No electric utility, subject to regulation by the Commission, shall charge a church for its services by any method other than actual kilowatt hour consumption; nor shall any such electric utility charge a church for its electrical service at a rate in excess of the applicable residential rate for the area in which it is located. As used in this section, “church” shall be limited to the synagogue or church building in which the sanctuary or principal place of worship is located and to all educational buildings which are physically attached by enclosed corridors or hallways to the building in which the sanctuary or principal place of worship is located.Notwithstanding the requirements of the first sentence of this section, the Commission may, after a hearing upon application by an electric utility, set a rate for churches in excess of the applicable residential rate if the utility proves that the cost of service for churches exceeds the cost of service for those other customers under the residential rate. In setting such a rate, the Commission shall consider the special use characteristics of churches, such as the amount of electricity utilized during off-peak power periods for the utility. The provisions of this section shall not apply to churches which are served by an electric utility having a time of usage rate approved by the Commission and which have elected to be on such time of usage rate.
1978, c. 531; 1980, c. 259.