(a)  In ascertaining reasonable operating expenses pursuant to G.S. 62‑133, no electric or natural gas utility shall be permitted to recover from its ratepayers any direct or indirect expenditure made by such utility for political or promotional advertising as defined in Rule R12‑12 or for other nonutility advertising.

(b)  Political and promotional advertisements as defined by Rule R12‑12 and other nonutility advertisements shall be accompanied by the following statement or a statement substantially to the following effect:


THIS MESSAGE IS NOT PAID FOR BY THE CUSTOMERS OF (the electric or natural gas utility sponsoring the advertisement).


This statement shall be so located and of such size so as to be readily visible or audible to those individuals who may be exposed to the advertisement or communication.

(c)  Expenditures made by an electric or natural gas utility for the types of advertising described in Rule R12‑12(d) will generally be deemed to be reasonable operating expenses, provided however, that the Commission shall not be precluded from determining, on a case-by-case basis,  the extent to which such expenditures may have exceeded a reasonable level or amount.

(d)  Expenditures made by an electric or natural gas utility for advertising of a type or nature other than that described in subsections (b), (c), or (d) of Rule R12‑12 or for other nonutility advertising shall be considered by the Commission to represent reasonable operating expenses to the extent that it can be established, on a case-by-case basis, that:

(1)           the advertising is of benefit to the using and consuming public, or

(2)           the advertising enhances the ability of the public utility to provide efficient and reliable service.

(NCUC Docket No. M‑100, Sub 80, 10/14/80.)