Utility Legislation Likely In Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The News reported in the Dec. 24, 2001 issue that the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (NIACCA) won a battle in its long-standing fight against joint marketing by gas utilities and their affiliated companies (“NIACCA Gains Small Victory In Utility Battle,” page 12).

Legislators on the state’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) announced the desire that some action take place at their December meeting in response to this investigative meeting. So at the Dec. 18 JCAR meeting, Rep. J. Philip Novak announced JCAR’s desire that the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) specifically seek statutory authority to institute rules governing the transactions between natural gas utilities and affiliates.

“In essence, JCAR’s statement reflects our concerns [about joint marketing],” stated Chris Colditz, president of NIACCA, “but also clearly echoes the utilities’ question of whether the ICC has statutory authority to promulgate the recently adopted rules.

“There is no doubt at this juncture that legislation on this matter will be forthcoming in the spring legislative session beginning in January,” continued Colditz. “It is now our mandate to redouble our efforts with legislators throughout the state. This effort will take a lot of work from contractors.

“With enough financial resources, we stand a good chance of making sure that any final legislation contains the necessary language to protect contractor interests.”

Publication date: 01/14/2002

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