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General Laws

Section 1. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words shall have the following meanings:

“Aggregator”, an entity which groups together electricity customers for retail sale purposes, except for public entities, quasi-public entities or authorities, or subsidiary organizations thereof, established under the laws of the commonwealth.

“Alternative energy development”, shall include, but shall not be limited to, solar energy, wind, wood, alcohol, hydroelectric, biomass energy systems, renewable non-depletable and recyclable energy sources.

“Alternative energy producer”, a person, firm, partnership, association, public or private corporation, or an agency, department, board, commission or authority of the commonwealth or of a subdivision of the commonwealth, that owns or operates a cogeneration facility or small power production facility as defined in this section, and does not engage in the retail sale of electricity other than sales to customers that are within the confines of an industrial park, which existed before March 1, 1982, and in which there existed as of said date electrical generating capacity of more than 15 megawatts.

“Alternative energy property”, any property powered in whole or in part by the sun, wind, water, biomass, alcohol, wood, or any renewable, non-depletable or recyclable fuel, and property related to the exploration, development, processing, transportation and distribution of the aforementioned energy resources.

“Ancillary services”, those functions which support generation, transmission, and distribution, and which shall include the following services: (1) reactive power or voltage control; (2) loss compensation; (3) scheduling and dispatch; (4) load following; (5) system protection service; and (6) energy imbalance service.

“Articles of organization”, (i) the articles of organization of a corporation which were filed after October 1, 1973; (ii) an agreement of association, special act of incorporation and other charter documents, including by-law provisions and stockholder votes in effect before October 1, 1973, which, after that date, would be included in articles of organization, and all amendments thereto, effective before October 1, 1973; and (iii) any of the following amendments made or filed from time to time subsequent to October 1, 1973:

(1) a certificate of a vote establishing a series filed under section 26 of chapter 156B;

(2) articles of amendment filed under section 8B;

(3) restated articles of organization filed under section 8C;

(4) certificates of confirmation of proceedings filed under section 8D;

(5) articles of consolidation or merger filed under section 102A;

(6) articles of dissolution filed under section 100 of chapter 156B;

(7) a certificate as to the revival of a corporation filed under section 108 of chapter 156B.

“Basic service”, the electricity services provided to a retail customer upon either: (i) the inability of a customer to receive competitive supply from a supplier under subsection (d) of section 1B; (ii) the failure of the retail customer to elect competitive supply from a supplier under said subsection (d) of said section 1B; or (iii) upon the expiration of and the retail customer’s failure to renew a competitive supply contract under said subsection (d) of said section 1B or other means.

“Cogeneration facility”, any electrical generating unit having a power production capacity which, together with any other facilities located at the same site, is not greater than 30 megawatts and which produces electric energy and steam or other form of useful energy utilized for industrial, commercial, heating or cooling purposes, and employs a fuel other than oil as its primary energy source, except that oil may be used: (1) in combination with coal, in a mixture not exceeding 70 per cent oil; or (2) during any modifications to any existing electrical generating facility undertaken for the purpose of enabling such facility to employ, except during any periods of maintenance or repair, a fuel other than oil as its primary energy source; provided, however, that cogeneration facility shall also include any electric generating unit having a power production capacity which, together with any other facilities located at the same site, is not greater than 30 megawatts and which produces electric energy and steam or other form of useful energy utilized for industrial, commercial, heating or cooling purposes that is within the confines of an industrial park, which existed before March 1, 1982 and, in which park there existed, as of said date, electrical generating capacity of more than 15 megawatts, and in which there existed, since said date, a cogeneration facility or a small power production facility.

“Contract termination fee”, the fees owed by the distribution company to its wholesale power supplier, as determined and approved by the department of public utilities.

“Corporation”, a corporation to which this chapter applies, as set forth in section 3.

“Default Service”, the electricity services provided to a retail customer upon: (i) the failure of a distribution company or supplier to provide such electricity services as required by law or as contracted for under the standard service offer; (ii) the completion of the term of the standard service offer; or (iii) the inability of a customer to receive standard service transition rates during the term of the standard service offer under section 1B.

“Department”, the department of public utilities.

“Distributed generation”, a generation facility or renewable energy facility connected directly to distribution facilities or to retail customer facilities which alleviate or avoid transmission or distribution constraints or the installation of new transmission facilities or distribution facilities.

“Distribution”, the delivery of electricity over lines which operate at a voltage level typically equal to or greater than 110 volts and less than 69,000 volts to an end-use customer within the commonwealth. The distribution of electricity shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the department of public utilities.

“Distribution company”, a company engaging in the distribution of electricity or owning, operating or controlling distribution facilities; provided, however, that a distribution company shall not include any entity which owns or operates plant or equipment used to produce electricity, steam and chilled water, or an affiliate engaged solely in the provision of such electricity, steam and chilled water, where the electricity produced by such entity or its affiliate is primarily for the benefit of hospitals and non-profit educational institutions, and where such plant or equipment was in operation before January 1, 1986.

“Distribution facility”, a plant or equipment used for the distribution of electricity and which is not a transmission facility, a cogeneration facility or a small power production facility.

“Distribution service”, the delivery of electricity to the customer by the electric distribution company from points on the transmission system or from a generating plant at distribution voltage.

“Electric company”, a corporation organized under the laws of the commonwealth for the purpose of making by means of water power, steam power or otherwise and for selling, transmitting, distributing, transmitting and selling, or distributing and selling, electricity within the commonwealth, or authorized by special act so to do, even though subsequently authorized to make or sell gas; provided, however, that electric company shall not mean an alternative energy producer; provided further, that a distribution company shall not include an entity which owns or operates a plant or equipment used to produce electricity, steam and chilled water, or an affiliate engaged solely in the provision of such electricity, steam and chilled water, where the electricity produced by such entity or its affiliate is primarily for the benefit of hospitals and nonprofit educational institutions, and where such plant or equipment was in operation before January 1, 1986; and provided further, that electric company shall not mean a corporation only transmitting and selling, or only transmitting, electricity unless such corporation is affiliated with an electric company organized under the laws of the commonwealth for the purpose of distributing and selling, or distributing only, electricity within the commonwealth.

“Electric service”, the provision of generation, transmission, distribution or ancillary services.

“End user”, any individual, corporation, firm or subsidiary of a firm that is an ultimate consumer of petroleum products and which, as part of its normal business practices, purchases or obtains petroleum products from a wholesaler or reseller and receives delivery of that product.

“Energy audit”, a determination of the energy consumption characteristics of a building or facility which identifies the type, size and rate of energy consumption of such building or facility and the major energy using systems of such building or facility; determines appropriate energy conservation maintenance and operating procedures; and indicates the need, if any, for the acquisition and installation of energy conservation measures or alternative energy property.

“Energy conservation”, shall include, but shall not be limited to, the modification of or change in the operation of real or personal property in a manner likely to improve the efficiency of energy use, energy conservation measures and any process to audit or identify and specify energy and cost savings.

“Energy conservation measures”, measures involving modifications of maintenance and operating procedures of a building or facility and installations therein, which are designed to reduce energy consumption in such building or facility, or the installation or modification of an installation in a building or facility which is primarily intended to reduce energy consumption.

“Energy conservation projects”, projects to promote energy conservation, including but not limited to, energy conserving modification to windows and doors; caulking and weatherstripping; combined heat and power facilities; insulation; automatic energy control systems; hot water systems; equipment required to operate variable steam, hydraulic and ventilating systems; plant and distribution system modifications including replacement of burners, furnaces or boilers; devices for modifying fuel openings; electrical or mechanical furnace ignition systems; utility plant system conversions; replacement or modification of lighting fixtures; energy recovery systems; and cogeneration systems.

“Energy efficiency”, the implementation of an action, policy or measure which entails the application of the least amount of energy required to produce a desired or given output.

“Energy management services”, a program of services, including energy audits, energy conservation measures, energy conservation projects or a combination thereof, and building maintenance and financing services, primarily intended to reduce the cost of energy and water in operating buildings, which may be paid for in whole or in part, by cost savings attributable to a reduction in energy and water consumption which result from such services.

“FERC”, the federal energy regulatory commission.

“Gas company”, a corporation organized for the purpose of making and selling or distributing and selling, gas within the commonwealth, even though subsequently authorized to make or sell electricity; provided, however, that gas company shall not mean an alternative energy producer.

“Generation”, the act or process of transforming other forms of energy into electric energy or the amount of electric energy so produced.

“Generation company”, a company engaged in the business of producing, manufacturing or generating electricity or related services or products, including but not limited to, renewable energy generation attributes for retail sale to the public.

“Generation facility”, a plant or equipment used to produce, manufacture or otherwise generate electricity and which is not a transmission facility.

“Generation service”, the provision of generation and related services to a customer.

“Green building”, a building, including but not limited to, homes, offices, schools, and hospitals constructed or renovated to incorporate design techniques, technologies, and materials that lessen its dependence on fossil fuels and minimize its overall negative environmental impact.

“Horizontal market power”, a situation in which 1 or a few market participants combined have undue concentration in the ownership of facilities at the same level in the chain of production resulting in the ability to influence price to his or their own benefit.

“ISO-NE”, the independent system operator for New England.

“Mitigation”, all actions or occurrences which reduce the amount of money that a distribution company seeks to collect through the transition charge, including those amounts resulting from both matters within the company’s control and from matters not wholly within the company’s control; provided, however, that mitigation shall, in accordance with section 1G, include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) sales of capacity, energy, ancillary services, reserves, and emission allowances from generating facilities that are wholly or partly owned by the company; (2) sales of capacity, energy, ancillary services, reserves and emission allowances from generating facilities with which the company has a power purchase agreement; (3) adjustments to the company’s minimum obligations under purchase power agreements that decrease such obligations, such as those that may be obtained through contract buy-out or renegotiation; (4) residual value; (5) sales and voluntary write downs of company generation- related assets; (6) any market value in excess of net book value associated with the sale, lease, transfer or other use of the assets of the company unrelated to the provision of transmission service or distribution service at regulated prices, including, but not limited to, rights-of-way, property and intangible assets when the costs associated with the acquisition of those assets have been reflected in the company’s rates for regulated service; provided, however, that the department of public utilities shall determine the market values based on the highest prices that such assets could reasonably realize after an open and competitive sale; and (7) any allowed refinancing of stranded assets or other debt obligations as provided by law.

“Non-renewable energy supply and resource development”, shall include, but shall not be limited to, gasoline, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, offshore and onshore petroleum and facilities related to the exploration, development, processing, transportation and distribution of such resources and programs established for the allocation of supplies of such resources and the development of supply shortage contingency plans.

“Petroleum products”, propane, gasoline, unleaded gasoline, kerosene, #2 heating oil, diesel fuel, kerosene base jet fuel, and #4, 5 and 6 residual oil for utility and non-utility uses, and all petroleum derivatives, whether in bond or not, which are commonly burned to produce heat, power, electricity or motion or which are commonly processed to produce synthetic gas for burning.

“Primary energy source”, fuels used, except during periods of maintenance or repair, for the generation of electric energy; provided, however, that primary energy source shall not include the minimum amounts of fuel required for ignition, start-up, testing, flame stabilization, and control uses, and minimum amounts of fuel required to alleviate or prevent unanticipated equipment outages and emergencies declared by the governor, directly affecting the public health, safety and welfare which would result from electric power outages.

“Renewable energy”, (i) resources whose common characteristic is that they are nondepletable or are naturally replenishable but flow-limited; or (ii) existing or emerging non-fossil fuel energy sources or technologies, which have significant potential for commercialization in New England and New York, and shall include the following: solar photovoltaic or solar thermal electric energy; wind energy; ocean thermal, wave, or tidal energy; geothermal; fuel cells; landfill gas; waste-to-energy which is a component of conventional municipal solid waste plant technology in commercial use; naturally flowing water and hydroelectric; and low emission advanced biomass power conversion technologies using such fuels such as wood, by-products or waste from agricultural crops, food or animals, energy crops, biogas, liquid biofuel including but not limited to biodiesel, organic refuse-derived fuel, or algae; provided, however, that renewable energy supplies shall not include coal, oil, natural gas except when used in fuel cells, and nuclear power.

“Reseller”, a person, corporation, firm or subsidiary of any firm that carries on the trade or business of purchasing petroleum products and reselling them without substantially changing their form, or any wholesaler or retail seller of electricity or natural gas.

“Residual value”, the value of electric company assets, not including the income which may be obtained through generation facility operation.

“Retail access”, the use of transmission and distribution facilities owned by a transmission company or a distribution company to transmit or distribute electricity from a generation company, supplier or aggregator to retail customers.

“Retail customer”, a customer who purchases electricity for its own consumption.

“Securitization”, the use of rate reduction bonds to refinance debt and equity associated with transition costs under section 1H.

“Service territory”, the geographic area in which a distribution company provided distribution service on July 1, 1997.

“Small power production facility”, a facility which is any electrical generating unit which produces electric energy solely by the use, as a primary energy source, of biomass, waste, wind, water, wood, geothermal, solar energy or any combination thereof, or produces gas if it is produced from coal, biomass, solid waste or wood, and has a power production capacity which, together with any other facilities located at the same site, is not greater than 30 megawatts.

“Steam distribution company”, a person, firm, partnership, association or private corporation organized or operating under the laws of the commonwealth with the primary purpose of operating a plant, equipment or facilities for the manufacture, production, transmission, furnishing or distribution of steam to or for the public for compensation within the commonwealth; provided, however, that steam distribution company shall not include: (i) an entity producing or distributing steam exclusively on private property and solely for use by the entity or the entity’s tenant, and not for distribution or sale; or (ii) a company that produces and sells steam as a by-product of the production of electricity for sale in the wholesale electricity markets and does not own or operate pipelines off site of the generating facility for the distribution of steam.

“Supplier”, a supplier of generation service to retail customers, including power marketers, brokers and marketing affiliates of distribution companies, except that no electric company shall be considered a supplier.

“Supplying electricity in bulk”, engaging in the business of making and selling or distributing and selling electricity to electric companies, railroads, street railways or electric railroads, or to municipalities for municipal use or re-sale to their inhabitants, or to persons, associations or corporations under limitations imposed by special law or under section 90 or corresponding provisions of earlier laws.

“Transition charge”, the charge that provides the mechanism for recovery of an electric company’s transition costs.

“Transition costs”, the embedded costs as determined under section 1H which remain after accounting for maximum possible mitigation, subject to determination by the department of public utilities.

“Transmission”, the delivery of power over lines that operate at a voltage level typically equal to or greater than 69,000 volts from generating facilities across interconnected high voltage lines to where it enters a distribution system.

“Transmission company”, a company engaging in the transmission of electricity or owning, operating or controlling transmission facilities; provided, however, that a transmission company shall provide transmission service to all generation companies, municipal lighting plants, suppliers and load aggregators in the commonwealth, whether affiliated or not, on comparable, nondiscriminatory prices and terms, under federal law and regulation.

“Transmission facility”, plant or equipment used for the transmission of electricity, as determined by the FERC under federal law and regulation.

“Transmission service”, the delivery of electricity to a retail customer, supplier, distribution company or wholesale customer by a transmission company.

“Unbundled rates”, rates designed to separate the costs of providing generation, the costs of transmission and distribution services, and transition and general access charges.

“Vertical market power”, a situation in which 1 or a few market participants, having joint ownership of facilities at differing levels of the chain of production, such as generation, transmission and distribution, possess the ability to use such joint ownership to influence price to his or their own benefit.

“Wholesaler”, a person, corporation, firm or any part or subsidiary of any firm which supplies, sells, transfers or otherwise furnishes petroleum products to resellers or end-users.

“Wholesale generation company”, a company engaged in the business of producing, manufacturing or generating electricity for sale at wholesale only.

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