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  • Acts
  • 2000
  • Chapter 128 AN ACT FURTHER REGULATING THE PROVISION OF ELECTRICITY AND OTHER SERVICES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Section 7 of chapter 30B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1998 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 17, the words "public utility" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- regulated industry.

SECTION 2. Section 38H of chapter 59 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "company", in lines 7 and 80, in each instance, the following words:- or wholesale generation company.

SECTION 3. Paragraph (1) of section 52A of chapter 63 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out subparagraph (c) and inserting in place thereof the following subparagraph:-

(c) "Taxable year", any fiscal or calendar year or period for which the utility corporation is required to make a return to the federal government.

SECTION 4. Section 1A of chapter 164 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 26, the figure "10%" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- at least 10 per cent.

SECTION 5. Section 1B of said chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "be", in line 36, the following words:- at least.

SECTION 6. Paragraph (8) of the first paragraph of section 1F of said chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out subparagraph (a) and inserting in place thereof the following subparagraph:-

(a)(i) Each customer choosing a generation company or its affiliate, subsidiary, or parent company, or a supplier or aggregator shall be required to affirmatively choose such entity. It shall be unlawful for a generation company, supplier or aggregator to provide power or other services to such a customer without first obtaining said affirmative choice from the customer.

(ii) For the purposes of this section, the term "affirmative choice" shall mean the signing of a letter of authorization, third party verification, or the completion of a toll-free call made by the customer to an independent third party operating in a location physically separate from the telemarketing representative who has obtained the customer's initial oral authorization to change to a new electricity service provider.

(iii) For the purposes of this section, the term "third party verification" shall mean an appropriately qualified and independent third party operating in a location physically separate from the telemarketing representative who has obtained the customer's oral authorization to change to a new electricity service provider, such authorization to include appropriate verification data, such as the customer's date of birth and social security number; provided, however, any such information or data in the possession of the third party verifier or the marketing company shall not be used, in any instance, for commercial or other marketing purposes, and shall not be sold, delivered, or shared with any other party for such purposes.

(iv) For the purposes of this section, the term "letter of authorization" shall mean a separate document, or an easily separable document whose sole purpose is to authorize a generation company, aggregator, or supplier to initiate a primary generation company, aggregator, or supplier change. The letter of authorization must be signed and dated by the consumer requesting the primary generation company, aggregator, or supplier change.

(v) The letter of authorization shall not be combined with inducements of any kind on the same document.

(vi) At a minimum, the letter of authorization shall be printed with a readable type of sufficient size to be clearly legible and must contain clear and unambiguous language that confirms:

(A) the consumer's billing name and address;

(B) the decision to change electricity service from the current generation company, aggregator or supplier to the prospective generation company, aggregator or supplier;

(C) that the consumer understands that only one generation company, aggregator or supplier may be designated as the consumer's competitive supplier; and

(D) that the consumer understands that any primary generation company, aggregator or supplier selection the consumer chooses may involve a charge to the consumer for changing the consumer's primary generation company, aggregator or supplier.

(vii) Letters of authorization shall not suggest or require that a consumer take some action in order to retain the consumer's current generation company, aggregator or supplier.

(viii) If any portion of a letter of authorization is translated into another language, then all portions of the letter of authorization must be translated into that language.

(ix) Each customer choosing a generation company or its affiliate, subsidiary, or parent company, a supplier or aggregator shall have the right to rescind, without charge or penalty, the choice of generation company, aggregator, or supplier no later than midnight on the third day following the customer's receipt of a written confirmation of an agreement to purchase electricity and a statement of the terms and conditions of service as described in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (5). Upon switching of a customer's service provider, there shall be included in the customer's next monthly statement for distribution service an acknowledgment of the service switch, along with information on how to file a complaint regarding an unauthorized switch.

SECTION 7. Section 1G of said chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "of", in lines 174 and 186, in each instance, the following words:- at least.

SECTION 8. Said section 1G of said chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word "of", the first time it appears, in line 206, the following words:- at least.

SECTION 9. Section 47D of said chapter 164 as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 4, the word "only".

SECTION 10. Section 69J¼ of said chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 100, the word "necessary" and inserting in place thereof the following word:- reliable.

SECTION 11. Clause (j) of subparagraph (1) of the first paragraph of section 318 of chapter 164 of the acts of 1997 is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the words "renewably-generated electricity" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- electricity generated by a renewable resource.

SECTION 12. Clause (n) of said subparagraph (1) of said first paragraph of said section 318 of said chapter 164 is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the words "renewably-generated electricity" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- electricity generated by a renewable resource.

SECTION 13. Section 2 shall take effect as of November 25, 1997.

Approved July 7, 2000.