegraph messages, for the conveyance of such messages between different localities, which are not reached by the lines or connections of one of such utilities, the public service commission, may, by order, ascertain, determine and fix the just and reasonable terms and conditions of such physical connection, including just and reasonable rules and regulations and the just and reasonable charge that shall be made to the public for the use of such continuous line between such localities and the division of the charge between such two or more public utilities, and the apportionment of the cost of making such physical connection between such public utilities, and it shall be the duty of such public utility thereafter to conform to such order of the public service commission. But no order shall be made by the public service commission under this section to apply where such use or physical connection will prevent those owning, operating, managing or controlling any part of such conduits, subways, poles or other equipment, or such proposed continuous lines of communication, from performing their public duties, nor result in serious injury to those owning, operating, managing or controlling any part of such conduits, subways, poles or other equipment, or of the proposed continuous lines of communication.

Such use so ordered shall be permitted and such physical connection or connections so ordered shall be made; and the terms, conditions and compensation so prescribed for such use and such physical connections shall be the lawful conditions and compensation for such use and physical connection, and the lawful terms and conditions upon which such use and physical connections shall be had and made. Any such order may be from time to time revised by the commission upon application of any interested party or upon its own motion.


WVC 24 - 2 - 7 §24-2-7. Unreasonable, etc., regulations, practices and services; receivership; procedures respecting receivership; appointment and compensation of receiver; liquidation.
(a) Whenever, under the provisions of this chapter, the commission shall find any regulations, measurements, practices, acts or service to be unjust, unreasonable, insufficient or unjustly discriminatory, or otherwise in violation of any provisions of this chapter, or shall find that any service is inadequate, or that any service which is demanded cannot be reasonably obtained, the commission shall determine and declare, and by order fix reasonable measurement, regulations, acts, practices or services, to be furnished, imposed, observed and followed in the state in lieu of those found to be unjust, unreasonable, insufficient, or unjustly discriminatory, inadequate or otherwise in violation of this chapter, and shall make such other order respecting the same as shall be just and reasonable.

(b) If the public service commission shall determine that any utility is unable or unwilling to adequately serve its customers or has been actually or effectively abandoned by its owners, or that its management is grossly and willfully inefficient, irresponsible or unresponsive to the needs of its customers, the commission may petition to the circuit court of any county wherein the utility does business for an order attaching the assets of the utility and placing such utility under the sole control and responsibility of a receiver. If the court determines that the petition is proper in all respects and finds, after a hearing thereon, that the allegations contained in the petition are true, it shall grant the same and shall order that the utility be placed in receivership. The court, in its discretion and in consideration of the recommendation of the commission, shall appoint a receiver who shall be a responsible individual, partnership or corporation knowledgeable in public utility affairs and who shall maintain control and responsibility for the running and management of the affairs of such utility. In so doing, the receiver shall operate the utility so as to preserve the assets of the utility and to serve the best interests of its customers. The receiver shall be compensated from the assets of said utility in an amount to be determined by the court.

Control of and responsibility for said utility shall remain in the receiver until the same can, in the best interest of the customers, be returned to the owners, transferred to other owners or assumed by another utility or public service corporation: Provided, That if the court after hearing, determines that control of and responsibility for the affairs of the utility should not, in the best interests of its customers, be returned to the legal owners thereof, the receiver shall proceed to liquidate the assets of such utility in the manner provided by law.

The laws generally applicable to receivership shall govern receiverships created pursuant to this section.


WVC 24 - 2 - 8 §24-2-8. System of accounts to be kept by public utilities; uniform accounting system for public service districts and municipally owned public utilities.
(a) The commission may establish a system of accounts to be kept by public utilities or classify public utilities and establish a system of accounts for each class, and prescribe the manner in which such accounts shall be kept. It may also in its discretion prescribe the forms of accounts, records and memoranda to be kept by such public utilities, including the accounts, records and memoranda of the movement of traffic as well as the receipt and expenditure of moneys, and any other forms, records and memoranda which in the judgment of the commission may be necessary to carry out any of the provisions of this chapter. In the case of utilities subject to the provisions of the act of Congress entitled "An act to regulate commerce," approved February four, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, and the acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto, the system of accounts established by the commission and the forms of accounts, records and memoranda prescribed by it shall not be inconsistent with the systems and forms from time to time established for such utilities by the interstate commerce commission. But nothing herein contained shall affect the power of the commission to prescribe forms of accounts, records and memoranda covering information in addition to that required by the interstate commerce commission. The commission may, after hearing had upon its own motion or upon complaint, prescribe by order the accounts in which particular outlays and receipts shall be entered, charged or credited.

(b) The commission shall, on or before the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine, adopt rules and regulations prescribing and establishing a uniform system of accounts and accounting to be kept by all public service districts and municipally owned public utilities, and, in so doing, the commission shall confer with and seek the assistance of the tax commissioner in order to coordinate any such accounting systems and procedures with any such procedures or systems adopted by the state tax department governing the fiscal affairs of municipalities. Such rules and regulations shall establish a date by which all utilities are to conform with any such accounting procedures and systems adopted by the commission. Any such rules and regulations prescribing a system or procedure of accounting to be kept by such public utilities may classify such utilities and establish a system or procedure of accounts for each class and prescribe the manner of keeping such accounts. The commission may also ascertain, determine and prescribe what are proper and adequate charges for depreciation of the several classes of property for each utility and may prescribe such changes as it may deem appropriate in charges made for depreciation as it finds necessary.


WVC 24 - 2 - 9 §24-2-9. Information concerning rates, etc., of public utilities may be required and published by commission.

The commission may at any time require persons, firms, companies, associations, corporations or municipalities, subject to the provisions of this chapter, to furnish any information which may be in their possession, respecting rates, tolls, charges or practices in conducting their service, and to furnish the commission at all times for inspection any books or papers or reports and statements, which reports and statements shall be under oath, when so required by the commission, and the form of all reports required under this chapter shall be prescribed by the commission (except as provided in section five, article three of this chapter). The commission shall collect, receive and preserve the same, and shall annually tabulate and publish the same in statistical form.


WVC 24 - 2 - 10 §24-2-10. Power to subpoena witnesses, take testimony and administer oaths; contempt; self-incrimination.
The commission shall have power, either as a commission or by any of its members, to subpoena witnesses and take testimony, and administer oaths to any witness in any proceeding or examination instituted before it or conducted by it with reference to any matter within its jurisdiction. In all hearings or proceedings before the commission the evidence of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence may be required at any designated place of hearing; and in case of disobedience to a subpoena or other process the commission or any party to the proceedings before the commission may invoke the aid of any circuit court in requiring the evidence and testimony of witnesses and the production of papers, books and documents. And such court, in case of refusal to obey the subpoena issued to any person or to any public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, shall issue an order requiring such public utility or any person to appear before such commission and produce all books and papers, if so ordered, and give evidence touching the matter in question. Any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as contempt thereof. A claim that any such testimony or evidence may tend to criminate the person giving the same shall not excuse such witness from testifying, but such witness shall not be prosecuted for any offense concerning which he is compelled hereunder to testify.


WVC 24 - 2 - 11 §24-2-11. Requirements for certificate of public convenience and necessity.
(a) A public utility, person or corporation may not begin the construction of any plant, equipment, property or facility for furnishing to the public any of the services enumerated in section one, article two of this chapter, nor apply for, nor obtain any franchise, license or permit from any municipality or other governmental agency, except ordinary extensions of existing systems in the usual course of business, unless and until it shall obtain from the Public Service Commission a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing such construction franchise, license or permit.

(b) Upon the filing of any application for the certificate, and after hearing, the commission may, in its discretion, issue or refuse to issue, or issue in part and refuse in part, the certificate of convenience and necessity: Provided, That the commission, after it gives proper notice and if no substantial protest is received within thirty days after the notice is given, may waive formal hearing on the application. Notice shall be given by publication which shall state that a formal hearing may be waived in the absence of substantial protest, made within thirty days, to the application. The notice shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. The publication area shall be the proposed area of operation.

(c) Any public utility, person or corporation subject to the provisions of this section shall give the commission at least thirty days' notice of the filing of any the application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity under this section: Provided, That the commission may modify or waive the thirty-day notice requirement and shall waive the thirty-day notice requirement for projects approved by the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.

(d) The commission shall render its final decision on any application filed under the provisions of this section or section eleven-a of this article within two hundred seventy days of the filing of the application and within ninety days after final submission of any such application for decision following a hearing: Provided, That if the application is for authority to construct a water and sewer project and the projected total cost is less than $10 million, the Commission shall render its final decision within two hundred twenty-five days of the filing of the application.

(e) The commission shall render its final decision on any application filed under the provisions of this section that has received the approval of the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council pursuant to article fifteen-a, chapter thirty-one of this code within one hundred eighty days after filing of the application: Provided, That if a substantial protest is received within thirty days after the notice is provided pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the commission shall render its final decision within two hundred seventy days or two hundred twenty-five days of the filing of the application, whichever is applicable as determined in subsection (d).

(f) If the projected total cost of a project which is the

subject of an application filed pursuant to this section or section eleven-a of this article is greater than $50 million, the commission shall render its final decision on any such application filed under the provisions of this section or section eleven-a of this article within four hundred days of the filing of the application and within ninety days after final submission of any such application for decision after a hearing.

(g) If a decision is not rendered within the, time-frames established in this section, the commission shall issue a certificate of convenience and necessity as applied for in the application.

(h) The commission shall prescribe rules as it may deem proper for the enforcement of the provisions of this section; and, in establishing that public convenience and necessity do exist, the burden of proof shall be upon the applicant.

(i) Pursuant to the requirements of this section, the commission may issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity to any intrastate pipeline, interstate pipeline or local distribution company for the transportation in intrastate commerce of natural gas used by any person for one or more uses, as defined by rule, by the commission in the case of:

(1) Natural gas sold by a producer, pipeline or other seller to the person; or

(2) Natural gas produced by the person.

(j) A public utility, including a public service district, which has received a certificate of public convenience and necessity after July 8, 2005, from the commission and has been approved by the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council, is not required to, and cannot be compelled to, reopen the proceeding if the cost of the project changes but the change does not affect the rates established for the project.

(k) Any public utility, person or corporation proposing any electric power project that requires a certificate under this section is not required to obtain such certificate before applying for or obtaining any franchise, license or permit from any municipality or other governmental agency.


WVC 24 - 2 - 11 A §24-2-11a. Requirement for certificate of public convenience and necessity before beginning construction of high voltage transmission line; contents of application; notice; hearing; criteria for granting or denying certificate; regulations.
(a) No public utility, person or corporation may begin construction of a high voltage transmission line of two hundred thousand volts or over, which line is not an ordinary extension of an existing system in the usual course of business as defined by the Public Service Commission, unless and until it or he or she has obtained from the Public Service Commission a certificate of public convenience and necessity approving the construction and proposed location of the transmission line.

(b) The application for the certificate shall be in the form the commission prescribes and shall contain:

(1) A description, in such detail as the commission prescribes, of the location and type of line facilities which the applicant proposes to construct;

(2) A statement justifying the need for the facilities;

(3) A statement of the environmental impact of the line facilities; and

(4) Other information the applicant considers relevant or the commission requires.

(c) Upon the filing of the application, the applicant shall publish, in the form the commission directs, as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, the publication area for the publication to be each county in which any portion of the proposed transmission line is to be constructed, a notice of the filing of the application and that the commission may approve the application unless within fifteen days after completion of publication a written request for a hearing on the application has been received by the commission from a person or persons alleging that the proposed transmission line or its location is against the public interest. If the request is timely received, the commission shall set the matter for hearing on a date within sixty days from completion of the publication, and shall require the applicant to publish notice of the time and place of hearing in the same manner as is required for the publication of notice of the filing of the application. At least thirty business days before the deadline set by the Public Service Commission to file a petition to intervene with regard to the application, the applicant shall serve notice by certified mail to all owners of surface real estate that lie within the preferred corridor of the proposed transmission line. Notice received by a named owner who is the recipient of record of the most recent tax bill that has been issued by the county sheriff's office for a parcel of land at the time of the filing of the application is sufficient notice regarding that parcel for purposes of this subsection.

(d) Within sixty days after the filing of the application, or if hearing is held on the application, within ninety days after final submission on oral argument or brief, the commission may approve the application if it finds that the proposed transmission line:

(1) Will economically, adequately and reliably contribute to meeting the present and anticipated requirements for electric power of the customers served by the applicant or is necessary and desirable for present and anticipated reliability of service for electric power for its service area or region;

(2) Will be in the best interest of West Virginia customers and its citizens; and

(3) Will result in an acceptable balance between reasonable power needs and reasonable environmental factors.

(e) The commission may impose conditions upon its approval of the application, or modify the applicant's proposal, to achieve an acceptable balance between reasonable power needs and reasonable environmental factors.

(f) The provisions of this section do not apply to the construction of line facilities which will be part of a transmission line for which any right-of-way has been acquired prior to January 1, 1973.

(g) The commission shall prescribe rules it considers proper for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this section, which rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the applicable provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law to the contrary, the commission shall determine, in its discretion, which transmission line or lines crossing above the Ohio River must be marked to be made visible to airborne traffic flying in any area where the lines exist, and shall promulgate rules requiring that all public utilities or persons who install or maintain the lines make the necessary markings.


WVC 24 - 2 - 11 B §24-2-11b. Continuing prudence reviews.

(a) If, in granting a certificate of convenience and necessity for the construction of an electric utility generating plant, a facility to comply with the federal Clean Air Act, as amended, or transmission line, the commission determines that the completion date for such plant or line is more than one year from the date of the order granting the certificate, the commission may require that such construction project or projects be subject to a continuing prudence review pursuant to this section.

(b) If the commission determines that continuation of a certificate subject to a continuing prudence review is not warranted or that the certificate should be amended, it may rescind or modify its authorization for construction.

(c) The commission shall promulgate such rules and regulations as it determines are necessary for the administration of this section. The commission shall specify, either by rule or for a specific certificated project, the frequency of each prudence review, the rate-making treatment to be afforded partially completed projects, and such other terms and conditions as it determines are reasonable.


WVC 24 - 2 - 11 C §24-2-11c. Siting certificates for certain electric generating facilities or material modifications thereof.
(a) Notice of an application for a siting certificate required under the provisions of subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5), subsection (c), section one of this article shall be given as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, with the publication area being each county in which all or a portion of the facility is located or to be located. Such notice shall also be published as a Class I legal advertisement in a newspaper published each weekday in Kanawha County and circulated both within and outside of Kanawha County. If no substantial protest is received within thirty days after the publication of notice, the commission may waive formal hearing on the application.

(b) The commission shall render its decision within three hundred days of the date of filing of an application for a siting certificate or within four hundred days of the filing of an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to section eleven of this article if the application is considered as an application for a siting certificate pursuant to this section as provided in subdivision (6), subsection (c), section one of this article. If no decision is rendered within such time period, the commission shall issue a siting certificate as applied for.

(c) In deciding whether to issue, refuse to issue, or issue in part and refuse to issue in part a siting certificate, the commission shall appraise and balance the interests of the public, the general interests of the state and local economy, and the interests of the applicant. The commission may issue a siting certificate only if it determines that the terms and conditions of any public funding or any agreement relating to the abatement of property taxes do not offend the public interest, and the construction of the facility or material modification of the facility will result in a substantial positive impact on the local economy and local employment. The commission shall issue an order that includes appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law that address each factor specified in this subsection. All material terms, conditions and limitations applicable to the construction and operation of the proposed facility or material modification of the facility shall be specifically set forth in the commission order.

(d) The commission may require an applicant for a siting certificate to provide such documents and other information as the commission deems necessary for its consideration of the application.

(e) If the commission issues the siting certificate, the commission shall have continuing jurisdiction over the holder of the siting certificate for the limited purposes of: (1) Considering future requests by the holder for modifications of or amendments to the siting certificate; (2) considering and resolving complaints related to the holder's compliance with the material terms and conditions of the commission order issuing the siting certificate, whether or not the complainant was a party to the case in which the siting certificate was issued, which complaints shall be filed, answered, and resolved in accordance with the commission's procedures for resolving formal complaints; and (3) enforcing the material terms and conditions of a commission order as provided in subsection (f) of this section.

(f) If the commission determines, in a proceeding instituted on its own motion or on the motion of any person, that the holder of a siting certificate has failed without reasonable justification to comply with any of the material terms and conditions of a commission order issuing a siting certificate, modifying or amending a siting certificate, or resolving a complaint related to compliance of the holder with the material terms and conditions of a siting certificate, the commission may enforce the material terms and conditions of the commission order: (1) By requiring the holder to show cause why it should not be required so to comply; (2) through a proceeding seeking the imposition of a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars or criminal penalties as provided in section four, article four of this chapter, or both such civil and criminal penalties, and the imposition of either or both such civil penalty and criminal penalties shall be subject to the provisions of section eight, article four, of this chapter; (3) by mandamus or injunction as provided in section two of this article; or (4) prior to the completion of construction of the proposed facility or prior to the completion of construction of a material modification of the facility, by the suspension or revocation of the siting certificate, including the preliminary suspension of the siting certificate under the standards applicable to circuit courts of this state for the issuance of preliminary injunctions.

(g) Any person may seek to compel compliance with the material terms and conditions of a commission order issuing, modifying or amending a siting certificate, or resolving a complaint related to the holder's compliance with the material terms and conditions a siting certificate through appropriate proceedings in any circuit court having jurisdiction.

(h) The material terms and conditions of a commission order issuing, modifying or amending a siting certificate or resolving a complaint related to the holder's compliance with the material terms and conditions of a commission order issuing a siting certificate shall continue to apply to any transferee of the siting certificate or to any transferee of all or a portion of the ownership interest in an electric generating facility for which a siting certificate has been issued. In either case, the transferee or original holder of the siting certificate shall be subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the commission to the extent provided in subsections (e) and (f) of this section.

(i) Any party feeling aggrieved by a final order of the commission under this section may petition for a review thereof by the supreme court of appeals pursuant to section one, article five of this chapter.

(j) The commission may prescribe such rules as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section in accordance with the provisions of section seven, article one of this chapter. Such rules may include and provide for an application fee to be charged an applicant for a siting certificate, or for a modification of, or amendment to, a siting certificate previously issued, under the provisions of this section, which fee shall be paid into the state treasury and kept in a special fund designated public service commission fund as established in subsection (a), section six, article three of this chapter, to be used for the purposes set forth in that subsection.


WVC 24 - 2 - 11 D §24-2-11d. Revocation of certificate of public convenience and necessity; acquisition of facilities by capable public utility.
(a) In addition to the powers conferred by section seven, article two of this chapter, upon a finding by the Public Service Commission that a public utility which holds a certificate of public convenience and necessity to provide natural gas or electric service is unable or unwilling to adequately serve its customers or has been actually or effectively abandoned by its owner or owners, or that its management is grossly and willfully inefficient, irresponsible or unresponsive to the needs of its customers, or is not capable of providing economical and efficient utility service, the commission may, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing has been afforded to the affected utility and its customers, revoke the certificate of public convenience and necessity held by the public utility. In the case of such revocation, the commission shall concurrently order a capable public utility to acquire the facilities of the revoked public utility and to provide service to the customers of the revoked public utility. The commission shall also allow a capable public utility that acquires the facilities of a revoked public utility to recover all reasonable costs related to such acquisition of facilities and upgrading of service to customers of the revoked public utility, including, but not limited to, additional capital, environmental, operating and maintenance costs.

(b) In making a determination to revoke a certificate of public convenience and necessity, pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commission shall consider: (1) The financial, managerial and technical ability of the public utility considered for revocation; (2) the financial, managerial and technical ability of the capable public utility; (3) the expenditures that may be necessary to make improvements to the facilities of the public utility considered for revocation to assure compliance with all applicable statutory and regulatory standards concerning adequacy, efficiency, safety and reasonableness of service; and (4) any other matters which may be relevant.

(c) The price of the acquisition of the facilities of the revoked public utility shall be determined by an agreement between the revoked public utility and the acquiring capable public utility, subject to a determination by the commission that the price is reasonable. If the revoked public utility and the acquiring capable public utility are unable to agree on an acquisition price or the commission disapproves the acquisition price on which the utilities have agreed, the commission shall issue an order directing the acquiring capable public utility to acquire the revoked public utility by following the procedure prescribed for exercising the power of eminent domain pursuant to article two, chapter fifty-four of this code. The fact that the acquisition price has not been agreed to or finally determined shall not delay the effect of any order issued by the commission pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(d) As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Capable public utility" means a public utility which provides electric or natural gas service and has at least twenty-five thousand customers which provides the same type of utility service as the revoked public utility and has the financial, managerial and technical ability to comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory standards concerning adequacy, efficiency, safety and reasonableness of service on a long-term basis;

(2) "Revoked public utility" means a public utility with less than twenty-five thousand customers which has had its certificate of public convenience and necessity revoked by the commission pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Any action of the Public Service Commission to revoke the certificate of public convenience and necessity of an electric or natural gas public utility pursuant to the provisions of this section must be initiated on or before the first day of March, two thousand eight.


WVC 24 - 2 - 12 §24-2-12. What acts may not be done without consent of commission; consent in advance of exemption of transactions; when sale, etc., of franchises, mergers, etc., void.
Unless the consent and approval of the public service commission of West Virginia is first obtained: (a) No public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, except railroads other than street railroads, may enter into any contract with any other utility to operate any line or plant of any other utility subject thereto, nor which will enable such public utility to operate their lines or plants in connection with each other, but this shall not be construed to prevent physical connections between utilities supplying the same service or commodity, for temporary purposes only, upon condition, however, that prompt notice thereof be given to the commission for such action, if any, as it may deem necessary, and thereafter the commission may require such connection to be removed or discontinued; (b) no public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, except railroads other than street railroads, may purchase, lease, or in any other manner acquire control, direct or indirect, over the franchises, licenses, permits, plants, equipment, business or other property of any other utility; (c) no public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, except railroads other than street railroads, may assign, transfer, lease, sell, or otherwise dispose of its franchises, licenses, permits, plants, equipment, business or other property or any part thereof; but this shall not be construed to prevent the sale, lease, assignment or transfer by any public utility of any tangible personal property which is not necessary or useful, nor will become necessary or useful in the future, in the performance of its duties to the public; (d) no public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, except railroads other than street railroads, may, by any means, direct or indirect, merge or consolidate its franchises, licenses, permits, plants, equipment, business or other property with that of any other public utility; (e) no public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, except railroads other than street railroads, may purchase, acquire, take or receive any stock, stock certificates, bonds, notes or other evidence of indebtedness of any other public utility; (f) no public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, except railroads other than street railroads, may, by any means, direct or indirect, enter into any contract or arrangement for management, construction, engineering, supply or financial services or for the furnishing of any other service, property or thing, with any affiliated corporation, person or interest; (g) no person or corporation, whether or not organized under the laws of this state, may acquire either directly or indirectly a majority of the common stock of any public utility organized and doing business in this state.

The commission may grant its consent in advance or exempt from the requirements of this section all assignments, transfers, leases, sales or other disposition of the whole or any part of the franchises, licenses, permits, plants, equipment, business or other property of any public utility, or any merger or consolidation thereof and every contract, purchase of stocks, arrangement, transfer or acquisition of control, or other transaction referred to in this section, upon proper showing that the terms and conditions thereof are reasonable and that neither party thereto is given an undue advantage over the other, and do not adversely affect the public in this state.

The commission shall prescribe such rules and regulations as, in its opinion, are necessary for the reasonable enforcement and administration of this section, including the procedure to be followed, the notice to be given of any hearing hereunder, if it deems a hearing necessary, and after such hearing or in case no hearing is required, the commission shall, if the public will be convenienced thereby, enter such order as it may deem proper and as the circumstances may require, attaching thereto suchconditions as it may deem proper, consent to the entering into or doing of the things herein provided, without approving the terms and conditions thereof, and thereupon it shall be lawful to do the things provided for in such order.

Every assignment, transfer, lease, sale or other disposition of the whole or any part of the franchises, licenses, permits, plant, equipment, business or other property of any public utility, or any merger or consolidation thereof and every contract, purchase of stock, arrangement, transfer or acquisition of control or other transaction referred to in this section made otherwise than as hereinbefore provided shall be void to the extent that the interests of the public in this state are adversely affected, but this shall not be construed to relieve any utility from any duty required by this section.


WVC 24 - 2 - 12 A §24-2-12a. Issuance of stock; requirement of applying to commission for orders authorizing issuance; hearing and investigation on application; order; when issuance is void.

The power of public utilities to issue stocks and stock certificates or other evidence of interest or ownership is a special privilege, the right of supervision, regulation, restriction and control of which is vested in the state, and such power shall be exercised as provided by law under such rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe.

No public utility may issue stocks and stock certificates, or other evidence of interest or ownership unless, in addition to the other requirements of law, it shall first have secured from the commission an order authorizing the issue, stating the amount thereof and the purposes to which the issue or the proceeds thereof are to be applied, and that, in the opinion of the commission, the issue is reasonably required for the purposes specified in the order: Provided, That the issuance of stocks and stock certificates or other evidence of interest or ownership by a corporation which devotes one or more of its divisions to the provision of a public service shall be exempted from the requirements hereof when the gross revenues generated by all such divisions represent less than twenty-five percent of the gross revenues generated by the corporation.

Preferred stock which has no voting rights for the election of directors or which has such voting rights only upon the failure of the corporation to meet its obligation to pay dividends on such stock and, in either case, which preferred stock is not capable of conversion into common equity shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

To enable the commission to determine whether it will issue such order, the commission may hold a hearing and may make such additional inquiry or investigation, examine such witnesses, books, papers, documents and contracts and require the filing of such data as it deems of assistance. The commission may by its order grant permission for the issue of such stocks or stock certificates or other evidence of interest or ownership in the amount applied for, or in a lesser amount, or refuse such permission, or grant it subject to such conditions as it deems reasonable and necessary. All stock and every stock certificate or other evidence of interest or ownership of a public utility issued without an order of the commission authorizing the issue thereof or not conforming in its provisions to any of the provisions which it is required by the order of authorization to contain is void.


WVC 24 - 2 - 13 §24-2-13. Enforcement of federal acts.
In addition to all other powers and duties conferred upon the public service commission herein, the commission shall be charged with the duty of enforcing the provisions of the United States "Federal Railroad Safety Act" and the "Uniform Motor Carrier Identification Act" in this state under the federal requirements contained therein requiring state enforcement of such acts, insofar as the same are not repugnant to the laws of this state or contrary to the rules and regulations of the commission.

The commission shall also perform those duties expressly conferred upon a state regulatory authority by the "National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978,""Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978," and the "Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978," insofar as the same are not repugnant to the laws of this state or contrary to the rules and regulations of the commission, unless the governor, exercising authority reserved to him in said acts, designates another agency to perform such duties, in whole or in part. The term "state regulatory authority" as used in this paragraph shall have the same meaning as such term is defined by said federal acts.

In addition, the commission shall carry out other federal acts, including appropriate portions of the "Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978," for which the governor designates it as the responsible agency in this state.


WVC 24 - 2 - 14 §24-2-14. Reports required to be filed by generating electric utilities; contents; powers of commission to obtain information; availability to the public; certain studies required.
(a) On a monthly basis and within thirty days of the last day of the month for which the information is required, each electric utility shall submit to the commission, on an individual basis for each power plant it owns or operates, a list of each purchase or other acquisition of coal or other fuel at the plant, the tonnage or other amount of each purchase or acquisition, the fuel's cost at the mine or other source, fuel handling costs (including but not limited to costs of loading and unloading such fuel and the cost of storage thereof), fuel transportation costs and the method or mode of such transportation, the name of the person, firm or corporation from which the fuel was purchased or otherwise acquired, the mine or other source of the fuel, the heat value of the fuel expressed in British Thermal Units, the sulfur and ash content of the fuel, the fuel's actual cost per one million British Thermal Units; the terms of purchase of such fuel; whether the fuel was purchased under a long-term or short- term agreement or was a spot market purchase; the terms of purchase of such fuel; the date of execution of any contract pertaining to the purchase of such fuel and the expiration date of such contract; if the fuel is coal, the amount mined underground and on the surface; and whether the source of the fuel was an affiliated or nonaffiliated person, firm or corporation.

In addition, at the same time and on a similar basis, such electric utility shall submit to the commission a list of all persons, firms and corporations in this state with which it or its parent corporation is affiliated and which produce coal or some other fuel which can be used at a power plant. Such list shall state the name of each affiliate, its principal place of business, the nature of the affiliation; each mine or other source of fuel which the affiliate owns or operates, whether within or outside the state; the amount of fuel produced each month at each mine or other source of fuel; the name of each person, firm or corporation to whom the fuel is sold or otherwise disposed of, a breakdown of the amount of fuel sold or otherwise disposed of under long-term or short-term agreements, the final location at which the fuel will actually be used and a breakdown of related handling costs and transportation costs, the heat value of the fuel expressed in British Thermal Units, the sulfur and ash content of the fuel; if the fuel is coal, the amount mined underground and on the surface; and the fuel's cost per one million British Thermal Units.

The commission shall require the electric utility to submit a list of all persons, firms and corporations, within and outside this state, with which it or its parent corporation is affiliated and which provide transportation or are a part of a network providing transportation of fuel to a power plant. It shall obtain and use all available pertinent information on transportation and transportation costs from each such electric utility and its affiliated persons, firms and corporations, including its parent corporation. The commission may require the electric utility or any affiliated person, firm or corporation, including its parent corporation, to submit such other information as it considers necessary or advisable.

(b) If any information required under any provision of this section is located outside this state, the electric utility shall, at the option of the commission, either make the information available to the commission at the commission's offices or pay all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred by the commission or its designated representative in obtaining the information at the place where such information is maintained. The commission may designate representatives, including comparable officials of the state in which the information is located, to obtain such information on its behalf.

(c) If he makes a written request therefor and pays the actual cost thereof, any member of the general public shall receive a copy of any information obtained by the commission under any provision of this section. Upon request, the Legislature or its designated staff shall receive any such information without delay and at no cost.

(d) The commission is hereby directed from time to time to investigate, study, and if necessary, conduct public hearings with respect to, new systems and policies for the pricing of electrical power to consumers taking into consideration the following: (1) Daily peak load pricing; (2) time of day metering system; (3) the lifeline service rate system; (4) the progressive or inverted rate system; (5) any other rate system designed or which may be designed to save energy and to lower consumer charges and in addition thereto the commission shall investigate and study with respect to the propriety and feasibility of including automatic adjustment clauses or fuel adjustment clauses in any electric utility tariff, rate, joint rate, charge, toll or schedule.

The commission, no later than January first, one thousand nine hundred seventy-six, shall prepare its first report with recommendations and shall submit the same to the governor and both houses of the Legislature, and shall thereafter, from time to time, submit such updates and periodic reports as may be deemed appropriate to keep the governor and the Legislature fully advised of systems and policies for the pricing of electrical power.


WVC 24 - 2 - 15 §24-2-15. Automatic adjustment clauses or fuel adjustment clauses prohibited.
The commission shall not enforce, originate, continue, establish, change or otherwise authorize or permit an increase in the charge or charges for electric energy over and above the established and published tariff, rate, joint rate, charge, toll or schedule through any automatic adjustment clause or fuel adjustment clause.


WVC 24 - 2 - 16 §24-2-16. Anticompetitive clauses in natural gas contracts prohibited.
(a) Unenforceable clauses: Any provision of any contract for the sale of natural gas, which is or becomes utility natural gas, including any contract in existence on or before the date of enactment of this section, is hereby declared against public policy and unenforceable to the extent that such clause requires the utility to buy more than a reasonable amount of gas at a greater than reasonable price if such provision includes:

(1) A take-or-pay clause which commits the purchaser to take delivery of a minimum volume of natural gas; or

(2) An indefinite price escalator clause which has been defined in the Natural Gas Policy Act, section 105(b)(3)(B), 15 U.S.C.A., section 3315(b)(3)(B), as any provision of any contract:

(i) Which provides for the establishment or adjustment of the price for natural gas delivered under such contract by reference to other prices for natural gas, for crude oil, or for refined petroleum products; or

(ii) Which allows for the establishment or adjustment of the price of natural gas delivered under such contract by negotiation between the parties; or

(3) A most favored nation clause which accords to the transaction, presently or in the future, the highest price prevailing in the region for similar transactions.

(b) Commission review: Upon application made by the utility, or upon its own motion, the commission may hold hearings after notice as to the reasonableness of the quantity and price of gas purchased pursuant to such contracts.


WVC 24 - 2 - 17 §24-2-17. Registry of electric customers on life support systems; notification prior to scheduled outages; priority of service restoration; limitation of liability; life support defined.

(a) In addition to all other powers and duties conferred upon the commission by this chapter, the commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements for electric utilities in this state for purposes of accomplishing the following:

(1) Identifying and maintaining a registry of persons that are dependent upon life support systems which require electric service to function, and updating that registry at least twice annually; all new customers shall be notified of the registry and its functions;

(2) Providing adequate notice of planned power outages to each residence in the registry; and

(3) Organizing service restoration so that, as much as practicable given the scope and nature of a power outage, priority is given to residences listed in the registry.

(b) An electric utility which acts in good faith to comply with the rules promulgated in accordance with this section shall not be liable for damages in a civil action for any injuries or deaths resulting from loss of power to a life support system as a result of a power outage.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring an electric utility to provide back-up life support to any customers.

(d) For purposes of this section, the term "life support system" means a kidney dialysis machine, mechanical ventilation device or other medical device, the use of which is prescribed by a licensed physician and upon the request of the patient or his or her patient representative, is certified by such physician in writing to the electric utility as necessary to sustain critical body functions and without which a person is in imminent risk of death.


WVC 24 - 2 - 18 §24-2-18. Legislative findings on electric service; jurisdiction of the commission to determine public interest in permitting retail access to competitive power supply markets; participation of interested parties; development of deregulation plan; legislative approval or rejection of plan; certain reports required or permitted; continuing jurisdiction.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds that:

(1) Electric service is essential to the health and well-being of residents, to public safety and to orderly economic development, and the cost of electricity is an important factor in decisions made by businesses concerning locating, expanding and retaining facilities in West Virginia. Therefore, reliable electric service should continue to be available to all customers at reasonable rates and on reasonable terms and conditions;

(2) Many state governments have been studying policies that would create a competitive market for the supply of electricity;

(3) The public service commission is the appropriate agency to determine whether West Virginia should adopt a plan whereby users of electricity in the state would have open access across existing and new utility delivery systems to a competitive market for power supply. An affirmative determination of this question is hereafter designated in this section as a "finding of public interest." If the commission makes a finding of public interest, the commission is also the appropriate agency to develop such a plan for submission to the Legislature for approval, hereafter designated in this section as a "deregulation plan."

(4) Notwithstanding the commission's substantial expertise in the supervision and regulation of the electricity generation industry, the significant public policy issues involved in determining whether to make a finding of public interest and, if necessary, in developing a deregulation plan, require that the commission seek and secure the involvement of a wide spectrum of interests in the state, including but not limited to the following interests, hereafter collectively designated in this section as "all interested parties": Groups representing senior citizens and other persons on fixed incomes, including the American association of retired persons; groups representing low income persons and the working poor, including the West Virginia community action directors association; labor unions, including the West Virginia AFL-CIO, the communications workers of America, the united mine workers of America, the West Virginia state building and construction trades council, the international brotherhood of electrical workers, the independent steel workers, and the united steel workers of America; groups representing residential consumers; groups representing industrial consumers; groups representing commercial consumers; groups representing the electric utility industry and electricity generation concerns; groups representing natural resources industries and associated industries, including the West Virginia coal association and the West Virginia oil and natural gas association; groups representing heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractors, including the West Virginia heating, ventilating, air conditioning and electrical contractors association; groups representing environmental concerns; the electric industry research group of West Virginia university; the West Virginia municipal league; and any other person or group which has an interest in these issues.

(5) In order to provide meaningful involvement and participation to all interested parties in determining whether to make a finding of public interest and, if necessary, in developing a deregulation plan, the commission is directed (A) to provide notice to all interested parties of each public meeting to be held by the commission in studying whether to make a finding of public interest and, if necessary, in developing a deregulation plan, including providing written notice by first class mail at least five days prior to the date of each public meeting to each of the groups specifically identified in subdivision (4) of this subsection; (B) to consult with all interested parties attending such public meetings; and (C) to report periodically to the joint committee on government and finance of the Legislature or any interim study committee appointed by the joint committee on government and finance on the commission's progress on these issues.

(6) The commission may not submit a deregulation plan to the Legislature for approval unless it submits findings and explains the basis for its findings, after providing adequate notice to all interested parties and other persons and holding a hearing or hearings, that the deregulation plan fairly balances the interests of the electric utilities, their customers, and the state's economy, and that the deregulation plan:

(A) Is in the best interest of West Virginia electric energy consumers;

(B) Results in potential benefits available for all customers, considering that while some customers may be immediately benefited by reductions in electricity costs, depending on their individual needs and choices, no customer should be worse off;

(C) Preserves universal electric service at reasonable rates;

(D) Maintains reasonable standards of safety, availability and reliability of electric service for all customers at all times, including at times of peak load usage of electric service;

(E) Does not result in a substantial negative impact on employment in the state or the state's economy;

(F) Does not impact compliance with environmental rules;

(G) Considers and maintains the public benefits of energy efficiency, renewable resource technology and research and development;

(H) Encourages the continued and expanded use of West Virginia coal, oil, natural gas and other energy resources;

(I) Assures that customers have meaningful choices among electricity providers and that customers are protected from anticompetitive behavior, poor service, and unfair billing, collection and disconnection procedures;

(J) Is conditioned upon workable competition with a level playing field for all buyers and sellers, and provides for a code of conduct for electric service providers to be established by commission rule;

(K) Assures that existing commitments of utilities arising from past decisions made pursuant to historical regulatory and legal principles are addressed in a fair and reasonable manner, considering the financial integrity of the utilities;

(L) Addresses and maintains adequate protections for low-income consumers and gives meaningful consideration to the development of funding mechanisms to protect senior citizens and other persons on fixed incomes, low income persons and the working poor; and

(M) Ensures that regulated industries do not subsidize nonregulated industries and businesses.

(7) Restructuring of the electric utility industry should reasonably preserve tax revenues for state and local governments and should neither result in a shift of the tax burden to any customer or customer group nor result in a tax system which places any competitor in the market place at a disadvantage.

(b) In addition to its other powers and duties, the commission is authorized to determine, in consultation with all interested parties, whether to make a finding of public interest, and if a finding of public interest is made:

(1) To develop, in consultation with all interested parties, a deregulation plan to allow deregulation of existing utility generation assets and direct access by retail customers to competitive electric power supply markets and which is consistent with the legislative findings set forth in subsection (a) of this section;

(2) To prescribe, by order or rules, procedures and standards for the marketing of power supply in the state; and

(3) To resolve all issues necessary to provide for an orderly transition from the current regulated structure to a system of direct retail access in a fully workable competitive power supply market in a manner that is fair to customers, electric utilities and other affected parties.

(c) If the commission develops a deregulation plan pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the commission shall submit the deregulation plan to each house of the Legislature during the next succeeding regular session of the Legislature or during any special session of the Legislature occurring after such regular session if legislative approval of the deregulation plan is included in the call therefor. Upon such submission, the Legislature shall, by concurrent resolution, approve or reject the deregulation plan. If the deregulation plan is so rejected, the concurrent resolution shall set forth the reasons for such rejection, and the commission may subsequently modify the deregulation plan to meet the objections of the Legislature and may resubmit it as modified to the Legislature pursuant to this subsection. No initial or modified deregulation plan may be adopted or implemented by the commission until the Legislature has approved it pursuant to this subsection.

(d) Upon the development of a deregulation plan and prior to or concurrently with the submission of the deregulation plan to the Legislature pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the commission shall issue a report to the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates on the potential state or local tax consequences which might be created by implementation of the deregulation plan, along with recommendations for statutory changes, if any are necessary, to satisfy the legislative findings specified in subdivisions (6) and (7), subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Upon the development of a deregulation plan and prior to or concurrently with the submission of the deregulation plan to the Legislature pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, any interested party who actively consulted with the commission during the development of the deregulation plan may issue a report to the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates setting forth the instances in which such interested party believes the deregulation plan does not satisfy one or more of the legislative findings specified in subdivisions (6) and (7), subsection (a) of this section.

(f) After the adoption and implementation of a deregulation plan approved by the Legislature pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the commission shall retain authority and jurisdiction to modify or rescind the deregulation plan if, upon application to the commission or upon the commission's own motion, and after notice to all interested parties and a hearing, the commission finds that it is in the public interest to do so, after making a finding that a substantial change in state or federal law or a court decision necessitates the rescission or modification of the deregulation plan to continue to meet the legislative findings in this section or that for any other reason the deregulation plan is not meeting such legislative findings. The implementation of a deregulation plan through an order of the commission pursuant to this section does not amend existing provisions of this code, except as specifically herein modified.


WVC 24 - 2 - 19 §24-2-19. Integrated Resource Planning Required.

     (a) Not later than March 31, 2015, the Public Service Commission shall issue an order directing any electric utility that does not have an existing requirement approved by the Public Service Commission that provides for the future review of both supply side and demand side resources to develop an initial integrated resource plan to be filed not later than January 1, 2016, in conjunction with other similar deadlines required by other states or entities of the electric utilities. This order may include guidelines for developing an integrated resource plan.

     (b)(1) Any electric utility that has an existing requirement approved by the Public Service Commission that provides for the future review of both supply side and demand side resources is exempt from this initial integrated resource plan filing until such time as that existing requirement has been satisfied. Thereafter, such electric utility is required to file an integrated resource plan pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

     (2) Each electric utility that has filed the initial integrated resource plan shall file an updated plan at least every five years after the initial integrated resource plan has been filed. Any electric utility that was exempt from filing an initial integrated resource plan shall file an integrated resource plan within five years of satisfying any existing requirement and at least every five years thereafter. All integrated resource plans shall comply with the provisions of any relevant order of the Public Service Commission establishing guidelines for the format and contents of updated and revised integrated resource plans.

     (c) The Public Service Commission shall analyze and review an integrated resource plan. The Public Service Commission may request further information from the utility, as necessary. Nothing in this section affects the obligations of utilities to obtain otherwise applicable commission approvals.

     (d) The Commission may consider both supply-side and demand- side resources when developing the requirements for the integrated resource plans. The plan shall compare projected peak demands with current and planned capacity resources in order to develop a portfolio of resources that represents a reasonable balance of cost and risk for the utility and its customers in meeting future demand for the provision of adequate and reliable service to its electric customers as specified by the Public Service Commission.
WVC 24 - 2 A- ARTICLE 2A. REDUCED RATES FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS OF ELECTRICITY AND GAS.


WVC 24 - 2 A- 1 §24-2A-1. Special rates for gas and electric utility customers receiving Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Aid to Families with Dependent Children--Unemployed (AFDC-U) or food stamps.
The commission shall order each gas and electric utility subject to its jurisdiction, except municipal or cooperative gas or electric utilities, to offer special reduced rates applicable to gas and electric service for the billing months of December, January, February, March and April of each year (beginning with the billing month of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three), to residential utility customers receiving (a) social security supplemental security income (SSI), (b) aid to families with dependent children (AFDC), (c) aid to families with dependent children-- unemployed (AFDC-U), or (d) food stamps, if such food stamp recipients are sixty years of age or older. The special reduced rate offered by each gas and electric utility to its eligible customers shall be twenty percent less than the rate which would be applicable to such customers if they were not receiving any of the four forms of assistance which confer eligibility for the special reduced rates. A customer of a utility offering special reduced rates shall be eligible to receive such rates for each of the billing months of December, January, February, March and April that correlates to a calendar month during which that customer is eligible to participate in one or more of the qualifying programs specified in this section, except as otherwise provided in this section. The correlation of billing months to calendar months of eligibility to participate in a qualifying program is as follows: A December billing month correlates to the calendar month of November; a January billing month correlates to the calendar month of December; a February billing month correlates to the calendar month of January; a March billing month correlates to the calendar month of February; and an April billing month correlates to the calendar month of March. After the billing month of April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, no customer shall be eligible to receive the special reduced rates until the billing month in which that customer applies for such rates. For the billing months of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, and January, February, March and April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, a customer shall be eligible to receive a utility's special reduced rates for any of said billing months which correlates to a calendar month during which that customer is eligible to participate in one or more of the qualifying programs specified in this section, regardless of the date on which that customer applies for such rates: Provided, That the date of application falls on or prior to the fifteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four. No customer who applies for the special reduced rates after the fifteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four shall be eligible to receive such rates for any of the billing months of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three or January, February, March or April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four. Before any individual may qualify to receive the special reduced rates, the following requirements must be met:

(a) The special reduced rates shall apply only to current customers or to those persons who subsequently become customers in their own right. If an SSI, AFDC, AFDC- U or food stamp recipient is living in a household which is served under the name of a person who is not an SSI, AFDC, AFDC-U or food stamp recipient, that service may not be changed or have been changed subsequent to the twelfth day of March, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, to the name of the SSI, AFDC, AFDC-U or food stamp recipient in order to qualify for service under the special reduced rates.

(b) The burden of proving eligibility for the special reduced rates shall be on the customer requesting such rates. The department of human services shall establish by rules and regulations procedures (1) to inform persons receiving any of the four forms of assistance which confer eligibility for the special reduced rates about the availability of the special reducedrates, (2) to assist applicants for the special reduced rates in proving their eligibility therefor, and (3) to assist gas and electric utilities offering the special reduced rates in determining on a continuing basis the eligibility therefor of persons receiving or applying for such rates. The commission shall establish by rules and regulations procedures for the application for and provision of service under the special reduced rates and for the determination and certification of revenue deficiencies resulting from the special reduced rates. Within ten days of the effective date of this article, the commission and the department of human services shall adopt temporary rules and regulations, as required by this section, which rules and regulations shall not be subject to the requirements of chapter twenty-nine-a and section seven, article one of chapter twenty-four except that they shall be filed with the secretary of state and published in the state register. These temporary rules and regulations shall remain in effect until supplanted by permanent rules and regulations, which shall be adopted by the commission and the department of human services within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of this article. No customer who is a recipient of more than one of the four forms of assistance which confer eligibility for the special reduced rates shall be eligible for more than one twenty percent discount for gas service and one twenty percent discount for electric service during each billing month that said customer is eligible to receive the special reduced rates.

(c) In order to provide each eligible residential utility customer the special reduced rates for the billing months of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, through April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, (hereinafter referred to as the first special-reduced-rate season), each utility providing the special reduced rates shall credit against the amount otherwise owed by each customer an amount equal to the difference between the total amount that each such customer was actually billed during the first special-reduced-rate season and the total amount that each customer would have been entitled to be billed under the special reduced rates. Each such credit shall be fully reflected on the first bill issued to each such customer after approval of each such customer's application for the special reduced rates, except in cases where the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is so short that it is administratively impracticable to do so, in which cases such credits shall be fully reflected on the second bill issued to each such customer after approval of that customer's application. If the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is fifteen days or more, it shall not be deemed administratively impracticable to reflect such credit on the customer's first such bill.


WVC 24 - 2 A- 2 §24-2A-2. Recovery of revenue deficiencies..
 In order to provide the special reduced rates mandated or authorized by sections one and five of this article and still maintain the integrity of the earnings of the utilities offering service under these rates, the commission shall each year, determine, upon application by any affected utility, that utility's revenue deficiency resulting from the special reduced rates. Upon determining any utility's revenue deficiency, the commission shall issue an order certifying the amount of that deficiency. Certified revenue deficiencies shall be recovered by the affected utilities as follows:

 (1) A utility's certified revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the special reduced rates shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the utility pursuant to the provisions of article thirteen-f of chapter eleven of this code.

 (2) After allowance of a tax credit pursuant to the provisions of article thirteen-f of chapter eleven, a utility's remaining revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the special reduced rates, shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the utility pursuant to the provisions of section eleven, article twenty-four of chapter eleven.
WVC 24 - 2 A- 3 §24-2A-3. Limitation on and exemption from local business and occupation or privilege taxes and local public utility excise taxes.
(a) Any municipality which presently or hereafter imposes a business and occupation or privilege tax under section five, article thirteen of chapter eight or a public utilities excise tax under section five-a, article thirteen of chapter eight shall be restricted, in the case of utility services rendered to a customer under the special reduced rates, to levying such taxes on (1) in the case of a local business and occupation or privilege tax, the gross revenues derived under the special reduced rates for any period during which that customer receives service under the special reduced rates, and (2) in the case of a local public utilities excise tax, to the gross amount of that customer's utility bill as calculated under the special reduced rates.

(b) No recovery of revenue deficiencies provided in section three of this article shall be subject to tax under sections five or five-a, article thirteen of chapter eight.


WVC 24 - 2 A- 4 §24-2A-4. Definitions.
As used in this article, the term:

(a) "Billing cycle" shall mean a period of time during the course of which a utility either bills for or measures, by meter- reading or any other means, the usage of its utility services by all of its customers a single time. A utility may elect whether it wishes to determine its billing cycles by date of measurement or by date of billing. A utility which employs twelve billing cycles per year shall be deemed to employ monthly billing cycles. A utility which employs more or fewer than twelve billing cycles per year shall be deemed to employ nonmonthly billing cycles. For a utility employing monthly billing cycles, a billing cycle identified by the name of a particular calendar month must include at least twelve days of that calendar month.

(b) "Billing month" shall have two meanings:

(1) As applied to a utility employing nonmonthly billing cycles and to its customers, a particular "billing month" shall mean the calendar month to which that billing month correlates under section one of this article.

(2) As applied to a utility employing monthly billing cycles and to its customers, a particular "billing month" shall mean the period of customer usage reflected on any bill which, in the case of a utility with billing-date billing cycles, is issued during that particular monthly billing cycle, or for which, in the case of a utility with measurement- date billing cycles, the measurement of usage is made during that particular monthly billing cycle.


WVC 24 - 2 A- 5 §24-2A-5. Special rates for certain water utility customers..
     (a) The commission may authorize a privately owned water

utility to voluntarily implement a rate design featuring reduced rates and charges for service for residential utility customers receiving:

     (1) Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

     (2) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

     (3) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-Unemployed Parent Program (TANF-UP);or

     (4) assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) if they are sixty years of age or older.

     (b) The special reduced rate offered by each water utility to its eligible customers shall be a percentage less, which shall be approved by the commission, than the rate that would be applicable to such customers if they were not receiving any of the four forms of assistance that confer eligibility for the special reduced rates approved by the commission: Provided, That such rate reduction shall not exceed twenty percent of the rate that would be otherwise applicable.

     (c) Before any individual may qualify to receive the special reduced rates, the following requirements must be met:

     (1) The special reduced rates may apply only to current customers or to those persons who subsequently become customers in their own right. If an SSI, TANF, TANF-UP or SNAP recipient is living in a household that is served under the name of a person who is not an SSI, TANF, TANF-UP or SNAP recipient, that service may not be changed or have been changed subsequent to July 1 , 2011, to the name of the SSI, TANF, TANF-UP or SNAP recipient in order to qualify for service under the special reduced rates.

     (2) The burden of proving eligibility for the special reduced rates shall be on the customer requesting such rates. The Department of Health and Human Resources shall establish by rules and procedures:

     (A) To inform persons receiving any of the four forms of assistance that confer eligibility for the special reduced rates about the availability of the special reduced rates;

     (B) To assist applicants for the special reduced rates in proving their eligibility therefor; and

     (C) To assist water utilities offering the special reduced rates in determining on a continuing basis the eligibility therefor of persons receiving or applying for such rates.

     The commission shall establish rules and procedures for the application for and provision of service under the special reduced rates and for the determination and certification of revenue deficiencies resulting from the special reduced rates.

     (3) In order to provide each eligible residential utility customer the special reduced rates, each utility providing the special reduced rates shall credit against amounts otherwise owed by each customer an amount equal to the difference between the total amount that each customer was actually billed during the previous month and the total amount that each customer would have been entitled to be billed under the special reduced rates. Each credit shall be fully reflected on the first bill issued to each customer after approval of each customer's application for the special reduced rates, except in cases where the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is so short that it is administratively impracticable to do so, in which case, such credits shall be fully reflected on the second bill issued to each customer after approval of that customer's application. If the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is fifteen days or more, it may not be deemed administratively impracticable to reflect the credit on the customer's first bill.
WVC 24 - 2 B- ARTICLE 2B. TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF RATE INCREASES.


WVC 24 - 2 B- 1 §24-2B-1. Temporary suspension of rate increases.
Pursuant to the findings contained in subsections (h) and (i) of section one, article one of this chapter and in order to permit the public service commission to implement the provisions of Enrolled Committee Substitute for S.B. 117 enacted by the Legislature during the regular session thereof in the year one thousand nine hundred eighty-three and notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, upon the effective date of this article, the commission shall authorize no increase of rates charged by any utility for natural gas to any customer of any class for a period of twelve months. With respect to cases for rate increases which are pending before the commission on the effective date of this section, such cases may be suspended by the commission and held in abeyance by the commission during the pendency of the period of suspension mandated by this section or any such cases may proceed to completion and the commission may rule thereon upon the same to the same extent as if this section had not been enacted, all within the sound discretion of the commission.

The commission may authorize such gas rate increases during the period of suspension of rate increases mandated by this section as it may deem proper by reason of increased costs of purchased gas. The commission may consider in determining whether to authorize such rate increases the purchase and use of West Virginia gas by such utilities if such gas were available at a cheaper rate than other gas actually purchased by such utilities.


WVC 24 - 2 B- 2 §24-2B-2. Emergency rate increase; financial hardship procedure.
During the period of temporary suspension of rates generally, as provided herein, the commission may upon petition by a utility allow an emergency rate to take effect, subject to future modification by the commission and subject to refund to the customers of such utility, if it is determined that such emergency rate is necessary to protect the utility from extreme financial hardship and if that financial hardship is attributable solely to the temporary suspension of rate increases. The commission shall provide by rule and regulation criteria for determination of extreme financial hardship within the meaning of this section. Such petition shall be subject to the same notice requirements as set forth in article two, section four-a of this chapter.


WVC 24 - 2 C- ARTICLE 2C. REDUCED RATES FOR CERTAIN LOW-INCOME RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS OF TELEPHONE SERVICE.


WVC 24 - 2 C- 1 §24-2C-1. Legislative findings; utilities subject to public service commission to file new rates.
(a) The Legislature finds that universal telephone service contributes to the state's economic, social and political integration and development. The preservation of universal telephone service is therefore of utmost importance to the state and its citizens.

(b) Recent changes in the telecommunications industry, however, both in its structure and in the national policy which governs it, have begun to exert a general, upward pressure on the rates for basic telephone service. Although neither the extent to which basic telephone rates may rise in the future, nor the effect of any such future increases on the general affordability of telephone service can be ascertained at this time, the Legislature finds that anticipatory action should nonetheless be taken to preserve the universal telephone service which has been substantially achieved in this state.

(c) All eligible telecommunications carriers providing local exchange dial access line service subject to the jurisdiction of the public service commission shall file with the commission tariffs providing for the offering of a new class of basic residential service, at a special reduced rate, to certain low-income households. Such tariffs shall be filed after the adoption of the rules mandated by subsections (b) and (c), section four of this article.


WVC 24 - 2 C- 2 §24-2C-2. Tel-assistance; definitions.
For purposes of this article, the following terms apply:

(a) "Eligible telecommunications carrier" means a common carrier that offers telephone services that are supported by federal universal service support mechanism, advertises the availability of such services and the charges for the services using media of general distribution, and that otherwise is qualified as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to the provisions of 47 U.S.C. Section 214.

(b) "Qualifying low-income consumer" means a consumer who is a recipient of Medicaid, food stamps, supplemental security income, federal public housing assistance, low-income home energy assistance program benefits, temporary assistance to needy families benefits or other income-related state or federal programs.

(c) "Tel-assistance service" means a wholly measured or message individual, residential local exchange dial access line offered through the provisions of this article and that provides for an allowance for usage not to exceed two dollars in value.

(d) "Usage" means the local exchange service and the long distance service provided by the eligible telecommunications carrier furnishing the tel-assistance service.


WVC 24 - 2 C- 3 §24-2C-3. Monthly rate set by public service commission; prohibited and permissible charges.
(a) The monthly rate for tel-assistance service shall be set initially by the commission at the lower of: (1) The lowest priced service available to the consumer at the time of his or her application; or (2) seven dollars and fifty cents. All usage exceeding two dollars in value shall be charged for at the otherwise applicable tariff rate. No other local voice telephone service may be provided to the dwelling place of a tel-assistance consumer, nor may individual line foreign zone or foreign exchange service be provided to a tel-assistance consumer. An eligible telecommunications carrier may not impose an order processing charge or line charge when an existing consumer who is eligible for tel-assistance service changes to such service, nor may any charge be made when a tel-assistance service consumer loses his or her eligibility and changes to another class of residential service: Provided, That charges for the initial installation of service for a new consumer, or charges for moving a consumer's service from one dwelling place to another shall be made at the otherwise applicable tariff rate.

(b) The commission may, upon having set the rate initially for tel-assistance service as herein provided, change such rate from time to time upon a finding that is reasonable to do so, and may, in connection therewith increase or decrease the amount of local service usage provided as a part thereof.


WVC 24 - 2 C- 4 §24-2C-4. Availability of tel-assistance service; determination of eligibility; promulgation of rules.
(a) All eligible telecommunications carriers shall make tel-assistance services available to qualified low-income consumers pursuant to tariffs or agreements filed with and approved by the public service commission.

(b) Insofar as permitted under federal law, eligible telecommunications carriers may file with the public service commission tariffs or agreements that, without limitation, offer tel-assistance service which includes a broader group of services, or make tel-assistance service available to a broader group of low-income residential consumers.

(c) The public service commission shall establish rules to implement the provisions of this article. The rules shall include, but not be limited to, procedures governing the application for and the provision of tel-assistance service; the determination, calculation and certification of the revenue deficiency resulting from the provision of tel-assistance service; criteria for establishing maximum levels of revenue deficiencies that may be claimed; establishing the methods by which telephone utilities shall maintain records pertaining to such deficiency and the methods by which such deficiency shall be calculated; and providing for alternate methodologies to simplify the record keeping of the eligible telecommunications carriers. The rules shall be promulgated pursuant to section seven, article one of this chapter and adopted within one hundred twenty days of the effective date of this article. The public service commission shall timely amend the rules thereafter as may be required by any provision of state or federal law.

(d) The department of health and human resources shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to establish, procedures to inform eligible telecommunications carriers of the eligibility of applicants for tel-assistance service, to assist applicants for tel-assistance service in proving their eligibility therefor, to determine on a continuing basis the eligibility of persons receiving tel-assistance service, and communicate such determinations to the eligible telecommunications carriers. Initially, rules shall be adopted and filed in the state register within one hundred twenty days of the effective date of this article and shall not otherwise be subject to the requirements of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. Rules promulgated pursuant to this subsection shall become effective immediately upon filing in the state register and remain in effect until supplanted by legislative rules promulgated pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

(e) The secretary of the department of health and human resources or the public service commission may propose emergency rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement additional provisions of this article as may be required.


WVC 24 - 2 C- 5 §24-2C-5. Recovery of revenue deficiencies.
(a) In order to provide the special reduced rate mandated by section one of this article and still maintain the integrity of the earnings of the eligible telecommunications carriers offering tel-assistance service, the commission shall determine, upon application by any affected eligible telecommunications carrier, that eligible telecommunications carrier's revenue deficiency for the eligible telecommunications carrier's taxable year resulting from the special reduced rates. Upon determining any eligible telecommunications carrier's revenue deficiency, the commission shall issue an order certifying the amount of that deficiency. Certified revenue deficiencies shall thereafter be recovered by the affected eligible telecommunications carrier as follows:

(1) An eligible telecommunications carrier's certified revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the provision of tel-assistance service shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to the provisions of article thirteen-g, chapter eleven of this code.

(2) After allowance of such a tax credit pursuant to the provisions of article thirteen-g, chapter eleven of this code, an eligible telecommunications carrier's remaining certified revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the provision of tel-assistance service shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to the provisions of section eleven-a, article twenty-four, chapter eleven of this code.

(b) An eligible telecommunications carrier's revenue deficiency under the provisions of section five of this article shall be limited to the amounts generated from providing tel-assistance service to qualified low-income consumers who are either disabled or age sixty or older. The agreements or tariffs required by this article shall specify the methodology by which the eligible telecommunications carrier will calculate the revenue deficiency, and may include a provision to freeze the revenue deficiency at certain levels as determined by the public service commission. No such agreement or tariff by an eligible telecommunications carrier may be effective unless first approved by the public service commission.

(c) In determining such revenue deficiency in the case of resale of tel-assistance service, the commission shall allocate the revenue deficiency between the eligible telecommunications carrier that physically provided the tel-assistance line, and the eligible telecommunications carrier that provided the tel-assistance service at retail to an eligible consumer. Such allocation shall be based on the wholesale resale discount applicable to such tel-assistance service.


WVC 24 - 2 D- ARTICLE 2D. ALTERNATIVE FUEL INITIATIVES.


WVC 24 - 2 D- 1 §24-2D-1. Legislative findings.

The Legislature finds that there is growing concern about the environment and our state's and nation's dependence on foreign oil.

The Legislature further finds that this state has an abundant supply of alternative fuels and an extensive supply network, and that by encouraging the use of alternative fuels in new demonstration technologies such as alternative fuel vehicles, the state will be reducing dependence on foreign oil and promoting improved air quality. Accordingly, the Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to have the public service commission develop and implement programs designed to encourage the use of West Virginia alternative fuels as vehicle fuels and in other new demonstration technologies.


WVC 24 - 2 D- 2 §24-2D-2. Incentives for use of alternative fuels in new technologies.

(a) For purposes of this section, "alternative fuel vehicles" shall mean motor vehicles whose primary source of fuel is natural gas, methanol, and/or electricity.

(b) Upon a finding that it is in the public interest of this state to authorize the same, as provided in section one, article one of this chapter, the public service commission shall authorize ratemaking allowances for public utilities to encourage the use of alternative fuel in new demonstration technologies, including alternative fuel vehicles, which provide incentives to encourage investments in such technologies.


WVC 24 - 2 D- 3 §24-2D-3. Limitation on commission jurisdiction over sales by nonutilities of alternative fuel for certain purposes.

Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, the public service commission shall have no jurisdiction over the ultimate sale by nonutilities of alternative fuel to be utilized solely as fuel for motor vehicles.


WVC 24 - 2 E- ARTICLE 2E. REQUIREMENTS FOR PHONE SERVICE SALES.


WVC 24 - 2 E- 1 §24-2E-1. Transfer of phone service providers.
(a) No telephone public utility may submit a change on behalf of a subscriber in the subscriber's selection of a provider of telephone service, except in accordance with the requirements of this section and the rules adopted by the public service commission.

(1) The telephone public utility, its representatives or agents shall thoroughly inform the subscriber of the nature and extent of the service being offered.

(2) The telephone public utility, its representatives or agents shall specifically establish whether the subscriber intends to make any change in his or her telephone service provider, and explain any charges associated with that change. The public service commission may by rule establish additional requirements for disclosure of services or fees and any additional appropriate requirements relating to disclosure or cancellation of services, as the commission deems appropriate.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (b), the subscriber's decision to change his or her telephone service provider may be confirmed by an independent third-party verification company. For purposes of this provision, the confirmation by a third-party verification company shall be made as follows:

(A) The third-party verification company shall meet each of the following criteria:

(i) Not be directly or indirectly managed, controlled, or directed, or owned, wholly or in part, by the telephone public utility or its marketing agent;

(ii) Operate from facilities physically separate from those of

the telephone public utility that seeks to provide the subscriber's new service; and

(iii) Not derive commissions or compensation based upon the number of sales confirmed.

(B) The telephone public utility seeking to verify the sale shall do so by connecting the subscriber by telephone to the third-party verification company or by arranging for the third-party verification company to call the subscriber to confirm the sale.

(b) As an alternative to third-party verification, the telephone public utility may authenticate the transaction by one of the following methods:

(i) Verifying the subscriber's change in his or her telephone service provider by obtaining the subscriber's signature on a document fully explaining the nature and extent of the action. The document shall be a separate document whose sole purpose is to explain the nature and extent of the action; or

(ii) Obtaining the subscriber's authorization through an electronic means that takes the information, including the calling number, and confirms the change to which the subscriber has given his or her consent; or

(iii) Obtaining the subscriber's oral confirmation regarding the change, and shall record that confirmation by obtaining appropriate verification data.

The verification record shall be available to the subscriber upon request. Information obtained from the subscriber through confirmation shall not be used for marketing purposes. Any unauthorized release of this information is grounds for a civil suit by the aggrieved subscriber against the person or persons responsible for the violation.

(4) Where the telephone public utility obtains a written order for service, the document shall thoroughly inform the subscriber of the nature and extent of the action in accordance with this section and the rules adopted by the public service commission.

(5) The telephone public utility shall retain a record of the verification of the sale for at least two years. These records shall be made available to the subscriber, the Attorney General, or the commission upon request.

(c) Any telephone public utility that violates the provisions of this section shall be liable to the telephone public utility previously selected by the subscriber. The violating telephone public utility shall refund to the properly authorized telephone public utility all charges collected by the violating telephone public utility. The properly authorized telephone public utility shall then refund any overcharges due the subscriber. The public service commission shall adopt regulations to govern credits to subscribers pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(d) The remedies provided by this section are in addition to any other remedies available by law. Violations of this section shall be subject to orders and other actions consistent with the public service commission's authority as provided in this chapter. This section is intended to supplement and be in addition to federal laws and regulations regulating phone transactions.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any obligation or liability on a local exchange telephone public utility that executes, in good faith, an order for a change in a subscriber's telephone service provider submitted to it by the subscriber or by another telephone public utility.

(f) The public service commission shall promulgate rules consistent with and necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.


WVC 24 - 2 E- 2 §24-2E-2. Telephone services agreements.
(a) Limitation on termination fees. -- On and after the effective date of this section, no telephone public utility may, in connection with its continued provision of landline telephone service pursuant to an automatic renewal provision contained in a customer service agreement with a business customer, impose a termination fee that is greater than the charges for one month's service, which fee shall be computed by averaging the service charges invoiced to the terminating customer during the preceding four months.

(b) Service agreements already automatically renewed. -- If, as of the effective date of this section, a telephone public utility is providing landline telephone service to a customer pursuant to an automatic renewal provision contained in a customer service agreement with a business customer, the telephone public utility may not impose a termination fee that is greater than the charges for two months' service, which fee shall be computed by averaging the service charges invoiced to the terminating customer during the preceding four months.

(c) Limitation on applicability. --

(1) Nothing herein shall be construed as preventing a telephone public utility and its business customers from entering into customer service agreements, governing, among other matters, any termination fee that may be imposed on the customer for terminating the service agreement during its initial term.

(2) The provisions of this section do not apply to service agreements between one telephone public utility and another telephone public utility.


WVC 24 - 2 F- ARTICLE 2F. ALTERNATIVE AND RENEWABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARD.

WVC 24 - 2 F- 1 §24-2F-1. Short title.
This article may be known and cited as the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 2 §24-2F-2. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that:

(1) West Virginia has served the nation for many years as a reliable source of electrical power;

(2) The nation is on a rapid course of action to produce electrical power with an ever decreasing amount of emissions;

(3) To continue lowering the emissions associated with electrical production, and to expand the state's economic base, West Virginia should encourage the development of more efficient, lower-emitting and reasonably priced alternative and renewable energy resources;

(4) The development of a robust and diverse portfolio of electric-generating capacity is needed for West Virginia to continue its success in attracting new businesses and jobs. This portfolio must include the use of alternative and renewable energy resources at new and existing facilities;

(5) West Virginia has considerable natural resources that could support the development of alternative and renewable energy resource facilities at a reasonable price;

(6) Alternative and renewable energy resources can be utilized now to meet state and federal environmental standards, including those reasonably anticipated to be mandated in the future; and

(7) It is in the public interest for the state to encourage the construction of alternative and renewable energy resource facilities that increase the capacity to provide for current and anticipated electric energy demand at a reasonable price.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 3 §24-2F-3. Definitions.
     Unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:

     (1) "Advanced coal technology" means a technology that is used in a new or existing energy generating facility to reduce airborne carbon emissions associated with the combustion or use of coal and includes, but is not limited to, carbon dioxide capture and sequestration technology, supercritical technology, advanced supercritical technology as that technology is determined by the Public Service Commission, ultrasupercritical technology and pressurized fluidized bed technology and any other resource, method, project or technology certified by the commission as advanced coal technology.

     (2) "Alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard" or "portfolio standard" means a requirement in any given year that requires an electric utility to own credits in an amount equal to a certain percentage of electric energy sold in the preceding calendar year by the electric utility to retail customers in this state.

     (3) "Alternative energy resources" means any of the following resources, methods or technologies for the production or generation of electricity:

     (A) Advanced coal technology;

     (B) Coal bed methane;

     (C) Natural gas, including any component of raw natural gas;

     (D) Fuel produced by a coal gasification or liquefaction facility;

     (E) Synthetic gas;

     (F) Integrated gasification combined cycle technologies;

     (G) Waste coal;

     (H) Tire derived fuel;

     (I) Pumped storage hydroelectric projects; and

     (J) Any other resource, method, project or technology certified as an alternative energy resource by the Public Service Commission.

     (4) "Alternative and renewable energy resource credit" or "credit" means a tradable instrument that is used to establish, verify and monitor the generation of electricity from alternative and renewable energy resource facilities, energy efficiency or demand-side energy initiative projects or greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset projects.

     (5) "Alternative energy resource facility" means a facility or equipment that generates electricity from alternative energy resources.

     (6) "Commission" or "Public Service Commission" means the Public Service Commission of West Virginia as continued pursuant to section three, article one of this chapter.

     (7) "Customer-generator" means an electric retail customer who owns and operates a customer-sited generation project utilizing an alternative or renewable energy resource or a net metering system in this state.

     (8) "Electric utility" means any electric distribution company or electric generation supplier that sells electricity to retail customers in this state. Unless specifically provided for otherwise, for the purposes of this article, the term "electric utility" may not include rural electric cooperatives, municipally- owned electric facilities or utilities serving less than thirty thousand residential electric customers in West Virginia.

     (9) "Energy efficiency or demand-side energy initiative project" means a project in this state that promotes customer energy efficiency or the management of customer consumption of electricity through the implementation of:

     (A) Energy efficiency technologies, equipment, management practices or other strategies utilized by residential, commercial, industrial, institutional or government customers that reduce electricity consumption by those customers;

     (B) Load management or demand response technologies, equipment, management practices, interruptible or curtailable tariffs, energy storage devices or other strategies in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and government customers that shift electric load from periods of higher demand to periods of lower demand;

     (C) Industrial by-product technologies consisting of the use of a by-product from an industrial process, including, but not limited to, the reuse of energy from exhaust gases or other manufacturing by-products that can be used in the direct production of electricity at the customer's facility;

     (D) Customer-sited generation, demand-response, energy efficiency or peak demand reduction capabilities, whether new or existing, that the customer commits for integration into the electric utility's demand-response, energy efficiency or peak demand reduction programs; or

     (E) Infrastructure and modernization projects that help promote energy efficiency, reduce energy losses or shift load from periods of higher demand to periods of lower demand, including the modernization of metering and communications, (also known as "smart grid"), distribution automation, energy storage, distributed energy resources and investments to promote the electrification of transportation.

     (10) "Greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset project" means a project to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions from sources in this state other than the electric utility's own generating and energy delivery operations. Greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset projects include, but are not limited to:

     (A) Methane capture and destruction from landfills, coal mines or farms;

     (B) Forestation, afforestation or reforestation; and

     (C) Nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide sequestration through reduced fertilizer use or no-till farming.

     (11) "Net metering" means measuring the difference between electricity supplied by an electric utility and electricity generated from an alternative or renewable energy resource facility owned or operated by an electric retail customer when any portion of the electricity generated from the alternative or renewable energy resource facility is used to offset part or all of the electric retail customer's requirements for electricity.

     (12) "Reclaimed surface mine" means a surface mine, as that term is defined in section three, article three, chapter twenty-two of this code, that is reclaimed or is being reclaimed in accordance with state or federal law.

     (13) "Renewable energy resource" means any of the following resources, methods, projects or technologies for the production or generation of electricity:

     (A) Solar photovoltaic or other solar electric energy;

     (B) Solar thermal energy;

     (C) Wind power;

     (D) Run of river hydropower;

     (E) Geothermal energy, which means a technology by which electricity is produced by extracting hot water or steam from geothermal reserves in the earth's crust to power steam turbines that drive generators to produce electricity;

     (F) Biomass energy, which means a technology by which electricity is produced from a nonhazardous organic material that is available on a renewable or recurring basis, including pulp mill sludge;

     (G) Biologically derived fuel including methane gas, ethanol or biodiesel fuel;

     (H) Fuel cell technology, which means any electrochemical device that converts chemical energy in a hydrogen-rich fuel directly into electricity, heat and water without combustion;

     (I) Recycled energy, which means useful thermal, mechanical or electrical energy produced from: (i) Exhaust heat from any commercial or industrial process; (ii) waste gas, waste fuel or other forms of energy that would otherwise be flared, incinerated, disposed of or vented; and (iii) electricity or equivalent mechanical energy extracted from a pressure drop in any gas, excluding any pressure drop to a condenser that subsequently vents the resulting heat; and

     (J) Any other resource, method, project or technology certified by the commission as a renewable energy resource.

     (14) "Renewable energy resource facility" means a facility or equipment that generates electricity from renewable energy resources.

     (15) "Waste coal" means a technology by which electricity is produced by the combustion of the by-product, waste or residue created from processing coal, such as gob.
WVC 24 - 2 F- 4 §24-2F-4. Awarding of alternative and renewable energy resource credits.
(a) Credits established. -- The Public Service Commission shall establish a system of tradable credits to establish, verify and monitor the generation and sale of electricity generated from alternative and renewable energy resource facilities. The credits may be traded, sold or used to meet the portfolio standards established in section five of this article.

(b) Awarding of credits. -- Credits shall be awarded as follows:

(1) An electric utility shall be awarded one credit for each megawatt hour of electricity generated or purchased from an alternative energy resource facility located within the geographical boundaries of this state or located outside of the geographical boundaries of this state but within the service territory of a regional transmission organization, as that term is defined in 18 C.F.R. §35.34, that manages the transmission system in any part of this state;

(2) An electric utility shall be awarded two credits for each megawatt hour of electricity generated or purchased from a renewable energy resource facility located within the geographical boundaries of this state or located outside of the geographical boundaries of this state but within the service territory of a regional transmission organization, as that term is defined in 18 C.F.R. §35.34, that manages the transmission system in any part of this state;

(3) An electric utility shall be awarded three credits for each megawatt hour of electricity generated or purchased from a renewable energy resource facility located within the geographical boundaries of this state if the renewable energy resource facility is sited upon a reclaimed surface mine; and

(4) A customer-generator shall be awarded one credit for each megawatt hour of electricity generated from an alternative energy resource facility and shall be awarded two credits for each megawatt hour of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource facility.

(c) Acquiring of credits permitted. --

(1) An electric utility may meet the alternative and renewable energy portfolio standards set forth in this article by purchasing additional credits. Credits may be bought or sold by an electric utility or customer-generator or banked and used to meet an alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard requirement in a subsequent year.

(2) Each credit transaction shall be reported by the selling entity to the Public Service Commission on a form provided by the commission.

(3) As soon as reasonably possible after the effective date of this section, the commission shall establish a registry of data, or use an independent and industry-recognized system, that shall track credit transactions and shall list the following information for each transaction: (i) The parties to the transaction; (ii) the number of credits sold or transferred; and (iii) the price paid. Information contained in the registry shall be available to the public, except that pricing information concerning individual transactions shall be confidential and exempt from disclosure under subdivision (5), subsection (a), section four, article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code.

(4) The commission may impose an administrative transaction fee on a credit transaction in an amount not to exceed the actual direct cost of processing the transaction by the commission.

(d) Credits for certain emission reduction or offset projects. --

(1) The commission may award credits to an electric utility for greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset projects. For each ton of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced or offset as a result of an approved greenhouse gas emission reduction project, the commission shall award an electric utility one credit: Provided, That the emissions reductions and offsets are verifiable and certified in accordance with rules promulgated by the commission: Provided, however, That the commission has previously approved the greenhouse gas emission reduction and offset project for credit in accordance with section six of this article.

(2) The commission shall consult and coordinate with the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or an independent and industry-recognized entity to verify and certify greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset projects. The Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection shall provide assistance and information to the Public Service Commission and may enter into interagency agreements with the commission to effectuate the purposes of this subsection.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an electric utility may not be awarded credits for a greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset project undertaken pursuant to any obligation under any other state law, policy or regulation.

(e) Credits for certain energy efficiency and demand-side energy initiative projects. --

(1) The commission may award credits to an electric utility for investments in energy efficiency and demand-side energy initiative projects. For each megawatt hour of electricity conserved as a result of an approved energy efficiency or demand-side energy initiative project, the commission shall award one credit: Provided, That the amount of electricity claimed to be conserved is verifiable and certified in accordance with rules promulgated by the commission: Provided, however, That the commission has approved the energy efficiency or demand-side energy initiative project for credit in accordance with section six of this article.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an electric utility may not be awarded credit for an energy efficiency or demand-side energy initiative project undertaken pursuant to any obligation under any other state law, policy or regulation.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 5 §24-2F-5. Alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard; compliance assessments.
(a) General rule. -- Each electric utility doing business in this state shall be required to meet the alternative and renewable energy portfolio standards set forth in this section. In order to meet these standards, an electric utility each year shall own an amount of credits equal to a certain percentage of electricity, as set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, sold by the electric utility in the preceding year to retail customers in West Virginia.

(b) Counting of credits towards compliance. -- For the purpose of determining an electric utility's compliance with the alternative and renewable energy portfolio standards set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, each credit shall equal one megawatt hour of electricity sold by an electric utility in the preceding year to retail customers in West Virginia. Furthermore, a credit may not be used more than once to meet the requirements of this section. No more than ten percent of the credits used each year to meet the compliance requirements of this section may be credits acquired from the generation or purchase of electricity generated from natural gas. No more than ten percent of the credits used each year to meet the compliance requirements of this section may be credits acquired from the generation or purchase of electricity generated from supercritical technology.

(c) Twenty-five percent by 2025. -- On and after January 1, 2025, an electric utility shall each year own credits in an amount equal to at least twenty-five percent of the electric energy sold by the electric utility to retail customers in this state in the preceding calendar year.

(d) Interim portfolio standards. --

(1) For the period beginning January 1, 2015, and ending December 31, 2019, an electric utility shall each year own credits in an amount equal to at least ten percent of the electric energy sold by the electric utility to retail customers in this state in the preceding calendar year; and

(2) For the period beginning January 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2024, an electric utility shall each year own credits in an amount equal to at least fifteen percent of the electric energy sold by the electric utility to retail customers in this state in the preceding calendar year.

(e) Double-counting of credits prohibited. -- Any portion of electricity generated from an alternative or renewable energy resource facility that is used to meet another state's alternative energy, advanced energy, renewable energy or similar energy portfolio standard may not be used to meet the requirements of this section. An electric utility that is subject to an alternative energy, advanced energy, renewable energy or similar energy portfolio standard in any other state shall list, in the alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard compliance plan required under section six of this article, any such requirements and shall indicate how it satisfied those requirements. The electric utility shall provide in the annual progress report required under section six of this article any additional information required by the commission to prevent double-counting of credits.

(f) Carryover. -- An electric utility may apply any credits that are in excess of the alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard in any given year to the requirements for any future year portfolio standard: Provided, That the electric utility determines to the satisfaction of the commission that such credits were in excess of the portfolio standard in a given year and that such credits have not previously been used for compliance with a portfolio standard.

(g) Compliance assessments. --

(1) On or after January 1, 2015, and each year thereafter, the commission shall determine whether each electric utility doing business in this state is in compliance with this section. If, after notice and a hearing, the commission determines that an electric utility has failed to comply with an alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard, the commission shall impose a compliance assessment on the electric utility which shall equal at least the lesser of the following:

(A) Fifty dollars multiplied by the number of additional credits that would be needed to meet an alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard in a given year; or

(B) Two hundred percent of the average market value of credits sold in a given year multiplied by the number of additional credits needed to meet the alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard for that year.

(2) Compliance assessments collected by the commission pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Alternative and Renewable Energy Resources Research Fund established in section eleven of this article.

(h) Force majeure. --

(1) Upon its own initiative or upon the request of an electric utility, the commission may modify the portfolio standard requirements of an electric utility in a given year or years or recommend to the Legislature that the portfolio standard requirements be eliminated if the commission determines that alternative or renewable energy resources are not reasonably available in the marketplace in sufficient quantities for the electric utility to meet the requirements of this article.

(2) In making its determination, the commission shall consider whether the electric utility made good faith efforts to acquire sufficient credits to comply with the requirements of this article. Such good faith efforts shall include, but are not limited to, banking excess credits, seeking credits through competitive solicitations and seeking to acquire credits through long-term contracts. The commission shall assess the availability of credits on the open market. The commission may also require that the electric utility solicit credits before a request for modification may be granted.

(3) If an electric utility requests a modification of its portfolio standard requirements, the commission shall make a determination as to the request within sixty days.

(4) Commission modification of an electric utility's portfolio standard requirements shall apply only to the portfolio standard in the year or years modified by the commission. Commission modification may not automatically reduce an electric utility's alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard requirements in future years.

(5) If the commission modifies an electric utility's portfolio standard requirements, the commission may also require the electric utility to acquire additional credits in subsequent years equivalent to the requirements reduced by the commission in accordance with this subsection.

(i) Termination. -- The provisions of this section shall have no force and effect after June 30, 2026.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 6 §24-2F-6. Alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard compliance plan; application; approval; and progress report.
(a) On or before January 1, 2011, each electric utility subject to the provisions of this article shall prepare an alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard compliance plan and shall file an application with the commission seeking approval of such plan.

(b) A portfolio standard compliance plan shall include:

(1) Statistics and information concerning the electric utility's sales to retail customers in West Virginia during the preceding ten calendar years;

(2) A calculation of the electric utility's projected yearly sales to retail customers for the years 2011-2025;

(3) A calculation of the expected number of credits required to meet the portfolio standards set forth in this article;

(4) An anticipated time line for the development, purchase or procurement of credits sufficient to meet the portfolio standards set forth in this article;

(5) A nonbinding estimate of the costs to comply with the portfolio standards set forth in this article;

(6) A description of any greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset projects or energy efficiency and demand-side energy initiative projects the electric utility proposes to undertake for credit in accordance with this article;

(7) A list of any requirements and a description of how the electric utility satisfied or will satisfy those requirements if an electric utility is subject to an alternative energy, advanced energy, renewable energy or similar energy portfolio standard in any other state; and

(8) Such further information as required by the commission.

(c) Upon the filing of an application for approval of a portfolio standard compliance plan, and after hearing and proper notice, the commission may, in its discretion, approve or disapprove, or approve in part or disapprove in part, the application: Provided, That the commission, after giving proper notice and receiving no protest within thirty days after the notice is given, may waive formal hearing on the application. Notice shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and shall be given in a manner and in such form as may be prescribed by the commission.

(d) The commission shall, following proper notice and hearing, if any, render a final decision on any application filed pursuant to this section within two hundred seventy days of the filing of the application.

(e) If, and to the extent, the commission determines that a portfolio standard compliance plan has a reasonable expectation of achieving the portfolio standard requirements at a reasonable cost to electric customers in this state, the commission shall approve the plan. In establishing that the requisite standard for approval of a portfolio standard compliance plan is met, the burden of proof shall be upon the applicant.

(f) In the event the commission disapproves of an application filed pursuant to this section, in whole or in part, the commission shall specify its reason or reasons for disapproval. Any portion of the application not approved by the commission shall be modified and resubmitted by the applicant.

(g) Either upon an application of the electric utility, a petition by a party or the commission's own motion, a compliance plan proceeding may be reopened for the purpose of considering and making, if appropriate, alterations to the plan.

(h) Approval of the compliance plan does not eliminate the need for an electric utility to otherwise obtain required approvals, including, but not limited to, certificates to construct, consent to enter into affiliated contracts and recovery of compliance costs. Furthermore, nothing in this article shall be interpreted to alter or amend the existing power and authority of the commission.

(i) Approval of the compliance plan does not relieve an electric utility from its obligation to pay a compliance assessment pursuant to the provisions of section five of this article if it fails to comply with the portfolio standards set forth therein.

(j) Within a year of the commission's approval of an electric utility's compliance plan, and every year thereafter, the electric utility shall submit to the commission an annual progress report. The progress report shall include the electric utility's sales to retail customers in West Virginia during the previous calendar year; the amount of energy the electric utility has generated, purchased or procured from alternative or renewable energy resources; a comparison of the budgeted and actual costs as compared to the estimated cost of the portfolio standard compliance plan; any information required by the commission to prevent the double-counting of credits; and any further information required by the commission.

(k) The commission shall impose a special assessment on all electric utilities required to file a compliance plan. The assessments shall be prorated among the covered electric utilities on the basis of kilowatt hours of retail sales in West Virginia and shall be due and payable on September 1 of each year. The amount of revenue collected pursuant to this subsection may not exceed $200,000 in the first year following the effective date of this article and may not exceed $100,000 in successive years. The funds generated from the assessments shall be used exclusively to offset all reasonable direct and indirect costs incurred by the commission in administering the provisions of this article.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 7 §24-2F-7. Cost recovery and rate incentives for electric utility investment in alternative and renewable energy resources.
(a) An electric utility shall have the right to recover the costs of complying with the alternative and renewable energy portfolio standards set forth in this article in a manner prescribed by the commission. Although the commission may approve costs that exceed the costs of current utility generation or purchased power, the electric utility has the burden to demonstrate that the costs are reasonable and represent the least cost of compliance. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, an electric utility may not recover in rates the costs of compliance assessments imposed under this article.

(b) Upon a finding that it is in the public interest of this state, as provided in section one, article one of this chapter, the commission may authorize incentive rate-making allowances for electric utility investment in the construction of new alternative or renewable energy resource facilities in West Virginia to encourage investments in the use and development of alternative or renewable energy resource facilities.

(c) The commission shall determine, at such time and in such proceeding, form and manner as is considered appropriate by the commission, the extent to which any electric utility investment qualifies for the incentive rate making pursuant to this section.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 8 §24-2F-8. Net metering and interconnection standards.
(a) The commission shall adopt a rule requiring that all electric utilities provide a rebate or discount at fair value, to be determined by the commission, to customer-generators for any electricity generation that is delivered to the utility under a net metering arrangement.

(b) The commission shall also consider adopting, by rule, a requirement that all sellers of electricity to retail customers in the state, including rural electric cooperatives, municipally owned electric facilities or utilities serving less than thirty thousand residential electric customers in this state, offer net metering rebates or discounts to customer-generators.

(c) The commission shall institute a general investigation for the purpose of adopting rules pertaining to net metering and the interconnection of eligible electric generating facilities intended to operate in parallel with an electric utility's system. As part of its investigation, the commission shall take into consideration rules of other states within the applicable region of the regional transmission organization, as that term is defined in 18 C.F.R. §35.34, that manages a utility's transmission system in any part of this state. Furthermore, the commission shall consider increasing the allowed kilowatt capacity for commercial customer-generators to an amount not to exceed five hundred kilowatts and for industrial customer-generators to an amount not to exceed two megawatts. The commission shall further consider interconnection standards for combined heat and power.

(d) The commission shall promulgate these rules within twelve months of the effective date of this article.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 9 §24-2F-9. Interagency agreements; alternative and renewable energy resource planning assessment.

(a) Interagency agreements. -- The commission may enter into interagency agreements with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Energy to carry out the responsibilities set forth in this article.

(b) Alternative and renewable energy resource planning assessment. -- The commission, in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Energy, shall conduct an ongoing alternative and renewable energy resource planning assessment for this state that shall, at a minimum: (i) Identify current and operating alternative and renewable energy resource facilities in this state; (ii) assess the potential to add future generating capacity in this state from alternative and renewable energy resource facilities; (iii) assess the conditions of the alternative and renewable energy resource marketplace, including costs associated with alternative and renewable energy; (iv) assess the economic impacts of this article on coal and coal mining in West Virginia; (v) recommend methods to maintain or increase the relative competitiveness of the alternative and renewable energy resource market in this state; and (vi) recommend to the Legislature additional compliance goals for alternative and renewable energy portfolio standards beyond 2025.

The commission shall report the initial results of its assessment to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates within three years of the effective date of this article and shall report the ongoing results of the assessment on a yearly basis thereafter, except that on or before January 1, 2012, the commission, in collaboration with the Public Energy Authority, shall report the initial results of its assessment to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 10 §24-2F-10. Portfolio requirements for rural electric cooperatives, municipally owned electric facilities or utilities serving less than thirty thousand residential electric customers in West Virginia; and alternative and renewable energy resource credits for nonutility generators.
(a) The commission shall consider adopting, by rule, alternative and renewable energy portfolio requirements for rural electric cooperatives, municipally owned electric facilities or utilities serving less than thirty thousand residential electric customers in this state. The commission shall institute a general investigation for the purpose of adopting such requirements.

(b) The commission shall consider extending, by rule, the awarding of alternative and renewable energy resource credits in accordance with the provisions of section four of this article to electric distribution companies or electric generation suppliers other than electric utilities. As part of its investigation, the commission shall examine any modifications to the statutory and regulatory structure necessary to permit the participation of such nonutility generators in the system of tradable credits authorized by this article. If the commission determines that statutory modifications to this article or other provisions of this code are necessary to permit such participation, the commission shall notify the Governor and the Legislature of the findings of its investigation and proposed legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 11 §24-2F-11. Alternative and renewable energy resources grant program.
(a) There is hereby established in the State Treasury a special revolving fund to be jointly administered by the Public Service Commission and the Division of Energy which shall be designated the "Alternative and Renewable Energy Resources Research Fund." Moneys in the fund shall be used to award matching grants for demonstration, commercialization, research and development projects relating to alternative and renewable energy resources and energy efficiency technologies.

(b) The fund shall consist of any moneys appropriated by the Legislature, any compliance assessments collected by the commission, any gifts, bequests or other contributions to the fund from private entities or electric customers and any interest or other return on the moneys in the fund. Any moneys remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year, including accrued interest, do not revert to the General Revenue Fund and remain in the account.

(c) Any donations to the fund collected by an electric generation supplier or electric distribution company shall be forwarded to the Public Service Commission and the commission shall deposit such moneys in the fund.

(d) The Division of Energy shall provide for the distribution of moneys from the fund in the form of matching grants to state institutions of higher education for demonstration, commercialization, research and development projects relating to alternative and renewable energy resources and energy efficiency technologies. The Division of Energy shall consult with and receive recommendations from the Public Energy Authority, the Economic Development Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection to establish eligibility criteria for the awarding of grant moneys under this section. The Division of Energy may update said criteria as necessary to comply with the requirements of this section.

(e) Within two years of the effective date of this section, and each year thereafter, the Division of Energy shall file a report with the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates containing, at a minimum: (i) A description of all actions taken by the Division of Energy pursuant to this section; (ii) an accounting of total deposits into and expenditures from the fund during the previous twelve months; and (iii) a description of any projects that received a distribution from the fund during the preceding twelve months, including the projects' objectives, current status and results, if any.


WVC 24 - 2 F- 12 §24-2F-12. Rule-making authority.
The commission shall promulgate rules in accordance with section seven, article one, chapter twenty-four of this code to effectuate the purposes of this article.


WVC 24 - 2 G- ARTICLE 2G. PUBLIC WATER UTILITIES MONITORING REQUIREMENTS.
WVC 24 - 2 G- 1 §24-2G-1. Public water utilities required to install monitor for contaminants.

          All public water utilities that provide water to more than one hundred thousand customers, including public service districts providing water service and municipally owned and operated utilities, subject to the requirements and limitations of this article, shall implement a regular monitoring system as specified to the same technical capabilities for detection as utilized by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission.
WVC 24 - 2 G- 2 §24-2G-2. Requirements.

     (a) Each public water utility, public service district or municipal water system, as set forth in section one of this article, shall provide testing for contamination of its water supply by the following contaminants:

     (1) Salts or ions;

     (2) Metals, including heavy metals;

     (3) Polar organic compounds;

     (4) Nonpolar organic compounds;

     (5) Volatile compounds, oils and other hydrocarbons;

     (6) Pesticides; and

     (7) Biotoxins.

     (b) Each public water utility is empowered to determine at its discretion which of the contaminants listed in subsection (a) of this section are most likely to contaminate its water supply, and shall provide a monitoring system which shall detect the three of the listed contaminants deemed most likely to affect that water system: Provided, That each public water utility shall file its list with the commission: Provided, however, That any public water system serving over one hundred thousand customers from any one treatment plant is requested to test for all listed contaminants at each treatment plant: Provided further, That if technology to adequately detect contaminants as required by this section proves to be not feasible to implement, the public water utility shall report by January 1, 2015, such to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance with the reasons why such technology is not feasible to obtain or use, and suggest alternatives.
WVC 24 - 3 - ARTICLE 3. DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS OF COMMISSION.


WVC 24 - 3 - 1 §24-3-1. Adequate facilities; safety appliances; reasonable rates; railroad switch connections; discontinuing service.

Every public utility subject to this chapter shall establish and maintain adequate and suitable facilities, safety appliances or other suitable devices, and shall perform such service in respect thereto as shall be reasonable, safe and sufficient for the security and convenience of the public, and the safety and comfort of its employees, and in all respects just and fair, and without any unjust discrimination or preference. All charges, tolls and rates shall be just and reasonable, and no change shall be made in any tariffs, rates, joint rates, tolls, schedules or classifications except as herein provided. Every railroad shall permit switch connections for intrastate business to be made with its tracks at suitable and safe points by other carriers or shippers, upon such terms and conditions as the commission may prescribe, whenever, in the judgment of the commission, the business to be offered by the connecting company of shipper justifies it. Every railroad and other transportation company may be required by the commission to establish and maintain such suitable public service facilities and conveniences as may be reasonable and just, to make reasonable connections with trains on branch lines of such railroads and with all connecting railroad lines; to require any passenger trains to stop at junctions or intersections with other railroads; and may prescribe the number of men required to constitute safe crews for the handling of trains on any railroad in this state or any division of any such railroad. No railroad or other public utility shall discontinue any regular passenger train, or other public service facility, or change any regular passenger train schedule or timetable, without first obtaining authority from the commission so to do, unless the same be done under uniform rules and regulations filed by such railroad or public utility with the public service commission and approved by said commission.


WVC 24 - 3 - 1 A §24-3-1a. Definitions; telemetry systems required.

(a) As used in this article:

(1) "Head end device" means a device located on the lead locomotive of a railroad train designed to receive information from the rear end device. It may also be used to transmit information to the rear end device;

(2) "Mainline" means a railroad track extending through railroad yards and between stations which must not be occupied without authority or protection;

(3) "Rear end device" means a device located on the rear car of a railroad train designed to transmit information to the head end device and equipped with a rear marker light, red in color, and at least one hundred, but not more than one thousand, candela. It may also be used to receive information from the head end device;

(4) "Telemetry system" means a radio transmitter and receiver system between a front end device and a rear end device which indicates through a display at the head end device the following:

(i) Brake pipe pressure at the rear of the train, displayed in increments of one pound per square inch;

(ii) Rear car movement;

(iii) Whether the rear marker light is operating;

(iv) Remaining battery life powering the system;

(v) Any interruption in radio transmission as established by a distance measuring device at the rear end device; and

(vi) The location of the rear of the train as established by a distance measuring device at the rear end device.

(b) It is unlawful to operate a railroad train over one thousand five hundred feet in length on any mainline track within any railroad yard, without an occupied caboose as the rear car of such train unless it is equipped with an operable telemetry system.

(c) No train may depart any crew change point or its point of origin unless the train is equipped with telemetry system as required by this article. Any inoperable system shall be repaired or replaced before leaving the point of origin or at crew change point.

(d) The rear marker light required by this article shall be flashing during the period from one hour before sunset until one hour after sunrise.

(e) Beginning the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one, all telemetry devices shall be equipped so that an emergency application of the brakes of the train can be initiated at the rear car of the train either by the engineer in the lead or controlling locomotive or by a crew member riding on the rear car.

It is unlawful to institute any disciplinary action or other adverse administrative or employment action against any person who reports a violation or acts to enforce the provisions of this article. Such person's remedies under this chapter shall be in addition to any other remedies that might be available to such person.


WVC 24 - 3 - 1 B §24-3-1b. Locomotive power units; helper units; one person crew prohibited; engineer requirement; restrictions on selection of crew; definitions; promulgation of rules.

(a) Except for operation in its yards or terminals, and except where a train is being moved as an actual movement into or from another state not having a requirement of at least two persons controlling a locomotive as is required in this state pursuant to this section, no railroad may permit or require any crew-controlled locomotive power unit, including helper units, that is not attached to a train to be operated by a crew of fewer than two persons. At least one crew member shall be a federal railroad administration certified and licensed locomotive engineer within the meaning of applicable federal statutes and regulations. The second crew member shall be selected from either train service or engine service personnel: Provided, That the selection does not violate federal statutes or regulations or local collective bargaining agreements.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) "Crew-controlled locomotive" means a locomotive power unit, single or in multiple, which is operated by on-board personnel, but does not include units controlled by radio or other remote control by a crew on another locomotive power unit.

(2) "Helper unit" means a locomotive power unit placed at some point in a train for the purpose of supplementing the power available from the locomotive power unit controlling a train.

(c) It is unlawful to institute any disciplinary action or other adverse administrative action against any person who reports a violation of or acts to enforce the provisions of this section or this article. The person's remedies under this section are in addition to any other remedies that may be otherwise available.

(d) The public service commission shall, on or before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-three, promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section.


WVC 24 - 3 - 2 §24-3-2. Discrimination prohibited..
 No public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter

shall, directly or indirectly, by any special rate, rebate, drawback or other device or method, charge, demand, collect or receive from any person, firm or corporation, a greater or less compensation, for any service rendered or to be rendered, than it charges, demands, collects, or receives from any other person, firm or corporation for doing a like and contemporaneous service under the same or substantially similar circumstances and conditions.

 It shall be unlawful for any public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, company, firm, corporation or locality, or any particular character of traffic or service, in any respect whatsoever, or to subject any particular person, firm, corporation, company or locality, or any particular character of traffic or service, to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the

commission from:

 (a) Authorizing or requiring any rate design consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in article two-a of this chapter; or

 (b) Authorizing a private water utility to voluntarily implement a rate design featuring reduced rates and charges for service to qualifying low-income residential customers.
WVC 24 - 3 - 3 §24-3-3. Connecting carriers generally; sharing use of terminals; discrimination by railroad main lines against tap, etc., lines.
All common carriers subject to this chapter shall, according to their respective powers, afford all reasonable, proper and equal facilities for the interchange of traffic between their respective lines, and for the receiving, forwarding and delivering of passengers and property to and from their several lines, and those connecting therewith, and shall not discriminate in their rates and charges or methods or manner of service between such connecting lines.

If the commission finds it to be in the public interest and to be practicable, without substantially impairing the ability of a carrier owning or entitled to the enjoyment of terminal facilities to handle its own business, it shall have power to require the use of any such terminal facilities, including main- line track or tracks for a reasonable distance outside of such terminal, of any carrier, by another carrier or other carriers, on such terms and for such compensation as the carriers affected may agree upon, or, in the event of a failure to agree, as the commission may fix as just and reasonable for the use so required, to be ascertained on the principle controlling compensation in condemnation proceedings. Such compensation shall be paid or adequately secured before the enjoyment of the use may be commenced. If under this paragraph the use of such terminal facilities of any carrier is required to be given to another carrier or other carriers, and the carrier whose terminal facilities are required to be so used is not satisfied with the terms fixed for such use, or if the amount of compensation so fixed is not duly and promptly paid, the carrier whose terminal facilities have thus been required to be given to another carrier or other carriers shall be entitled to recover, by suit or action against such other carrier or carriers, proper damages for any injuries sustained by it as the result of compliance with such requirement, or just compensation for such use, or both, as the case may be.

Trunk lines, or principal railroads, shall, in the distribution of cars and the furnishing of facilities, treat industries and shippers, located on and tributary to lateral, industrial or tap lines, as if they were located directly on the track of the trunk lines or principal railroads, and not discriminate between such industries and shippers and those which may be located in direct proximity to their own tracks. And trunk lines or principal railroads shall allow and pay to the lateral, industrial or tap lines, a reasonable and equitable portion of the rate, consistent with the service rendered, giving due consideration to the fact that such lateral, industrial or tap line originates and assembles the freight. But nothing out of the main line rate shall be allowed the shipper or owner for the use of what may be termed "plant facilities."


WVC 24 - 3 - 3 A §24-3-3a. Gas utility pipelines declared as common carriers; commission approval of certain transportation.

(a) As used in this section or in section eleven, article two of this chapter:

(1) "Intrastate pipeline" means (i) any utility or (ii) any other person, firm or corporation engaged in natural gas transportation in intrastate commerce to or for another person, firm or corporation for compensation.

(2) "Interstate pipeline" means any person, firm or corporation engaged in natural gas transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC under the Natural Gas Act or the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978.

(3) "Local distribution company" means any person, other than any interstate pipeline or any intrastate pipeline, engaged in transportation or local distribution of natural gas and the sale of natural gas for ultimate consumption.

(4) "Intrastate commerce" includes the production, gathering, treatment, processing, transportation and delivery of natural gas entirely within this state.

(5) "Transportation" includes exchange, backhaul, displacement or other means of transportation.

(6) "FERC" means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(b) The commission may by rule or order, authorize and require the transportation of natural gas in intrastate commerce by intrastate pipelines, by interstate pipelines with unused or excess capacity not needed to meet interstate commerce demands or by local distribution companies for any person for one or more uses, as defined, by rule, by the commission in the case of:

(1) Natural gas sold by a producer, pipeline or other seller to such person; or

(2) Natural gas produced by such person.

(c) For reasons of safety, deliverability or operational efficiency the commission may, in its discretion, by rule or order, exclude from the requirements of this section any part of any pipeline solely dedicated to storage, or gathering, or low pressure distribution of natural gas.

(d) (1) The rates and charges of any interstate pipeline with respect to any transportation authorized and required under subsection (b) of this section shall be just and reasonable and computed by the public service commission in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the FERC and in effect upon the date of application by the commission for the transportation of natural gas by any interstate pipeline on behalf of any intrastate pipeline or any local distribution company.

(2) The rates and charges of any intrastate pipeline with respect to any transportation authorized and required under subsection (b) of this section shall be fair and reasonable and may not exceed an amount which is reasonably comparable to the rates and charges which interstate pipelines would be permitted to charge for providing similar transportation service. The computation of such rates and charges by the public service commission shall be in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the FERC and in effect upon the date of application by the commission for the transportation of natural gas by any intrastate pipeline in behalf of any interstate pipeline or any local distribution company served by any interstate pipeline.

(e) The provisions of this article and each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph and subparagraph thereof shall be severable from the provisions of each other subparagraph, paragraph, subdivision, subsection, section, article or chapter of this code so that if any provision of this article be held void, the remaining provisions of this act and this code shall remain valid.


WVC 24 - 3 - 3 B §24-3-3b.

     Repealed.

Acts, 2014 Reg. Sess., Ch. 152.
WVC 24 - 3 - 4 §24-3-4. Free transportation and passes; reduced rates; exchange of services and privileges.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent any common carrier from furnishing free transportation to its officers, attorneys, agents and employees, and their families, and like free transportation to the officers, attorneys, agents and employees of other common carriers and their families, mail clerks, expressmen and sleeping car conductors and porters, and like free transportation according to its own regulations to persons devoting their entire time to religious work, and reduced rates to all other persons engaged in religious, charitable and literary pursuits, and for excursions, and for children and students attending schools and colleges, and for commutation tickets; or to prevent telephone, telegraph, sleeping car and express companies from entering into contracts with one another, and with common carriers for the exchange of services, or from exchanging with one another and with common carriers, the privileges of passes or franks for the officers, agents, employees and their families of such companies and common carriers.


WVC 24 - 3 - 5 §24-3-5. Schedule of rates to be filed with commission.
Every public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter shall file with the commission, and keep open to public inspection, schedules showing all the rates, charges and tolls for service to be rendered by it or by other persons, firms or corporations in connection with it: Provided, however, That the reports and tariffs filed by interstate carriers with the public service commission may be copies of its reports and tariffs filed with the interstate commerce commission; but nothing herein shall preclude the public service commission from requiring interstate carriers to furnish information bearing upon any complaint or question pending before said public service commission and with which it has a right to deal.


WVC 24 - 3 - 6 §24-3-6. Special license fee;"public service commission fund."
(a) All public utilities subject to the provisions of this chapter shall pay a special license fee in addition to those now required by law. The amount of such fees shall be fixed by the public service commission and such fee shall not exceed ten cents on each one hundred dollars of value and shall be levied by it upon each of such public utilities according to the value of its property as ascertained by the last assessment, and shall be apportioned among such public utilities upon the basis of such valuation, which fees shall be paid on or before the twentieth day of January in each year. Such sum, together with that provided in subsection (b) hereof shall be paid into the state treasury and kept as a special fund designated "public service commission fund," to be appropriated as provided by law for the purpose of paying the salaries of the commission, as fixed by this chapter, its expenses and salaries, compensations, costs and expenses of its employees.

(b) All public utilities subject to the provisions of this chapter shall pay a special license fee in addition to any and all fees now required by law. The amount of such fees shall be fixed by the public service commission and such fee shall not exceed forty cents on each one hundred dollars of total gross revenue and shall be levied by it upon each of such public utilities, in the proportion which the total gross revenue derived from intrastate business done by each of such public utilities in the calendar year next preceding bears to the total gross revenue derived from intrastate business done in such year by all public utilities subject to regulation by the public service commission, in addition to such fees as may be fixed by the public service commission under the provisions of subsection (a) hereof and which fees shall be paid on or before the first day of July in each year. Such sum shall be paid into the state treasury and be kept, appropriated and used as provided in subsection (a) hereof.

(c) Any balance remaining in said fund at the end of any fiscal year shall not revert to the treasury but shall remain in said fund and may be appropriated and used as provided in subsection (a) hereof in the ensuing fiscal years.


WVC 24 - 3 - 7 §24-3-7. Permit to abandon service; certificate; hearing upon intervention by consumer advocate; alternative service.

(a) No railroad or other public utility shall abandon all or any portion of its service to the public or the operation of any of its lines which would affect the service it is rendering the public unless and until there shall first have been filed with the public service commission of this state an application for a permit to abandon service and obtained from the commission an order stating that the present and future public convenience and necessity permits such abandonment.

(b) The consumer advocate's office shall be notified of all notices to abandon rail service. Within five (5) days of the receipt of such notice the consumer advocate shall notify the West Virginia public port authority of such proposed abandonment. The public port authority shall advise the consumer advocate as to whether such abandonment is in the public interest or if such rail line or service is an integral part of the intermodal transportation system within West Virginia. If the public port authority deems such abandonment to be not in the public interest, then the consumer advocate shall intervene to block such abandonment before all appropriate state and federal agencies or courts.

(c) The public service commissioner, to the extent permitted by federal law, shall promulgate rules and regulations to govern the abandonment of rail lines and rail service, including, but not limited to, the providing of a hearing for the presentation of evidence in cases where the consumer advocate seeks intervention pursuant to subsection (b).

(d) In the event the commission determines that an application to abandon gas service or any part thereof is in the public interest and required by the present and future public convenience and necessity, it shall include in its order, as a condition of releasing any such utility from its public service obligation to provide gas service, a provision requiring the utility, prior to discontinuing service, to pay the cost reasonably necessary to convert each customer to an alternate fuel source.


WVC 24 - 3 - 8 §24-3-8. Deposits.
No public utility shall require any deposit of any residential customer which shall exceed one twelfth of the estimated annual charge to the customer for such service: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to deposits received prior to the effective date of this act.


WVC 24 - 3 - 9 §24-3-9. Easement and right-of-way.
A public utility may not acquire an easement or right-of-way unless the deed or other instrument granting or reserving the easement or right-of-way describes the property in accordance with the requirements of section five-a, article three, chapter thirty-six of this code.


WVC 24 - 3 - 10 §24-3-10. Termination of water service for delinquent sewer bills.
(a) In the event that any publicly or privately owned utility, city, incorporated town, municipal corporation or public service district owns and operates either water facilities or sewer facilities, and a privately owned public utility or a public utility that is owned and operated by a homeowners' association owns and operates the other kind of facilities, either water or sewer, then the privately owned public utility or the homeowners' association may contract with the publicly or privately owned utility, city, incorporated town, or public service district which provides the other services to shutoff and discontinue the supplying of water service for the nonpayment of sewer service fees and charges.

(b) Any contracts entered into by a privately owned public utility or by a public utility that is owned and operated by a homeowners' association pursuant to this section must be submitted to the Public Service Commission for approval.

(c) Any privately owned public utility or any public utility that is owned and operated by a homeowners' association which provides water and sewer service to its customers may terminate water service for delinquency in payment of either water or sewer bills.

(d) Where a privately owned public utility or a public utility that is owned and operated by a homeowners' association is providing sewer service and another utility is providing water service, and the privately owned public utility or the homeowners' association providing sewer service experiences a delinquency in payment, the utility providing water service, upon the request of the homeowners' association or the privately owned public utility providing sewer service to the delinquent account, shall terminate its water service to the customer having the delinquent sewer account.

(e) Any termination of water service must comply with all rules and orders of the Public Service Commission: Nothing contained within the rules of the Public Service Commission shall be deemed to require any agents or employees of the water or sewer utility to accept payment at the customer's premises in lieu of discontinuing water service for a delinquent water or sewer bill.


WVC 24 - 4 - ARTICLE 4. VIOLATIONS OF PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER OR ORDERS OF COMMISSION.


WVC 24 - 4 - 1 §24-4-1. General penalties for violating provisions of this chapter.
Every officer, agent, employee, or stockholder of any public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, and every patron, passenger, shipper or consignee, or other person, who shall violate any provision of this chapter, or who procures, aids or abets any violation of any such provision by any such public utility shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or be confined in jail not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court. When any person is convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter, and it is alleged in the indictment on which he is convicted, and is admitted, or by the jury found, that he has been before convicted of the violation of any provisions hereof, committed prior to the violation for which the indictment upon trial was found, then he shall be fined not less than two hundred nor more than two thousand dollars, or be confined in jail not less than thirty days nor more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court. When any person is convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter and it is alleged in the indictment upon which he is convicted and is admitted, or by the jury found, that he has been twice, or oftener, before convicted of a violation of any provisions hereof, committed prior to the violation for which the indictment upon trial was found, then he shall be fined not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars, and shall, in addition thereto, be confined in the county jail not less than three months nor more than one year.


WVC 24 - 4 - 2 §24-4-2. Penalty for falsifying, destroying or altering entries and for making false statements.
Any person, officer, agent or employee of any public utility subject to this chapter who shall knowingly or wilfully make any false entries in the accounts, account books, records or memoranda kept by any public utility, or who shall knowingly or wilfully destroy or mutilate any account books, record or memoranda useful for the enforcement or administration of this chapter by the commission, or who shall alter or by any other means or device falsify the record of any such accounts, account books, records or memoranda, or who shall knowingly or wilfully neglect or fail to make full, true and correct entries of or in such account, account book, record or memoranda of all the facts and transactions appertaining to such public utility, or who shall falsely make any statement required to be made to the commission, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than five years.


WVC 24 - 4 - 3 §24-4-3. Additional penalties for violating certain orders of commission.
If any public utility or other person shall fail or refuse to comply with the order of the commission under sections three, seven or nine respectively of article two, such public utility or other person shall, in addition to the other penalties provided for in this chapter, be subject to a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars.


WVC 24 - 4 - 4 §24-4-4. Penalty for violating orders of commission for which no other penalty is provided.
If any person, firm, corporation or officer of a corporation subject to the provisions of this chapter shall fail or refuse to comply with any requirement of the commission hereunder, for which a penalty has not been hereinbefore prescribed, such person, firm, corporation or officer of such corporation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars for each offense, and such person or firm, and the officers of such corporation, upon indictment and conviction, may, in the discretion of the court, be confined in jail not to exceed thirty days.


WVC 24 - 4 - 5 §24-4-5. Violation of commission's orders as contempt punishable by commission.
Any person or public utility who shall violate any of the orders or findings of the commission shall be guilty of contempt, and the commission shall have the same power to punish therefor as is now conferred on the circuit court, with the right of appeal in all cases to the supreme court of appeals.


WVC 24 - 4 - 6 §24-4-6. Procedure before commission as to violations.
Any person, firm, association of persons, corporation, municipality or county, complaining of anything done or omitted to be done by any public utility subject to this chapter, in contravention of the provisions thereof, or any duty owing by it under the provisions of this chapter, may present to the commission a petition which shall succinctly state all the facts. Whereupon, if there shall appear to be any reasonable ground to investigate such complaint, a statement of the charges thus made shall be forwarded by the commission to such public utility, which shall be called upon to satisfy such complaint or to answer to the same in writing within a reasonable time to be specified by the commission. If such public utility within the time specified shall make reparation for the injury alleged to have been done, or correct the practice complained of and obey the law and discharge its duties in the premises, then it shall be relieved of liability to the complainant for the particular violation of the law or duty complained of. If such public utility shall not satisfy the complainant within the time specified, it shall be the duty of the commission to investigate the same in such manner and by such means as it shall deem proper.


WVC 24 - 4 - 7 §24-4-7. Damages recoverable for violations.
Any person, firm or corporation claiming to be damaged by any violation of this chapter by any public utility subject to the provisions of this chapter, may make complaint to the commission, as provided herein, and bring suit in his own behalf for the recovery of the damages for which such public utility may be liable under this chapter in any circuit court having jurisdiction. In any such action, the court may compel the attendance of any agent, officer, director or employee of such corporation as a witness and require also the production of all books, papers and documents which may be used as evidence, and in the trial thereof such witnesses may be compelled to testify, but any such witness shall not be prosecuted for any offense concerning which he is compelled hereunder to testify.


WVC 24 - 4 - 8 §24-4-8. What constitutes separate violation.
Every day during which any person, firm or corporation, or any officer, agent or employee thereof, shall fail to observe and comply with any order or direction of the commission, or to perform any duty enjoined by this chapter, shall constitute a separate and distinct violation of such order or direction of this chapter, as the case may be.


WVC 24 - 5 - ARTICLE 5. REVIEW OF COMMISSION'S ACTION.


WVC 24 - 5 - 1 §24-5-1. Review of final orders of commission.
Any party feeling aggrieved by the entry of a final order by the commission, affecting him or it, may present a petition in writing to the supreme court of appeals, or to a judge thereof in vacation, within thirty days after the entry of such order, praying for the suspension of such final order. The applicant shall deliver a copy of such petition to the secretary of the commission on or before the date the same is presented to the court or the judge, and it shall be the duty of the secretary promptly to file with the clerk of said court all papers, documents, evidence and other records constituting the complete record in the case, or certified copies thereof, as were before the commission at the time of the entry of the order from which the appeal is taken. The court or judge shall fix a time for the hearing on the application, but such hearing, unless by agreement of the parties, shall not be held sooner than five days after its presentation; and notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be forthwith delivered to the secretary of the commission, so that the commission may be represented at such hearing by one or more of its members or by counsel. If the court or the judge after such hearing be of the opinion that a suspending order should issue, the court or the judge may require bond, upon such conditions and in such penalty, and impose such terms and conditions upon the petitioner, as are just and reasonable. The commission shall file with the court before the day fixed for the final hearing a written statement of its reasons for the entry of such order, and after arguments by counsel the court shall decide the matter in controversy as may seem to be just and right.


WVC 24 - 6 - ARTICLE 6. LOCAL EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SYSTEM.


WVC 24 - 6 - 1 §24-6-1. Legislative findings.

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid. There are hundreds of different emergency phone numbers throughout the state. Present telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries. Provision of a single, primary emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained will provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public service efforts. This simplified means of procuring emergency services will result in the saving of life, a reduction in the destruction of property, quicker apprehension of criminals, and ultimately the saving of money. The Legislature further finds and declares that the establishment of a uniform, statewide emergency number is a matter of statewide concern and interest to all inhabitants and citizens of this state. It is the purpose of this article to establish a primary emergency telephone number for use in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of units of local government to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in a manner that will allow a quick response to any person calling the primary emergency telephone number seeking police, fire, medical, rescue and other emergency services.


WVC 24 - 6 - 1 A §24-6-1a. Municipal emergency telephone systems.

Effective the first day of April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-eight, and thereafter, the provisions of this article shall also be applicable to municipalities of this state. Where the provisions of this article refer to the word "county" or "counties," henceforth such references shall be considered to include the word "municipality" or "municipalities" with respect to the subject matter therein, except and unless such reference to "municipality" or "municipalities" would not have a logical and clear meaning within such context.

It is the intent of this section to make this article equally applicable to counties and municipalities alike and to allow county commissions and the officials of municipalities to enter into such agreements between them or the telephone company as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes provided for by this article: Provided, That if any county has a system in place, municipalities may not adopt a different system without county approval.


WVC 24 - 6 - 2 §24-6-2. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) "Commercial mobile radio service provider" or "CMRS provider" means cellular licensees, broadband personal communications services (PCS) licensees and specialized mobile radio (SMR) providers, as those terms are defined by the Federal Communications Commission, which offer on a post-paid or prepaid basis or via a combination of those two methods, real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network and includes resellers of any commercial mobile radio service.

(2) "County answering point" means a facility to which enhanced emergency telephone system calls for a county are initially routed for response and where county personnel respond to specific requests for emergency service by directly dispatching the appropriate emergency service provider, relaying a message to the appropriate provider or transferring the call to the appropriate provider.

(3) "Emergency services organization" means the organization established under article five, chapter fifteen of this code.

(4) "Emergency service provider" means any emergency services organization or public safety unit.

(5) "Emergency telephone system" means a telephone system which through normal telephone service facilities automatically connects a person dialing the primary emergency telephone number to an established public agency answering point, but does not include an enhanced emergency telephone system.

(6) "Enhanced emergency telephone system" means a telephone system which automatically connects the person dialing the primary emergency number to the county answering point and in which the telephone network system automatically provides to personnel receiving the call, immediately on answering the call, information on the location and the telephone number from which the call is being made and, upon direction from the personnel receiving the call, routes or dispatches the call by telephone, radio or any other appropriate means of communication to emergency service providers that serve the location from which the call is made.

(7) "Prepaid wireless calling service" means prepaid wireless calling service as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter eleven of this code.

(8) "Public agency" means the state and any municipality, county, public district or public authority which provides or has authority to provide fire fighting, police, ambulance, medical, rescue or other emergency services.

(9) "Public safety unit" means a functional division of a public agency which provides fire fighting, police, medical, rescue or other emergency services.

(10) "Telephone company" means any public utility and any CMRS provider which is engaged in the provision of telephone service whether primarily by means of wire or wireless facilities.

(11) "Comprehensive plan" means a plan pertaining to the installing, modifying or replacing of telephone switching equipment; a telephone utility's response in a timely manner to requests for emergency telephone service by a public agency; a telephone utility's responsibility to report to the Public Service Commission; charges and tariffs for the services and facilities provided by a telephone utility; and access to an emergency telephone system by emergency service organizations.

(12) "Technical and operational standards" means those standards of telephone equipment and processes necessary for the implementation of the comprehensive plan as defined in subdivision (11) of this subsection.


WVC 24 - 6 - 3 §24-6-3. Adoption of emergency telephone system plan.

(a) The public service commission shall develop, adopt and periodically review a comprehensive plan establishing the technical and operational standards to be followed in establishing and maintaining emergency telephone systems and enhanced emergency telephone systems.

(b) In developing the comprehensive plan, the public service commission shall consult with telephone companies, and with the various public agencies and public safety units, including, but not limited to, emergency services organizations.

(c) The public service commission shall annually review with each operating telephone company their construction and switching replacements projections. During this review, the public service commission shall ensure that all new switching facilities will accommodate the emergency telephone system.


WVC 24 - 6 - 4 §24-6-4. Creation of emergency telephone systems.

(a) Upon the adoption by the public service commission of a comprehensive plan, the public agency may establish, consistent with the comprehensive plan, an emergency telephone system within its jurisdiction. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit or discourage in any way the establishment of multi-jurisdiction or regional systems, and any emergency telephone system established pursuant to this article may include the territory of more than one public agency, or may include only a portion of the territory of a public agency. To the extent feasible, emergency telephone systems shall be centralized.

(b) Every emergency telephone system shall provide access to emergency services organizations, police, fire fighting and emergency medical and ambulance services and may provide access to other emergency services. The system may also provide access to private ambulance services. The emergency telephone system shall provide the necessary mechanical equipment at the established public agency answering point to allow deaf persons access to the system. In those areas in which a public safety unit of the state provides emergency services, the system shall provide access to the public safety unit.

(c) The primary emergency telephone number to the extent possible shall be uniform throughout the state.

(d) Insofar as it is consistent with applicable federal law and federal communications commission regulations and orders, atelephone company in the normal course of replacing or making major modifications to its switching equipment shall include the capability of providing for the emergency telephone system and shall bear all costs related to including that capability. All charges for other services and facilities provided by the telephone company, including the provision of distribution facilities and station equipment, shall be paid for by the public agency or public safety unit in accordance with the applicable tariff rates then in effect for those services and facilities. Other costs pursuant to the emergency telephone system shall be allocated as determined by the applicable comprehensive plan of the public service commission.

(e) All coin-operated telephones within the state shall be of a design that will permit a caller to initiate, without first having to insert a coin (dial tone first or post-pay systems), local calls to the long distance and directory assistance operators, calls to the emergency telephone number answering point, if one has been established in his or her local calling area, and to other numbers for services as the telephone company may from time to time make available to the public.


WVC 24 - 6 - 5 §24-6-5. Enhanced emergency telephone system requirements.
     (a) An enhanced emergency telephone system, at a minimum, shall provide that:

     (1) All the territory in the county, including every municipal corporation in the county, which is served by telephone company central office equipment that will permit such a system to be established shall be included in the system: Provided, That if a portion of the county or a portion of a municipal corporation within the county is already being served by an enhanced emergency telephone system, that portion of the county or municipality may be excluded from the county enhanced emergency telephone system;

     (2) Every emergency service provider that provides emergency service within the territory of a county participate in the system;

     (3) Each county answering point be operated constantly;

     (4) Each emergency service provider participating in the system maintain a telephone number in addition to the one provided in the system; and

     (5) If the county answering point personnel reasonably determine that a call is not an emergency, the personnel provide the caller with the number of the appropriate emergency service provider.

     (b) To the extent possible, enhanced emergency telephone systems shall be centralized.

     (c) In developing an enhanced emergency telephone system, a county commission or the West Virginia State Police shall seek the advice of both the telephone companies providing local exchange service within the county and the local emergency providers.

     (d) As a condition of employment, a person employed as the director of an emergency dispatch center who dispatches emergency calls or supervises the dispatching of emergency call takers is subject to an investigation of their character and background. This investigation shall include, at a minimum, a criminal background check conducted by the State Police at its expense. A felony conviction shall preclude a person from holding any of these positions.

     (e) As a condition of continued employment, persons employed to dispatch emergency calls in county emergency dispatch centers shall successfully complete:

     (1) A forty-hour nationally recognized training course for dispatchers within one year of the date of their employment; and,      (2) An additional nationally recognized emergency medical dispatch course or an emergency medical dispatch course approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services not later than July 1, 2013, or if employed subsequent to July 1, 2013, within one year of the date of employment.

     (f) On or before July 1, 2013, the director of each county emergency dispatch center shall develop policies and procedures to establish a protocol for dispatching emergency medical calls implementing a nationally recognized emergency medical dispatch program or an emergency medical dispatch program approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services: Provided, That a county s emergency dispatch center, which utilizes a one-button transfer system, may continue to use this system, if the county s emergency dispatch center establishes policies and procedures which require the agency to whom the call is transferred to remain on the call until a first responder arrives.   (g) Each county or municipality shall appoint for each answering point an enhanced emergency telephone system advisory board consisting of at least six members to monitor the operation of the system. The board shall be appointed by the county or municipality and shall include at least one member from affected:

     (1) Fire service providers;

     (2) Law-enforcement providers;

     (3) Emergency medical providers;

     (4) Emergency services providers participating in the system; and,

     (5) Counties or municipalities.

     The director of the county or municipal enhanced telephone system shall serve as an ex officio member of the advisory board.      (h) The initial advisory board shall serve staggered terms of one, two and three years. The initial terms of these appointees shall commence on July 1, 1994. All future appointments shall be for terms of three years, except that an appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired term. All members shall serve without compensation. The board shall adopt such policies, rules and regulations as are necessary for its own guidance. The board shall meet monthly, or quarterly. The board may make recommendations to the county or municipality concerning the operation of the system.

     

     (i) Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prohibit or discourage in any way the establishment of multijurisdictional or regional systems, or multijurisdictional or regional agreements for the establishment of enhanced emergency telephone systems, and any system established pursuant to this article may include the territory of more than one public agency, or may include only a portion of the territory of a public agency.


WVC 24 - 6 - 6 §24-6-6. Enhanced emergency telephone system proposed requirement.

(a) If a county commission decides to adopt an enhanced emergency services telephone system it shall first prepare a proposal on the implementation of the system and shall hold a public meeting on the proposal to explain the system and receive comments from other public officials and interested persons. At least thirty but not more than sixty days before the meeting, the county commission shall place an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county notifying the public of the date, purpose and location of the meeting and the location at which a copy of the proposal may be examined.

(b) The proposal and the final plan adopted by the county commission shall specify:

(1) Which telephone companies serving customers in the county will participate in the system;

(2) The location and number of county answering points; how they will be connected to a telephone company's telephone network; from what geographic territory each will receive system calls; what areas will be served by the answering point; and whether an answering point will respond to calls by directly dispatching an emergency service provider, by relaying a message to the appropriate provider, or by transferring the call to the appropriate provider;

(3) A projection of the initial cost of establishing, equipping and furnishing and of the annual cost of the first five years of operating and maintaining each county answering point;

(4) How the county will pay for its share of the system's cost; and

(5) How each emergency service provider will respond to a misdirected call.

(c) Within three months of the public meeting required by this section the county commission may modify the implementation proposal. Upon completion and adoption of the plan by the commission, it shall send a copy of the plan to the public service commission, who shall file such plan and ensure that its provisions are complied with.

(d) After a plan is adopted, all telephone companies included in the plan are subject to the specific requirements of the plan and the applicable requirements of this article.

(e) A final plan may be amended only after notice of the proposed amendments is given, as provided in subsection (a) of this section and a new public meeting is held.


WVC 24 - 6 - 6 A §24-6-6a. Alternate procedure for proposal by the department of public safety.

(a) In any county or counties which have areas thereof not receiving service from an enhanced emergency services telephone system, the department of public safety may prepare a proposal on the implementation of such a system and may cause a public meeting to be held on the proposal to explain the system and receive comments from the members of the county commission and from other public officials and interested persons. At least thirty, but not more than sixty days, before such a meeting, the department of public safety shall place an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county notifying the members of the county commission or county commission and the public of the date, purpose and location of the meeting and the location at which a copy of the proposal may be examined.

(b) The proposal prepared by the department of public safety shall conform to the requirements of subsection (b), section six of this article and shall be further modified, adopted, filed or amended by the county commission only in conformity with said section six.


WVC 24 - 6 - 6 B §24-6-6b. Wireless enhanced 911 fee.
(a) All CMRS providers as defined in section two of this article shall, on a monthly basis or otherwise for good cause and as directed by order of the Public Service Commission, collect from each of their in-state two-way service subscribers a wireless enhanced 911 fee. As used in this section "in-state two-way service subscriber" shall have the same meaning as that set forth in the rules of the Public Service Commission. No later than the first day of June, two thousand six, the Public Service Commission shall, after the receipt of comments and the consideration of evidence presented at a hearing, issue an updated order which directs the CMRS providers regarding all relevant details of wireless enhanced 911 fee collection, including the determination of who is considered an in-state two-way service subscriber and which shall specify how the CMRS providers shall deal with fee collection shortfalls caused by uncollectible accounts. The Public Service Commission shall solicit the views of the wireless telecommunications utilities prior to issuing the order.

(b) The wireless enhanced 911 fee is three dollars per month for each valid retail commercial mobile radio service subscription, as that term is defined by the Public Service Commission in its order issued under subsection (a) of this section: Provided, That beginning on the first day of July, two thousand five, the wireless enhanced 911 fee shall include ten cents to be distributed to the West Virginia State Police to be used for equipment upgrades for improving and integrating their communication efforts with those of the enhanced 911 systems: Provided, however, That for the fiscal year beginning on the first day of July, two thousand five, and for every fiscal year thereafter, one million dollars of the wireless enhanced 911 fee shall be distributed by the Public Service Commission to subsidize the construction of towers. The moneys shall be deposited in a fund administered by the West Virginia Public Service Commission, entitled Enhanced 911 Wireless Tower Access Assistance Fund, and shall be expended in accordance with an enhanced 911 wireless tower access matching grant order adopted by the Public Service Commission. The commission order shall contain terms and conditions designed to provide financial assistance loans or grants to state agencies, political subdivisions of the state and wireless telephone carriers for the acquisition, equipping and construction of new wireless towers, which would provide enhanced 911 service coverage and which would not be available otherwise due to marginal financial viability of the applicable tower coverage area: Provided further, That the grants shall be allocated among potential sites based on application from county commissions demonstrating the need for enhanced 911 wireless coverage in specific areas of this state. Any tower constructed with assistance from the fund created by this subdivision shall be available for use by emergency services, fire departments and law-enforcement agencies communication equipment, so long as that use does not interfere with the carrier's wireless signal: And provided further, That the Public Service Commission shall promulgate rules in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate the provisions of this subsection. The Public Service Commission is specifically authorized to promulgate emergency rules: And provided further, That for the fiscal year beginning on the first day of July, two thousand six, and for every fiscal year thereafter, five percent of the wireless enhanced 911 fee money received by the Public Service Commission shall be deposited in a special fund established by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to be used solely for the construction, maintenance and upgrades of the West Virginia Interoperable Radio Project and any other costs associated with establishing and maintaining the infrastructure of the system. Any funds remaining in this fund at the end of the fiscal year shall automatically be reappropriated for the following year.

(c) Beginning in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, and every two years thereafter, the Public Service Commission shall conduct an audit of the wireless enhanced 911 fee and shall recalculate the fee so that it is the weighted average rounded to the nearest penny, as of the first day of March of the respecification year, of all of the enhanced 911 fees imposed by the counties which have adopted an enhanced 911 ordinance: Provided, That the wireless enhanced 911 fee may never be increased by more than twenty-five percent of its value at the beginning of

the respecification year: Provided, however, That the fee may never be less than the amount set in subsection (b) of this section: Provided further, That beginning on the first day of July, two thousand five, the wireless enhanced 911 fee shall include ten cents to be distributed to the West Virginia State Police to be used for equipment upgrades for improving and integrating their communication efforts with those of the enhanced 911 systems: And provided further, That beginning on the first day of July, two thousand five, one million dollars of the wireless enhanced 911 fee shall be distributed by the Public Service Commission to subsidize the construction of wireless towers as specified in said subsection.

(d) The CMRS providers shall, after retaining a three-percent billing fee, send the wireless enhanced 911 fee moneys collected, on a monthly basis, to the Public Service Commission. The Public Service Commission shall, on a quarterly and approximately evenly staggered basis, disburse the fee revenue in the following manner:

(1) Each county that does not have a 911 ordinance in effect as of the original effective date of this section in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven or has enacted a 911 ordinance within the five years prior to the original effective date of this section in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven shall receive eight and one-half tenths of one percent of the fee revenues received by the Public Service Commission: Provided, That after the effective date of this section, in the year two thousand five, when two or more counties consolidate into one county to provide government services, the consolidated county shall receive one percent of the fee revenues received by the Public Service Commission for itself and for each county merged into the consolidated county. Each county shall receive eight and one-half tenths of one percent of the remainder of the fee revenues received by the Public Service Commission: Provided, however, That after the effective date of this section, in the year two thousand five, when two or more counties consolidate into one county to provide government services, the consolidated county shall receive one percent of the fee revenues received by the Public Service Commission for itself and for each county merged into the consolidated county. Then, from any moneys remaining, each county shall receive a pro rata portion of that remainder based on that county's population as determined in the most recent decennial census as a percentage of the state total population. The Public Service Commission shall recalculate the county disbursement percentages on a yearly basis, with the changes effective on the first day of July, and using data as of the preceding first day of March. The public utilities which normally provide local exchange telecommunications service by means of lines, wires, cables, optical fibers or by other means extended to subscriber premises shall supply the data to the Public Service Commission on a county specific basis no later than the first day of June of each year;

(2) Counties which have an enhanced 911 ordinance in effect shall receive their share of the wireless enhanced 911 fee revenue for use in the same manner as the enhanced 911 fee revenues received by those counties pursuant to their enhanced 911 ordinances;

(3) The Public Service Commission shall deposit the wireless enhanced 911 fee revenue for each county which does not have an enhanced 911 ordinance in effect into an escrow account which it has established for that county. Any county with an escrow account may, immediately upon adopting an enhanced 911 ordinance, receive the moneys which have accumulated in the escrow account for use as specified in subdivision (2) of this subsection: Provided, That a county that adopts a 911 ordinance after the original effective date of this section in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven or has adopted a 911 ordinance within five years of the original effective date of this section in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven shall continue to receive one percent of the total 911 fee revenue for a period of five years following the adoption of the ordinance. Thereafter, each county shall receive that county's eight and one-half tenths of one percent of the remaining fee revenue, plus that county's additional pro rata portion of the fee revenues then remaining, based on that county's population as determined in the most recent decennial census as a percentage of the state total population: Provided, however, That every five years from the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, all fee revenue residing in escrow accounts shall be disbursed on the pro rata basis specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection, except that data for counties without enhanced 911 ordinances in effect shall be omitted from the calculation and all escrow accounts shall begin again with a zero balance.

(e) CMRS providers have the same rights and responsibilities as other telephone service suppliers in dealing with the failure by a subscriber of a CMRS provider to timely pay the wireless enhanced 911 fee.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of section one-a of this article, for the purposes of this section, the term "county" means one of the counties provided in section one, article one, chapter one of this code.

(g) From any funds distributed to a county pursuant to this section, a total of three percent shall be set aside in a special fund to be used exclusively for the purchase of equipment that will provide information regarding the x and y coordinates of persons who call an emergency telephone system through a commercial mobile radio service: Provided, That upon purchase of the necessary equipment, the special fund shall be dissolved and any surplus shall be used for general operation of the emergency telephone system as may otherwise be provided by law.

(h) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this code, beginning the first day of July, two thousand eight, prepaid wireless calling service is no longer subject to the wireless enhanced 911 fee.
WVC 24 - 6 - 7 §24-6-7. Resolution of conflicts.

In the event that a conflict arises between county commissions, between telephone companies, between a telephone company or companies and a county commission or commissions, or between the department of public safety and any of the foregoing entities concerning an emergency telephone system or systems or an enhanced emergency telephone system or systems, the public service commission, upon application by such county commission, telephone company or department of public safety, shall resolve such conflict. The resolution of such conflict may include the modification or suspension of any final plan adopted pursuant to section six or six-a of this article or the ordering of the centralization of emergency telephone systems and enhanced emergency telephone systems.


WVC 24 - 6 - 8 §24-6-8. Limitation of liability.

A public agency or a telephone company participating in an emergency telephone system or a county which has established an enhanced emergency telephone system, and any officer, agent or employee of the public agency, telephone company or county is not liable for damages in a civil action for injuries, death or loss to persons or property arising from any act or omission, except willful or wanton misconduct, in connection with developing, adopting or approving any final plan or any agreement made pursuant to this article, or otherwise bringing into operation or participating in the operation of an emergency telephone system or an enhanced emergency telephone system pursuant to this article.


WVC 24 - 6 - 9 §24-6-9. Prohibitions and penalty.
(a) No person may knowingly use the telephone number of an emergency telephone system or enhanced emergency telephone system to report an emergency if he or she knows that no such emergency exists.

(b) No person may disclose or use, for any purpose other than for an emergency telephone system or enhanced emergency telephone system, any information contained in the data base used for either an emergency telephone system or an enhanced emergency telephone system established pursuant to this article.

(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.


WVC 24 - 6 - 10 §24-6-10. Prohibition against using "911" in company name.
No person or organization of any kind may use "911" or such other numbers which are similar and calculated to deceive the public as representing "911" services in their name unless the person or organization is authorized to provide emergency telephone services for firefighting, law enforcement and medical personnel. The public service commission shall propose rules for legislative promulgation in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the acceptable use of "911" and shall have the authority to authorize any organization or person to use "911" for the purposes of promoting the education of the public regarding the "911" service. This section may not be construed as affecting motor vehicle license plate numbers issued by the division of motor vehicles, or race cars that use a "911" logo, when the number is not used for purposes of deceiving the public that the operator or owner operates "911" services. Any person or organization convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars per occurrence.


WVC 24 - 6 - 11 §24-6-11. Confidentiality of proprietary information.

In recognition of the fact that information pertaining to numbers of customers and revenues collected by the CMRS providers is obtained and maintained in a competitive environment and that information pertaining to the providers' subscribers could be used to the disadvantage of the participating CMRS provider, the Legislature declares that any such information provided by the public service commission and any county or enhanced 911 program, is not subject to disclosure under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code.


WVC 24 - 6 - 12 §24-6-12. Dispatching of towing services for emergency towing of vehicles; exceptions.
(a) Every three years, the county commission of each county or the municipality operating an emergency telephone system or an enhanced emergency telephone system shall, in consultation with all public safety units, public agencies and all available towing services registered as common carriers pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-four-a of this code, establish a policy that provides for the most prompt, fair, equitable and effective response to requests or dispatches for emergency towing services.

(b) For each incident where towing services are required, the public agency procuring towing services shall maintain a public record of the name of the towing service utilized.


WVC 24 - 6 - 13 §24-6-13. Confidentiality of certain calls to county answering points and records; retention of records.
(a) Except as provided by the provisions of this section, calls for emergency service to a county answering point are not confidential. All calls for emergency service reporting alleged criminal conduct which are recorded electronically, in writing or in any other form are to be kept confidential by the county answering point receiving the call and may be released only pursuant to an order entered by a court of competent jurisdiction, a valid subpoena or through the course of discovery in a criminal action requiring the release of the information: Provided, That nothing contained in this section may be construed as preventing the county answering point from releasing information to a responding agency as may be necessary for that agency's response on a call or the completion of necessary reports relating to that call.

(b) Upon proper request and payment of a reasonable fee set by the center director to cover the cost of production, a person or entity may obtain, without court order or a valid subpoena, a transcription of a call for emergency service reporting alleged criminal conduct. The answering point shall exclude from the transcription any information relating to the identity of the caller including, but not limited to, the caller's name, address, telephone number or his or her location in relation to the alleged offense or the alleged perpetrator. If the transcript of a call is such that it cannot be successfully redacted so as to protect the identity of the caller, the answering point may decline to provide the transcript. In that case, the person requesting the transcription may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for a court order releasing the transcript.

(c) All calls for emergency service which are recorded electronically, in writing or in any other form are to be maintained for a period of at least ninety days or longer if required by an order entered by a court of competent jurisdiction or a valid subpoena.

(d) A county answering point may release information to bonafide law-enforcement agencies, the prosecuting attorney of a county or a United States attorney pursuant to a lawful criminal investigation. Nothing in this article may be construed as prohibiting a freedom of information request under chapter twenty-nine-b of this code for information relating to the operation of the center or to calls for emergency service which do not involve reporting of alleged criminal conduct.

(e) Nothing in this article requires disclosure of any information that is specifically exempt from disclosure by statute. Except as otherwise provided in this article, nothing prohibits disclosure of information that is not specifically exempted from disclosure under a provision of this code.

(f) Every county answering point shall, within ninety days of the effective date of this section, promulgate a written policy, available to the public, reflecting its compliance with the provisions of this section.

(g) No answering point or center personnel shall be civilly liable for any injury arising from disclosure of information pursuant to the provisions of this section.


WVC 24 - 6 - 14 §24-6-14. Notification of mining accidents.
Each county answering point that receives a call reporting an accident in or about any mine shall immediately route the call to the Mine and Industrial Accident Emergency Operations Center created pursuant to section two, article five-a, chapter fifteen of this code.


WVC 24 - 7 - ARTICLE 7. HEADQUARTERS.


WVC 24 - 7 - 1 §24-7-1. Legislative findings; commission authorized to acquire headquarters.

(a) The Legislature hereby finds that the public service commission's present physical facilities impede the efficient operation of the commission in that many offices are severely overcrowded, several divisions are physically isolated from the main offices of the commission at the capitol building, and only one hearing room is available internally. The Legislature further finds that pursuant to section twenty, article one, chapter four of the code of West Virginia, it has assigned and set aside for the exclusive use of the Legislature all of the space on the second floor of the east wing of the capitol building, which location is presently occupied by the public service commission.

The Legislature further adopts the recommendation presented to the subcommittee on the public service commission of the joint committee on government and finance in a final report dated February, one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine and entitled "A Plan for Regulatory Reform and Management Improvement" that the public service commission should be authorized to buy or lease suitable office, hearing and other facilities in the Charleston area in order to consolidate its operations, and that existing surplus funds should be used to pay the one-time costs incurred in relocation.

(b) Accordingly, the Legislature hereby authorizes and directs the public service commission:

(1) To contract to acquire and to acquire, in the name of the commission or of the state, a suitable site in or near the seat of government for a public service commission headquarters building that will consolidate all of its operations, related facilities and grounds, including real property, rights and easements necessary for this purpose, or to use any suitable site which may be owned by the state and available and designated for this purpose and to construct a public service commission headquarters building on such site and equip and furnish said building.

(2) To contract to acquire and to acquire and hold, in the name of the commission or of the state, services, materials, furnishings and equipment required in connection with the location, design, construction, furnishing and equipping of the public service commission building.

(3) To employ architects to prepare plans for the public service commission headquarters building, to assist and advise the architects in the preparation of those plans and to approve on behalf of the state all plans for the public service commission headquarters building.

(4) To make all contracts and execute all instruments necessary or convenient to effectuate the intent of, and to exercise the powers granted to it by the provisions of this article.

(5) To supervise generally the location, construction, furnishing and equipping of the public service commission headquarters building.


WVC 24 - 7 - 2 §24-7-2. Exclusive authority for purchase of headquarters.

The authority granted to the public service commission in section one is made notwithstanding other provisions of law relating to the authority of the state of West Virginia, or its agencies, departments, boards and commissions, to contract to acquire and to acquire real property and to hold, improve and dispose of same, including, but not limited to, article five, chapter one, article six, chapter five, and section fifteen, article one, chapter twenty of this code: Provided, That nothing in this article shall be construed to grant to the public service commission the power of eminent domain.


WVC 24 - 7 - 3 §24-7-3. Management and control of public service commission headquarters building.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section eleven, article six, chapter five of this code, the commission shall properly maintain, repair, manage, operate and control the public service commission headquarters building, and may make and enter into all contracts or agreements necessary and incidental for the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this article.


WVC 24 - 7 - 4 §24-7-4. Legislative findings; authority to acquire further properties.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds that the public service commission should be authorized to acquire and manage further properties contiguous with its existing property at 201 Brooks street in Charleston, West Virginia, and to make improvements on the property necessary to ensure the efficient operations of the commission's business. Furthermore, the Legislature finds that the public service commission should be given the necessary authority to enter into agreements with other entities concerning financing and use of the acquisitions. The Legislature further finds that the commission should be allowed to pay for the acquisitions using excess funds from the special revenues received by the commission pursuant to section six, article three of this chapter and from funds received by the use of the properties.

(b) The public service commission may contract to acquire, lease, rent, purchase, own, hold, construct, equip, maintain, operate, sell, encumber and assign rights of any property, real or personal, contiguous with its existing property at 201 Brooks street in Charleston, West Virginia, consistent with the objectives of the commission as set forth in this chapter.

(c) The public service commission may enter into contracts, agreements or other undertakings with other appropriate entities concerning the financing and use of property acquisitions.

(d) The public service commission may pay for property acquisitions and related activities from excess funds obtained from the commission's assessments upon utility gross revenue and property as provided for in section six, article three of this chapter. Furthermore, the commission may receive funds from other entities through the use and management of its properties and use those funds for the payment of the property acquisitions. Any contracts, agreements or other undertakings relating to property acquisitions pursuant to provisions of this section shall be entered into prior to the thirty-first day of December, two thousand four.

(e) Expenditures for any purpose set forth in this section may be made only pursuant to legislative appropriation expressly authorizing by line item expenditure for the specific purpose. Notwithstanding any provision of section eighteen, article two, chapter five-a of this code to the contrary, no increase in the amount of the appropriation may be authorized.


WVC 24 - 8 - ARTICLE 8. 211 INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SYSTEM.


WVC 24 - 8 - 1 §24-8-1. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the citizens of West Virginia to implement the universally, free access telephone number "211" made available by the federal communications commission for states to develop an information and referral source for human and social services. The "211" system will provide a vital resource to the citizens of West Virginia for social and human service information and referral by providing a critical connection between individuals and families in need and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies.

The Legislature further finds that implementing the "211" information and referral system will serve as a centralized resource for human and social service professionals, medical personnel, government agencies and charitable organizations by providing a full spectrum of service options to the citizens of West Virginia. The "211" system will also serve as a centralized point in times of natural disasters or national emergencies by providing access to information for the coordination of relief.

Therefore, the Legislature authorizes and directs the public service commission to implement the "211" information and referral system in accordance with the recommendations of the public service commissions' appointed task force as reported to the Legislature.


WVC 24 - 8 - 2 §24-8-2. Rule-making authority.
The public service commission shall propose rules for legislative promulgation in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the implementation and administration of this system. From the effective date of this section until the date of the promulgation of these rules, the commission may file rules as emergency rules in accordance with the applicable provisions of this code in order to implement and administer this system.


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