§ 34–1509. Standard offer service.
(a) Standard offer service is electricity supply made available on and after the initial implementation date to:
(1) Customers not yet allowed to choose an electricity supplier under the phase-in of customer choice under § 34-1502;
(2) Customers who contract for electricity with an electricity supplier, but who fail to receive delivery of electricity under such contracts;
(3) Customers who cannot arrange to purchase electricity from an electricity supplier; and
(4) Customers who do not choose an electricity supplier.
(b)(1) Standard offer service shall be provided by the electric company from the initial implementation date through February 7, 2005.
(2)(A) The rate cap specified in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph shall apply beginning on the initial implementation date and shall end on February 7, 2005.
(B)(i) Subject to the time limitation in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, and except for the charges specified in sub-subparagraph (ii) of this subparagraph, the total rate charged to a customer receiving standard offer service shall not exceed the total of the rates authorized by the Commission and charged to the customer on December 31, 1999.
(ii) The rate cap specified in sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph shall not apply to charges imposed for the recovery of costs under § 34-1511.
(3)(A) During the period in which the rate cap specified in paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection is in effect, the Commission shall have the authority to set, in a manner that is just, reasonable, and non-discriminatory, the rate charged to a customer receiving standard offer service.
(B) The Commission shall ensure that any rate cut promulgated under paragraph (2) of this subsection does not hinder the development of a competitive market for electricity supply.
(4) During the period in which the rate cap specified in paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection is in effect, the Commission may allow the recovery of any extraordinary costs based on the circumstances of the electric company if the Commission determines that the action is necessary and in the public interest.
(c) Before January 2, 2004, the Commission shall adopt regulations or issue orders establishing terms and conditions for standard offer service and for the selection of an electricity supplier or suppliers (retail, wholesale, or both) to provide standard offer service after February 7, 2005. The terms and conditions applicable to the selection of an electricity supplier or suppliers shall include:
(1) Protection against a standard offer service provider’s failure to provide service;
(2) An appropriate rate design, subject to the restrictions in subsection (d) of this section;
(3) The appropriate length of a standard offer service contract awarded under subsection (d) of this section; and
(4) A contingency plan in the event of insufficient or inadequate bids; provided, that a contingency plan may award the standard offer service to the electric company or an affiliate of the electric company if it is in the public interest.
(d)(1) After the regulations or orders mandated by subsection (c) of this section are issued, the Commission shall conduct competitive bid procedures for the selection of a retail electricity supplier or suppliers to provide standard offer service for the District of Columbia after February 7, 2005; authorize the electric company, as a wholesale electricity supplier, to conduct competitive bid procedures to obtain third-party contracts to provide standard offer service for the District of Columbia after February 7, 2005; or both. If competitive bid procedures for the selection of a retail electricity supplier or suppliers to provide standard offer service are conducted by the Commission, the competitive selection of retail electricity supplier or suppliers to provide standard offer service shall occur before July 2, 2004. In conducting retail bid procedures or facilitating the wholesale bid process under this subsection, the Commission:
(A) Shall ensure that the price for standard offer service will not hinder the development of a competitive electricity supply market in the District of Columbia; and
(B) May, in its discretion, solicit the payment, by the retail electricity supplier or suppliers chosen to provide standard offer service, of a bid premium.
(2) Any bid premium collected by the Commission under this section shall be deposited into the Reliable Energy Trust Fund established under § 34-1514 [repealed].
(e) The Commission shall determine the threshold financial viability of wholesale bidders.