HB2159: Electric utility service; termination of service of customers with a serious medical condition.

Offered January 12, 2011
Prefiled January 12, 2011
A BILL to require the State Corporation Commission to limit electric utility service shutoffs for individuals with a serious medical condition.
Patron-- Iaquinto

Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  § 1. That the State Corporation Commission, in order to promote public health and safety, shall conduct a proceeding for the purpose of establishing limitations on the authority of an investor-owned electric utility or electric cooperative to terminate electric service to the residence of any customer who provides the certification of a licensed physician that the customer has a serious medical condition or the customer resides with a family member with a serious medical condition.  The limitations shall be consistent with the public interest.  In the proceeding establishing such limitations, the State Corporation Commission shall consult with the Commissioner of Health, the Commissioner of Social Services, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, the Virginia League of Social Services Executives, electric utilities, and any other persons that the State Corporation Commission deems appropriate.  As a part of the proceeding, the State Corporation Commission shall adopt regulations to implement such limitations.  The regulations shall (i) be adopted in accordance with the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, (ii) be effective not later than October 31, 2011, (iii) establish a cost recovery mechanism under which electric utilities shall be authorized to recover, from approved rates collected from other customers or other sources of revenue, any losses on customer accounts the balance of which is written off or otherwise determined to be uncollectible as the result of the implementation of the regulations, and (iv) define "serious medical condition."