Illinois Statutes Chapter 220. Utilities §-125.Transmission and distribution reliability requirements

§ 16-125.  Transmission and distribution reliability requirements.

(a) To assure the reliable delivery of electricity to all customers in this State and the effective implementation of the provisions of this Article, the Commission shall, within 180 days of the effective date of this Article, adopt rules and regulations for assessing and assuring the reliability of the transmission and distribution systems and facilities that are under the Commission's jurisdiction.

(b) These rules and regulations shall require each electric utility or alternative retail electric supplier owning, controlling, or operating transmission and distribution facilities and equipment subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, referred to in this Section as “jurisdictional entities”, to adopt and implement procedures for restoring transmission and distribution services to customers after transmission or distribution outages on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to whether a customer has chosen the electric utility, an affiliate of the electric utility, or another entity as its provider of electric power and energy.  These rules and regulations shall also, at a minimum, specifically require each jurisdictional entity to submit annually to the Commission.

(1) the number and duration of planned and unplanned outages during the prior year and their impacts on customers;

(2) outages that were controllable and outages that were exacerbated in scope or duration by the condition of facilities, equipment or premises or by the actions or inactions of operating personnel or agents;

(3) customer service interruptions that were due solely to the actions or inactions of an alternative retail electric supplier or a public utility in supplying power or energy;

(4) a detailed report of the age, current condition, reliability and performance of the jurisdictional entity's existing transmission and distribution facilities, which shall include, without limitation, the following data:

(i) a summary of the jurisdictional entity's outages and voltage variances reportable under the Commission's rules;

(ii) the jurisdictional entity's expenditures for transmission construction and maintenance, the ratio of those expenditures to the jurisdictional entity's transmission investment, and the average remaining depreciation lives of the entity's transmission facilities, expressed as a percentage of total depreciation lives;

(iii) the jurisdictional entity's expenditures for distribution construction and maintenance, the ratio of those expenditures to the jurisdictional entity's distribution investment, and the average remaining depreciation lives of the entity's distribution facilities, expressed as a percentage of total depreciation lives;

(iv) a customer satisfaction survey covering, among other areas identified in Commission rules, reliability, customer service, and understandability of the jurisdictional entity's services and prices;  and

(v) the corresponding information, in the same format, for the previous 3 years, if available;

(5) a plan for future investment and reliability improvements for the jurisdictional entity's transmission and distribution facilities that will ensure continued reliable delivery of energy to customers and provide the delivery reliability needed for fair and open competition;  and

(6) a report of the jurisdictional entity's implementation of its plan filed pursuant to subparagraph (5) for the previous reporting period.

(c) The Commission rules shall set forth the criteria that will be used to assess each jurisdictional entity's annual report and evaluate its reliability performance.  Such criteria must take into account, at a minimum:  the items required to be reported in subsection (b);  the relevant characteristics of the area served;  the age and condition of the system's equipment and facilities;  good engineering practices;  the costs of potential actions;  and the benefits of avoiding the risks of service disruption.

(d) At least every 3 years, beginning in the year the Commission issues the rules required by subsection (a) or the following year if the rules are issued after June 1, the Commission shall assess the annual report of each jurisdictional entity and evaluate its reliability performance.  The Commission's evaluation shall include specific identification of, and recommendations concerning, any potential reliability problems that it has identified as a result of its evaluation.

(e) In the event that more than either (i) 30,000 (or some other number, but only as provided by statute) of the total customers or (ii) 0.8% (or some other percentage, but only as provided by statute) of the total customers, whichever is less, of an electric utility are subjected to a continuous power interruption of 4 hours or more that results in the transmission of power at less than 50% of the standard voltage, or that results in the total loss of power transmission, the utility shall be responsible for compensating customers affected by that interruption for 4 hours or more for all actual damages, which shall not include consequential damages, suffered as a result of the power interruption.  The utility shall also reimburse the affected municipality, county, or other unit of local government in which the power interruption has taken place for all emergency and contingency expenses incurred by the unit of local government as a result of the interruption.  A waiver of the requirements of this subsection may be granted by the Commission in instances in which the utility can show that the power interruption was a result of any one or more of the following causes:

(1) Unpreventable damage due to weather events or conditions.

(2) Customer tampering.

(3) Unpreventable damage due to civil or international unrest or animals.

(4) Damage to utility equipment or other actions by a party other than the utility, its employees, agents, or contractors.

Loss of revenue and expenses incurred in complying with this subsection may not be recovered from ratepayers.

(f) In the event of a power surge or other fluctuation that causes damage and affects more than either (i) 30,000 (or some other number, but only as provided by statute) of the total customers or (ii) 0.8% (or some other percentage, but only as provided by statute) of the total customers, whichever is less, the electric utility shall pay to affected customers the replacement value of all goods damaged as a result of the power surge or other fluctuation unless the utility can show that the power surge or other fluctuation was due to one or more of the following causes:

(1) Unpreventable damage due to weather events or conditions.

(2) Customer tampering.

(3) Unpreventable damage due to civil or international unrest or animals.

(4) Damage to utility equipment or other actions by a party other than the utility, its employees, agents, or contractors.

Loss of revenue and expenses incurred in complying with this subsection may not be recovered from ratepayers.  Customers with respect to whom a waiver has been granted by the Commission pursuant to subparagraphs (1)-(4) of subsections (e) and (f) shall not count toward the either (i) 30,000 (or some other number, but only as provided by statute) of the total customers or (ii) 0.8% (or some other percentage, but only as provided by statute) of the total customers required therein.

(g) Whenever an electric utility must perform planned or routine maintenance or repairs on its equipment that will result in transmission of power at less than 50% of the standard voltage, loss of power, or power fluctuation (as defined in subsection (f)), the utility shall make reasonable efforts to notify potentially affected customers no less than 24 hours in advance of performance of the repairs or maintenance.

(h) Remedies provided for under this Section may be sought exclusively through the Illinois Commerce Commission as provided under Section 10-109 of this Act.  Damages awarded under this Section for a power interruption shall be limited to actual damages, which shall not include consequential damages, and litigation costs.  A utility's request for a waiver of this Section shall be timely if filed no later than 30 days after the date on which a claim is filed with the Commission seeking damages or expense reimbursement under this Section.  No utility shall be liable under this Section while a request for waiver is pending.  Damage awards may not be paid out of utility rate funds.

(i) The provisions of this Section shall not in any way diminish or replace other civil or administrative remedies available to a customer or a class of customers.

(j) The Commission shall by rule require an electric utility to maintain service records detailing information on each instance of transmission of power at less than 50% of the standard voltage, loss of power, or power fluctuation (as defined in subsection (f)), that affects 10 or more customers.  Occurrences that are momentary shall not be required to be recorded or reported.  The service record shall include, for each occurrence, the following information:

(1) The date.

(2) The time of occurrence.

(3) The duration of the incident.

(4) The number of customers affected.

(5) A description of the cause.

(6) The geographic area affected.

(7) The specific equipment involved in the fluctuation or interruption.

(8) A description of measures taken to restore service.

(9) A description of measures taken to remedy the cause of the power interruption or fluctuation.

(10) A description of measures taken to prevent future occurrence.

(11) The amount of remuneration, if any, paid to affected customers.

(12) A statement of whether the fixed charge was waived for affected customers.

Copies of the records containing this information shall be available for public inspection at the utility's offices, and copies thereof may be obtained upon payment of a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of reproduction.  A copy of each record shall be filed with the Commission and shall be available for public inspection.  Copies of the records may be obtained upon payment of a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of reproduction.

(k) The requirements of subsections (e) through (j) of this Section shall apply only to an electric public utility having 100,000 or more customers.


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