(220 ILCS 5/19-110)
    Sec. 19-110. Certification of alternative gas suppliers.
    (a) The provisions of this Section shall apply only to alternative gas suppliers serving or seeking to serve residential or small commercial customers and only to the extent such alternative gas suppliers provide services to residential or small commercial customers.
    (b) An alternative gas supplier must obtain a certificate of service authority from the Commission in accordance with this Section before serving any customer or other user located in this State. An alternative gas supplier may request, and the Commission may grant, a certificate of service authority for the entire State or for a specified geographic area of the State. A person, corporation, or other entity acting as an alternative gas supplier on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly shall have 180 days from the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly to comply with the requirements of this Section in order to continue to operate as an alternative gas supplier.
    (c) An alternative gas supplier seeking a certificate of service authority shall file with the Commission a verified application containing information showing that the applicant meets the requirements of this Section. The alternative gas supplier shall publish notice of its application in the official State newspaper within 10 days following the date of its filing. No later than 45 days after the application is properly filed with the Commission, and such notice is published, the Commission shall issue its order granting or denying the application.
    (d) An application for a certificate of service authority shall identify the area or areas in which the applicant intends to offer service and the types of services it intends to offer. Applicants that seek to serve residential or small commercial customers within a geographic area that is smaller than a gas utility's service area shall submit evidence demonstrating that the designation of this smaller area does not violate Section 19-115. An applicant may state in its application for certification any limitations that will be imposed on the number of customers or maximum load to be served. The applicant shall submit as part of its application a statement indicating:
        (1) Whether the applicant has been denied a natural
    
gas supplier license in any state in the United States.
        (2) Whether the applicant has had a natural gas
    
supplier license suspended or revoked by any state in the United States.
        (3) Where, if any, other natural gas supplier license
    
applications are pending in the United States.
        (4) Whether the applicant is the subject of any
    
lawsuits filed in a court of law or formal complaints filed with a regulatory agency alleging fraud, deception or unfair marketing practices, or other similar allegations, identifying the name, case number, and jurisdiction of each such lawsuit or complaint.
    For the purposes of this subsection (d), formal complaints include only those complaints that seek a binding determination from a state or federal regulatory body.
    (e) The Commission shall grant the application for a certificate of service authority if it makes the findings set forth in this subsection based on the verified application and such other information as the applicant may submit.
        (1) That the applicant possesses sufficient
    
technical, financial, and managerial resources and abilities to provide the service for which it seeks a certificate of service authority. In determining the level of technical, financial, and managerial resources and abilities which the applicant must demonstrate, the Commission shall consider:
            (A) the characteristics, including the size and
        
financial sophistication of the customers that the applicant seeks to serve;
            (B) whether the applicant seeks to provide gas
        
using property, plant, and equipment that it owns, controls, or operates; and
            (C) the applicant's commitment of resources to
        
the management of sales and marketing staff, through affirmative managerial policies, independent audits, technology, hands-on field monitoring and training, and, in the case of applicants who will have sales personnel or sales agents within the State of Illinois, the applicant's managerial presence within the State.
        (2) That the applicant will comply with all
    
applicable federal, State, regional, and industry rules, policies, practices, and procedures for the use, operation, and maintenance of the safety, integrity, and reliability of the gas transmission system.
        (3) That the applicant will comply with such
    
informational or reporting requirements as the Commission may by rule establish.
        (4) That the area to be served by the applicant and
    
any limitations it proposes on the number of customers or maximum amount of load to be served meet the provisions of Section 19-115, provided, that if the applicant seeks to serve an area smaller than the service area of a gas utility or proposes other limitations on the number of customers or maximum amount of load to be served, the Commission can extend the time for considering such a certificate request by up to 90 days, and can schedule hearings on such a request.
        (5) That the applicant and the applicant's sales
    
agents will comply with all other applicable laws and rules.
    (f) The Commission can extend the time for considering such a certificate request by up to 90 days, and can schedule hearings on such a request if:
        (1) a party to the application proceeding has
    
formally requested that the Commission hold hearings in a pleading that alleges that one or more of the allegations or certifications in the application is false or misleading; or
        (2) other facts or circumstances exist that will
    
necessitate additional time or evidence in order to determine whether a certificate should be issued.
    (g) The Commission shall have the authority to promulgate rules to carry out the provisions of this Section. Within 30 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly, the Commission shall adopt an emergency rule or rules applicable to the certification of those gas suppliers that seek to serve residential customers. Within 180 days of the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly, the Commission shall adopt rules that specify criteria which, if met by any such alternative gas supplier, shall constitute the demonstration of technical, financial, and managerial resources and abilities to provide service required by item (1) of subsection (e) of this Section, such as a requirement to post a bond or letter of credit, from a responsible surety or financial institution, of sufficient size for the nature and scope of the services to be provided, demonstration of adequate insurance for the scope and nature of the services to be provided, and experience in providing similar services in other jurisdictions.
    (h) The Commission may deny with prejudice any application that repeatedly fails to include the attachments, documentation, and affidavits required by the application form or that repeatedly fails to provide any other information required by this Section.
    (i) An alternative gas supplier may seek confidential treatment for the reporting to the Commission of its total annual dekatherms delivered and sold by it to residential and small commercial customers by utility service territory during the preceding year via the filing of an affidavit with the Commission so long as the affidavit meets the requirements of this subsection (i). The affidavit must be filed contemporaneously with the information for which confidential treatment is sought and must clearly state that the affiant seeks confidential treatment pursuant to this subsection (i) and the information for which confidential treatment is sought must be clearly identified on the confidential version of the document filed with the Commission. The affidavit must be accompanied by both a "confidential" and a "public" version of the document or documents containing the information for which confidential treatment is sought.
    If the alternative gas supplier has met the affidavit requirements of this subsection (i), then the Commission shall afford confidential treatment to the information identified in the affidavit for a period of 2 years after the date the affidavit is received by the Commission.
    Nothing in this subsection (i) prevents an alternative gas supplier from filing a petition with the Commission seeking confidential treatment for information beyond that identified in this subsection (i) or for information contained in other reports or documents filed with the Commission.
    Nothing in this subsection (i) prevents the Commission, on its own motion, or any party from filing a formal petition with the Commission seeking to reconsider the conferring of confidential status pursuant to this subsection (i).
    The Commission, on its own motion, may at any time initiate a docketed proceeding to investigate the continued applicability of this affidavit-based process for seeking confidential treatment. If, at the end of such investigation, the Commission determines that this affidavit-based process for seeking confidential treatment for the information is no longer necessary, the Commission may enter an order to that effect. Notwithstanding any such order, in the event the Commission makes such a determination, nothing in this subsection (i) prevents an alternative gas supplier desiring confidential treatment for such information from filing a formal petition with the Commission seeking confidential treatment for such information.
(Source: P.A. 99-332, eff. 8-10-15.)