Section 7: Collection of energy information; reports; violations
Section 7. The department shall have the authority to collect price, inventory and product delivery data, including amounts and types of product sold, and other information which is specifically necessary and material regarding petroleum products, electricity, natural gas, and other fuels available for supply within the commonwealth from wholesalers and resellers of petroleum products, electricity, natural gas, and suppliers of other fuels, doing business in the commonwealth. Except as herein provided, all energy information collected by the department under this section shall be maintained for the sole and confidential use of the commonwealth, its agencies and offices. Such information shall not be deemed to be a public record as defined in clause Twenty-sixth of section seven of chapter four and shall not be subject to demand for production under section ten of chapter sixty-six; provided, however, that aggregates of such energy information may be prepared and such aggregates shall be public records; provided, further, that all energy information collected under this section may be shared with the energy offices of other states which afford such information similar protection from public disclosure.
All wholesalers, resellers, and end-users of petroleum products doing business in the commonwealth with total storage capacity of over fifty thousand gallons shall make accurate reports to the department in such form and at such times as the department shall require.
All electric and gas companies, transmission companies, distribution companies, suppliers, and aggregators, as defined in section 1 of chapter 164, and suppliers of natural gas, including aggregators, marketers, brokers, and marketing affiliates of gas companies, excluding gas companies as defined in said section 1 of said chapter 164, engaged in distributing or selling electricity or natural gas in the commonwealth shall make accurate reports to the department in such form and at such times, which shall be at least quarterly, as the department shall require pursuant to this section. Each such company, supplier, and aggregator shall report semi-annually to the department the average of all rates charged for default, low-income and standard offer service to each customer class and for each sub-class within the residential class, respectively; provided, however, that all such rate information so reported pursuant to this paragraph shall be deemed public information, and no such rate information shall be protected as a trade secret, confidential, competitively sensitive, or other proprietary information pursuant to section 5D of chapter 25. The department shall, in cooperation with the department of public utilities, develop and issue, by March first of each year, a report which shall detail the status in the previous calendar year of pricing disparities between customer class and separately within the residential class, regions of the commonwealth, and distribution companies and suppliers serving ratepayers; provided, however, that said report shall also include a comparison of each customer class in the commonwealth as compared with the same classes in each of the 49 other states and the District of Columbia. Said report shall analyze the effects of restructuring plans, filed with and approved by said department pursuant to section 1A of chapter 164, upon such price disparities. The department may include in such report any recommendations to address any such problems and price disparities.
Any wholesaler, reseller or end-user of petroleum products, or any supplier of electricity or natural gas covered by this section who violates the provisions of this chapter or who knowingly supplies information of a false or misleading nature shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars per offense.