No public utility, whether privately owned or a quasi-public agency, shall distribute
electricity or furnish or sell gas in any town or city in which any other public utility
is at the time distributing electricity or furnishing or selling gas to the public
generally, unless the public utility desiring to distribute electricity or to furnish
or sell gas shall first have obtained a certificate from the division of public utilities
and carriers certifying that public convenience and necessity require the same. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to require a certificate to be
obtained as a condition of distributing electricity or furnishing or selling gas in
any town or city by any public utility that was actually distributing electricity
or furnishing or selling gas to the public generally in the town or city on or prior
to January 1, 1996, or by any successor to the public utility. The division shall not grant the certificate to any electric distribution company
if the electric distribution company that is distributing electricity in the town
or city offers to provide distribution service to all customers served by any nonregulated
power producer, whether affiliated or not, on comparable prices and terms approved
pursuant to this title, including the transition charge pursuant to § 39-1-27.4. A copy of any application filed by the Block Island Power Company with either the
commission or the division shall be provided by the Block Island Power Company to
the New Shoreham town clerk by certified mail.
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