HOUSE BILL No. 1334
DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Citations Affected: IC 8-1-2.
Synopsis: IURC fining authority. Allows the utility regulatory
commission (IURC) to impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 if a
public utility providing energy services violates or fails to comply with
any: (1) utility law; or (2) rate or service requirement imposed by the
IURC. Allows the IURC to impose an additional penalty of up to
$10,000 if the violation or failure to comply demonstrates a willful
disregard by the public utility of its duty to remedy the violation or a
willful failure to comply. Specifies that a suit to recover a penalty
imposed by the IURC shall be brought by the attorney general.
Effective: July 1, 2009.
January 13, 2009, read first time and referred to Committee on Commerce, Energy,
Technology and Utilities.
First Regular Session 116th General Assembly (2009)
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between statutes enacted by the 2008 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
HOUSE BILL No. 1334
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
utilities and transportation.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
SOURCE: IC 8-1-2-109; (09)IN1334.1.1. -->
SECTION 1. IC 8-1-2-109 IS AMENDED TO READ AS
FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009]: Sec. 109. (a) This section
does not apply to:
(1) a public utility that owns, operates, manages, or controls
any plant or equipment in Indiana for the production,
transmission, delivery, or furnishing of heat, light, or power;
(2) a department of public utilities created under IC 8-1-11.1.
(b) A public utility that violates this chapter, or fails to perform any
duty enjoined upon it, for which a penalty is not otherwise provided,
commits a Class B infraction.
SOURCE: IC 8-1-2-109.1; (09)IN1334.1.2. -->
SECTION 2. IC 8-1-2-109.1 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE
AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY
1, 2009]: Sec. 109.1. (a) This section does not apply when a public
utility's violation or failure to comply under subsection (d) is
caused by circumstances beyond the control of the public utility,
including any of the following:
(1) Customer provided equipment.
(2) A negligent act or omission of a customer.
(3) An unavoidable casualty.
(4) An act of God.
(b) As used in this section, "public utility" means every
corporation, company, partnership, limited liability company,
individual, or association of individuals, or their lessees, trustees,
or receivers appointed by a court, that may own, operate, manage,
or control any plant or equipment in Indiana for the production,
transmission, delivery, or furnishing of heat, light, or power. The
term includes a department of public utilities created under
IC 8-1-11.1. The term does not include:
(1) a municipality or political subdivision;
(2) a rural electric membership corporation organized or
operating under IC 8-1-13; or
(3) a corporation organized under IC 23-17-1 that is an
electric cooperative and that has at least one (1) member that
is a corporation organized under IC 8-1-13.
(c) A public utility and every officer of a public utility shall
comply with every order or rule of the commission made under this
(d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, if the
commission finds, after notice and hearing, that a public utility has
violated this chapter or failed after due notice to comply with:
(1) a standard of service established by commission rule; or
(2) a rate or service requirement of a final and unappealable
order of the commission;
the commission may order the public utility to pay a civil penalty
of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation
or failure to comply.
(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d), if the commission finds after
notice and hearing that the public utility's violation or failure to
comply demonstrates, by a continuing pattern of conduct, a willful
disregard by the public utility of its obligation to remedy the
violation or a willful failure to comply, the commission may impose
an additional civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for each violation or failure to comply.
(f) The commission shall consider the following when
determining the appropriateness of the imposition or amount of a
(1) The size of the public utility.
(2) The gravity of the violation or failure to comply.
(3) The good faith of the public utility in attempting to:
(A) remedy the violation; or
(B) achieve compliance after receiving notification of the
violation or failure to comply.
(4) The effect of the civil penalty on the public utility's
financial ability to provide adequate and reliable service.
(5) If the public utility is a nonprofit company:
(A) the effect of the penalty on the company's members
and their capitalization of the company; and
(B) whether the act or omission causing the violation or
failure to comply was approved or requested by the
In the order imposing the civil penalty, the commission shall make
specific findings with respect to the factors described in
subdivisions (1) through (5).
(g) A public utility may not be subject to both a civil penalty
under this section and a negotiated penalty under a commission
approved settlement agreement for the same violation or failure to
comply. If the commission has approved a settlement agreement
that includes penalties or remedies for noncompliance with specific
provisions of the settlement agreement, the penalties provided in
this section do not apply to those instances of noncompliance
during the life of the settlement agreement.
(h) Notwithstanding section 112 of this chapter, the civil
penalties provided for in this section for each violation or failure
to comply by a public utility may not be multiplied or increased
because of the number of customers affected or the length of time
service is affected. Only one (1) violation or failure to comply per
day may be attributed to a public utility as a result of a particular
condition, system outage, storm, act, omission, event, decision, or
other cause occurring on that day.
(i) Civil penalties recovered under this section shall be paid into
the state general fund.
(j) Upon the motion of a public utility, the commission shall stay
the effect or enforcement of an order under this section pending an
appeal, if the public utility posts a bond that complies with Rule 18
of the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.
SOURCE: IC 8-1-2-115; (09)IN1334.1.3. -->
SECTION 3. IC 8-1-2-115 IS AMENDED TO READ AS
FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009]: Sec. 115. The commission
shall inquire into any neglect or violation of the statutes of this state or
the ordinances of any city or town by any public utility doing business
therein, or by the officers, agents, or employees thereof, or by any
person operating the plant of any public utility, and shall have the
power, and it shall be
its the commission's duty, to enforce the
provisions of this chapter, as well as all other laws, relating to public
utilities. Any forfeiture or penalty provided in this chapter shall be
recovered, and suit therein shall be brought in the name of the state of
Indiana in the circuit or superior court where the public utility has its
principal place of business. by the attorney general in a court that
has jurisdiction. Complaint for the collection of any such forfeiture
may be made by the commission or any member thereof, and, when so
made, the action so commenced shall be prosecuted by the attorney