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West Virginia Legislation for Reduced Rates

REDUCED RATES FOR LOW-INCOME CUSTOMERS 24-2A-1

24-2A-1. Special rates for gas and electric utility customers receiving social security supplemental security Income (SSI), aid to families with dependent children (AFDC), aid to families with dependent children - unemployed (AFDC-U), or food stamps.

The commission shall order each gas and electric utility subject to its jurisdiction, except municipal or cooperative gas or electric utilities, to offer special reduced rates applicable to gas and electric service for the billing months of December, January, February, March and April of each year (beginning with the billing month of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three), to residential utility customers receiving (a) social security supplemental security income (SSI), (b) aid to families with dependent children (AFDC), (c) aid to families with dependent children - unemployed (AFDC-U) or (d) food stamps, if such food stamp recipients are sixty years of age or older. The special reduced rate offered by each gas and electric utility to its eligible customers shall be twenty percent less than the rate which would be applicable to such customers if they were not receiving any of the four forms of assistance which confer eligibility for the special reduced rates. A customer of a utility offering special reduced rates shall be eligible to receive such rates for each of the billing months of December, January, February, March and April that correlates to a calendar month during which that customer is eligible to participate in one or more of the qualifying programs specified in this section, except as otherwise provided in this section. The correlation of billing months to calendar months of eligibility to participate in a qualifying program is as follows: A December billing month correlates to the calendar month of November; a January billing mouth correlates to the calendar month of December; a February billing month correlates to the calendar month of January; a March billing month correlates to the calendar month of February; and an April billing month correlates to the calendar month of March. After the billing month of April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, no customer shall be eligible to receive the special reduced rates until the billing mouth in which that customer applies for such rates. For the billing months of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, and January, February, March and April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, a customer shall be eligible to receive a utility's special reduced rates for any of said billing months which correlates to a calendar month during which that customer is eligible to participate in one or more of the qualifying programs specified in this section, regardless of the date on which that customer applies for such rates: Provided, That the date of application falls on or prior to the fifteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four. No customer who applies for the special reduced rates after the fifteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, shall be eligible to receive such rates for any of the billing months of December, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, or January, February, March or April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four. Before any individual may qualify to receive the special reduced rates, the following requirements must be met:

(a) The special reduced rates shall apply only to current customers or to those persons who subsequently become customers in their own right. If an SSI, AFDC, AFDC-U or food stamp recipient is living in a household which is served under the name of a person who is not an SSI, AFDC, AFDC-U or food stamp recipient, that service may not be changed or have been changed subsequent to the twelfth day of March, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, to the name of the SSI, AFDC, AFDC-U or food stamp recipient in order to qualify for service under the special reduced rates.
(b) The burden of proving eligibility for the special reduced rates shall be on the customer requesting such rates. The department of human services shall establish by rules and regulations procedures (1) to inform persons receiving any of the four forms of assistance which confer eligibility for the special reduced rates about the availability of the special reduced rates, (2) to assist applicants for the special reduced rates in proving their eligibility therefore, and (3) to assist gas and electric utilities offering the special reduced rates in determining on a continuing basis the eligibility therefore of persons receiving or applying for such rates. The commission shall establish by rules and regulations procedures for the application for and provision of service under the special reduced rates and for the determination and certification of revenue deficiencies resulting from the special reduced rates. Within ten days of the effective date of this article March 10, 19841, the commission and the department of human services shall adopt temporary rules and regulations, as required by this section, which rules and regulations shall not be subject to the requirements of chapter [ 29A-1-1et seq.] and section seven [ 24-1-7], article one of chapter twenty-four except that they shall be filed with the secretary of state and published in the state register. These temporary rules and regulations shall remain in effect until supplanted by permanent rules and regulations, which shall be adopted by the commission and the department of human services within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of this article (March 10, 19841. No customer who is a recipient of more than one of the four forms of assistance which confer eligibility for the special reduced rates shall be eligible for more than one twenty percent discount for gas service and one twenty percent discount for electric service during each billing month that said customer is eligible to receive the special reduced rates.

(c) In order to provide each eligible residential utility customer the special reduced rates for the billing months of December. one thousand nine hundred eighty-three, through April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, (hereinafter referred to as the first special-reduced-rate season), each utility providing the special reduced rates shall credit against the amount otherwise owed by each such customer an amount equal to the difference between the total amount that each such customer was actually billed during the first special-reduced-rate season and the total amount that each customer would have been entitled to be billed under the special reduced rates, Each such credit shall be fully reflected on the first bill issued to each such customer after approval of each such customer's application for the special reduced rates, except in cam where the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is so short that it is administratively impracticable to do so, in which cases such credits shall be My reflected on the second bill issued to each such customer after approval of that customers application. If the interval between the approval and the issuance of the next bill is fifteen days or more, it shall not be deemed administratively impracticable to reflect such credit on the customer's first such bill. (1983, c. 186, 1984, c. 171.)

24- 2A-2. Recovery of revenue deficiencies.

In order to provide the special reduced rates mandated by section one [24-2A-1] of this article and still maintain the integrity of the earnings of the utilities offering service under these rates, the commission shall each year, beginning in the year one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, determine, upon application by any affected utility, that utility's revenue deficiency resulting from the special reduced rates. Upon determining any utility's revenue deficiency, the commission shall issue an order certifying the amount of that deficiency. Certified revenue deficiencies shall be recovered by the affected utilities as follows:

(1) A utility's certified revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the special reduced rates shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the utility pursuant to the provisions of article thirteen-f [ 11-13F-1 et seq.] of chapter eleven.

(2) After allowance of a tax credit pursuant to the provisions of article thirteen-f [ 11-13F-1 et seq.] of chapter eleven, a utility's remaining revenue deficiency, if any, resulting from the special reduced rater, shall be allowed as a tax credit against the liability of the utility pursuant to the provisions of section eleven [ 11-24-11], article twenty-four of chapter eleven. (1983, c. 186; 1984, c. 171.)

24-2A-3. Limitation on and exemption from local business and occupation or privilege taxes and local public utility excise taxes.

(a) Any municipality which presently or hereafter imposes a business and occupation or privilege tax under section five [ 8-13-5], article thirteen of chapter eight or a public utilities excise tax under section five-a [ 8-13-5a], article thirteen at chapter eight shall be restricted, in the case of utility services rendered to a customer under the special reduced rates, to levying such taxes on (1) in the case of a local business and occupation or privilege tax, the gross revenuer, derived under the special reduced rater, for any period during which that customer receives service under the special reduced rates, and (2) in the case of a local public utilities excise tax, to the gross amount of that customers utility bill as calculated under the special reduced rates.

(b) No recovery of revenue deficiencies provided in section three [ 24-2A-3] of this article shall be subject to tax under sections five or five-a [ 8-13-5 or 8-13-5a], article thirteen of chapter eight. (1984, c. 171.)

Editor's notes - The reference in subsection (b) to "section three of this article" appears to be incorrect. Section 24-2A-2 provides for recovery of revenue deficiencies.

24-2A-4. Definitions.

As used in this article, the term:

(a) "Billing cycle" shall mean a period of time during the course of which a utility either bills for or measures, by meter-reading or any other means, the usage of its utility services by all of its customers a single time. A utility may elect whether it wishes to determine its billing cycles by date of measurement or by date of billing. A utility which employs twelve billing cycles per year shall be deemed to employ monthly billing cycles. A utility which employs more or fewer than twelve billing cycles per year shall be deemed to employ monthly billing cycles. For a utility employing monthly billing cycles, a billing cycle identified by the name of a particular calendar month must include at least twelve days of that calendar month.

(b) "Billing month" shall have two meanings:

(1) As applied to a utility employing nonmonthly billing cycles and to its customers, a particular "billing month" shall mean the calendar month to which that billing month correlates under section one [ 24-2A-1] of this, article.

(2) As applied to a utility employing monthly billing cycles and to its customers, a particular "billing month" shall mean the period of customer usage reflected on any bill which, in the case of a utility with billing-date billing cycles, is issued during that particular monthly billing cycle, or for which, in the case of a utility with measurement billing cycles, the measurement of usage is made during that particular monthly billing cycle. (1984, c. 171.)