Bill Text - SB197 (2011)

Regulating guaranteed price plans and prepaid contracts for heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas.


Revision: April 5, 2011, midnight

SB 197 – AS INTRODUCED

2011 SESSION

11-1087

04/09

SENATE BILL 197

AN ACT regulating guaranteed price plans and prepaid contracts for heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas.

SPONSORS: Sen. Kelly, Dist 10; Sen. Larsen, Dist 15; Sen. Merrill, Dist 21; Sen. Houde, Dist 5; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Boutin, Dist 16

COMMITTEE: Commerce

ANALYSIS

This bill requires home heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas dealers to secure customer prepaid deposits by maintaining an escrow account, letter of credit, or surety bond of a specified amount with the office of the attorney general as the beneficiary.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

11-1087

04/09

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT regulating guaranteed price plans and prepaid contracts for heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Requirements for Guaranteed Price Plans and Prepaid Contracts for Petroleum. RSA 339:79, IV is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

IV. Any dealer who sells heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas in advance of the heating season or on a continuous basis shall secure customer prepaid deposits in one of the following ways:

(a) Establish an escrow account, naming the state of New Hampshire, office of the attorney general, as beneficiary, at a financial institution within the state of New Hampshire identifying that institution as escrow agent. Once established and as long as customer prepaid balances exist, this escrow account shall hold funds equivalent to 75 percent of the total amount of prepaid balances owed to customers pursuant to prepaid heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas contracts; any interest earned on escrowed funds shall accrue to the dealer. Deposits to and withdrawals from this escrow account by the dealer should be made not less than daily and not more than weekly;

(b) Maintain a letter of credit, naming the state of New Hampshire, office of the attorney general as beneficiary, from an FDIC-insured institution in an amount that represents 75 percent of the total amount of prepaid balances owed to customers pursuant to prepaid heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas contracts. The amount of the letter of credit may be adjusted monthly within 7 days of the close of the calendar month; or

(c) Maintain a surety bond, made payable to the attorney general, in an amount not less than 75 percent of the total amount of funds paid to the dealer by consumers pursuant to prepaid heating oil, kerosene, or liquefied petroleum gas contracts. The amount of the surety bond may be adjusted monthly within 7 days of the close of the calendar month.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

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