2005 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities
By: Representative Flaggs
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 21-27-9 AND 77-3-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT ALL ELECTRICITY METERS INDICATE CLEARLY THE UNITS OF SERVICE FOR THE CHARGE THAT IS TO BE MADE TO THE CUSTOMER; TO REQUIRE THAT ALL ELECTRICITY METERS BE DIGITAL BY DECEMBER 31, 2006; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 21-27-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-27-9. (1) If, upon complaint of any citizen or citizens interested, the governing authorities of any municipality find that there is reasonable ground for believing that any meter or meters intended to measure or register the quantity of water, electric light or power, or gas supplied or furnished by any individual, company or corporation to the municipality or its inhabitants is or are measuring or registering incorrectly or excessively or is or are of a less candle power or degree of brilliancy than required by contract, such governing authorities may employ an expert, who shall examine and test said meter or meters, or said light or lights, as the case may be, and report back to said governing authorities, notice of the time and place of the proposed test or tests being first given to all parties interested. If such examination or test shall show the fact that said meter or meters measure or register incorrectly or excessively, or that said light or lights are of a less candle power or brilliancy than required by contract, then all expenses of such examination and test incurred by said municipal governing authorities shall be charged against and collected back from said individual, company or corporation supplying or furnishing such water, electric light or power, or gas, as the case may be, and such penalties may be imposed as the municipal ordinances may provide.
(2) Each service meter for electricity shall indicate clearly the units of service for the charge that is to be made to the customer, and as of December 31, 2006, all electricity meters utilized by municipalities shall be digital.
(3) The governing authorities of any municipality are authorized to prosecute any person tampering with electric, gas or water meters as provided in Section 97-25-3.
SECTION 2. Section 77-3-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
77-3-33. (1) No rate made, deposit or service charge demanded or received by any public utility shall exceed that which is just and reasonable. Such public utility, the rates of which are subject to regulation under the provisions of this article, may demand, collect and receive fair, just and reasonable rates for the services rendered or to be rendered by it to any person. Rates prescribed by the commission shall be such as to yield a fair rate of return to the utility furnishing service, upon the reasonable value of the property of the utility used or useful in furnishing service.
(2) Such utility shall furnish adequate, efficient and reasonable service, and may establish reasonable rules governing the conduct of its business and the conditions under which it shall be required to render service. The commission may, after hearing upon reasonable notice had, upon its own motion or upon complaint, ascertain and fix just and reasonable standards, regulations and practices of service which are to be furnished, imposed, observed and followed by all public utilities. The commission may require the service, rules and regulations of each public utility to be filed with the commission and subjected to its approval or to such changes therein as the commission reasonably may require. Practices required or sanctioned pursuant to the provisions hereof shall supersede other requirements of law.
(3) Such utility may employ in the conduct of its business suitable and reasonable classifications of its service, patrons, rates, deposits and service charges. The classification may, in any proper case, take into account the nature of the use, the quantity and quality used, the time when used, the purpose for which used, and any other reasonable consideration.
(4) All public utilities, which produce electricity as defined under Section 77-3-3(d)(i), shall indicate clearly the units of service on each electricity meter for the charge that is to be made to the customer, and as of December 31, 2006, all electricity meters utilized by public utilities shall be digital.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.