S.P. 239 - L.D. 661
An Act Regarding the Unbundling of Natural Gas Services
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §102, sub-§7-A is enacted to read:
7-A. Gas marketer. "Gas marketer" means an entity that sells natural gas to retail consumers in the State.
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §102, sub-§8, as amended by PL 1993, c. 178, §1, is further amended to read:
8. Gas utility. "Gas utility" includes every person, that person's lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court owning, controlling, operating or managing any gas plant for compensation within this State, except when gas is made or produced on and distributed by the maker or producer through private property alone solely for its own tenants and not for sale to others, or when the gas is sold solely for use in vehicles fueled by natural gas or when the gas is sold in liquid form in individual containers or is delivered in bulk in liquid form to a central tank that serves
less fewer than 10 customers and no portion of which is located in a public place. "Gas utility" does not include a gas marketer whose business in the State is restricted to selling natural gas to retail consumers and who does not provide natural gas transmission or distribution service.
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §§4708 and 4709 are enacted to read:
§4708. Gas marketer registration
1. Registration required. Unless registered with the commission under this section, a gas marketer may not contract or attempt to contract with any retail natural gas consumer in this State to provide natural gas supply service.
2. Required information. A gas marketer registering under this section shall provide:
A. The name, mailing address and phone number of the gas marketer; and
B. The name, mailing address and phone number of a contact person who is knowledgeable regarding the gas marketer's activities in the State.
A gas marketer registered under this section shall promptly provide the commission with any additional relevant information requested by the commission, including, but not limited to, copies of any residential contracts for retail natural gas supply service. The commission shall provide through the issuance of protective orders pursuant to section 1311 for appropriate confidentiality protection as necessary for any information provided under this section.
3. Contracts void. Any contract for retail natural gas supply service entered into after the effective date of this section by a gas marketer that is not registered with the commission under this section is deemed void.
§4709. Natural gas unbundling
1. Commission rulemaking. In order to foster the unbundling of natural gas services and the development of a competitive natural gas supply market in the State, the commission shall consider the need for and may adopt rules in the following areas:
A. The need to license gas marketers;
B. The need for a code of conduct governing the relationship between a gas utility and an affiliated gas marketer to prevent the affiliated gas marketer's exercise of market power and to ensure fair competition among all gas marketers;
C. The need for regulations to protect consumers from abusive practices by gas marketers; and
D. Any other subject of natural gas unbundling that requires additional regulation.
2. Major substantive rules. Rules adopted under this section are major substantive rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.
Effective September 18, 1999, unless otherwise indicated.
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