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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXVII
RAILROADS AND OTHER REGULATED UTILITIES
Chapter 366
PUBLIC UTILITIES
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F.S. 366.04
366.04 Jurisdiction of commission.
(1) In addition to its existing functions, the commission shall have jurisdiction to regulate and supervise each public utility with respect to its rates and service; assumption by it of liabilities or obligations as guarantor, endorser, or surety; and the issuance and sale of its securities, except a security which is a note or draft maturing not more than 1 year after the date of such issuance and sale and aggregating (together with all other then-outstanding notes and drafts of a maturity of 1 year or less on which such public utility is liable) not more than 5 percent of the par value of the other securities of the public utility then outstanding. In the case of securities having no par value, the par value for the purpose of this section shall be the fair market value as of the date of issue. The commission, upon application by a public utility, may authorize the utility to issue and sell securities of one or more offerings, or of one or more types, over a period of up to 12 months; or, if the securities are notes or drafts maturing not more than 1 year after the date of issuance and sale, the commission, upon such application, may authorize the utility to issue and sell such securities over a period of up to 24 months. The commission may take final action to grant an application by a public utility to issue and sell securities or to assume liabilities or obligations after having given notice in the Florida Administrative Register published at least 7 days in advance of final agency action. In taking final action on such application, the commission may deny authorization for the issuance or sale of a security or assumption of a liability or obligation if the security, liability, or obligation is for nonutility purposes; and shall deny authorization for the issuance or sale of a security or assumption of a liability or obligation if the financial viability of the public utility is adversely affected such that the public utility’s ability to provide reasonable service at reasonable rates is jeopardized. Securities issued by a public utility or liabilities or obligations assumed by a public utility as guarantor, endorser, or surety pursuant to an order of the commission, which order is certified by the clerk of the commission and which order approves or authorizes the issuance and sale of such securities or the assumption of such liabilities or obligations, shall not be invalidated by a modification, repeal, or amendment to that order or by a supplemental order; however, the commission’s approval of the issuance of securities or the assumption of liabilities or obligations shall constitute approval only as to the legality of the issue or assumption, and in no way shall it be considered commission approval of the rates, service, accounts, valuation, estimates, or determinations of cost or any other such matter. The jurisdiction conferred upon the commission shall be exclusive and superior to that of all other boards, agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities, towns, villages, or counties, and, in case of conflict therewith, all lawful acts, orders, rules, and regulations of the commission shall in each instance prevail.
(2) In the exercise of its jurisdiction, the commission shall have power over electric utilities for the following purposes:
(a) To prescribe uniform systems and classifications of accounts.
(b) To prescribe a rate structure for all electric utilities.
(c) To require electric power conservation and reliability within a coordinated grid, for operational as well as emergency purposes.
(d) To approve territorial agreements between and among rural electric cooperatives, municipal electric utilities, and other electric utilities under its jurisdiction. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to alter existing territorial agreements as between the parties to such agreements.
(e) To resolve, upon petition of a utility or on its own motion, any territorial dispute involving service areas between and among rural electric cooperatives, municipal electric utilities, and other electric utilities under its jurisdiction. In resolving territorial disputes, the commission may consider, but not be limited to consideration of, the ability of the utilities to expand services within their own capabilities and the nature of the area involved, including population, the degree of urbanization of the area, its proximity to other urban areas, and the present and reasonably foreseeable future requirements of the area for other utility services.
(f) To prescribe and require the filing of periodic reports and other data as may be reasonably available and as necessary to exercise its jurisdiction hereunder.

No provision of this chapter shall be construed or applied to impede, prevent, or prohibit any municipally owned electric utility system from distributing at retail electrical energy within its corporate limits, as such corporate limits exist on July 1, 1974; however, existing territorial agreements shall not be altered or abridged hereby.

(3) In the exercise of its jurisdiction, the commission shall have the authority over natural gas utilities for the following purposes:
(a) To approve territorial agreements between and among natural gas utilities. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to alter existing territorial agreements between the parties to such agreements.
(b) To resolve, upon petition of a utility or on its own motion, any territorial dispute involving service areas between and among natural gas utilities. In resolving territorial disputes, the commission may consider, but not be limited to consideration of, the ability of the utilities to expand services within their own capabilities and the nature of the area involved, including population, the degree of urbanization of the area, its proximity to other urban areas, and the present and reasonably foreseeable future requirements of the area for other utility services.
(c) For purposes of this subsection, “natural gas utility” means any utility which supplies natural gas or manufactured gas or liquefied gas with air admixture, or similar gaseous substance by pipeline, to or for the public and includes gas public utilities, gas districts, and natural gas utilities or municipalities or agencies thereof.
(4) Any customer shall be given an opportunity to present oral or written communications in commission proceedings to approve territorial agreements or resolve territorial disputes. If the commission proposes to consider such material, then all parties shall be given an opportunity to cross-examine or challenge or rebut it. Any substantially affected customer shall have the right to intervene in such proceedings.
(5) The commission shall further have jurisdiction over the planning, development, and maintenance of a coordinated electric power grid throughout Florida to assure an adequate and reliable source of energy for operational and emergency purposes in Florida and the avoidance of further uneconomic duplication of generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.
(6) The commission shall further have exclusive jurisdiction to prescribe and enforce safety standards for transmission and distribution facilities of all public electric utilities, cooperatives organized under the Rural Electric Cooperative Law, and electric utilities owned and operated by municipalities. In adopting safety standards, the commission shall, at a minimum:
(a) Adopt the 1984 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code (ANSI C2) as initial standards; and
(b) Adopt, after review, any new edition of the National Electrical Safety Code (ANSI C2).

The standards prescribed by the current 1984 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code (ANSI C2) shall constitute acceptable and adequate requirements for the protection of the safety of the public, and compliance with the minimum requirements of that code shall constitute good engineering practice by the utilities. The administrative authority referred to in the 1984 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code is the commission. However, nothing herein shall be construed as superseding, repealing, or amending the provisions of s. 403.523(1) and (10).

(7)(a) As used in this subsection, the term “affected municipal electric utility” means a municipality that operates an electric utility that:
1. Serves two cities in the same county;
2. Is located in a noncharter county;
3. Has between 30,000 and 35,000 retail electric customers as of September 30, 2007; and
4. Does not have a service territory that extends beyond its home county as of September 30, 2007.
(b) Each affected municipal electric utility shall conduct a referendum election of all of its retail electric customers, with each named retail electric customer having one vote, concurrent with the next regularly scheduled general election following the effective date of this act.
(c) The ballot for the referendum election required under paragraph (b) shall contain the following question: “Should a separate electric utility authority be created to operate the business of the electric utility in the affected municipal electric utility?” The statement shall be followed by the word “yes” and the word “no.”
(d) The provisions of the Election Code relating to notice and conduct of the election shall be followed to the extent practicable. Costs of the referendum election shall be borne by the affected municipal electric utility.
(8)(a) The commission shall regulate and enforce rates, charges, terms, and conditions of pole attachments, including the types of attachments regulated under 47 U.S.C. s. 224(a)(4), attachments to streetlight fixtures, attachments to poles owned by a public utility, or attachments to poles owned by a communications services provider, to ensure that such rates, charges, terms, and conditions are just and reasonable. The commission’s authority under this subsection includes, but is not limited to, the state regulatory authority referenced in 47 U.S.C. s. 224(c).
(b) In the development of rules pursuant to paragraph (g), the commission shall consider the interests of the subscribers and users of the services offered through such pole attachments, as well as the interests of the consumers of any pole owner providing such attachments.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage parties to enter into voluntary pole attachment agreements, and this subsection may not be construed to prevent parties from voluntarily entering into pole attachment agreements without commission approval.
(d) A party’s right to nondiscriminatory access to a pole under this subsection is identical to the rights afforded under 47 U.S.C. s. 224(f)(1). A pole owner may deny access to its poles on a nondiscriminatory basis when there is insufficient capacity, for reasons of safety and reliability, and when required by generally applicable engineering purposes. A pole owner’s evaluation of capacity, safety, reliability, and engineering requirements must consider relevant construction and reliability standards approved by the commission.
(e) The commission shall hear and resolve complaints concerning rates, charges, terms, conditions, voluntary agreements, or any denial of access relative to pole attachments. Federal Communications Commission precedent is not binding upon the commission in the exercise of its authority under this subsection. When taking action upon such complaints, the commission shall establish just and reasonable cost-based rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments and shall apply the decisions and orders of the Federal Communications Commission and any appellate court decisions reviewing an order of the Federal Communications Commission regarding pole attachment rates, terms, or conditions in determining just and reasonable pole attachment rates, terms, and conditions unless a pole owner or attaching entity establishes by competent substantial evidence pursuant to proceedings conducted pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57 that an alternative cost-based pole attachment rate is just and reasonable and in the public interest.
(f) In the administration and implementation of this subsection, the commission shall authorize any petitioning pole owner or attaching entity to participate as an intervenor with full party rights under chapter 120 in the first four formal administrative proceedings conducted to determine pole attachment rates under this section. These initial four proceedings are intended to provide commission precedent on the establishment of pole attachment rates by the commission and help guide negotiations toward voluntary pole attachment agreements. After the fourth such formal administrative proceeding is concluded by final order, parties to subsequent pole attachment rate proceedings are limited to the specific pole owner and pole attaching entities involved in and directly affected by the specific pole attachment rate.
(g) The commission shall propose procedural rules to administer and implement this subsection. The rules must be proposed for adoption no later than January 1, 2022, and, upon adoption of such rules, shall provide its certification to the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to 47 U.S.C. s. 224(c)(2).
(9)(a) The commission shall regulate the safety, vegetation management, repair, replacement, maintenance, relocation, emergency response, and storm restoration requirements for poles of communication services providers. This subsection does not apply to a communications services provider that owns no poles.
1(b) The commission shall adopt rules to administer and implement this subsection. The rules must be proposed for adoption no later than April 1, 2022, and must address at least the following:
1. Mandatory pole inspections, including repair or replacement;
2. Vegetation management requirements for poles owned by providers of communications services; and
3. Monetary penalties to be imposed upon any communications services provider that fails to comply with any such rule of the commission. Monetary penalties imposed by the commission must be consistent with s. 366.095.
(c) The commission may access the books and records of communications services providers to the limited extent necessary to perform its functions and to exercise its authority under subsection (8), this subsection, and s. 366.97(4). Upon request by a communications services provider, any records that are received by the commission under this paragraph which are proprietary confidential business information under s. 364.183 or s. 366.093 shall retain their status as confidential or exempt from disclosure under s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
History.s. 4, ch. 26545, 1951; s. 1, ch. 63-288; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 1, ch. 74-196; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 3, 16, ch. 80-35; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 4, ch. 86-173; ss. 2, 20, 22, ch. 89-292; s. 50, ch. 90-331; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 95-146; s. 16, ch. 2006-230; s. 37, ch. 2008-227; s. 32, ch. 2013-14; s. 66, ch. 2014-17; s. 3, ch. 2021-191.
1Note.As added by s. 3, ch. 2021-191, the material that now appears in subparagraphs 1. and 2. was combined as subparagraph 1. Since this material appears to be part of a list, the editors redesignated “vegetation management requirements for poles owned by providers of communications services; and” as subparagraph 2. and redesignated subparagraph 2. as added by s. 3, ch. 2021-191, as subparagraph 3., to provide clarity.