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High Voltage: Affiliate Rules Shock Utility Markets

Fortnightly Magazine - January 15 1999

to its affiliates

give the appearance that the utility speaks on behalf of its affiliate or that the customer will receive preferential treatment as a consequence of conducting business with the affiliates

give any appearance that the affiliate speaks on behalf of the utility.

V. F. 1. Corporation Identification and Advertising

A utility shall not trade upon, promote, or advertise its affiliate's affiliation with the utility, nor allow the utility name or logo to be used by the affiliate or in any material circulated by the affiliate, unless it discloses in plain legible or audible language, on the first page or at the first point where the utility name or logo appears that:

a. the affiliate "is not the same company as [i.e., PG&E, Edison, the Gas Company, etc.] the utility;"

b. the affiliate is not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission; and

c . "You do not have to buy [the affiliate's] products in order to continue to receive quality regulated services from the utility."

Source: Decision 97-12-088, Dec. 16, 1997, 183 PUR4th 503 (Cal.P.U.C.).

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Subchapter E. Competitive Safeguards (as proposed).

d. An electric distribution company shall, in cooperation with all stakeholders, establish and file with the Commission dispute resolution procedures to address alleged violations of this Code of Conduct.

i. In the event that an electric distribution company customer requests information about electric generation suppliers, the electric distribution company shall provide the latest list as compiled by the Public Utility Commission to the customer over the telephone, or in written form ¼

j. An electric distribution company or its affiliate or division shall not state or imply that any delivery services provided to an affiliate ¼ are inherently superior, solely on the basis of their affiliation with the electric distribution company ¼

Source: Docket No. L-980132.

Pennsylvania's Interim Guidelines Addressing Electric Distribution Companies' Activities Relating to Their Provider of Last Resort Obligations

4. EDCs shall not engage in false, deceptive or misleading advertising to consumers, with respect to the retail supply of electricity in the Commonwealth ¼

5. EDCs may not use their customer mailing list for the purpose of direct advertising of their [provider of last resort] service, unless the EDC provides all [electric generation suppliers] with comparable access to the same list at a reasonable fee approved by the Commission.

6. In any lawful advertisement that promotes the advantages of the PLR option, EDCs may not disparage the electric service of competing EGS by false facts or misleading statements.

Source: Docket No. M-00960890F0017, Nov. 19, 1998.

Illinois Commerce Commission

Non-Discrimination in Affiliate Transactions for Electric Utilities

Section 450.20, Non-Discrimination

a. Electric utilities shall not provide affiliated interests or customers of affiliated interests preferential treatment or advantages relative to unaffiliated entities or their customers in connection with services provided under tariffs on file ¼ This provision applies broadly to all aspects of service, including, but not limited to, responsiveness to requests for service, the availability of firm versus interruptible services, the imposition of special metering requirements, and all terms and conditions and charges specified