160A-332. Electric service within city limits.

(a) The suppliers of electric service inside the corporate limits of any city in which a secondary supplier was furnishing electric service on the determination date, as defined in G.S. 160A-331(1b), shall have rights and be subject to restrictions as follows:

(1) The secondary supplier shall have the right to serve all premises being served by it, or to which any of its facilities are attached, on the determination date.

(2) The secondary supplier shall have the right, subject to subdivision (3) of this section, to serve all premises initially requiring electric service after the determination date which are located wholly within 300 feet of its lines and located wholly more than 300 feet from the lines of the primary supplier, as such suppliers' lines existed on the determination date.

(3) Any premises initially requiring electric service after the determination date which are located wholly within 300 feet of a secondary supplier's lines and wholly within 300 feet of another secondary supplier's lines, but wholly more than 300 feet from the primary supplier's lines, as the lines of all suppliers existed on the determination date, may be served by the secondary supplier which the consumer chooses, and no other supplier shall thereafter furnish electric service to such premises, except with the written consent of the supplier then serving the premises.

(4) A primary supplier shall not furnish electric service to any premises which a secondary supplier has the right to serve as set forth in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this section, except with the written consent of the secondary supplier.

(5) Any premises initially requiring electric service after the determination date which are located wholly or partially within 300 feet of the primary supplier's lines and are located wholly or partially within 300 feet of the secondary supplier's lines, as such suppliers' lines existed on the determination date, may be served by either the secondary supplier or the primary supplier, whichever the consumer chooses, and no other supplier shall thereafter furnish service to such premises, except with the written consent of the supplier then serving the premises.

(6) Any premises initially requiring electric service after the determination date, which are located only partially within 300 feet of the secondary supplier's lines and are located wholly more than 300 feet from the primary supplier's lines, as such supplier's lines existed on the determination date, may be served either by the secondary supplier or the primary supplier, whichever the consumer chooses, and no other supplier shall thereafter furnish service to such premises, except with the written consent of the supplier then serving the premises.

(6a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a secondary supplier, upon obtaining the prior written consent of the city, shall be the exclusive provider of electric service within (i) any assigned area for which that secondary supplier had been assigned supplier prior to the determination date; or (ii) any area previously unassigned by the North Carolina Utilities Commission pursuant to G.S. 62-110.2. However, any rights of other electric suppliers existing under G.S. 62-110.2 prior to the determination date to provide service shall continue to exist without impairment in the areas described in (i) and (ii) above.

(6b) A primary supplier or secondary supplier that, after the determination date, offers to serve any premises initially requiring electric service for which a consumer has a right to choose suppliers under subsections (5) or (6) of this section, without providing the consumer written notice that the consumer may be entitled to choose another electric supplier for the premises, shall not have the right to serve those premises.

(7) Except as provided in subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (5), (6), and (6a) of this section, a secondary supplier shall not furnish electric service within the corporate limits of any city unless it first obtains the written consent of the city and the primary supplier.

(b) In any city that is first incorporated after April 20, 1965, in which, on the effective date of the incorporation, there is more than one supplier of electric service, all suppliers of electric service therein shall continue to have the rights and be subject to the restrictions in effect before the city was incorporated until there is a primary supplier within the city.

(c) It shall be unlawful for a primary supplier or secondary supplier to serve premises within a city that the supplier does not have the right to serve under the provisions of this Article. Upon receiving written notice from another supplier of electric service that has authority to lawfully provide service to the premises in dispute that the provision of service by the current supplier is unlawful, the primary supplier or secondary supplier that is providing electric service shall be obligated to discontinue service and remove all of its facilities used in the provision of the unlawful service within 30 days after substitute electric service can be provided by an electric supplier with authority to lawfully provide service to the premises, unless the supplier currently providing service has a good faith basis for believing it has authority to continue rendering such service. If the primary or secondary supplier is determined to be providing electric services unlawfully, and is found to have unreasonably failed to fulfill its obligation to discontinue service as required above, the supplier of electric service that has authority to lawfully provide service to the premises may bring an action to compel performance of those obligations, and may recover in that action its costs of enforcing this subsection, including its reasonable attorneys' fees. (1965, c. 287, s. 1; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1997-346, s. 2; 1999-111, s. 1; 2003-24, s. 1; 2005-150, ss. 4, 5; 2017-102, s. 30.)