Rep. Kelly M. Burke

Filed: 5/4/2018

 

 


 

 


 
10000SB3051ham001LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1
AMENDMENT TO SENATE BILL 3051

2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 3051 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
 
4    "Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by adding
5Sections 2-204 and 20-140 and by changing Sections 16-115,
616-115A, 16-115B, 16-119, 19-115, and 20-110 as follows:
 
7    (220 ILCS 5/2-204 new)
8    Sec. 2-204. Alternative Retail Electric Supplier and
9Alternative Gas Supplier Enforcement and Consumer Education
10Operations Account.
11    (a) The Alternative Retail Electric Supplier and
12Alternative Gas Supplier Enforcement and Consumer Education
13Operations Account is created as a separate account within the
14Public Utilities Fund.
15    (b) The Account is administered by the Commission for the
16Commission's operations pursuant to Sections 16-115, 16-115A,

 

 

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116-115B, 16-117, 16-120, 19-115, 19120, 19-125, 19-130, and
220-110.
3    (c) All moneys used by the Commission from the Account are
4subject to appropriation by the General Assembly.
5    (d) All disbursements from the Account shall be made only
6upon warrants of the State Comptroller drawn upon the State
7Treasurer as custodian of the Account upon vouchers signed by
8the chairman or executive director or by the person or persons
9designated by the chairman or executive director for that
10purpose. The State Comptroller is authorized to draw the
11warrant upon vouchers so signed. The State Treasurer shall
12accept all warrants so signed and shall be released from
13liability for all payments made on those warrants.
14    (e) The Account shall not be subject to sweeps,
15administrative charges, or chargebacks, including, but not
16limited to, those authorized under Section 8h of the State
17Finance Act, that would in any way result in the transfer of
18any funds from the Account to any other fund of this State or
19in having any such funds utilized for any purpose other than
20the express purposes set forth in this Section.
21    (f) Assessment payments under subsection (i-5) of Section
222-202 of entities possessing certificates of service authority
23as alternative retail electric suppliers under Section 16-115
24and entities possessing certificates of service authority as
25alternative gas suppliers under Section 19-110 and fines
26imposed under subsection (i) of Section 16-115A, subsection (b)

 

 

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1of Section 16-115B, subsection (d) of Section 19-115, and
2subsection (c) of Section 19-120 shall be deposited into the
3Account.
 
4    (220 ILCS 5/16-115)
5    Sec. 16-115. Certification of alternative retail electric
6suppliers.
7    (a) Any alternative retail electric supplier must obtain a
8certificate of service authority from the Commission in
9accordance with this Section before serving any retail customer
10or other user located in this State. An alternative retail
11electric supplier may request, and the Commission may grant, a
12certificate of service authority for the entire State or for a
13specified geographic area of the State.
14    (b) An alternative retail electric supplier seeking a
15certificate of service authority shall file with the Commission
16a verified application containing information showing that the
17applicant meets the requirements of this Section. The
18alternative retail electric supplier shall publish notice of
19its application in the official State newspaper within 10 days
20following the date of its filing. No later than 45 days after
21the application is properly filed with the Commission, and such
22notice is published, the Commission shall issue its order
23granting or denying the application. The Commission may extend
24the time for considering a certificate of service authority
25request by up to 90 days and may schedule hearings on the

 

 

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1request if:
2         (1) a party to the application proceeding has formally
3    requested that the Commission hold hearings in a pleading
4    that alleges that one or more of the allegations or
5    certifications in the application is false or misleading;
6    or
7        (2) any other facts or circumstances exist that will
8    necessitate additional time or evidence in order to
9    determine whether a certificate of service authority
10    should be issued.
11    (c) An application for a certificate of service authority
12shall identify the area or areas in which the applicant intends
13to offer service and the types of services it intends to offer.
14Applicants that seek to serve residential or small commercial
15retail customers within a geographic area that is smaller than
16an electric utility's service area shall submit evidence
17demonstrating that the designation of this smaller area does
18not violate Section 16-115A. An applicant that seeks to serve
19residential or small commercial retail customers may state in
20its application for certification any limitations that will be
21imposed on the number of customers or maximum load to be
22served.
23    (d) The Commission shall grant the application for a
24certificate of service authority if it makes the findings set
25forth in this subsection based on the verified application and
26such other information as the applicant may submit:

 

 

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1        (1) That the applicant possesses sufficient technical,
2    financial and managerial resources and abilities to
3    provide the service for which it seeks a certificate of
4    service authority. In determining the level of technical,
5    financial and managerial resources and abilities which the
6    applicant must demonstrate, the Commission shall consider
7    (i) the characteristics, including the size and financial
8    sophistication, of the customers that the applicant seeks
9    to serve, and (ii) whether the applicant seeks to provide
10    electric power and energy using property, plant and
11    equipment which it owns, controls or operates, and (iii)
12    the applicant's commitment of resources to the management
13    of sales and marketing staff, through affirmative
14    managerial policies, independent audits, technology,
15    hands-on field monitoring and training, and, in the case of
16    applicants who will have sales personnel or sales agents
17    within the State of Illinois, the applicant's managerial
18    presence within the State;
19        (2) That the applicant will comply with all applicable
20    federal, State, regional and industry rules, policies,
21    practices and procedures for the use, operation, and
22    maintenance of the safety, integrity and reliability, of
23    the interconnected electric transmission system;
24        (3) That the applicant will only provide service to
25    retail customers in an electric utility's service area that
26    are eligible to take delivery services under this Act;

 

 

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1        (4) That the applicant will comply with such
2    informational or reporting requirements as the Commission
3    may by rule establish and provide the information required
4    by Section 16-112. Any data related to contracts for the
5    purchase and sale of electric power and energy shall be
6    made available for review by the Staff of the Commission on
7    a confidential and proprietary basis and only to the extent
8    and for the purposes which the Commission determines are
9    reasonably necessary in order to carry out the purposes of
10    this Act;
11        (5) That the applicant will procure renewable energy
12    resources in accordance with Section 16-115D of this Act,
13    and will source electricity from clean coal facilities, as
14    defined in Section 1-10 of the Illinois Power Agency Act,
15    in amounts at least equal to the percentages set forth in
16    subsections (c) and (d) of Section 1-75 of the Illinois
17    Power Agency Act. For purposes of this Section:
18            (i) (Blank);
19            (ii) (Blank);
20            (iii) the required sourcing of electricity
21        generated by clean coal facilities, other than the
22        initial clean coal facility, shall be limited to the
23        amount of electricity that can be procured or sourced
24        at a price at or below the benchmarks approved by the
25        Commission each year in accordance with item (1) of
26        subsection (c) and items (1) and (5) of subsection (d)

 

 

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1        of Section 1-75 of the Illinois Power Agency Act;
2            (iv) all alternative retail electric suppliers
3        shall execute a sourcing agreement to source
4        electricity from the initial clean coal facility, on
5        the terms set forth in paragraphs (3) and (4) of
6        subsection (d) of Section 1-75 of the Illinois Power
7        Agency Act, except that in lieu of the requirements in
8        subparagraphs (A)(v), (B)(i), (C)(v), and (C)(vi) of
9        paragraph (3) of that subsection (d), the applicant
10        shall execute one or more of the following:
11                (1) if the sourcing agreement is a power
12            purchase agreement, a contract with the initial
13            clean coal facility to purchase in each hour an
14            amount of electricity equal to all clean coal
15            energy made available from the initial clean coal
16            facility during such hour, which the utilities are
17            not required to procure under the terms of
18            subsection (d) of Section 1-75 of the Illinois
19            Power Agency Act, multiplied by a fraction, the
20            numerator of which is the alternative retail
21            electric supplier's retail market sales of
22            electricity (expressed in kilowatthours sold) in
23            the State during the prior calendar month and the
24            denominator of which is the total sales of
25            electricity (expressed in kilowatthours sold) in
26            the State by alternative retail electric suppliers

 

 

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1            during such prior month that are subject to the
2            requirements of this paragraph (5) of subsection
3            (d) of this Section and subsection (d) of Section
4            1-75 of the Illinois Power Agency Act plus the
5            total sales of electricity (expressed in
6            kilowatthours sold) by utilities outside of their
7            service areas during such prior month, pursuant to
8            subsection (c) of Section 16-116 of this Act; or
9                (2) if the sourcing agreement is a contract for
10            differences, a contract with the initial clean
11            coal facility in each hour with respect to an
12            amount of electricity equal to all clean coal
13            energy made available from the initial clean coal
14            facility during such hour, which the utilities are
15            not required to procure under the terms of
16            subsection (d) of Section 1-75 of the Illinois
17            Power Agency Act, multiplied by a fraction, the
18            numerator of which is the alternative retail
19            electric supplier's retail market sales of
20            electricity (expressed in kilowatthours sold) in
21            the State during the prior calendar month and the
22            denominator of which is the total sales of
23            electricity (expressed in kilowatthours sold) in
24            the State by alternative retail electric suppliers
25            during such prior month that are subject to the
26            requirements of this paragraph (5) of subsection

 

 

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1            (d) of this Section and subsection (d) of Section
2            1-75 of the Illinois Power Agency Act plus the
3            total sales of electricity (expressed in
4            kilowatthours sold) by utilities outside of their
5            service areas during such prior month, pursuant to
6            subsection (c) of Section 16-116 of this Act;
7            (v) if, in any year after the first year of
8        commercial operation, the owner of the clean coal
9        facility fails to demonstrate to the Commission that
10        the initial clean coal facility captured and
11        sequestered at least 50% of the total carbon emissions
12        that the facility would otherwise emit or that
13        sequestration of emissions from prior years has
14        failed, resulting in the release of carbon into the
15        atmosphere, the owner of the facility must offset
16        excess emissions. Any such carbon offsets must be
17        permanent, additional, verifiable, real, located
18        within the State of Illinois, and legally and
19        practicably enforceable. The costs of any such offsets
20        that are not recoverable shall not exceed $15 million
21        in any given year. No costs of any such purchases of
22        carbon offsets may be recovered from an alternative
23        retail electric supplier or its customers. All carbon
24        offsets purchased for this purpose and any carbon
25        emission credits associated with sequestration of
26        carbon from the facility must be permanently retired.

 

 

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1        The initial clean coal facility shall not forfeit its
2        designation as a clean coal facility if the facility
3        fails to fully comply with the applicable carbon
4        sequestration requirements in any given year, provided
5        the requisite offsets are purchased. However, the
6        Attorney General, on behalf of the People of the State
7        of Illinois, may specifically enforce the facility's
8        sequestration requirement and the other terms of this
9        contract provision. Compliance with the sequestration
10        requirements and offset purchase requirements that
11        apply to the initial clean coal facility shall be
12        reviewed annually by an independent expert retained by
13        the owner of the initial clean coal facility, with the
14        advance written approval of the Attorney General;
15            (vi) The Commission shall, after notice and
16        hearing, revoke the certification of any alternative
17        retail electric supplier that fails to execute a
18        sourcing agreement with the initial clean coal
19        facility as required by item (5) of subsection (d) of
20        this Section. The sourcing agreements with this
21        initial clean coal facility shall be subject to both
22        approval of the initial clean coal facility by the
23        General Assembly and satisfaction of the requirements
24        of item (4) of subsection (d) of Section 1-75 of the
25        Illinois Power Agency Act, and shall be executed within
26        90 days after any such approval by the General

 

 

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1        Assembly. The Commission shall not accept an
2        application for certification from an alternative
3        retail electric supplier that has lost certification
4        under this subsection (d), or any corporate affiliate
5        thereof, for at least one year from the date of
6        revocation;
7        (6) With respect to an applicant that seeks to serve
8    residential or small commercial retail customers, that the
9    area to be served by the applicant and any limitations it
10    proposes on the number of customers or maximum amount of
11    load to be served meet the provisions of Section 16-115A,
12    provided, that the Commission can extend the time for
13    considering such a certificate request by up to 90 days,
14    and can schedule hearings on such a request;
15        (7) That the applicant meets the requirements of
16    subsection (a) of Section 16-128; and
17        (8) That the applicant is not the subject of any
18    lawsuit filed in a court of law or formal complaints filed
19    with a regulatory agency alleging fraud, deception, or
20    unfair marketing practices or other similar allegations
21    identifying the name, case number, and jurisdiction of each
22    such lawsuit or complaint. For the purposes of this item
23    (8), "formal complaints" include only those complaints
24    that seek a binding determination from a state or federal
25    regulatory body;
26        (9) That the applicant shall continue to comply with

 

 

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1    requirements for certification stated in Section 16-115;
2        (10) That the applicant seeking to service all eligible
3    retail customers shall execute and maintain a license or
4    permit bond issued by a qualifying surety or insurance
5    company authorized to transact business in the State of
6    Illinois in favor of the People of the State of Illinois.
7    The amount of the bond is $600,000, and the bond is
8    conditioned upon the full and faithful performance of all
9    duties and obligations of the applicant as an alternative
10    retail electric supplier and is valid for a period of not
11    less than one year. The cost of the bond shall be paid by
12    the applicant. The applicant shall file a copy of this
13    bond, with a notarized verification page from the issuer,
14    as part of its application for certification under 83 Ill.
15    Adm. Code 451.50 and as a condition for continuing
16    compliance with certification requirements for alternative
17    retail electric suppliers under 83 Ill. Adm. Code
18    451.Subpart H; and
19        (11) (8) That the applicant will comply with all other
20    applicable laws and regulations.
21    The Commission may deny with prejudice an application in
22which the applicant repeatedly fails to provide the Commission
23with information sufficient for the Commission to grant the
24application.
25    (d-5) (Blank).
26    (e) A retail customer that owns a cogeneration or

 

 

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1self-generation facility and that seeks certification only to
2provide electric power and energy from such facility to retail
3customers at separate locations which customers are both (i)
4owned by, or a subsidiary or other corporate affiliate of, such
5applicant and (ii) eligible for delivery services, shall be
6granted a certificate of service authority upon filing an
7application and notifying the Commission that it has entered
8into an agreement with the relevant electric utilities pursuant
9to Section 16-118. Provided, however, that if the retail
10customer owning such cogeneration or self-generation facility
11would not be charged a transition charge due to the exemption
12provided under subsection (f) of Section 16-108 prior to the
13certification, and the retail customers at separate locations
14are taking delivery services in conjunction with purchasing
15power and energy from the facility, the retail customer on
16whose premises the facility is located shall not thereafter be
17required to pay transition charges on the power and energy that
18such retail customer takes from the facility.
19    (f) The Commission shall have the authority to promulgate
20rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this
21Section. On or before May 1, 1999, the Commission shall adopt a
22rule or rules applicable to the certification of those
23alternative retail electric suppliers that seek to serve only
24nonresidential retail customers with maximum electrical
25demands of one megawatt or more which shall provide for (i)
26expedited and streamlined procedures for certification of such

 

 

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1alternative retail electric suppliers and (ii) specific
2criteria which, if met by any such alternative retail electric
3supplier, shall constitute the demonstration of technical,
4financial and managerial resources and abilities to provide
5service required by subsection (d) (1) of this Section, such as
6a requirement to post a bond or letter of credit, from a
7responsible surety or financial institution, of sufficient
8size for the nature and scope of the services to be provided;
9demonstration of adequate insurance for the scope and nature of
10the services to be provided; and experience in providing
11similar services in other jurisdictions.
12    (g) An alternative retail electric supplier may seek
13confidential treatment for the following information by filing
14an affidavit with the Commission so long as the affidavit meets
15the requirements in this subsection (g):
16        (1) the total annual kilowatt-hours delivered and sold
17    by an alternative retail electric supplier to retail
18    customers within each utility service territory and the
19    total annual kilowatt-hours delivered and sold by an
20    alternative retail electric supplier to retail customers
21    in all utility service territories in the preceding
22    calendar year as required by 83 Ill. Adm. Code 451.770;
23        (2) the total peak demand supplied by an alternative
24    retail electric supplier during the previous year in each
25    utility service territory as required by 83 Ill. Adm. Code
26    465.40;

 

 

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1        (3) a good faith estimate of the amount an alternative
2    retail electric supplier expects to be obliged to pay the
3    utility under single billing tariffs during the next 12
4    months and the amount of any bond or letter of credit used
5    to demonstrate an alternative retail electric supplier's
6    credit worthiness to provide single billing services
7    pursuant to 83 Ill. Adm. Code 451.510(a) and (b).
8    The affidavit must be filed contemporaneously with the
9information for which confidential treatment is sought and must
10clearly state that the affiant seeks confidential treatment
11pursuant to this subsection (g) and the information for which
12confidential treatment is sought must be clearly identified on
13the confidential version of the document filed with the
14Commission. The affidavit must be accompanied by a
15"confidential" and a "public" version of the document or
16documents containing the information for which confidential
17treatment is sought.
18    If the alternative retail electric supplier has met the
19affidavit requirements of this subsection (g), then the
20Commission shall afford confidential treatment to the
21information identified in the affidavit for a period of 2 years
22after the date the affidavit is received by the Commission.
23    Nothing in this subsection (g) prevents an alternative
24retail electric supplier from filing a petition with the
25Commission seeking confidential treatment for information
26beyond that identified in this subsection (g) or for

 

 

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1information contained in other reports or documents filed with
2the Commission.
3    Nothing in this subsection (g) prevents the Commission, on
4its own motion, or any party from filing a formal petition with
5the Commission seeking to reconsider the conferring of
6confidential status on an item of information afforded
7confidential treatment pursuant to this subsection (g).
8    The Commission, on its own motion, may at any time initiate
9a docketed proceeding to investigate the continued
10applicability of this subsection (g) to the information
11contained in items (i), (ii), and (iii) of this subsection (g).
12If, at the end of such investigation, the Commission determines
13that a particular item of information should no longer be
14eligible for the affidavit-based process outlined in this
15subsection (g), the Commission may enter an order to remove
16that item from the list of items eligible for the process set
17forth in this subsection (g). Notwithstanding any such order,
18in the event the Commission makes such a determination, nothing
19in this subsection (g) prevents an alternative retail electric
20supplier desiring confidential treatment for such information
21from filing a formal petition with the Commission seeking
22confidential treatment for such information.
23(Source: P.A. 99-332, eff. 8-10-15.)
 
24    (220 ILCS 5/16-115A)
25    Sec. 16-115A. Obligations of alternative retail electric

 

 

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1suppliers.
2    (a) An alternative retail electric supplier shall:
3        (i) comply with the requirements imposed on public
4    utilities by Sections 8-201 through 8-207, 8-301, 8-505 and
5    8-507 of this Act, to the extent that these Sections have
6    application to the services being offered by the
7    alternative retail electric supplier; and
8        (ii) continue to comply with the requirements for
9    certification stated in subsection (d) of Section 16-115.
10    (b) An alternative retail electric supplier shall obtain
11verifiable authorization from a customer, in a form or manner
12approved by the Commission consistent with Section 2EE of the
13Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, before the
14customer is switched from another supplier.
15    (c) No alternative retail electric supplier, or electric
16utility other than the electric utility in whose service area a
17customer is located, shall (i) enter into or employ any
18arrangements which have the effect of preventing a retail
19customer with a maximum electrical demand of less than one
20megawatt from having access to the services of the electric
21utility in whose service area the customer is located or (ii)
22charge retail customers for such access. This subsection shall
23not be construed to prevent an arms-length agreement between a
24supplier and a retail customer that sets a term of service,
25notice period for terminating service and provisions governing
26early termination through a tariff or contract as allowed by

 

 

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1Section 16-119.
2    (d) An alternative retail electric supplier that is
3certified to serve residential or small commercial retail
4customers shall not:
5        (1) deny service to a customer or group of customers
6    nor establish any differences as to prices, terms,
7    conditions, services, products, facilities, or in any
8    other respect, whereby such denial or differences are based
9    upon race, gender or income.
10        (2) deny service to a customer or group of customers
11    based on locality nor establish any unreasonable
12    difference as to prices, terms, conditions, services,
13    products, or facilities as between localities.
14    (e) An alternative retail electric supplier shall comply
15with the following requirements with respect to the marketing,
16offering and provision of products or services to residential
17and small commercial retail customers:
18        (i) Any marketing materials which make statements
19    concerning prices, terms and conditions of service shall
20    contain information that adequately discloses the prices,
21    terms and conditions of the products or services that the
22    alternative retail electric supplier is offering or
23    selling to the customer. All marketing materials,
24    including electronic marketing materials, that include a
25    price per kilowatt hour for competitive electricity
26    service shall include the following statement: "(Name of

 

 

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1    alternative retail electric supplier) is not the same
2    entity as your electric utility delivery company. You are
3    not required to enroll with (name of alternative retail
4    electric supplier). For information on comparison rates
5    for utility electric supply service and understanding your
6    electric supply choices, go to the Illinois Commerce
7    Commission's free website at www.pluginillinois.org.".
8    This requirement does not apply to materials that do not
9    list a price per kilowatt hour for competitive electricity
10    services or to billboards.
11        (ii) Before any customer is switched from another
12    supplier, the alternative retail electric supplier shall
13    give the customer written information that adequately
14    discloses, in plain language, the prices, terms and
15    conditions of the products and services being offered and
16    sold to the customer.
17        (iii) An alternative retail electric supplier shall
18    provide documentation to the Commission and to customers
19    that substantiates any claims made by the alternative
20    retail electric supplier regarding the technologies and
21    fuel types used to generate the electricity offered or sold
22    to customers.
23        (iv) The alternative retail electric supplier shall
24    provide to the customer (1) itemized billing statements
25    that describe the products and services provided to the
26    customer and their prices, and (2) an additional statement,

 

 

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1    at least annually, that adequately discloses the average
2    monthly prices, and the terms and conditions, of the
3    products and services sold to the customer.
4        (v) No less than 30 days before a residential
5    customer's variable rate changes, the alternative retail
6    electric supplier shall send a separate written notice to
7    the customer informing the customer of an upcoming rate
8    change if the residential variable rate customer's rate
9    increases by more than 20% from one monthly billing period
10    to the next. This requirement does not apply if the
11    variable rate can be determined based on some combination
12    of: (1) publicly available information, such as an index,
13    and (2) a formula provided by the alternative retail
14    electric supplier in the contract using only publicly
15    available information or for time of use based pricing. A
16    customer shall have the right to choose to receive the
17    notice in electronic or paper form, including an option to
18    receive notice via login through an online account with the
19    alternative retail electric supplier.
20        (vi) The alternative retail electric supplier shall
21    send a separate written notice if a residential customer's
22    contract includes a provision that results in a change to
23    the residential customer's rate plan of the upcoming change
24    at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days, before the
25    change. The separate written notice shall conform to the
26    requirements in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 412.165(e). A customer

 

 

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1    shall have the right to choose to receive the notice in
2    electronic or paper form, including an option to receive
3    notice via login through an online account with the
4    alternative retail electric supplier.
5    For purposes of this subsection (e), "variable" means the
6per-unit charge for electric power and energy service changes
7at any time during the term of the contract but do not change
8more than once per billing period.
9    (f) An alternative retail electric supplier may limit the
10overall size or availability of a service offering by
11specifying one or more of the following: a maximum number of
12customers, maximum amount of electric load to be served, time
13period during which the offering will be available, or other
14comparable limitation, but not including the geographic
15locations of customers within the area which the alternative
16retail electric supplier is certificated to serve. The
17alternative retail electric supplier shall file the terms and
18conditions of such service offering including the applicable
19limitations with the Commission prior to making the service
20offering available to customers.
21    (g) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as
22preventing an alternative retail electric supplier, which is an
23affiliate of, or which contracts with, (i) an industry or trade
24organization or association, (ii) a membership organization or
25association that exists for a purpose other than the purchase
26of electricity, or (iii) another organization that meets

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 22 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1criteria established in a rule adopted by the Commission, from
2offering through the organization or association services at
3prices, terms and conditions that are available solely to the
4members of the organization or association.
5    (h) An alternative retail electric supplier shall maintain
6sufficient managerial resources and abilities to provide the
7service for which it has a certificate of service authority. In
8determining the level of managerial resources and abilities
9that the alternative retail electric supplier shall
10demonstrate, the Commission shall consider, in addition to the
11requirements in subsection (d) of Section 16-115, the
12following:
13        (1) complaints to the Commission by consumers
14    regarding the alternative retail electric supplier,
15    including those that reflect on the alternative retail
16    electric supplier's ability to properly manage
17    solicitation and authorization; and
18        (2) the alternative retail electric supplier's
19    involvement in the Commission's consumer complaint
20    process, including the resources the alternative retail
21    electric supplier dedicates to the process and the
22    alternative retail electric supplier's ability to manage
23    the issues raised by complaints and the resolutions of the
24    complaints.
25    The provisions of this subsection (h) apply only to
26alternative retail electric suppliers serving or seeking to

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 23 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1serve residential or small commercial customers and only to the
2extent those alternative retail electric suppliers provide
3services to residential or small commercial customers, unless
4otherwise noted.
5    For purposes of this subsection (h), "complaint" means an
6objection made to an alternative retail electric supplier by a
7customer as to its charges, facilities, or service, the
8disposal of which requires investigation or analysis.
9"Complaint" includes a customer identifying and asking an
10alternative retail electric supplier to address or resolve a
11problem or concern. "Complaint" does not include contact that
12is limited to inquiry or seeking information.
13    (i) Complaints may be filed with the Commission under this
14Section by a customer whose electric supply service has been
15provided by an alternative electric supplier in a manner not in
16compliance with subsection (b), (d), (e), or (h). If, after
17notice and hearing, the Commission finds that an alternative
18retail electric supplier has violated subsection (b), (d), (e),
19or (h), then the Commission may, in its discretion, do any one
20or more of the following:
21        (1) require the violating alternative retail electric
22    supplier to refund the customer charges collected in excess
23    of those that would have been charged by the customer's
24    authorized electric provider;
25        (2) require the violating alternative retail electric
26    supplier to pay a fine of $5,000 for each violation;

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 24 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1        (3) issue a cease and desist order; or
2        (4) for a pattern of violations or for intentionally
3    violating a cease and desist order, revoke the violating
4    alternative retail electric supplier's certificate of
5    service authority.
6    (j) All fines shall be deposited into the Alternative
7Retail Electric Supplier and Alternative Gas Supplier
8Enforcement and Consumer Education Operations Account.
9(Source: P.A. 90-561, eff. 12-16-97.)
 
10    (220 ILCS 5/16-115B)
11    Sec. 16-115B. Commission oversight of services provided by
12alternative retail electric suppliers.
13    (a) The Commission shall have jurisdiction in accordance
14with the provisions of Article X of this Act to entertain and
15dispose of any complaint against any alternative retail
16electric supplier alleging (i) that the alternative retail
17electric supplier has violated or is in nonconformance with any
18applicable provisions of Section 16-115 through Section
1916-115A; (ii) that an alternative retail electric supplier
20serving retail customers having maximum demands of less than
21one megawatt has failed to provide service in accordance with
22the terms of its contract or contracts with such customer or
23customers; (iii) that the alternative retail electric supplier
24has violated or is in non-conformance with the delivery
25services tariff of, or any of its agreements relating to

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 25 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1delivery services with, the electric utility, municipal
2system, or electric cooperative providing delivery services;
3or (iv) that the alternative retail electric supplier has
4violated or failed to comply with the requirements of Sections
58-201 through 8-207, 8-301, 8-505, or 8-507 of this Act as made
6applicable to alternative retail electric suppliers.
7    (b) By January 1 of 2019 and by January 1 of each year
8thereafter, the Commission shall have the authority on its own
9motion to order an alternative retail electric supplier to
10enter into a Commission compliance plan as described below:
11        (1) The Commission shall annually review the previous
12    12 months of complaint statistics for trends and patterns,
13    including whether particular alternative retail electric
14    suppliers have consistently higher than average complaint
15    rates related to a specific marketing channel. The
16    Commission shall do so without initiating a docketed
17    proceeding.
18        (2) If the Commission determines that an alternative
19    retail electric supplier has a consistently higher than
20    average complaint rate related to a specific marketing
21    channel, the Commission staff shall informally investigate
22    the reasons for the consistently higher than average
23    complaint rate. The informal investigation shall include
24    at least one invitation to the affected alternative retail
25    electric supplier for a meeting. Subject to the limitations
26    in paragraph (3), the results of the information

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 26 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    investigation shall be confidential.
2        (3) If, pursuant to its informal investigation, the
3    Commission staff recommends that the Commission pursue a
4    compliance plan for a particular alternative retail
5    electric supplier, then the Commission staff shall provide
6    the Commission with a report. Upon receipt of the report,
7    the Commission may open a proceeding to consider whether to
8    impose a compliance plan and what that plan shall include.
9    The Commission shall issue a final order in this proceeding
10    no later than one year after the proceeding is initiated.
11        (4) A compliance plan shall be developed to address the
12    substance of complaints identified in the report prepared
13    pursuant to paragraph (3) or other substantiated
14    complaints and shall be proportional to the substantiated
15    violations of this Act, the Commission's rules, or other
16    legal requirements imposed on the alternative retail
17    electric supplier.
18        (5) Upon its own motion or on complaint of a party, if
19    the Commission finds that an alternative retail electric
20    supplier did not follow its compliance plan and failed to
21    cure any defects or deficiencies in compliance within a
22    reasonable time frame, the Commission may impose a penalty
23    consistent with subsections (c) and (d).
24    For purposes of this subsection (b), "complaint" means an
25objection made to an alternative retail electric supplier, by a
26customer or another entity, as to its charges, facilities, or

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 27 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1service, the disposal of which requires investigation or
2analysis. "Complaint" includes a customer or other entity
3identifying and asking an alternative retail electric supplier
4to address or resolve a problem or concern. "Complaint" does
5not include contact that is limited to inquiry or seeking
6information.
7    (c) (b) The Commission shall have authority, after notice
8and hearing held on complaint or on the Commission's own
9motion, to do any one or more of the following:
10        (1) If the Commission finds, upon receipt of a report
11    pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (b), sufficient
12    evidence of a repeated pattern of conduct or circumstances
13    that is contrary to Section 16-115A and 83 Adm. Ill. Code
14    Part 412 and that the public interest, safety, and welfare
15    imperatively requires immediate action, issue an informal
16    notice, without initiating a docketed proceeding, to the
17    alternative retail electric supplier to show cause why an
18    order to cease and desist should not be entered against the
19    alternative retail electric supplier. The Commission's
20    informal notice shall clearly set forth the evidence relied
21    upon by the Commission, including, but not limited to, the
22    provisions in subsection (d) of Section 16-115 and
23    subsection (h) of Section 16-115A. The Commission shall
24    allow the alternative retail electric supplier at least 10
25    business days from the date of the informal notice to file
26    an answer to the satisfaction of the Commission. Failure of

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 28 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    the alternative retail electric supplier to answer to the
2    satisfaction of the Commission shall cause an order to
3    cease and desist to be issued immediately by the
4    Commission.
5        (2) Order (1) To order an alternative retail electric
6    supplier to cease and desist, or correct, any violation of
7    or non-conformance with the provisions of Section 16-115 or
8    16-115A. ;
9        (3) Impose (2) To impose financial penalties for
10    violations of or non-conformances with the provisions of
11    Section 16-115 or 16-115A, not to exceed (i) $10,000 per
12    occurrence or (ii) $30,000 per day for those violations or
13    non-conformances which continue after the Commission
14    issues a cease and desist order. ; and
15        (4) Alter (3) To alter, modify, revoke, or suspend the
16    certificate of service authority of an alternative retail
17    electric supplier for substantial or repeated violations
18    of or non-conformances with the provisions of Section
19    16-115 or 16-115A.
20    (d) If the Commission assesses a penalty against an
21alternative retail electric supplier under any provision of
22this Article XVI, the Commission shall determine on a
23case-by-case basis the value of that penalty based on the
24following factors:
25        (1) the nature of the violations found and the
26    alternative retail electric supplier's history of

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 29 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    substantiated complaints or adjudicated violations;
2        (2) the alternative retail electric supplier's
3    culpability;
4        (3) whether the factual and legal circumstances
5    surrounding the violations were clear at the time of the
6    violation;
7        (4) whether the alternative retail electric supplier
8    had actual notice of the violations with a reasonable time
9    to mitigate;
10        (5) existence or strength of compliance and internal
11    monitoring programs;
12        (6) whether the alternative retail electric supplier
13    made a good faith effort to compensate consumers harmed;
14    and
15        (7) any context-appropriate factors that the
16    Commission deems appropriate.
17    The Commission may by majority vote adopt and change from
18time to time a public guidance document setting out its
19interpretation of this subsection.
20    (e) All fines shall be deposited into the Alternative
21Retail Electric Supplier and Alternative Gas Supplier
22Enforcement and Consumer Education Operations Account.
23    (f) The Commission shall conduct at least one mandatory
24compliance education workshop annually for alternative retail
25electric suppliers that service retail and small commercial
26retail customers in an electric utility's service area

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 30 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1regarding statutory and rule requirements, consumer complaint
2statistics, and any other information determined necessary by
3the Commission. Completion of the Commission's compliance
4workshop by an alternative retail electric supplier must be in
5person and is a condition for continuing compliance with
6certification requirements for an alternative retail electric
7supplier under 83 Ill. Adm. Code 451.Subpart H.
8(Source: P.A. 90-561, eff. 12-16-97.)
 
9    (220 ILCS 5/16-119)
10    Sec. 16-119. Switching suppliers.
11    (a) An electric utility or an alternative retail electric
12supplier may establish a term of service, notice period for
13terminating service and provisions governing early termination
14through a tariff or contract. A customer may change its
15supplier subject to tariff or contract terms and conditions.
16Any notice provisions; or provision for a fee, charge or
17penalty with early termination of a contract; shall be
18conspicuously disclosed in any tariff or contract. Any tariff
19filed or contract renewed or entered into on and after the
20effective date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General
21Assembly that contains an early termination clause shall
22disclose the amount of the early termination fee or penalty,
23provided that any early termination fee or penalty shall not
24exceed $50 total for residential customers and $150 for small
25commercial retail customers as defined in Section 16-102 of

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 31 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1this Act, regardless of whether or not the tariff or contract
2is a multiyear tariff or contract. A customer shall remain
3responsible for any unpaid charges owed to an electric utility
4or alternative retail electric supplier at the time it switches
5to another provider.
6    The caps on early termination fees and penalties under this
7Section shall apply only to early termination fees and
8penalties for early termination of electric service. The caps
9shall not apply to charges or fees for devices, equipment, or
10other services provided by the utility or alternative retail
11electric supplier.
12    (b) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (a),
13each electric utility shall, within 90 days after the effective
14date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly,
15modify its tariff carrying out this Section to reflect the
16following:
17        (1) No customer who is receiving Low-Income Home Energy
18    Assistance Program funds may be switched to an alternative
19    retail electric supplier except subject to a government
20    aggregation program or to an order entered by the
21    Commission that approves a Low-Income Home Energy
22    Assistance Program savings guarantee plan for alternative
23    retail electric supplier offerings.
24        (2) If an alternative retail electric supplier
25    attempts to enroll a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
26    Program customer other than through a government

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 32 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    aggregation program or an order entered by the Commission
2    that approves a Low-Income Energy Assistance Program
3    savings guarantee plan for alternative retail electric
4    supplier offerings, the electric utility shall deny the
5    supplier switch and inform the alternative retail electric
6    supplier of the reason.
7(Source: P.A. 99-103, eff. 7-22-15; 99-107, eff. 7-22-15.)
 
8    (220 ILCS 5/19-115)
9    Sec. 19-115. Obligations of alternative gas suppliers.
10    (a) The provisions of this Section shall apply only to
11alternative gas suppliers serving or seeking to serve
12residential or small commercial customers and only to the
13extent such alternative gas suppliers provide services to
14residential or small commercial customers.
15    (b) An alternative gas supplier shall:
16        (1) comply with the requirements imposed on public
17    utilities by Sections 8-201 through 8-207, 8-301, 8-505 and
18    8-507 of this Act, to the extent that these Sections have
19    application to the services being offered by the
20    alternative gas supplier;
21        (2) continue to comply with the requirements for
22    certification stated in Section 19-110;
23        (3) comply with complaint procedures established by
24    the Commission;
25        (4) except as provided in subsection (h) of this

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 33 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    Section, file with the Chief Clerk of the Commission,
2    within 20 business days after the effective date of this
3    amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly, a copy of bill
4    formats, standard customer contract and customer complaint
5    and resolution procedures, and the name and telephone
6    number of the company representative whom Commission
7    employees may contact to resolve customer complaints and
8    other matters. In the case of a gas supplier that engages
9    in door-to-door solicitation, the company shall file with
10    the Commission the consumer information disclosure
11    required by item (3) of subsection (c) of Section 2DDD of
12    the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and
13    shall file updated information within 10 business days
14    after changes in any of the documents or information
15    required to be filed by this item (4); and
16        (5) maintain a customer call center where customers can
17    reach a representative and receive current information. At
18    least once every 6 months, each alternative gas supplier
19    shall provide written information to customers explaining
20    how to contact the call center. The average answer time for
21    calls placed to the call center shall not exceed 60 seconds
22    where a representative or automated system is ready to
23    render assistance and/or accept information to process
24    calls. The abandon rate for calls placed to the call center
25    shall not exceed 10%. Each alternative gas supplier shall
26    maintain records of the call center's telephone answer time

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 34 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    performance and abandon call rate. These records shall be
2    kept for a minimum of 2 years and shall be made available
3    to Commission personnel upon request. In the event that
4    answer times and/or abandon rates exceed the limits
5    established above, the reporting alternative gas supplier
6    may provide the Commission or its personnel with
7    explanatory details. At a minimum, these records shall
8    contain the following information in monthly increments:
9            (A) total number of calls received;
10            (B) number of calls answered;
11            (C) average answer time;
12            (D) number of abandoned calls; and
13            (E) abandon call rate.
14    Alternative gas suppliers that do not have electronic
15answering capability that meets these requirements shall
16notify the Manager of the Commission's Consumer Services
17Division or its successor within 30 days following the
18effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th General
19Assembly and work with Staff to develop individualized
20reporting requirements as to the call volume and responsiveness
21of the call center.
22    On or before March 1 of every year, each entity shall file
23a report with the Chief Clerk of the Commission for the
24preceding calendar year on its answer time and abandon call
25rate for its call center. A copy of the report shall be sent to
26the Manager of the Consumer Services Division or its successor.

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 35 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    (c) An alternative gas supplier shall not submit or execute
2a change in a customer's selection of a natural gas provider
3unless and until (i) the alternative gas supplier first
4discloses all material terms and conditions of the offer to the
5customer; (ii) the alternative gas supplier has obtained the
6customer's express agreement to accept the offer after the
7disclosure of all material terms and conditions of the offer;
8and (iii) the alternative gas supplier has confirmed the
9request for a change in accordance with one of the following
10procedures:
11        (1) The alternative gas supplier has obtained the
12    customer's written or electronically signed authorization
13    in a form that meets the following requirements:
14            (A) An alternative gas supplier shall obtain any
15        necessary written or electronically signed
16        authorization from a customer for a change in natural
17        gas service by using a letter of agency as specified in
18        this Section. Any letter of agency that does not
19        conform with this Section is invalid.
20            (B) The letter of agency shall be a separate
21        document (or an easily separable document containing
22        only the authorization language described in item (E)
23        of this paragraph (1)) whose sole purpose is to
24        authorize a natural gas provider change. The letter of
25        agency must be signed and dated by the customer
26        requesting the natural gas provider change.

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 36 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1            (C) The letter of agency shall not be combined with
2        inducements of any kind on the same document.
3            (D) Notwithstanding items (A) and (B) of this
4        paragraph (1), the letter of agency may be combined
5        with checks that contain only the required letter of
6        agency language prescribed in item (E) of this
7        paragraph (1) and the necessary information to make the
8        check a negotiable instrument. The letter of agency
9        check shall not contain any promotional language or
10        material. The letter of agency check shall contain in
11        easily readable, bold face type on the face of the
12        check a notice that the consumer is authorizing a
13        natural gas provider change by signing the check. The
14        letter of agency language also shall be placed near the
15        signature line on the back of the check.
16            (E) At a minimum, the letter of agency must be
17        printed with a print of sufficient size to be clearly
18        legible and must contain clear and unambiguous
19        language that confirms:
20                (i) the customer's billing name and address;
21                (ii) the decision to change the natural gas
22            provider from the current provider to the
23            prospective alternative gas supplier;
24                (iii) the terms, conditions, and nature of the
25            service to be provided to the customer, including,
26            but not limited to, the rates for the service

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 37 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1            contracted for by the customer; and
2                (iv) that the customer understands that any
3            natural gas provider selection the customer
4            chooses may involve a charge to the customer for
5            changing the customer's natural gas provider.
6            (F) Letters of agency shall not suggest or require
7        that a customer take some action in order to retain the
8        customer's current natural gas provider.
9            (G) If any portion of a letter of agency is
10        translated into another language, then all portions of
11        the letter of agency must be translated into that
12        language.
13        (2) An appropriately qualified independent third party
14    has obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth
15    in this paragraph (2), the customer's oral authorization to
16    change natural gas providers that confirms and includes
17    appropriate verification data. The independent third party
18    must (i) not be owned, managed, controlled, or directed by
19    the alternative gas supplier or the alternative gas
20    supplier's marketing agent; (ii) not have any financial
21    incentive to confirm provider change requests for the
22    alternative gas supplier or the alternative gas supplier's
23    marketing agent; and (iii) operate in a location physically
24    separate from the alternative gas supplier or the
25    alternative gas supplier's marketing agent. Automated
26    third-party verification systems and 3-way conference

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 38 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    calls may be used for verification purposes so long as the
2    other requirements of this paragraph (2) are satisfied. An
3    alternative gas supplier or alternative gas supplier's
4    sales representative initiating a 3-way conference call or
5    a call through an automated verification system must drop
6    off the call once the 3-way connection has been
7    established. All third-party verification methods shall
8    elicit, at a minimum, the following information:
9            (A) the identity of the customer;
10            (B) confirmation that the person on the call is
11        authorized to make the provider change;
12            (C) confirmation that the person on the call wants
13        to make the provider change;
14            (D) the names of the providers affected by the
15        change;
16            (E) the service address of the service to be
17        switched; and
18            (F) the price of the service to be provided and the
19        material terms and conditions of the service being
20        offered, including whether any early termination fees
21        apply.
22        Third-party verifiers may not market the alternative
23    gas supplier's services by providing additional
24    information. All third-party verifications shall be
25    conducted in the same language that was used in the
26    underlying sales transaction and shall be recorded in their

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 39 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    entirety. Submitting alternative gas suppliers shall
2    maintain and preserve audio records of verification of
3    customer authorization for a minimum period of 2 years
4    after obtaining the verification. Automated systems must
5    provide customers with an option to speak with a live
6    person at any time during the call.
7        (3) The alternative gas supplier has obtained the
8    customer's authorization via an automated verification
9    system to change natural gas service via telephone. An
10    automated verification system is an electronic system
11    that, through pre-recorded prompts, elicits voice
12    responses, touchtone responses, or both, from the customer
13    and records both the prompts and the customer's responses.
14    Such authorization must elicit the information in
15    paragraph (2)(A) through (F) of this subsection (c).
16    Alternative gas suppliers electing to confirm sales
17    electronically through an automated verification system
18    shall establish one or more toll-free telephone numbers
19    exclusively for that purpose. Calls to the number or
20    numbers shall connect a customer to a voice response unit,
21    or similar mechanism, that makes a date-stamped,
22    time-stamped recording of the required information
23    regarding the alternative gas supplier change.
24        The alternative gas supplier shall not use such
25    electronic authorization systems to market its services.
26        (4) When a consumer initiates the call to the

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 40 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    prospective alternative gas supplier, in order to enroll
2    the consumer as a customer, the prospective alternative gas
3    supplier must, with the consent of the customer, make a
4    date-stamped, time-stamped audio recording that elicits,
5    at a minimum, the following information:
6            (A) the identity of the customer;
7            (B) confirmation that the person on the call is
8        authorized to make the provider change;
9            (C) confirmation that the person on the call wants
10        to make the provider change;
11            (D) the names of the providers affected by the
12        change;
13            (E) the service address of the service to be
14        switched; and
15            (F) the price of the service to be supplied and the
16        material terms and conditions of the service being
17        offered, including whether any early termination fees
18        apply.
19        Submitting alternative gas suppliers shall maintain
20    and preserve the audio records containing the information
21    set forth above for a minimum period of 2 years.
22        (5) In the event that a customer enrolls for service
23    from an alternative gas supplier via an Internet website,
24    the alternative gas supplier shall obtain an
25    electronically signed letter of agency in accordance with
26    paragraph (1) of this subsection (c) and any customer

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 41 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    information shall be protected in accordance with all
2    applicable statutes and regulations. In addition, an
3    alternative gas supplier shall provide the following when
4    marketing via an Internet website:
5            (A) The Internet enrollment website shall, at a
6        minimum, include:
7                (i) a copy of the alternative gas supplier's
8            customer contract that clearly and conspicuously
9            discloses all terms and conditions; and
10                (ii) a conspicuous prompt for the customer to
11            print or save a copy of the contract.
12            (B) Any electronic version of the contract shall be
13        identified by version number, in order to ensure the
14        ability to verify the particular contract to which the
15        customer assents.
16            (C) Throughout the duration of the alternative gas
17        supplier's contract with a customer, the alternative
18        gas supplier shall retain and, within 3 business days
19        of the customer's request, provide to the customer an
20        e-mail, paper, or facsimile of the terms and conditions
21        of the numbered contract version to which the customer
22        assents.
23            (D) The alternative gas supplier shall provide a
24        mechanism by which both the submission and receipt of
25        the electronic letter of agency are recorded by time
26        and date.

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 42 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1            (E) After the customer completes the electronic
2        letter of agency, the alternative gas supplier shall
3        disclose conspicuously through its website that the
4        customer has been enrolled, and the alternative gas
5        supplier shall provide the customer an enrollment
6        confirmation number.
7        (6) When a customer is solicited in person by the
8    alternative gas supplier's sales agent, the alternative
9    gas supplier may only obtain the customer's authorization
10    to change natural gas service through the method provided
11    for in paragraph (2) of this subsection (c).
12    Alternative gas suppliers must be in compliance with this
13subsection (c) within 90 days after the effective date of this
14amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly.
15    Notwithstanding the requirements under this subsection
16(c), each natural gas utility shall, within 90 days after the
17effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General
18Assembly, modify its tariff carrying out this Section to
19reflect the following:
20        (i) No customer who is receiving Low-Income Home Energy
21    Assistance Program funds may be switched to an alternative
22    gas supplier except subject to government aggregation
23    programs or to an order entered by the Commission that
24    approves a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance savings
25    guarantee plan for alternative gas supplier offerings.
26        (ii) If an alternative gas supplier attempts to enroll

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 43 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program customer other
2    than through a government aggregation program or an order
3    entered by the Commission that approves a Low-Income Home
4    Energy Assistance Program savings guarantee plan for
5    alternative gas supplier offerings, the natural gas
6    utility shall deny the supplier switch and inform the
7    alternative gas supplier of the reason.
8    (d) Complaints may be filed with the Commission under this
9Section by a customer whose natural gas service has been
10provided by an alternative gas supplier in a manner not in
11compliance with subsection (c) of this Section. If, after
12notice and hearing, the Commission finds that an alternative
13gas supplier has violated subsection (c), then the Commission
14may in its discretion do any one or more of the following:
15        (1) Require the violating alternative gas supplier to
16    refund the customer charges collected in excess of those
17    that would have been charged by the customer's authorized
18    natural gas provider.
19        (2) Require the violating alternative gas supplier to
20    pay to the customer's authorized natural gas provider the
21    amount the authorized natural gas provider would have
22    collected for natural gas service. The Commission is
23    authorized to reduce this payment by any amount already
24    paid by the violating alternative gas supplier to the
25    customer's authorized natural gas provider.
26        (3) Require the violating alternative gas supplier to

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 44 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    pay a fine of up to $1,000 into the Public Utility Fund for
2    each repeated and intentional violation of this Section.
3        (4) Issue a cease and desist order.
4        (5) For a pattern of violation of this Section or for
5    intentionally violating a cease and desist order, revoke
6    the violating alternative gas supplier's certificate of
7    service authority.
8    (e) No alternative gas supplier shall:
9        (1) enter into or employ any arrangements which have
10    the effect of preventing any customer from having access to
11    the services of the gas utility in whose service area the
12    customer is located;
13        (2) charge customers for such access;
14        (3) bill for goods or services not authorized by the
15    customer; or
16        (4) bill for a disputed amount where the alternative
17    gas supplier has been provided notice of such dispute. The
18    supplier shall attempt to resolve a dispute with the
19    customer. When the dispute is not resolved to the
20    customer's satisfaction, the supplier shall inform the
21    customer of the right to file an informal complaint with
22    the Commission and provide contact information. While the
23    pending dispute is active at the Commission, an alternative
24    gas supplier may bill only for the undisputed amount until
25    the Commission has taken final action on the complaint.
26    (f) An alternative gas supplier that is certified to serve

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 45 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1residential or small commercial customers shall not:
2        (1) deny service to a customer or group of customers
3    nor establish any differences as to prices, terms,
4    conditions, services, products, facilities, or in any
5    other respect, whereby such denial or differences are based
6    upon race, gender, or income;
7        (2) deny service based on locality, nor establish any
8    unreasonable difference as to prices, terms, conditions,
9    services, products, or facilities as between localities;
10        (3) include in any agreement a provision that obligates
11    a customer to the terms of the agreement if the customer
12    (i) moves outside the State of Illinois; (ii) moves to a
13    location without a transportation service program; or
14    (iii) moves to a location where the customer will not
15    require natural gas service, provided that nothing in this
16    subsection precludes an alternative gas supplier from
17    taking any action otherwise available to it to collect a
18    debt that arises out of service provided to the customer
19    before the customer moved; or
20        (4) assign the agreement to any alternative natural gas
21    supplier, unless:
22            (A) the supplier is an alternative gas supplier
23        certified by the Commission;
24            (B) the rates, terms, and conditions of the
25        agreement being assigned do not change during the
26        remainder of the time covered by the agreement;

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 46 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1            (C) the customer is given no less than 30 days
2        prior written notice of the assignment and contact
3        information for the new supplier; and
4            (D) the supplier assigning the contract provides
5        contact information that a customer can use to resolve
6        a dispute.
7    (g) An alternative gas supplier shall comply with the
8following requirements with respect to the marketing,
9offering, and provision of products or services:
10        (1) Any marketing materials which make statements
11    concerning prices, terms, and conditions of service shall
12    contain information that adequately discloses the prices,
13    terms and conditions of the products or services.
14        (2) Before any customer is switched from another
15    supplier, the alternative gas supplier shall give the
16    customer written information that clearly and
17    conspicuously discloses, in plain language, the prices,
18    terms, and conditions of the products and services being
19    offered and sold to the customer. Nothing in this paragraph
20    (2) may be read to relieve an alternative gas supplier from
21    the duties imposed on it by item (3) of subsection (c) of
22    Section 2DDD of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
23    Practices Act.
24        (3) The alternative gas supplier shall provide to the
25    customer:
26            (A) accurate, timely, and itemized billing

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 47 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1        statements that describe the products and services
2        provided to the customer and their prices and that
3        specify the gas consumption amount and any service
4        charges and taxes; provided that this item (g)(3)(A)
5        does not apply to small commercial customers;
6            (B) billing statements that clearly and
7        conspicuously discloses the name and contact
8        information for the alternative gas supplier;
9            (C) an additional statement, at least annually,
10        that adequately discloses the average monthly prices,
11        and the terms and conditions, of the products and
12        services sold to the customer; provided that this item
13        (g)(3)(C) does not apply to small commercial
14        customers;
15            (D) refunds of any deposits with interest within 30
16        days after the date that the customer changes gas
17        suppliers or discontinues service if the customer has
18        satisfied all of his or her outstanding financial
19        obligations to the alternative gas supplier at an
20        interest rate set by the Commission which shall be the
21        same as that required of gas utilities; and
22            (E) refunds, in a timely fashion, of all undisputed
23        overpayments upon the oral or written request of the
24        customer.
25        (4) An alternative gas supplier and its sales agents
26    shall refrain from any direct marketing or soliciting to

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 48 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    consumers on the gas utility's "Do Not Contact List", which
2    the alternative gas supplier shall obtain on the 15th
3    calendar day of the month from the gas utility in whose
4    service area the consumer is provided with gas service. If
5    the 15th calendar day is a non-business day, then the
6    alternative gas supplier shall obtain the list on the next
7    business day following the 15th calendar day of that month.
8        (5) Early Termination.
9            (A) Any agreement that contains an early
10        termination clause shall disclose the amount of the
11        early termination fee, provided that any early
12        termination fee or penalty shall not exceed $50 total,
13        regardless of whether or not the agreement is a
14        multiyear agreement.
15            (B) In any agreement that contains an early
16        termination clause, an alternative gas supplier shall
17        provide the customer the opportunity to terminate the
18        agreement without any termination fee or penalty
19        within 10 business days after the date of the first
20        bill issued to the customer for products or services
21        provided by the alternative gas supplier. The
22        agreement shall disclose the opportunity and provide a
23        toll-free phone number that the customer may call in
24        order to terminate the agreement.
25        (6) Within 2 business days after electronic receipt of
26    a customer switch from the alternative gas supplier and

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 49 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    confirmation of eligibility, the gas utility shall provide
2    the customer written notice confirming the switch. The gas
3    utility shall not switch the service until 10 business days
4    after the date on the notice to the customer.
5        (7) The alternative gas supplier shall provide each
6    customer the opportunity to rescind its agreement without
7    penalty within 10 business days after the date on the gas
8    utility notice to the customer. The alternative gas
9    supplier shall disclose all of the following:
10            (A) that the gas utility shall send a notice
11        confirming the switch;
12            (B) that from the date the utility issues the
13        notice confirming the switch, the customer shall have
14        10 business days to rescind the switch without penalty;
15            (C) that the customer shall contact the gas utility
16        or the alternative gas supplier to rescind the switch;
17        and
18            (D) the contact information for the gas utility.
19        The alternative gas supplier disclosure shall be
20    included in its sales solicitations, contracts, and all
21    applicable sales verification scripts.
22    (h) An alternative gas supplier may limit the overall size
23or availability of a service offering by specifying one or more
24of the following:
25        (1) a maximum number of customers and maximum amount of
26    gas load to be served;

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 50 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1        (2) time period during which the offering will be
2    available; or
3        (3) other comparable limitation, but not including the
4    geographic locations of customers within the area which the
5    alternative gas supplier is certificated to serve.
6    The alternative gas supplier shall file the terms and
7conditions of such service offering including the applicable
8limitations with the Commission prior to making the service
9offering available to customers.
10    (i) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as
11preventing an alternative gas supplier that is an affiliate of,
12or which contracts with, (i) an industry or trade organization
13or association, (ii) a membership organization or association
14that exists for a purpose other than the purchase of gas, or
15(iii) another organization that meets criteria established in a
16rule adopted by the Commission from offering through the
17organization or association services at prices, terms and
18conditions that are available solely to the members of the
19organization or association.
20(Source: P.A. 95-1051, eff. 4-10-09.)
 
21    (220 ILCS 5/20-110)
22    Sec. 20-110. Office of Retail Market Development. Within 90
23days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
2494th General Assembly, subject to appropriation, the
25Commission shall establish an Office of Retail Market

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 51 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1Development and employ on its staff a Director of Retail Market
2Development to oversee the Office. The Director shall have
3authority to employ or otherwise retain at least 2
4professionals dedicated to the task of actively seeking out
5ways to promote retail competition in Illinois to benefit all
6Illinois consumers.
7    The Office shall actively seek input from all interested
8parties and shall develop a thorough understanding and critical
9analyses of the tools and techniques used to promote retail
10competition in other states.
11    The Office shall monitor existing competitive conditions
12in Illinois, identify barriers to retail competition for all
13customer classes, and actively explore and propose to the
14Commission and to the General Assembly solutions to overcome
15identified barriers. The Director may include municipal
16aggregation of customers and creating and designing customer
17choice programs as tools for retail market development.
18Solutions proposed by the Office to promote retail competition
19must also promote safe, reliable, and affordable electric
20service.
21    On or before June 30 of each year, the Director shall
22submit a report to the Commission, the General Assembly, and
23the Governor, that details specific accomplishments achieved
24by the Office in the prior 12 months in promoting retail
25electric competition and that suggests administrative and
26legislative action necessary to promote further improvements

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 52 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1in retail electric competition. The report to the General
2Assembly shall be filed with the Clerk of the House of
3Representatives and the Secretary of State in electronic form
4only, in the manner that the Clerk and the Secretary shall
5direct. Any information in this report involving price
6comparisons between electric utilities, electric utilities
7providing service outside their service territories, or
8alternative retail electric suppliers shall also include the
9combined value of additional products and services offered by
10the competitive retail electric market, including, but not
11limited to, the cash value of energy control technologies
12provided, the megawatt hours of energy savings realized by
13customers utilizing energy control technologies, the megawatt
14hours of renewable energy exclusive of State mandated
15purchases, and the total amounts of cash or cash equivalent
16offers. The Commission may include other energy savings and
17marketing savings programs as they develop in the market.
18(Source: P.A. 94-1095, eff. 2-2-07.)
 
19    (220 ILCS 5/20-140 new)
20    Sec. 20-140. Expanded use of energy savings programs.
21    (a) The Commission may establish a program for promoting
22expanded use of energy savings programs for residential and
23small commercial customers. The program shall include the use
24of thermostats, lights, plugs, and other devices that allow a
25customer to control and reduce his or her energy usage. The

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 53 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1program shall not discriminate based on brand names and shall
2include ways to promote those devices and incentives for
3residential customers, including both homeowners and renters.
4    (b) On or before September 1, 2018 and every 2 years
5thereafter, the Commission shall initiate a collaborative
6workshop for stakeholders, retail electric suppliers,
7advocates for energy savings, and industry representatives
8developing energy savings devices and applicants.
9    (c) Any recommendations arising from the workshop process
10under this Section shall be included in the annual report of
11the Office of Retail Market Development.
 
12    Section 10. The Citizens Utility Board Act is amended by
13changing Section 5 as follows:
 
14    (220 ILCS 10/5)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 905)
15    Sec. 5. Powers and duties.
16    (1) The corporation shall:
17        (a) Represent and protect the interests of the
18    residential utility consumers of this State. All actions by
19    the corporation under this Act shall be directed toward
20    such duty; provided that the corporation may also give due
21    consideration to the interests of business in the State.
22        (b) Inform, in so far as possible, all utility
23    consumers about the corporation, including the procedure
24    for obtaining membership in the corporation.

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 54 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    (2) The corporation shall have all the powers necessary or
2convenient for the effective representation and protection of
3the interest of utility consumers and to implement this Act,
4including the following powers in addition to all other powers
5granted by this Act.
6        (a) To make, amend and repeal bylaws and rules for the
7    regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;
8    to adopt an official seal and alter it at pleasure; to
9    maintain an office; to sue and be sued in its own name,
10    plead and be impleaded; and to make and execute contracts
11    and other instruments necessary or convenient to the
12    exercise of the powers of the corporation.
13        (b) To employ such agents, employees and special
14    advisors as it finds necessary and to fix their
15    compensation.
16        (c) To solicit and accept gifts, loans, including loans
17    made by the Illinois Commerce Commission from funds
18    appropriated for that purpose by law, or other aid in order
19    to support activities concerning the interests of utility
20    consumers. Except as provided in Section 5.1, the
21    corporation may not accept gifts, loans or other aid from
22    any public utility or from any director, employee or agent
23    or member of the immediate family of a director, employee
24    or agent of any public utility and, after the first
25    election the corporation, may not accept from any
26    individual, private corporation, association or

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 55 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    partnership in any single year a total of more than $1,000
2    in gifts. Under this paragraph, "aid" does not mean payment
3    of membership dues.
4        (d) To intervene as a party or otherwise participate on
5    behalf of utility consumers in any proceeding which affects
6    the interest of utility consumers.
7        (e) To represent the interests of utility consumers
8    before the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Federal
9    Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications
10    Commission, the courts, and other public bodies, except
11    that no director, employee or agent of the corporation may
12    engage in lobbying without first complying with any
13    applicable statute, administrative rule or other
14    regulation relating to lobbying.
15        (f) To establish annual dues which shall be set at a
16    level that provides sufficient funding for the corporation
17    to effectively perform its powers and duties, and is
18    affordable for as many utility consumers as is possible.
19        (g) To implement solicitation for corporation funding
20    and membership.
21        (h) To seek tax exempt status under State and federal
22    law, including 501(c)(3) status under the United States
23    Internal Revenue Code.
24        (i) To provide information and advice to utility
25    consumers on any matter with respect to utility service,
26    including but not limited to information and advice on

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 56 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    benefits and methods of energy conservation.
2    (3) The powers, duties, rights and privileges conferred or
3imposed upon the corporation by this Act may not be
4transferred.
5    (4) The corporation shall refrain from interfering with
6collective bargaining rights of any employees of a public
7utility.
8    (5) The corporation shall provide all consumer complaints
9regarding service by entities possessing a certificate of
10service authority as an alternative retail electric supplier
11under Section 16-115 of the Public Utilities Act and entities
12possessing certificates of service authority as an alternative
13gas supplier under Section 19-110 of the Public Utilities Act
14to the Consumer Services Division of the Illinois Commerce
15Commission.
16    For purposes of this subsection (5), "complaint" means an
17objection made to an alternative retail electric supplier or to
18an alternative gas supplier by a customer or another entity as
19to its charges, facilities, or service, the disposal of which
20requires investigation or analysis. "Complaint" includes a
21customer or other entity identifying and asking an alternative
22retail electric supplier or alternative gas supplier to address
23or resolve a problem or concern. "Complaint" does not include
24contact that is limited to inquiry or seeking information.
25(Source: P.A. 91-50, eff. 6-30-99.)
 

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 57 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    Section 15. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
2Practices Act is amended by changing Section 2EE as follows:
 
3    (815 ILCS 505/2EE)
4    Sec. 2EE. Electric service provider selection. An electric
5service provider shall not submit or execute a change in a
6subscriber's selection of a provider of electric service unless
7and until (i) the provider first discloses all material terms
8and conditions of the offer to the subscriber; (ii) the
9provider has obtained the subscriber's express agreement to
10accept the offer after the disclosure of all material terms and
11conditions of the offer; and (iii) the provider has confirmed
12the request for a change in accordance with one of the
13following procedures:
14    (a) The new electric service provider has obtained the
15subscriber's written or electronically signed authorization in
16a form that meets the following requirements:
17        (1) An electric service provider shall obtain any
18    necessary written or electronically signed authorization
19    from a subscriber for a change in electric service by using
20    a letter of agency as specified in this Section. Any letter
21    of agency that does not conform with this Section is
22    invalid.
23        (2) The letter of agency shall be a separate document
24    (an easily separable document containing only the
25    authorization language described in subparagraph (a)(5) of

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 58 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    this Section) whose sole purpose is to authorize an
2    electric service provider change. The letter of agency must
3    be signed and dated by the subscriber requesting the
4    electric service provider change.
5        (3) The letter of agency shall not be combined with
6    inducements of any kind on the same document.
7        (4) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of
8    this Section, the letter of agency may be combined with
9    checks that contain only the required letter of agency
10    language prescribed in subparagraph (a)(5) of this Section
11    and the necessary information to make the check a
12    negotiable instrument. The letter of agency check shall not
13    contain any promotional language or material. The letter of
14    agency check shall contain in easily readable, bold-face
15    type on the face of the check, a notice that the consumer
16    is authorizing an electric service provider change by
17    signing the check. The letter of agency language also shall
18    be placed near the signature line on the back of the check.
19        (5) At a minimum, the letter of agency must be printed
20    with a print of sufficient size to be clearly legible, and
21    must contain clear and unambiguous language that confirms:
22            (i) The subscriber's billing name and address;
23            (ii) The decision to change the electric service
24        provider from the current provider to the prospective
25        provider;
26            (iii) The terms, conditions, and nature of the

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 59 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1        service to be provided to the subscriber must be
2        clearly and conspicuously disclosed, in writing, and
3        an electric service provider must directly establish
4        the rates for the service contracted for by the
5        subscriber; and
6            (iv) That the subscriber understand that any
7        electric service provider selection the subscriber
8        chooses may involve a charge to the subscriber for
9        changing the subscriber's electric service provider.
10        (6) Letters of agency shall not suggest or require that
11    a subscriber take some action in order to retain the
12    subscriber's current electric service provider.
13        (7) If any portion of a letter of agency is translated
14    into another language, then all portions of the letter of
15    agency must be translated into that language.
16    (b) An appropriately qualified independent third party has
17obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth in this
18subsection (b), the subscriber's oral authorization to change
19electric suppliers that confirms and includes appropriate
20verification data. The independent third party (i) must not be
21owned, managed, controlled, or directed by the supplier or the
22supplier's marketing agent; (ii) must not have any financial
23incentive to confirm supplier change requests for the supplier
24or the supplier's marketing agent; and (iii) must operate in a
25location physically separate from the supplier or the
26supplier's marketing agent.

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 60 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1    Automated third-party verification systems and 3-way
2conference calls may be used for verification purposes so long
3as the other requirements of this subsection (b) are satisfied.
4    A supplier or supplier's sales representative initiating a
53-way conference call or a call through an automated
6verification system must drop off the call once the 3-way
7connection has been established.
8    All third-party verification methods shall elicit, at a
9minimum, the following information: (i) the identity of the
10subscriber; (ii) confirmation that the person on the call is
11authorized to make the supplier change; (iii) confirmation that
12the person on the call wants to make the supplier change; (iv)
13the names of the suppliers affected by the change; (v) the
14service address of the supply to be switched; and (vi) the
15price of the service to be supplied and the material terms and
16conditions of the service being offered, including whether any
17early termination fees apply. Third-party verifiers may not
18market the supplier's services by providing additional
19information, including information regarding procedures to
20block or otherwise freeze an account against further changes.
21    All third-party verifications shall be conducted in the
22same language that was used in the underlying sales transaction
23and shall be recorded in their entirety. Submitting suppliers
24shall maintain and preserve audio records or electronic
25versions, if automated, of verification of subscriber
26authorization for a minimum period of 2 years after obtaining

 

 

10000SB3051ham001- 61 -LRB100 19159 SMS 39560 a

1the verification. Automated systems must provide consumers
2with an option to speak with a live person at any time during
3the call.
4    (c) When a subscriber initiates the call to the prospective
5electric supplier, in order to enroll the subscriber as a
6customer, the prospective electric supplier must, with the
7consent of the customer, make a date-stamped, time-stamped
8audio recording that elicits, at a minimum, the following
9information:
10        (1) the identity of the subscriber;
11        (2) confirmation that the person on the call is
12    authorized to make the supplier change;
13        (3) confirmation that the person on the call wants to
14    make the supplier change;
15        (4) the names of the suppliers affected by the change;
16        (5) the service address of the supply to be switched;
17    and
18        (6) the price of the service to be supplied and the
19    material terms and conditions of the service being offered,
20    including whether any early termination fees apply.
21    Submitting suppliers shall maintain and preserve the audio
22records containing the information set forth above for a
23minimum period of 2 years.
24    (d) Complaints may be filed with the Illinois Commerce
25Commission under this Section by a subscriber whose electric
26service has been provided by an electric service supplier in a

 

 

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1manner not in compliance with this Section. If, after notice
2and hearing, the Commission finds that an electric service
3provider has violated this Section, the Commission may in its
4discretion do any one or more of the following:
5        (1) Require the violating electric service provider to
6    refund to the subscriber charges collected in excess of
7    those that would have been charged by the subscriber's
8    authorized electric service provider.
9        (2) Require the violating electric service provider to
10    pay to the subscriber's authorized electric supplier the
11    amount the authorized electric supplier would have
12    collected for the electric service. The Commission is
13    authorized to reduce this payment by any amount already
14    paid by the violating electric supplier to the subscriber's
15    authorized provider for electric service.
16        (3) Require the violating electric subscriber to pay a
17    fine of up to $1,000 into the Public Utility Fund for each
18    repeated and intentional violation of this Section.
19        (4) Issue a cease and desist order.
20        (5) For a pattern of violation of this Section or for
21    intentionally violating a cease and desist order, revoke
22    the violating provider's certificate of service authority.
23    (e) For purposes of this Section, "electric service
24provider" shall have the meaning given that phrase in Section
256.5 of the Attorney General Act.
26(Source: P.A. 95-700, eff. 11-9-07.)
 

 

 

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1    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2becoming law.".