[PART I. PUBLIC UTILITIES, GENERALLY]

 

Revision Note

 

Part heading added by revisor.

 

269-1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

"Agricultural activities" means a commercial agricultural, silvicultural, or aquacultural facility or pursuit conducted, in whole or in part, including the care and production of livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry products, apiary products, and plant and animal production for nonfood uses; the planting, cultivating, harvesting, and processing of crops; and the farming or ranching of any plant or animal species in a controlled salt, brackish, or freshwater environment.

"Basic exchange service" means those services consisting of single-line dial tone, touch-tone dialing, access to operator service, access to enhanced 911, telecommunications relay service, telephone directory, and access to directory-assistance service via 411 dialing.

"Carrier of last resort" means a telecommunications carrier designated by the commission to provide universal service in a given local exchange service area determined to be lacking in effective competition.

"Designated local exchange service area" means an area as determined by the commission to be best served by designating a carrier of last resort pursuant to section 269-43.

"Dial tone" means the ability to make or receive telephone calls with or without operator intervention.

"Enforcement officer" means any person employed and authorized by the commission to investigate any matter on behalf of the commission. The term also means a motor vehicle safety officer employed and assigned, pursuant to section 271-38, by the department of transportation to enforce sections 271-8, 271-12, 271-13, 271-19, and 271-29 through assessment of civil penalties as provided in section 271-27(h), (i), and (j).

"Public highways" has the meaning defined by section 264-1, including both state and county highways, but operation upon rails shall not be deemed transportation on public highways.

"Public utility":

(1) Includes every person who may own, control, operate, or manage as owner, lessee, trustee, receiver, or otherwise, whether under a franchise, charter, license, articles of association, or otherwise, any plant or equipment, or any part thereof, directly or indirectly for public use for the transportation of passengers or freight; for the conveyance or transmission of telecommunications messages; for the furnishing of facilities for the transmission of intelligence by electricity within the State or between points within the State by land, water, or air; for the production, conveyance, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of light, power, heat, cold, water, gas, or oil; for the storage or warehousing of goods; or for the disposal of sewage; provided that the term shall include:

(A) An owner or operator of a private sewer company or sewer facility; and

(B) A telecommunications carrier or telecommunications common carrier; and

(2) Shall not include:

(A) An owner or operator of an aerial transportation enterprise;

(B) An owner or operator of a taxicab as defined in this section;

(C) Common carriers that transport only freight on the public highways, unless operating within localities, along routes, or between points that the public utilities commission finds to be inadequately serviced without regulation under this chapter;

(D) Persons engaged in the business of warehousing or storage unless the commission finds that regulation is necessary in the public interest;

(E) A carrier by water to the extent that the carrier enters into private contracts for towage, salvage, hauling, or carriage between points within the State; provided that the towing, salvage, hauling, or carriage is not pursuant to either an established schedule or an undertaking to perform carriage services on behalf of the public generally;

(F) A carrier by water, substantially engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, that transports passengers on luxury cruises between points within the State or on luxury round-trip cruises returning to the point of departure;

(G) Any user, owner, or operator of the Hawaii electric system as defined under section 269-141;

(H) A telecommunications provider only to the extent determined by the public utilities commission pursuant to section 269-16.9;

(I) Any person who controls, operates, or manages plants or facilities developed pursuant to chapter 167 for conveying, distributing, and transmitting water for irrigation and other purposes for public use and purpose;

(J) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or manages plants or facilities for the reclamation of wastewater; provided that:

(i) The services of the facility are provided pursuant to a service contract between the person and a state or county agency and at least ten per cent of the wastewater processed is used directly by the state or county agency that entered into the service contract;

(ii) The primary function of the facility is the processing of secondary treated wastewater that has been produced by a municipal wastewater treatment facility owned by a state or county agency;

(iii) The facility does not make sales of water to residential customers;

(iv) The facility may distribute and sell recycled or reclaimed water to entities not covered by a state or county service contract; provided that, in the absence of regulatory oversight and direct competition, the distribution and sale of recycled or reclaimed water shall be voluntary and its pricing fair and reasonable. For purposes of this subparagraph, "recycled water" and "reclaimed water" means treated wastewater that by design is intended or used for a beneficial purpose; and

(v) The facility is not engaged, either directly or indirectly, in the processing of food wastes;

(K) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or manages any seawater air conditioning district cooling project; provided that at least fifty per cent of the energy required for the seawater air conditioning district cooling system is provided by a renewable energy resource, such as cold, deep seawater;

(L) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or manages plants or facilities primarily used to charge or discharge a vehicle battery that provides power for vehicle propulsion;

(M) Any person who:

(i) Owns, controls, operates, or manages a renewable energy system that is located on a customer's property; and

(ii) Provides, sells, or transmits the power generated from that renewable energy system to an electric utility or to the customer on whose property the renewable energy system is located; provided that, for purposes of this subparagraph, a customer's property shall include all contiguous property owned or leased by the customer without regard to interruptions in contiguity caused by easements, public thoroughfares, transportation rights-of-way, and utility rights-of-way; and

(N) Any person who owns, controls, operates, or manages a renewable energy system that is located on such person's property and provides, sells, or transmits the power generated from that renewable energy system to an electric utility or to lessees or tenants on the person's property where the renewable energy system is located; provided that:

(i) An interconnection, as defined in section 269-141, is maintained with an electric public utility to preserve the lessees' or tenants' ability to be served by an electric utility;

(ii) Such person does not use an electric public utility's transmission or distribution lines to provide, sell, or transmit electricity to lessees or tenants;

(iii) At the time that the lease agreement is signed, the rate charged to the lessee or tenant for the power generated by the renewable energy system shall be no greater than the effective rate charged per kilowatt hour from the applicable electric utility schedule filed with the public utilities commission;

(iv) The rate schedule or formula shall be established for the duration of the lease, and the lease agreement entered into by the lessee or tenant shall reflect such rate schedule or formula;

(v) The lease agreement shall not abrogate any terms or conditions of applicable tariffs for termination of services for nonpayment of electric utility services or rules regarding health, safety, and welfare;

(vi) The lease agreement shall disclose: (1) the rate schedule or formula for the duration of the lease agreement; (2) that, at the time that the lease agreement is signed, the rate charged to the lessee or tenant for the power generated by the renewable energy system shall be no greater than the effective rate charged per kilowatt hour from the applicable electric utility schedule filed with the public utilities commission; (3) that the lease agreement shall not abrogate any terms or conditions of applicable tariffs for termination of services for nonpayment of electric utility services or rules regarding health, safety, and welfare; and (4) whether the lease is contingent upon the purchase of electricity from the renewable energy system; provided further that any disputes concerning the requirements of this provision shall be resolved pursuant to the provisions of the lease agreement or chapter 521, if applicable; and

(vii) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit wheeling.

If the application of this chapter is ordered by the commission in any case provided in paragraph (2)(C), (D), (H), and (I), the business of any public utility that presents evidence of bona fide operation on the date of the commencement of the proceedings resulting in the order shall be presumed to be necessary to the public convenience and necessity, but any certificate issued under this proviso shall nevertheless be subject to terms and conditions as the public utilities commission may prescribe, as provided in sections 269-16.9 and 269-20.

"Renewable energy system" means any identifiable facility, equipment, apparatus, or the like that converts renewable energy, as defined in section 269-91, to useful thermal or electrical energy for heating, cooling, or reducing the use of other types of energy that are dependent on fossil fuel for their generation.

"Single-line" means a single-party line or a one-party line.

"Taxicab" means and includes:

(1) Any motor vehicle used in the movement of passengers on the public highways under the following circumstances, namely, the passenger hires the vehicle on call or at a fixed stand, with or without baggage for transportation, and controls the vehicle to the passenger's destination; and

(2) Any motor vehicle having seating accommodations for eight or less passengers used in the movement of passengers on the public highways between a terminal, i.e., a fixed stand, in the city of Honolulu, and a terminal in a geographical district outside the limits of the city of Honolulu, and vice versa, without picking up passengers other than at the terminals or fixed stands; provided that passengers may be unloaded at any point between terminals; and provided further that this definition relating to motor vehicles operating between terminals shall pertain only to those motor vehicles whose operators or owners were duly licensed (under section 445-222 and any other applicable provision of law or ordinance) and doing business between such terminals on January 1, 1957.

"Telecommunications carrier" or "telecommunications common carrier" means any person that owns, operates, manages, or controls any facility used to furnish telecommunications services for profit to the public, or to classes of users as to be effectively available to the public, engaged in the provision of services, such as voice, data, image, graphics, and video services, that make use of all or part of their transmission facilities, switches, broadcast equipment, signalling, or control devices.

"Telecommunications service" or "telecommunications" means the offering of transmission between or among points specified by a user, of information of the user's choosing, including voice, data, image, graphics, and video without change in the form or content of the information, as sent and received, by means of electromagnetic transmission, or other similarly capable means of transmission, with or without benefit of any closed transmission medium, and does not include cable service as defined in section 440G-3.

"Touch-tone dialing" means dual-tone multi-frequency, as opposed to dial-pulse signaling. [L 1913, c 89, 18; RL 1925, 2208; am L 1927, c 100, 1; am L 1933, c 169, 6 and c 202, 1; am L Sp 1933, c 32, 2; RL 1935, 7940; RL 1945, 4701; am L 1949, c 366, 1; am L Sp 1949, c 65, 1; RL 1955, 104-1; am L 1957, c 151, 1; HRS 269-1; am L 1969, c 30, 1; am L 1974, c 59, 2; am L 1977, c 102, 2; am L 1980, c 77, 2; am L 1981, c 167, 1; am L 1984, c 95, 4; am L 1990, c 49, 3; am L 1991, c 57, 1; am L 1994, c 264, 2; am L 1995, c 105, 2, 7 and c 225, 3; am L 1996, c 102, 1 and c 205, 3; am L 1997, c 120, 6; am L 1998, c 11, 16; am L 1999, c 255, 1; am L 2001, c 272, 7; am L 2005, c 22, 9 and c 164, 2; am L 2008, c 169, 3; am L 2009, c 156, 5; am L 2011, c 9, 2; am L 2012, c 74, 1 and c 166, 3; am L 2013, c 261, 2]

 

Note

 

Section 445-222 referred to in definition of "taxicab" is repealed.

 

Cross References

 

Disposition of public lands, see 171-95.

Franchise tax, see chapter 240.

Public service company tax, see chapter 239.

 

Attorney General Opinions

 

Channels for transmission of audio and video signals provided by telephone company are subject to PUC jurisdiction. Att. Gen. Op. 65-12.

Producers supplying electrical energy to electric utilities for general public consumption are subject to PUC regulation. Att. Gen. Op. 65-23.

Public utilities commission may regulate community antenna television systems as public utilities. Att. Gen. Op. 69-29.

Statute which would include newspapers within definition of public utility and subject them to PUC jurisdiction would be violative of freedom of the press. Att. Gen. Op. 74-11.

"Rate" includes "rate schedule". Att. Gen. Op. 76-1.

 

Case Notes

 

Meaning of "taxicab" under former law. 41 H. 398.

Ownership of property "indirectly for public use," discussed. 56 H. 115, 530 P.2d 742.

Termination of service to public effect on status as public utility. 56 H. 115, 530 P.2d 742.

Entity was not a public utility. 67 H. 342, 686 P.2d 831.

Cited: 100 F. Supp. 164; 24 H. 136, 141; 32 H. 51, 55; 32 H. 127, 130; 34 H. 269, 270, aff'd 105 F.2d 286; 40 H. 579, 581; 41 H. 615, 616; 43 H. 216; 44 H. 634, 638, 361 P.2d 390.

 

 

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