.02 Definitions.

A. In this subtitle, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) "Certified nurse practitioner" means an individual certified by the State Board of Nursing under COMAR 10.27.07.

(2) "Commission" means the Public Service Commission of Maryland.

(3) "Customer" means a person receiving service from a utility, in whose name the account is maintained, for use in the premises.

(4) "Disputed bill" means a bill which is the subject of a bona fide controversy between a customer and the utility regarding any billing error, including, but not limited to, matters such as errors in computation, failure of the bill to reflect a payment or other credit, and billing for service which the customer alleges was not used or was used by another person.

(5) "Dwelling unit" means a room or rooms suitable for occupancy as a residence containing sanitary or kitchen facilities.

(6) "Elderly" means an individual 65 years old or older.

(7) "Equipment" means any device or apparatus, including piping, electrical wires, and meters, which is used by a utility to provide service to a customer or used by a customer to receive service from a utility.

(8) "EUSP" means Electric Universal Service Program established under Public Utilities Article, §7-512.1, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(9) "Extreme weather period" means a period of 72 hours beginning at 6 a.m. on any given day comprised of three consecutive 24-hour segments during any one of which the temperature, as forecast, is not expected to exceed 32 degrees Fahrenheit or is expected to be 95 degrees Fahrenheit or above during the segments. Determination of the possible existence of an extreme weather period must be repeated every 24 hours at 6 a.m.

(10) "Handicapped" means an individual who:

(a) Has any physical disability or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of the individual's life activities; and

(b) Is:

(i) Receiving disability insurance payments from a government agency that requires certification of the disability, or

(ii) Certified as being physically disabled by a licensed physician or mentally impaired by a licensed psychiatrist or registered psychologist.

(11) "Life-support equipment" means any electric or gas energy-using device certified by a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner, or physician assistant as being essential to prevent, or to provide relief from, a serious illness or to sustain the life of the customer or an occupant of the premises.

(12) "Local government" has the meaning stated in State Government Article, §11-101(g), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(13) Master-Metered Building.

(a) "Master-metered building" means, for purposes of COMAR 20.31.01, 20.31.02, and 20.31.03, a building with four or more dwelling units, where the customer buys electricity or gas from the utility and provides it to the occupants in the building either as a part of a rental agreement or lease, condominium fee, or other charge, or as charged under the authority of Public Utilities Article, §7-303, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(b) "Master-metered building" does not include transient facilities.

(14) "Occupant" means any individual who has a legal right to reside in the premises.

(15) "Person" has the meaning stated in Public Utilities Article, §1-101, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(16) "Physician assistant" means an individual who is licensed under Health Occupations Article, Title 15, Annotated Code of Maryland, to practice medicine with physician supervision.

(17) "Premises" means a building, or portion of a building, that is receiving service from a utility for use in a dwelling unit or units.

(18) "Serious illness" means an illness certifiable by a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner, or physician assistant to be such that termination of service during the period of time covered by the certificate would be especially dangerous to the health of the person certified to be seriously ill.

(19) "Service" means providing electricity or gas, or both, to a premises.

(20) "Termination" means to discontinue electric, gas, or electric and gas service to a premises by a utility.

(21) "Third person" means an individual, organization, or government agency designated by the customer to receive notices of termination.

(22) "USPP" means Utility Service Protection Program, established under COMAR 20.31.05.

(23) "Utility" has the same meaning as the terms "electric company" and "gas company" as defined by Public Utilities Article, §1-101, Annotated Code of Maryland, and includes a combination electric and gas company.