CHAPTER 296a

HEATING FUEL SALES

Table of Contents

Sec. 16a-23m. Definitions. Heating fuel dealer certificate of registration. Display of registration number. Insurance company notification of cancellation. Offering of prepaid guaranteed price plan to consumer. Disclosures.

Sec. 16a-23n. Retail sale of heating fuel guaranteed price plan and prepaid guaranteed price plan contracts. Disclosures. Advertisements. Futures, forwards, physical supply contracts and surety bonds. Contract requirements and prohibitions. Notification re cancellation.

Sec. 16a-23o. Home heating oil and propane gas dealers offering plumbing or heating work service. Registration requirements. Display of license number.

Sec. 16a-23p. Registration suspension or revocation. Subpoena.

Sec. 16a-23q. Regulations.

Sec. 16a-23r. Violations. Penalties. Reporting.

Sec. 16a-23s. List of heating fuel dealers. List of heating fuel dealers offering prepaid guaranteed price plans to consumers.

Sec. 16a-23t. Information on wholesale and retail prices of home heating oil.

Sec. 16a-23u. Statutory provisions not to validate certain contract provisions or clauses.

Sec. 16a-23v. Prepaid guaranteed price plan offering restrictions. Exception. Statement re payment by credit card.

Sec. 16a-23w. Outstanding state tax delinquencies owed by heating fuel dealers. Notification.


Sec. 16a-23m. Definitions. Heating fuel dealer certificate of registration. Display of registration number. Insurance company notification of cancellation. Offering of prepaid guaranteed price plan to consumer. Disclosures. (a) As used in this section, sections 16a-23n to 16a-23s, inclusive, and section 16a-23v:

(1) “Budget plan” means a type of contract offering heating fuel, that may be paid for in advance, on or after delivery and is paid for in not less than three installment payments over a period of one hundred twenty days or more, provided the amount required to be paid as the first payment is not greater than fifty per cent of the remaining amount due under the plan;

(2) “Capped price plan” means an agreement where the cost to the consumer of heating fuel shall not increase above a specified price per gallon and the consumer shall pay less than the specified price under circumstances specified in such contract;

(3) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection;

(4) “Consumer” means a direct purchaser of heating fuel from a heating fuel dealer, when such fuel is the primary source of heating fuel for residential heating or domestic hot water to one or more dwelling units within a structure having not more than four dwelling units;

(5) “Forwards contract” means an agreement between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a certain future time for a certain price;

(6) “Futures contract” means a standardized, transferable, exchange-traded agreement that requires delivery of heating fuel at a specified price on a specified future date;

(7) “Gallon” means an accepted unit of measure consisting of two hundred thirty-one cubic inches, for all liquid or gaseous heating fuel, subject to modifications allowed under regulations adopted pursuant to section 43-42;

(8) “Guaranteed price plan”, also known as “guaranteed plan”, “fixed price”, “full price”, “lock in”, “capped”, “price cap”, or other similar terminology, when used to describe a contract, means a type of contract that is not paid in advance of delivery, offering heating fuel at a guaranteed future price or at a maximum future price;

(9) “Heating fuel” means any petroleum-based fuel used as a primary source of residential heating or domestic hot water, including petroleum products regulated pursuant to chapter 250;

(10) “Heating fuel dealer” or “dealer” means any individual or group of individuals, or a firm, partnership, corporation, cooperative or limited liability company that offers the retail sale of heating fuel to consumers;

(11) “Heating oil” means a predominantly liquefied petroleum product at ambient temperatures, that is sold as a commodity and is a primary source of residential heating or domestic hot water, including products known as #2 oil (heating oil), #1 oil (kerosene), #4 oil, bio fuels, or any bio fuel blended with conventionally refined fossil fuel commodities and that meets the requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials Standard D396, as amended from time to time;

(12) “Maintain” means retention of the balance, measured in gallons or other accepted units of measure, of heating fuel that remains to be delivered to consumers who are party to a guaranteed price plan contract;

(13) “Physical supply contract” means an agreement for wet barrels or gallons of heating fuel that has been secured by a heating fuel dealer;

(14) “Prepaid guaranteed price plan”, also known as “buy ahead”, “prebuy”, “prebought” or other similar terminology, when used to describe a contract, means a type of contract offering heating fuel at a guaranteed price, paid for in advance of delivery, but does not include a budget plan;

(15) “Propane” or “liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)” means a petroleum product that meets ASTM specification D1835, as amended from time to time, and is composed predominantly of any of the following hydrocarbons or mixtures thereof: Propane, propylene, butanes (normal butane or isobutane), and butylenes and is intended for use, among other things, as a fuel for residential heating; and

(16) “Surety bond” means a bond issued by a licensed insurance company or banking institution as surety for a dealer obligating the surety to the commissioner in a sum certain in guaranty of the full and faithful performance by the dealer of prepaid guaranteed price plan contracts entered into pursuant to this chapter.

(b) No heating fuel dealer shall engage in the sale of heating fuel without a certificate of registration as a heating fuel dealer issued pursuant to this section. No federally established heating assistance agency shall be required to register. Only one registration shall be required of a dealer to engage in both the retail sale of heating oil and propane. A separate certificate of registration is required for each name that a heating fuel dealer does business as or advertises.

(c) Each person, firm or corporation seeking registration as a heating fuel dealer shall apply annually for a certificate of registration with the Department of Consumer Protection on forms prescribed by the commissioner. Each heating fuel dealer shall disclose on such forms all affiliated companies registered with the department that are under common ownership or have interlocking boards of directors. Each applicant shall pay a registration fee of two hundred dollars. The commissioner shall require all applicants for registration as a heating fuel dealer to provide evidence of general liability insurance coverage and insurance to cover any potential environmental damage due to heating fuel spills or leaks caused by such applicant as a registered dealer which coverage shall be not less than one million dollars. Each registered dealer shall provide the department with evidence of each renewal of or change to such insurance coverage not later than five days after such renewal or change during the period of registration, which renewal or change shall meet the requirements of this subsection.

(d) Each registered dealer shall display its registration number in all advertisements and other materials prepared or issued by the dealer, which contain information regarding such dealer, including, but not limited to, all contracts, delivery tickets, letters and vehicle advertisements.

(e) The insurance company of a heating fuel dealer shall notify the commissioner, in writing, upon cancellation of insurance required by subsection (c) of this section by any heating fuel dealer. The commissioner shall revoke the registration of any such dealer without the insurance coverage required by subsection (c) of this section.

(f) Prior to offering a prepaid guaranteed price plan to a consumer, a dealer shall disclose the details of such offering, including such dealer’s method of compliance with section 16a-23n, on a form prescribed by the commissioner.

(P.A. 01-46, S. 1, 7; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c), (d); P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1; 04-194, S. 1; P.A. 06-65, S. 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 162; P.A. 12-76, S. 5; P.A. 14-51, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 01-46 effective July 1, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 replaced Commissioner and Department of Consumer Protection with Commissioner and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 04-194 added Subsec. (c) providing for display of a dealer’s registration number, and Subsec. (d) providing for notification by insurance company of cancellation of insurance, and revocation of registration; P.A. 06-65 added propane gas dealers to requirements of Subsecs. (a), (b) and (d), amended Subsec. (a) to make a technical change and require only one registration for dealer engaged in both retail sale of heating oil and propane gas, and amended Subsec. (b) to require general liability insurance coverage for propane gas leaks caused by dealer; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (b) to increase registration fee from $100 to $200; P.A. 12-76 replaced former Subsec. (a) re registration with new Subsec. (a) re definitions, added new Subsec. (b) re registration requirements, redesignated existing Subsecs. (b), (c) and (d) as Subsecs. (c), (d) and (e), added affiliated company requirements in redesignated Subsec. (c), added registration number display requirements re contracts, delivery tickets, letters and vehicle advertisements in redesignated Subsec. (d) and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 14-51 amended Subsec. (a) by adding references to Secs. 16a-23s and 16a-23v, adding new Subdiv. (1) defining “budget plan” and new Subdiv. (14) defining “prepaid guaranteed price plan”, redesignating existing Subdivs. (1) to (12) and (13) and (14) as Subdivs. (2) to (13) and (15) and (16), respectively, and redefining “guaranteed price plan” in redesignated Subdiv. (8), and added Subsec. (f) re dealer disclosure prior to offering prepaid guaranteed price plan to consumer, effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 16a-23n. Retail sale of heating fuel guaranteed price plan and prepaid guaranteed price plan contracts. Disclosures. Advertisements. Futures, forwards, physical supply contracts and surety bonds. Contract requirements and prohibitions. Notification re cancellation. (a) A contract for the retail sale of heating fuel that offers a guaranteed price plan or a prepaid guaranteed price plan shall be in writing. The terms and conditions of such guaranteed price plan or prepaid guaranteed price plan shall be disclosed in plain language and shall immediately follow the language concerning the price or service that could be affected, if applicable, and shall be printed in no less than twelve-point boldface type of uniform font.

(b) A heating fuel dealer that advertises a price shall offer such price for a period of no less than twenty-four hours or until the next advertised price is publicized, whichever occurs first.

(c) Each capped price plan and any guaranteed price plan that includes the terms “cap”, “capped”, “maximum”, “not to exceed” or any other similar term or description shall not increase above a specified price per gallon. The contract for such plan or for a prepaid guaranteed price plan shall contain clear and specific language stating how and under what circumstances the price will decrease, if applicable.

(d) (1) A heating fuel dealer shall, not later than five business days after entering into a prepaid guaranteed price plan contract, either: (A) Obtain heating fuel physical inventory to which such dealer holds title, heating fuel futures or forwards contracts, physical supply contracts or other similar commitments the total amount of which allow such dealer to purchase, at a fixed price, heating fuel in an amount not less than eighty per cent of the maximum number of gallons or amount that such dealer is committed to deliver pursuant to all prepaid guaranteed price contracts entered into by such dealer, or (B) obtain a surety bond in an amount not less than fifty per cent of the total amount of funds paid to the dealer by consumers pursuant to prepaid guaranteed price plan contracts.

(2) A heating fuel dealer shall, not later than five business days after entering into a guaranteed price plan contract, obtain heating fuel physical inventory to which such dealer holds title, heating fuel futures or forwards contracts, physical supply contracts or other similar commitments the total amount of which allow such dealer to purchase, at a fixed price, heating fuel in an amount not less than eighty per cent of the maximum number of gallons or amount that such dealer is committed to deliver pursuant to all guaranteed price plan contracts entered into by such dealer.

(3) Such dealer shall maintain such total amount of futures or forwards or physical supply contracts or other similar commitments or the amount of the surety bond required under this subsection for the period of time for which such guaranteed price plan contracts are effective, except that the total amount of such futures or forwards or guaranteed price plan contracts or other similar commitments or the amount of the surety bond may be reduced during such period of time to reflect any amount of heating fuel already delivered to and paid for by the consumer.

(e) No guaranteed price plan contract or prepaid guaranteed price plan contract shall require any consumer commitment to purchase heating fuel pursuant to the terms of such contract for a period of more than eighteen months. A guaranteed price plan contract or prepaid guaranteed price plan contract for the purchase of heating fuel may not contain an automatic contract renewal or extension clause.

(f) Any guaranteed price plan contract or prepaid guaranteed price plan contract shall indicate, in clear and specific language: (1) The amount of funds paid by the consumer to the heating fuel dealer under such contract, (2) the maximum number of gallons of heating fuel committed by the dealer for delivery to the consumer pursuant to such contract, (3) that performance of such guaranteed price plan contract or prepaid guaranteed price plan contract is secured by one of the options described in subsection (d) of this section, and (4) if the price of heating fuel is subject to fluctuation, the circumstances under which the price may fluctuate. Any such contract shall provide that the contract price of any undelivered heating fuel owed to the consumer under the contract, on the end date of such contract, shall be reimbursed to the consumer not later than thirty days after the end date of such contract unless the parties to such contract agree otherwise.

(g) Each heating fuel dealer who enters into guaranteed price plan contracts or prepaid guaranteed price plan contracts shall inform the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, in writing, that such dealer is entering into such contracts and shall identify any entity from which the dealer has secured heating fuel futures or forwards contracts, physical supply contracts or other similar commitments or a surety bond pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Each such dealer shall notify the commissioner if at any time the total amount of such secured futures or forwards contracts, physical supply contracts or other such similar commitments held by the dealer is less than eighty per cent of the maximum number of gallons or amount that such dealer is committed to deliver pursuant to all such contracts entered into by such dealer or, if the total amount of such surety bond is not more than fifty per cent of the remaining balance of funds consumers paid pursuant to prepaid guaranteed price plan contracts. The commissioner shall prescribe the form in which such information shall be reported.

(h) Each person from which a heating fuel dealer has secured a futures, forwards or physical supply contract or other similar commitment or a surety bond pursuant to subsection (d) of this section shall notify the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, in writing, of the cancellation of such contract or other similar commitment or surety bond not later than three business days after such cancellation.

(P.A. 01-46, S. 2, 7; P.A. 04-194, S. 2; P.A. 05-229, S. 2; Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-2, S. 13; P.A. 06-65, S. 3; Aug. Sp. Sess. P.A. 08-1, S. 3; P.A. 12-76, S. 6; P.A. 14-51, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 01-46 effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 04-194 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (b) requiring dealers who advertise a price to offer the price for not less than 24 hours or until the next advertised price is publicized, whichever occurs first; P.A. 05-229 added Subsecs. (c) to (e) re prepaid home heating oil contracts, effective July 8, 2005; Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-2 amended Subsec. (c) to add provisions re capped price per gallon home heating oil contracts, effective December 1, 2005; P.A. 06-65 applied provisions to propane gas contracts and dealers; Aug. Sp. Sess. P.A. 08-1 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b), amended Subsec. (c) to include renewed and extended prepaid contracts and forwards contracts and other similar commitments and to increase futures fixed price purchase requirement in Subdiv. (1) from 75% to 80% of maximum number of gallons or amount dealer is committed to deliver, added Subsec. (f) re dealer contracts and related reporting to Commissioner of Consumer Protection and added Subsec. (g) re notice to Commissioner of Consumer Protection upon cancellation of certain futures or forwards contracts or other similar commitments, effective September 1, 2008; P.A. 12-76 added new Subsec. (c) re capped and guaranteed price plans, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (g) as Subsecs. (d) to (h), added requirements in redesignated Subsecs. (d), (e), (f) and (g) re guaranteed price plan contracts, added provision in redesignated Subsec. (g) re notice of total amount of surety bond, and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 14-51 added references to prepaid guaranteed price plan in Subsecs. (a), (c), (e), (f) and (g) and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 16a-23o. Home heating oil and propane gas dealers offering plumbing or heating work service. Registration requirements. Display of license number. Any person, firm or corporation required to register as a home heating oil or propane gas dealer pursuant to section 16a-23m that offers plumbing or heating work service shall submit evidence, deemed satisfactory by the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, when registering, that such person, firm or corporation subcontracts with or employs only persons licensed or registered pursuant to chapter 393 to perform such work. Such person, firm or corporation shall attest, when applying for registration as a dealer pursuant to section 16a-23m, that all plumbing or heating work service shall be performed in accordance with the provisions of chapter 393. Anyone registered under this section who offers such plumbing or heating services shall display the state license number of the subcontractor or employee performing such work for the registrant on all commercial vehicles used in their business and shall display such number in a conspicuous manner on all printed advertisements, bid proposals, contracts, invoices and stationery used in the business.

(P.A. 01-46, S. 3, 7; 01-195, S. 178, 181; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 06-65, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 01-46 effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 01-195 substituted “employee” for “employer”, effective July 11, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Consumer Protection with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 06-65 applied provisions to propane gas dealers.

Sec. 16a-23p. Registration suspension or revocation. Subpoena. The Department of Consumer Protection may suspend or revoke any registration issued under section 16a-23m if the holder of such registration is grossly incompetent, engages in malpractice or unethical conduct or knowingly makes false, misleading or deceptive representations regarding such holder’s work, violates any provision of section 16a-23n or 16a-23v, fails to comply with any subpoena issued pursuant to this section or violates any regulations adopted under section 16a-23q. Before any such registration is suspended or revoked, such holder shall be given notice and opportunity for hearing as provided in regulations adopted by said commissioner in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. Said commissioner may compel by subpoena, at his or her discretion, the production of any documents from any heating fuel dealer or from any provider of futures or forwards contracts, physical supply contracts or other similar commitments or a surety bond, regarding compliance with the provisions of sections 16a-23m to 16a-23r, inclusive, or section 16a-23v.

(P.A. 01-46, S. 4, 7; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c), (d); P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 05-229, S. 3; P.A. 12-76, S. 7; P.A. 14-51, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 01-46 effective July 1, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 replaced Commissioner and Department of Consumer Protection with Commissioner and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 05-229 included violation of Sec. 16a-23n as a basis for suspension or revocation of registration, effective July 8, 2005; P.A. 12-76 added provisions re subpoena and made a technical change, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 14-51 added references to Sec. 16a-23v, effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 16a-23q. Regulations. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, adopt regulations to implement the provisions of sections 16a-23m to 16a-23r, inclusive.

(P.A. 01-46, S. 5, 7; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c); P.A. 04-189, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 01-46 effective July 1, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Consumer Protection with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004.

Sec. 16a-23r. Violations. Penalties. Reporting. (a) A violation of the provisions of section 16a-23m, 16a-23n, 16a-23o or 16a-23v constitutes an unfair trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b.

(b) In accordance with the provisions of section 53a-11, any heating fuel dealer who knowingly violates the provisions of subsection (d) of section 16a-23n shall have committed a class A misdemeanor. The commissioner shall report such violation to the office of the state’s attorney for the judicial district in which such violation occurred.

(c) Any person, firm or corporation who violates the provisions of section 16a-23m, 16a-23n, 16a-23o or 16a-23v shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars for the first offense, not more than seven hundred fifty dollars for a second offense occurring not more than three years after a prior offense and not more than one thousand five hundred dollars for a third or subsequent offense occurring not more than three years after a prior offense.

(P.A. 01-46, S. 6, 7; P.A. 05-229, S. 4; P.A. 12-76, S. 8; P.A. 14-51, S. 5.)

History: P.A. 01-46 effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 05-229 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (b) re violation of Sec. 16a-23n, effective July 8, 2005; P.A. 12-76 added Subsec. (c) re fines and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 14-51 added references to Sec. 16a-23v in Subsecs. (a) and (c) and added provision re report of violation in Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 16a-23s. List of heating fuel dealers. List of heating fuel dealers offering prepaid guaranteed price plans to consumers. (a) The Department of Consumer Protection shall establish a list of all heating fuel dealers. The department shall make the list available to all wholesalers of heating fuel doing business in the state and such wholesalers shall only sell to the heating fuel dealers on said list.

(b) The Department of Consumer Protection shall establish a list of all heating fuel dealers that have disclosed offerings of prepaid guaranteed price plans to consumers pursuant to subsection (f) of section 16a-23m. Such list shall be made available to the public on the department’s Internet web site.

(P.A. 04-194, S. 3; P.A. 06-65, S. 5; P.A. 14-51, S. 6; 14-191, S. 1.)

History: (Revisor’s note: In 2005, the Revisors editorially replaced a reference to “Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection” with “Department of Consumer Protection” to reflect the repeal of Sec. 146 of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, effective July 1, 2004, which would have merged separate Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection into one agency); P.A. 06-65 applied provisions to propane gas dealers; P.A. 14-51 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to substitute “heating fuel dealers” for “registered home heating oil and propane gas dealers” and added Subsec. (b) re establishment of list of all heating fuel dealers offering prepaid guaranteed price plans to consumers, effective July 1, 2014; P.A. 14-191 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing reference to Sec. 16a-23m(c) with reference to Sec. 16a-23m(f), effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 16a-23t. Information on wholesale and retail prices of home heating oil. (a) For purposes of this section, “commissioner” means the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.

(b) The commissioner shall collect, monitor and distribute information concerning home heating oil in a manner that will provide transparency of market prices to the public. Not later than one hundred twenty days after October 31, 2005, the commissioner shall provide an opportunity for public comment to determine the manner in which this policy mission will be implemented.

(c) In implementing the provisions of this section, the commissioner shall consult with other relevant agencies of the state. Any ongoing assistance provided by an agency that may result in a material budgetary impact upon the assisting agency shall be provided pursuant to a memorandum of understanding, which shall be negotiated between the commissioner and the subject agency.

(d) In implementing the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner shall collect, or cause to be collected, information on the wholesale and retail prices of home heating oil and shall establish indices of those prices so as to provide transparent market prices to the public. The indices developed pursuant to this subsection shall be transmitted to the public in a manner that provides the greatest possible public access to understandable and current information on a cost-effective basis. On and after December 1, 2005, and not later than April 30, 2006, the indices developed pursuant to this section shall be updated on a weekly basis and posted on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Internet web site.

(e) (1) The commissioner shall monitor and analyze the information collected pursuant to subsection (d) of this section for evidence of market activities that impair the free and fair operation of the home heating oil market. The commissioner shall refer such evidence, together with any other information or recommendations, to such agencies as the commissioner determines may have jurisdiction to provide remedies, including, but not limited to, state, federal or local administrative, regulatory or law enforcement agencies.

(2) The commissioner, in the performance of the commissioner’s duties, may summon and examine, under oath, such witnesses, and may direct the production of, and examine or cause to be produced and examined, such books, records, vouchers, memoranda, documents, letters, contracts or other papers in relation to the affairs of any home heating oil seller or distributor at the wholesale or retail level operating in the state as the commissioner may find advisable.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of the general statutes, any information, analysis or work product developed by the commissioner pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not be a public record, as defined in section 4d-33, except as provided in this section. Any such information referred by the commissioner pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection shall become a public record not more than sixty days after the date of a referral unless such law enforcement agency protects such information from disclosure pursuant to law. Any information that the commissioner determines not to refer pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection shall become a public record not more than thirty days after such determination is made.

(4) The commissioner shall notify the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy of every referral of information to other agencies pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, provided the scope of information provided shall be limited pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection. The commissioner, in such notification, shall include recommendations for addressing the conditions identified, including, but not limited to, any recommendations for legislation.

(f) The Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner’s designee, and the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, or the commissioner’s designee, shall constitute a Home Heating Oil Planning Council to address issues involving the supply, delivery and costs of home heating oil and state policies regarding the future of the state’s home heating oil supply. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall convene the first meeting of the council.

(g) The Home Heating Oil Planning Council shall, on an ongoing basis, monitor and analyze the information collected pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, and such other information from other sources as it deems appropriate, for evidence of operational or infrastructure conditions that should be addressed to enhance the reliable, free and fair operation of the state’s home heating oil market. Not later than January 1, 2007, and periodically thereafter as it deems appropriate, the council shall submit to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy a report on the status of the state’s home heating oil market, including, but not limited to, its recommendations for addressing any negative conditions identified and recommendations for legislation.

(Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-2, S. 12; P.A. 06-196, S. 236; P.A. 11-80, S. 1, 45; P.A. 13-298, S. 26.)

History: Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-2 effective October 31, 2005; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (e)(2), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 11-80 amended Subsec. (f) by removing reference to chairperson of the Public Utilities Control Authority, or the chairperson’s designee, effective July 1, 2011; pursuant to P.A. 11-80, “Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management” and “secretary” were changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection” and “commissioner”, respectively, effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 13-298 amended Subsec. (f) to delete “the chairperson of the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board”, effective July 8, 2013.

Sec. 16a-23u. Statutory provisions not to validate certain contract provisions or clauses. Nothing in sections 16a-17, 16a-21, 16a-22a, 16a-22k, 16a-23m, 16a-23n and 16a-23p shall validate a contract provision or clause that would otherwise be unenforceable pursuant to section 42-150u.

(P.A. 12-76, S. 9.)

History: P.A. 12-76 effective July 1, 2013.

Sec. 16a-23v. Prepaid guaranteed price plan offering restrictions. Exception. Statement re payment by credit card. (a) On and after July 1, 2014, no heating fuel dealer shall offer a prepaid guaranteed price plan to a consumer during the period beginning on November first and ending on March thirty-first. The provisions of this subsection shall not prohibit the delivery of heating fuel by a heating fuel dealer to a consumer during said period if the consumer entered into a prepaid guaranteed price plan contract with the heating fuel dealer to provide for the delivery of heating fuel during said period and such contract was entered into prior to July 1, 2014, or outside of said period.

(b) A heating fuel dealer shall, prior to entering into a prepaid guaranteed price plan contract with a consumer, provide the consumer with a conspicuous statement, printed in no less than twelve-point boldface type of uniform font, in substantially the following form:

“DISCLOSURE NOTICE CONCERNING CREDIT CARD PAYMENT OPTION. If you pay by credit card for a prepaid guaranteed heating fuel price plan contract, you may be entitled to recovery payments pursuant to the federal Fair Credit Billing Act or your credit card company’s terms and conditions if heating fuel is not delivered to you in accordance with the contract.”.

(P.A. 14-51, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 14-51 effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 16a-23w. Outstanding state tax delinquencies owed by heating fuel dealers. Notification. Not later than June fifteenth each year, the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall notify the Department of Consumer Protection of any outstanding tax delinquencies owed to the state by any heating fuel dealer, as defined in section 16a-23m.

(P.A. 14-51, S. 8.)

History: P.A. 14-51 effective May 28, 2014.