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Substitute House Bill No. 5424

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-13

AN ACT CONCERNING ADVERTISING EXPENDITURES BY A GAS COMPANY.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 16-19d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) As used in this section: (1) "Advertising" means the commercial use of any media including, but not limited to, newspaper and all other forms of print, radio and television, in order to transmit a message to a substantial number of members of the public or customers of a utility; (2) "Political advertising" means any advertising for the purpose of influencing public opinion with respect to any legislative, administrative or electoral decision or with respect to any controversial issue of public importance; (3) "Institutional advertising" means any advertising which is designed to create, enhance or sustain a utility's image or good will with regard to the general public or its customers; (4) "Promotional advertising" means any advertising that has the purpose of inducing the public to select or use the service or additional service of a utility or select or install any appliance or equipment designed to use such utility service, provided such advertising shall not include advertising authorized by order or regulation of the Department of Public Utility Control.

(b) The cost of political, institutional or promotional advertising of any gas or electric company and the cost of political or institutional advertising of any telephone company shall not be deemed to be an operating expense in any rate schedule proceedings held pursuant to section 16-19. For the purposes of this section, political, institutional or promotional advertising shall not be deemed to include reasonable expenditures for (1) the publication or distribution of existing or proposed tariffs or rate schedules; (2) notices required by law or regulation; (3) public information regarding service interruptions, safety measures, emergency conditions, employment opportunities or the means by which customers can conserve energy or make efficient and economical use of service; [or] (4) the promotion or marketing of efficient gas and electric equipment which the Department of Public Utility Control determines: (A) Is consistent with the state's energy policy; (B) is consistent with integrated resource planning principles; (C) provides net economic benefit to such company's customers and (D) shall not have the primary purpose of promoting one fuel over another [4m; [0m OR [4m(5) [0m ADVERTISING BY A GAS COMPANY THAT IS NECESSARY AS A RESULT OF COMPETITION CREATED BY ACTIONS AND DECISIONS OF THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITY CONTROL. SUCH ADVERTISING SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF PROMOTING GAS PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANIES IN COMPETITION WITH OTHER PROVIDERS AND MARKETERS OF NATURAL GAS. SUCH ADVERTISING SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY PROMOTIONS, CASH, EQUIPMENT, INSTALLATION, OR SERVICE SUBSIDIES FOR THE CONVERSION TO NATURAL GAS FROM ANY OTHER ENERGY SOURCE.

(c) A company shall make application to the department for determination that equipment meets the requirements of subdivision (4) of subsection (b) of this section. The department shall, to the extent practicable, make such determination within one hundred twenty days of such filing. All reasonable and proper expenses, required by the department and the Office of Consumer Counsel, including, but not limited to, the costs associated with analysis, testing, evaluation and testimony at a public hearing or other proceeding, shall be borne by the company and shall be paid by the company at such times and in such manner as the department directs.

[4m(d) [0m THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT ALLOCATE ANY EXPENDITURES MADE BY A GAS COMPANY PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (5) OF SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION TO RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS IN ANY RATE SCHEDULE PROCEEDINGS HELD PURSUANT TO SECTION 16-19 UNLESS THE DEPARTMENT FINDS THAT EFFECTIVE COMPETITION IN THE RESIDENTIAL GAS MARKET ALREADY EXISTS.

[(d)] The [Department of Public Utility Control] DEPARTMENT shall adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of subsections (a) and (b)

of this section.

[(e)] Each gas or electric company shall conspicuously indicate in all of its advertising whether the costs of the advertising are being paid for by the company's shareholders, its customers or both.

Approved April 29, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

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