[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 2064

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 21, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  DONALD NORCROSS

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  VINCENT PRIETO

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

Assemblyman  MATTHEW W. MILAM

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Allows certain plumbers and Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration contractors to perform propane services.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Commerce Committee on December 6, 2010, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning the performance of propane services and amending P.L.2007, c.150.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 3 of P.L.2007, c.150 (C.52:27D-511) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    a.  Within 180 days following the effective date of this act, the department shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) requiring that propane gas suppliers or marketers distribute to each customer a description of the terms of their plans or contracts for the sale of propane and propane services in a plain and conspicuous manner and providing for certification of persons as qualified to engage in the sale of propane and to perform propane services pursuant to subsection c. of this section.

     b.    The description required by subsection a. of this section shall contain the following information:

     (1)   The supplier's or marketer's charges and pricing policies for propane and propane services that are disclosed in a format including a price conversion chart that will assist a customer to compare price offers from different propane suppliers or marketers on a uniform basis which an average person can understand and use to do comparative shopping for propane, propane services and for a supplier or marketer;

     (2)   Notification of the right of customers to obtain the supplier's or marketer's current prices of propane and propane services over the telephone, by facsimile transmission or by any other electronic or written means including any additional charges that may be included in the plan or contract for any other items related to the purchase of propane and propane services;

     (3)   Whether the supplier's or marketer's price of propane and propane services may vary depending on non-scheduled or irregular deliveries of propane, or the provision of propane services on weekends, nights, holidays or at other times outside of the normal weekday hours, the criteria for determining what constitutes a non-scheduled or irregular delivery, or outside of normal weekday hours, and the cost of non-scheduled or irregular delivery if propane is provided outside of regular delivery,  or if propane services are provided outside of normal weekday hours;

     (4)   The amount of any additional charges that may be charged by that supplier or marketer to install a container or any other related equipment that may be needed to store and utilize propane, the amount of any container rental fees that may be charged by that supplier or marketer, notice of the customer's right to use the customer's own container and regulator provided that the container and regulator have been verified by the supplier or marketer to meet current safety and licensing standards, and the cost charged by the supplier or marketer to verify whether the customer's container and regulator meet current standards and regulations;

     (5)   Criteria used to determine that supplier's or marketer's pricing structure for propane or propane services, including such criteria as annual usage, the area where the customer lives, the quantity or time of the delivery or other factors;

     (6)   Notice of the right to be contacted by that supplier or marketer at least seven business days before the propane supplier or marketer may discontinue further propane deliveries due to nonpayment;

     (7)   Notice of the customer's right to receive written verification that the propane supplier or marketer is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs;

     (8)   Notice of the customer's right to change propane suppliers or marketers, consistent with the terms of the customer's plan or contract, if the customer is dissatisfied with price or services or for any other reason;

     (9)   Notice of whether a customer is required to call for delivery of propane or if the deliveries are automatic, how often the automatic delivery will be made, whether the deliveries will be made on weekends and holidays and, if so, whether there are additional charges to make deliveries on weekends and holidays, and if the customer is to receive automatic delivery, whether the customer should inform the supplier or marketer of any changes in the customer's circumstances that might change the rate at which the customer uses propane;

     (10) Notice of whether there is any minimal amount of propane per delivery, how many days a customer has to pay a bill after the delivery of propane is made or propane services are provided, as the case may be, and how many days before late fees are charged to a customer and what the supplier's or marketer's policy is for the delivery of propane or the provision of propane services, if needed, during the winter when a customer may have outstanding debt;

     (11) Notice of the provisions contained within subsection c. of this section;

     (12) If desired by the supplier or marketer, a statement that nothing in this description is a waiver or amendment of the contract or plan between the supplier or marketer and the customer, but is merely a summary of the department's regulations for the convenience of the customer; and

     (13) Any other information that the department considers appropriate to ensure that customers of propane suppliers or marketers are fully informed of the terms of their plans or contracts.

     c.     To ensure the safety of this State's propane customers, any customer who desires to cause propane services to be performed should ensure that any such propane services are performed only by persons certified by the department pursuant to the regulations to be adopted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection or by1: (1)1 a licensed master plumber1,1 or journeyman plumber working under the supervision of a master plumber1,1 who has had appropriate training in the performance of propane services as required by the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers1; or (2) a licensed master HVACR contractor, or HVACR journeyperson working under the supervision of a master HVACR contractor, who has had appropriate training in the performance of propane services as required by the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors1.

     (1)   The department, in consultation with and upon the advice and recommendation of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Education and Safety Board, shall promulgate rules and regulations for the certification and competency testing of all persons engaged in the sale of propane and performing propane services, other than the performing of propane services by a master plumber or a journeyman plumber working under the supervision of a master plumber 1or master HVACR contractor or HVACR journeyperson working under the supervision of a master HVACR contractor1, and for the dissemination to the public of information regarding the current certification, or the lack thereof, of persons offering to perform propane services in this State.

     (2)   1Within 180 days of the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        )(pending before the Legislature as this bill), the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers, in consultation with and upon the advice and recommendation of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Education and Safety Board, shall promulgate rules and regulations for the certification and competency testing of all licensed master plumbers engaged in performing propane services.

     (3)   Within 180 days of the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        )(pending before the Legislature as this bill), the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors, in consultation with and upon the advice and recommendation of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Education and Safety Board, shall promulgate rules and regulations for the certification and competency testing of all licensed master HVACR contractors engaged in performing propane services.

     (4)1 All persons who are certified by the department 1, a master HVACR contractor or HVACR journeyperson working under the supervision of a master HVACR contractor,1 or a master plumber or a journeyman plumber working under the supervision of a master plumber shall be legally responsible for the propane services they perform.

     d.    Propane gas suppliers or marketers shall provide the information required by subsection b. of this section to a customer prior to entering into any contract with a customer for the delivery of propane or propane services, upon renewal of an existing contract and in response to a request from a customer.

     e.     The department shall adopt rules and regulations directing propane suppliers and marketers to publish the information required by subsection b. of this section in a format that is clear, uniform and designed to ensure that customers may accurately compare the true cost of services among different suppliers or marketers.

     f.     The department shall also require propane suppliers and marketers to meet the disclosure requirements in subsection b. of this section in advertising to the extent allowed by the advertising medium.

(cf:  P.L.2007, c.150, s.3)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.