SB956: Investor-owned electric utilities; declining block rate for residential customers.


SENATE BILL NO. 956
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor
on January 21, 2013)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Favola)
A BILL to require certain utilities to address the appropriateness of declining block rates.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. § 1. That as part of its 2013 integrated resource plan filing with the State Corporation Commission pursuant to Chapter 24 (§ 56-597 et seq.) of Title 56 of the Code of Virginia, any investor-owned electric utility that uses a declining block rate for residential customers during winter months shall address the appropriateness of such rate provision. In so doing, the utility shall address the effect of the rate provision on energy conservation, peak load, efficient and cost effective use of the utility's generation fleet and associated infrastructure, equity among customers within the residential class, and the affordability of home heating for residential customers.

SENATE BILL NO. 956

Offered January 9, 2013
Prefiled January 7, 2013
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-585.4, relating to electric utility ratemaking; declining block rates for residential customers.
Patron-- Favola

Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 56-585.4 as follows:

56-585.4. Use of residential declining block rate schedules.

A. As used in this section:

"Declining block rate structure" means a rate structure in which the per-unit price of electricity decreases as the amount of electricity consumed increases.

"Electric utility" means any investor-owned electric utility or electric cooperative.

B. In any proceeding initiated on or after July 1, 2013, under 56-235.2, 56-585.1, or 56-585.3 or any other section of this title in which the Commission is required to review the rates or tariffs of an electric utility, the Commission shall not approve a rate schedule or tariff that utilizes a declining block rate structure, including a seasonal declining block rate structure, for residential customers unless the electric utility demonstrates that such a rate structure is equitable to all affected customers and consistent with the Commonwealth's energy efficiency goals.

C. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Commission from approving a rate schedule or tariff that utilizes (i) a declining block rate structure for customers in an industrial, commercial, or other nonresidential class or (ii) an inclining block rate structure, flat block rate structure, or a combination thereof, for residential customers.