Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1710 By Senator Torres 15-01609-20 20201710__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to utility construction contracting 3 services; creating s. 366.971, F.S.; defining terms; 4 prohibiting public utilities or electric utilities 5 from engaging in construction contracting services, 6 from providing affiliates or utility contractors with 7 certain products or services related to construction 8 contracting, and from using or allowing affiliates or 9 utility contractors to use certain identifying 10 information related to the utility to engage in 11 construction contracting services; prohibiting 12 affiliates and utility contractors from using certain 13 assets of public utilities or electric utilities to 14 engage in construction contracting services except 15 under certain circumstances; requiring affiliates and 16 utility contractors to maintain certain business 17 records separate and distinct from those of the public 18 utility or electric utility; providing construction; 19 providing an effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 366.971, Florida Statutes, is created to 24 read: 25 366.971 Public utility or electric utility construction 26 contracting services prohibited; exception; penalty.— 27 (1) As used in this section, the term: 28 (a) “Affiliate or utility contractor” includes an 29 individual who provides construction contracting services and 30 whose business is owned or controlled by, or under common 31 control with, a public utility or an electric utility that 32 provides regulated utility services in this state or any other 33 state. 34 (b) “Electric utility” has the same meaning as in s. 35 366.02(2). 36 (c) “Public utility” has the same meaning as in s. 37 366.02(1). 38 (2) A public utility or an electric utility may not do any 39 of the following: 40 (a) Engage in construction contracting services under 41 chapter 489. 42 (b) Provide an affiliate or a utility contractor with 43 bookkeeping, billing, mailing, financing, legal, or insurance 44 products or services that are related to construction 45 contracting, including service warranty or home warranty 46 products or services under chapter 634 or construction liens 47 under part I of chapter 713. 48 (c) Use, or allow an affiliate or a utility contractor to 49 use, the name, trade name, service mark, logo, or slogan of the 50 public utility or electric utility to engage in construction 51 contracting services. 52 (d) Engage in, or assist an affiliate or a utility 53 contractor in engaging in, construction contracting services in 54 a manner that subsidizes the activities of the public utility, 55 electric utility, affiliate, or utility contractor to the extent 56 of changing the rates or charges for the public utility’s or 57 electric utility’s regulated services above or below the rates 58 or charges that would be in effect if the public utility or 59 electric utility were not engaged in or assisting any affiliate 60 or utility contractor in engaging in such activities. 61 (3) An affiliate or a utility contractor may not do any of 62 the following: 63 (a) Use a facility, an electronic processing or 64 communication mechanism, a public relations or marketing product 65 or service, a vehicle, a service tool, an instrument, an 66 employee, or any other public utility or electric utility asset, 67 the cost of which is recoverable in the regulated rate for 68 utility service, to engage in construction contracting services, 69 unless the public utility or electric utility is compensated for 70 the use of the asset at the utility’s cost. 71 (b) Use or combine bookkeeping, billing, mailing, 72 financing, legal, or insurance products or services that are 73 procured or owned by a public utility or an electric utility for 74 any activity related to construction contracting. 75 (4) An affiliate or a utility contractor shall maintain its 76 accounts, bookkeeping, and records separate and distinct from 77 those of the public utility or electric utility. 78 (5) This section may not be construed to prohibit a public 79 utility or an electric utility from providing emergency 80 services, providing a service that is required by law, providing 81 a service that is exempt from construction contracting licensure 82 under s. 489.103(5), or providing a program pursuant to an 83 existing tariff, rule, or order of the commission. 84 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.