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(220 ILCS 5/19-110)
Certification of alternative gas suppliers.
(a) The provisions of this Section shall apply only to alternative gas
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
(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
file with the Commission a verified application containing information showing
applicant meets the requirements of this Section. The alternative gas supplier
publish notice of its application in the official State newspaper within 10
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
areas in which the applicant intends to offer service and the types of services
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
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
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 shall continue to comply with
requirements for certification stated in this Section.
(6) That the applicant shall execute and maintain a
license or permit bond issued by a qualifying surety or insurance company authorized to transact business in the State of Illinois in favor of the People of the State of Illinois. The amount of the bond shall equal $150,000 if the applicant seeks to serve only nonresidential retail customers or $500,000 if the applicant seeks to serve all eligible customers. Applicants shall be required to submit an additional $500,000 bond if the applicant intends to market to residential customers using in-person solicitations. The bond shall be conditioned upon the full and faithful performance of all duties and obligations of the applicant as an alternative retail gas supplier and shall be valid for a period of not less than one year. The cost of the bond shall be paid by the applicant. The applicant shall file a copy of this bond, with a notarized verification page from the issuer, as part of its application for certification under 83 Ill. Adm. Code 551.
(7) That the applicant will comply with all other
applicable laws and rules.
(e-5) The Commission may deny with prejudice an application in which the applicant fails to provide the Commission with information sufficient for the Commission to grant the application.
(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
date of this amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly, the Commission shall
rules that specify criteria which, if met by any such alternative gas
constitute the demonstration of technical, financial, and managerial resources
abilities to provide service required by item (1) of subsection (e) of this
such as a
requirement to post a bond or letter of credit, from a responsible surety or
institution, of sufficient size for the nature and scope of the services to be
demonstration of adequate insurance for the scope and nature of the services to
provided, and experience in providing similar services in other
(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. 101-590, eff. 1-1-20