Virginia Power (VP) has asked the Virginia Corporation Commission to prevent a municipality, the City of Falls Church, from ousting VP as the provider of electric service (Case No. PUE9500). VP says the city notified the utility that it intended to establish either a municipal purchasing or marketing entity or an electric utility that would own or control enough transmission or distribution facilities to avoid the "sham wholesale transaction" prohibition of the Energy Policy Act of 1992. VP added that Mayor Jeffrey Tarbert says the city intends to acquire only metering and related equipment for each electric customer. VP's petition to the commission argues that "[i]t is without precedent in Virginia for a municipality to suggest that it can take over a utility's service territory and its customers by creating an entity that will own nothing more than meters and will do nothing more than bill customers, if it will do that."
VP also points out that although the city's acquisition of the facilities does not require commission approval, selling power to consumers in Falls Church while relying on VP to distribute that power to consumers in the municipality would require commission review. Noting that the city is attempting to disaggregate electric service through a transmission order issued by the FERC, VP further contends:
"It is unacceptable to allow the nature of utility services in Virginia to be determined by the federal government."
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