Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 2. Definitions Applicable to Subtitle.


§ 34–201. “Commission” defined.

For the purpose of this subtitle the term “Commission” or “Public Service Commission” when used herein shall mean the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia or any successor Commission, which shall include any regulatory or other body that possesses or exercises the same or similar powers, functions, duties, and obligations exercised or possessed by the Commission on May 9, 2000.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 634, Pub. L. 88-503, § 21; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 201(b)(1), 47 DCR 1091.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-201.

1973 Ed., § 43-101.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-1311.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-107 inserted “or ‘Public Service Commission”’ following “Commission” and substituted the concluding language for “created by this section.”


§ 34–202. “Commissioner” defined.

The term “Commissioner” when used in Chapters 1-11 of this title and Chapter 33 of Title 42 shall mean one of the members of such Commission.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-202.

1973 Ed., § 43-102.


§ 34–203. “Common carrier” defined.

The term “common carrier” when used in this subtitle includes express companies and every corporation, street railroad corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, and person, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, operating, controlling, or managing any agency or agencies for public use for the conveyance of persons or property within the District of Columbia for hire. Taxicabs, and all other passenger vehicles for hire, steam railroads, express companies subject to the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Washington Terminal Company, and the Norfolk and Washington Steamboat Company, and all companies engaged in interstate traffic upon the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay and the Washington and Old Dominion Railway, excepting as to the regulation of its operation inside of the District of Columbia, and the Washington-Virginia Railway Company, excepting as to the regulation of its operation inside of the District of Columbia, are excluded from the operation of this subtitle, and are not included in the term “common carrier.”


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 975, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; Feb. 25, 1916, 39 Stat. 13, ch. 34; Aug. 21, 1916, 39 Stat. 521, ch. 367; Aug. 26, 1916, 39 Stat. 536, ch. 412; Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-97, § 21(b), 33 DCR 703.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-211.

1973 Ed., § 43-111.

Effective Dates

Section 24(b) of D.C. Law 6-97 provided that §§ 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 23 shall take effect 1 year after March 25, 1986.


§ 34–204. “Corporation” defined.

The term “corporation” when used in this subtitle includes a corporation, company, association, and joint-stock company or association.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-205.

1973 Ed., § 43-105.


§ 34–205. “Electric generating facility” defined.

The term “electric generating facility” when used in this subtitle means all buildings, easements, real estate, mains, pipes, conduits, fixtures, meters, wires, poles, lamps, devices, and materials of any kind operated, owned, used, or to be used by a person for the generation of electricity. The term includes all buildings, easements, real estate, mains, pipes, conduits, fixtures, meters, wires, poles, lamps, devices, and materials of any kind operated, owned, used, or to be used by a person for cogeneration of electricity.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; as added May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 201(b)(7), 47 DCR 1091.)


§ 34–206. “Electric plant” defined.

The term “electric plant” when used in this subtitle means the material, equipment, and property owned and used, or to be used, by the electric company for or in connection with the transmission or distribution of electricity in the District of Columbia to a retail electric customer.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 975, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 201(b)(4), 47 DCR 1091.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-214.

1973 Ed., § 43-114.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-1311.01 and § 34-2602.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-107 rewrote this section which formerly provided: “The term ‘electric plant’ when used in Chapters 1-10 of this title includes all engines, boilers, dynamos, generators, storage batteries, converters, motors, transformers, cables, wires, poles, lamps, meters, easements, real estate, fixtures, and personal property, materials, apparatus, and devices of every kind operated, owned, used or to be used for or in connection with or to facilitate the generation, transmission, distribution, sale, or furnishing of electricity for light, heat, or power, and any conduits, ducts, or other devices, materials, apparatus, or property for containing, holding, or carrying electrical conductors used or to be used wholly or in part for the transmission of electricity for light, heat, or power, except where electricity is made, generated, produced, or transmitted by a private person or private corporation on or through private property solely for its own use or the use of tenants of its building and not for sale to or for the use of others.”

Cross References

Public utility environmental impact statement, “action” defined, see § 34-


§ 34–207. “Electrical company” defined.

The term “electric company” when used in this subtitle includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, or person and doing business in the District of Columbia, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, physically transmitting or distributing electricity in the District of Columbia to retail electric customers. The term excludes any building owner, lessee, or manager who, respectively, owns, leases, or manages, the internal distribution system serving the building and who supplies electricity and other related electricity services solely to occupants of the building for use by the occupants. The term also excludes a person or entity that does not sell or distribute electricity and that owns or operates equipment used exclusively for the charging of electric vehicles.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 201(b)(5), 47 DCR 1091; Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-252, § 101(a), 59 DCR 14932.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-215.

1973 Ed., § 43-115.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-1771.06, § 8-1773.01, § 34-1311.01, § 34-1501, and § 34-1561.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-107 rewrote this section which formerly provided: “The term ‘electrical corporation’ when used in Chapters 1-10 of this title includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, or person doing business in the District of Columbia, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, operating, controlling, or managing any electric plant, including any water plant, or water property, or water falls, or dam, or waterpower stations, except where electricity is made, generated, produced, or transmitted by a private person or private corporation on or through private property solely for its own use or the use of tenants of its building and not for sale to or for the use of others.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-252 added the last sentence.

Editor's Notes

Section 301 of D.C. Law 19-252 provided that the Mayor shall issue rules to implement the provisions of the act within 180 days of its effective date [Mar. 19, 2013].


§ 34–208. “Extension or extensions” defined.

The term “extension or extensions” when used in this subtitle shall include the reasonable extension of the service and facilities of every street railroad, street railroad corporation, gas plant, gas company, electric plant, electrical corporation, telephone corporation, telephone line, telegraph line, and telegraph corporation as the same are defined in this subtitle.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; Mar. 16, 2005, D.C. Law 15-227, § 17(a)(2), 51 DCR 10549.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-208.

1973 Ed., § 43-108.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-227 substituted “gas company” for “gas corporation”.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 7(b) of Prevention of Unauthorized Switching of Customer Natural Gas Accounts Temporary Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-13, July 10, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 6589).


§ 34–209. “Gas company” defined.

The term “gas company” when used in this subtitle includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, or person manufacturing, making, distributing, or selling gas for light, heat, or power, or for any public use whatsoever in the District of Columbia, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, and in said district selling, physically transmitting, or distributing natural gas in the District of Columbia to retail natural gas customers. The term excludes any building owner, lessee, or manager who, respectively, owns, leases, or manages, the internal distribution system serving the building and who supplies natural gas and other related natural gas services solely to occupants of the building for use by the occupants.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 975, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; Mar. 16, 2005, D.C. Law 15-227, § 17(a)(3), 51 DCR 10549; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 58(a), 53 DCR 6794.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-213.

1973 Ed., § 43-113.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-1773.01 and § 34-1311.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-227 rewrote the section which had read:

“The term ‘gas corporation’ when used in this subtitle includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, or person manufacturing, making, distributing, or selling gas for light, heat, or power, or for any public use whatsoever in the District of Columbia, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, and in said district owning, operating, controlling, or managing any gas plant, except where the gas is made or produced and distributed by the maker on or through private property solely for its own use or the use of its tenants and not for sale to or for the use of others.”

D.C. Law 16-191 made a change in the directory language of D.C. Law 15-227 which resulted in no change in text.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(c) of Prevention of Unauthorized Switching of Customer Natural Gas Accounts Temporary Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-13, July 10, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 6589).


§ 34–210. “Gas plant” defined.

The term “gas plant” when used in this subtitle means the material, equipment, and property owned and used, or to be used, by the gas company for or in connection with the transmission or distribution of natural gas in the District of Columbia to a retail natural gas customer.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 975, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; Mar. 16, 2005, D.C. Law 15-227, § 17(a)(4), 51 DCR 10549.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-212.

1973 Ed., § 43-112.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-1311.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-227 rewrote the section which had read:

“The term ‘gas plant’ when used in this subtitle includes all buildings, easements, real estate, mains, pipes, conduits, service pipes, services, pipe galleries, meters, boilers, water-gas sets, retorts, fixtures, condensers, scrubbers, purifiers, holders, materials, apparatus, personal property, and franchises, and property of every kind used in the conduct of the business operated, owned, controlled, used or to be used for or in connection with or to facilitate the manufacture, distribution, sale, or furnishing of gas (natural or manufactured) for light, heat, or power.”


§ 34–211. “Joint rates” defined.

The term “joint rates” when used in this subtitle with reference to street railways shall be taken to mean rates between unrelated lines in effect on March 4, 1913, under then existing law or under contract, or which may thereafter be specifically authorized by law.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-207.

1973 Ed., § 43-107.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1215.15.


§ 34–212. “Person” defined.

The word “person” when used in this subtitle means every individual, corporation, company, association, joint-stock company, association, firm, partnership, or other entity.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 201(b)(3), 47 DCR 1091.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-206.

1973 Ed., § 43-106.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-107 rewrote this section which formerly provided: “The word ‘person’ when used in Chapters 1-10 of this title includes an individual and a firm or copartnership.”


§ 34–213. “Pipeline company” defined.

The term “pipeline company” when used in this subtitle includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, or person, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, operating, managing, or controlling the supply of any liquid, steam, or air through pipes or tubing to consumers for use or for lighting, heating, or cooling purposes, or for power.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-221.

1973 Ed., § 43-121.


§ 34–214. “Public utility”, “utility” or “utility company” defined.

The term “public utility”, “utility” or “utility company” as used in this subtitle shall mean and embrace every street railroad, street railroad corporation, common carrier, gas plant, gas company, electric company, telephone corporation, telephone line, telegraph corporation, telegraph line, and pipeline company. Until the initial implementation date of Chapter 15 of this title, the term shall also include every electric generating facility owned and operated by the electric company. The term “public utility” excludes a person or entity that owns or operates electric vehicle supply equipment but does not sell or distribute electricity, an electric vehicle charging station service company, or an electric vehicle charging station service provider.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 201(b)(2), 47 DCR 1091; Mar. 16, 2005, D.C. Law 15-227, § 17(a)(1), 51 DCR 10549; Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-252, § 101(b), 59 DCR 14932.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-203.

1973 Ed., § 43-103.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-1551.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-227 substituted “gas company” for “gas corporation”.

D.C. Law 13-107 inserted following “The term ‘public utility’ ” the words “or ‘utility’ or ‘utility company’ ”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-252 added the last sentence.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 7(a) of Prevention of Unauthorized Switching of Customer Natural Gas Accounts Temporary Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-13, July 10, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 6589).

Editor's Notes

Section 301 of D.C. Law 19-252 provided that the Mayor shall issue rules to implement the provisions of the act within 180 days of its effective date [Mar. 19, 2013].


§ 34–215. “Service” defined.

The term “service” is used in this subtitle in its broadest and most inclusive sense.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-204.

1973 Ed., § 43-104.


§ 34–216. “Street railroad” defined.

The term “street railroad” when used in this subtitle includes every such railroad, whether wholly or partly in the District of Columbia, by whatsoever power operated, or any extension or extensions, branch or branches thereof, for public use in the conveyance of persons or property for compensation, and includes all equipment, construction, maintenance, repairs, switches, spurs, tracks, terminals, terminal facilities of every kind, trackage, joint or reciprocal trackage, transfers of passengers between street railways having connecting lines and street railways having independent lines, subways, tunnels, and stations, used, operated, or owned by or in connection with any such street railroad, and all the property of the same used in the conduct of its business.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 974, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-209.

1973 Ed., § 43-109.


§ 34–217. “Street railroad corporation” defined.

The term “street railroad corporation” when used in this subtitle includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, and person doing business in the District of Columbia, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, operating, controlling, or managing any street railroad or any cars or other equipment used thereon or in connection therewith.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 975, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-210.

1973 Ed., § 43-110.


§ 34–218. “Telegraph corporation” defined.

The term “telegraph corporation” when used in this subtitle includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, and person, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, operating, controlling, or managing any plant, wires, poles, or property for the purposes of communication, or of transmitting or receiving messages by telegraph, or by any telegraphic apparatus or instrument, or any telegraph line or part of telegraph line used in the conduct of the business of affording for hire, communication by telegraph, or which licenses, lets, or permits telegraphic communication for hire.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-219.

1973 Ed., § 43-119.


§ 34–219. “Telegraph line” defined.

The term “telegraph line” when used in this subtitle includes conduits, ducts, poles, wires, cables, crossarms, instruments, machinery, appliances, and all devices, real estate, franchises, easements, apparatus, fixtures, property, and routes used, operated, controlled, or owned by any telegraph corporation to facilitate the business of affording communication by telegraph for hire.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-220.

1973 Ed., § 43-120.


§ 34–220. “Telephone corporation” defined.

The term “telephone corporation” when used in this subtitle includes every corporation, company, association, joint-stock company or association, partnership, and persons, their lessees, trustees, or receivers, appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, operating, controlling, or managing any plant, wires, poles for the reception, transmission, or communication of messages by telephone, telephonic apparatus or instruments, or any telephone line or part of telephone line, used in the conduct of the business of affording telephonic communication for hire, or which licenses, lets, or permits telephonic communication for hire.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-217.

1973 Ed., § 43-117.


§ 34–221. “Telephone line” defined.

The term “telephone line” when used in this subtitle includes conduits, ducts, poles, wires, cables, crossarms, receivers, transmitters, instruments, machines, and appliances, and all devices, real estate, franchises, easements, apparatus, fixtures, property, appurtenances, and routes used, operated, controlled, or owned by any telephone corporation to facilitate the business of affording telephonic communication for hire, or which licenses, lets, or permits telephonic communication.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-218.

1973 Ed., § 43-118.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-2602.

Cross References

Public utility environmental impact statement, “action” defined, see § 34-2602.


§ 34–222. “Waterpower company” defined. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 976, ch. 150, § 8, par. 1; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 201(b)(6), 47 DCR 1091.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-216.

1973 Ed., § 43-116.

Cross References

Failure to obey Commission, penalties, see §§ 34-706 to 34-708.

General provisions, construction and severability of law, see § 34-403.

Separability clauses, see §§ 34-405 and 34-406.