Chapter 4901:1-18 Termination of Residential Service

4901:1-18-01 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(A) "Applicant" means any person who requests or makes application with a utility company for any of the following residential services: electric, gas, or natural gas.

(B) "Arrearages" means for each percentage of income payment plan (PIPP) customer such customer's current bill balance, plus the customer's accrued arrearage at the time the customer enrolls in the PIPP program, but does not include past due monthly PIPP payments.

(C) "Bona fide dispute" means a complaint registered with the commission's call center or a formal complaint filed with the commission's docketing division.

(D) "Collection charge" means a tariffed charge assessed to a residential customer by a utility company when payment or proof of payment is given to a utility company employee or agent sent to disconnect the service and who is authorized to accept payment in lieu of disconnection.

(E) "Commission" means the public utilities commission of Ohio.

(F) "Consumer" means any person who is an ultimate user of electric, gas, or natural gas utility service.

(G) "Customer" means any person who enters into an agreement, whether by contract or under a tariff, to purchase: electric, gas, or natural gas utility service.

(H) "Customer premise" means the service address where the customer receives the residential electric, gas, or natural gas utility service.

(I) "Default" means the failure to make the required payment on an extended payment plan by the due date.

(J) "Extended payment plan" means an agreement between the customer and the company that requires the customer to make payments over a set period of time to the company on unpaid amounts owed to the company.

(K) "Former percentage of income payment plan customer" (former PIPP customer) means a customer that remains within the gas or natural gas utility company's service territory who elects to terminate participation in the percentage of income payment plan program or is no longer eligible to participate in the percentage of income payment plan as a result of an increase in the household income or change in the household size and is not in a graduate percentage of income payment plan.

(L) "Fraudulent act" means an intentional misrepresentation or concealment by the customer or consumer of a material fact that the electric, gas, or natural gas utility company relies on to its detriment. "Fraudulent act" does not include tampering.

(M) "Graduate percentage of income payment plan customer" (graduate PIPP customer) means a customer who was previously enrolled in a percentage of income payment plan and who meets the requirements, as set forth in rule 4901:1-18-16 of the Administrative Code, to participate in the transitional phase of the income-based payment plan for low-income, residential customers served by regulated electric, gas, and natural gas utility companies.

(N) "Household income" has the meaning attributed to it by the Ohio department of development, office of community services, in the administration of the home energy assistance program.

(O) "Percentage of income payment plan" (PIPP) means the income-based payment plan for low-income, residential customers served by regulated electric, gas, and natural gas utility companies.

(P) "PIPP anniversary date" means the calendar date by which the PIPP customer must document his or her household income and household size to continue participation in the PIPP program or participate in the graduate PIPP program. The anniversary date shall be every twelve months from when the customer was enrolled in PIPP.

(Q) "PIPP customer" means the customer currently enrolled in PIPP.

(R) "PIPP reverification date" means the actual date on which the PIPP customer documented his or her household income and household size to continue participation in the PIPP program or graduate PIPP program. This date is used to calculate when any missed PIPP payments are due for continued PIPP program participation.

(S) "Tampering" means to interfere with, damage, or by-pass a utility meter, conduit, or attachment with the intent to impede the correct registration of a meter or the proper functions of a conduit or attachment so as to reduce the amount of utility service that is registered on the meter. Tampering includes the unauthorized reconnection of an electric, gas, or natural gas meter, or a conduit or attachment that has been disconnected by the utility company.

(T) "Utility company" means all persons, firms, or corporations engaged in the business of providing electric, gas, or natural gas service to consumers as defined in division (A)(11) of section 4928.01 , division (A)(4) of section 4905.03 , and division (G) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, respectively.

(U) "Winter heating season" means the time period from November first through April fifteenth.

Effective: 02/03/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.28
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 1/19/84, 9/1/04, 11/1/10

4901:1-18-02 General provisions.

(A) The rules in this chapter apply to all electric, gas, and natural gas utility companies that provide service to residential customers, including residential consumers in master-metered premises, and residential consumers whose utility services are included in rental payments.

(B) Nothing contained in this chapter shall in any way preclude the commission from any of the following:

(1) Altering, or amending, in whole or in part, the rules and regulations in this chapter.

(2) Prescribing different standards for the disconnection and reconnection of electric, gas, or natural gas service as deemed necessary by the commission.

(3) Waiving any requirement, standard, or rule set forth in this chapter for good cause shown, as supported by a motion and supporting the memorandum. The application for a waiver shall include the specific rule(s) requested to be waived. If the request is to waive only a part or parts of a rule, then the application should identify the appropriate paragraphs to be waived. The waiver request shall provide sufficient explanation, by rule, to allow the commission to thoroughly evaluate the waiver request.

(C) Except as set forth in this rule, the rules of this chapter supersede any inconsistent provisions, terms, and conditions of electric, gas, and natural gas companies' tariffs. Electric, gas, and natural gas companies may adopt or maintain tariffs providing greater protection for customers or consumers.

(D) The rules in this chapter allow the use of electronic transactions and notices, if the customer and the utility company are both in agreement of such use and such use is consistent with commission requirements or guidelines. The utility company shall advise the customer that if he/she chooses this option, the disconnection notice will only be provided electronically.

Replaces: 4901:1-18-08

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.30 , 4933.17 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-03 Reasons for disconnecting residential electric, gas, or natural gas service.

Electric, gas, or natural gas utility companies under the jurisdiction of the commission may disconnect service to residential customers only for the following reasons:

(A) When a customer/consumer uses electricity, gas, or natural gas in a manner detrimental to the service to other consumers.

(B) When providing service is in conflict or incompatible with any order of the commission, court of law, laws of the state of Ohio or any political subdivision thereof, or of the federal government or any of its agencies.

(C) When the customer has moved from the service location, and the property owner is subject to notice under paragraph (A)(3)(d) of rule 4901:1-18-06 of the Administrative Code.

(D) When supplying electricity, gas, or natural gas creates a safety hazard to consumers or their premises, the public, or to the company's personnel or facilities or where, because of conditions beyond the consumer's premises, disconnection of the supply of electricity, gas, or natural gas is reasonably necessary. The company shall not restore service until the hazardous condition(s) has been corrected.

(E) When a customer, consumer, or his/her agent does any of the following:

(1) Prevents utility company personnel from reading the meter for a year or more.

(2) After notice and a reasonable period of time, prevents utility company personnel from calibrating, maintaining, or replacing the utility company's meter, metering equipment, or other utility company property used to supply service.

(3) Resorts to any fraudulent act to obtain electric, gas, or natural gas service, is the beneficiary of the fraudulent act, or tampers with the utility company's meter, metering equipment, or other property used to supply the service. If the customer does not contest the disconnection, under the circumstances stated in this paragraph the company need not restore service until the consumer or customer has completed each of the following:

(a) Given satisfactory assurance that the fraudulent or tampering act has been discontinued.

(b) Paid to the utility company an amount estimated by the company to be reasonable compensation for unauthorized usage obtained and not paid for at the time of disconnection.

(c) Paid for any damage to property of the utility company including any cost to repair the damage.

(d) Paid all other fees and charges authorized by tariff resulting from the fraudulent act or tampering.

(F) For repairs, provided that notice to customers is given prior to scheduled maintenance interruptions in excess of six hours.

(G) Upon the request of the customer. If the customer is a landlord, then the provisions of paragraph (K) of rule 4901:1-18-08 of the Administrative Code, shall also apply.

(H) For nonpayment of regulated services provided by the utility company, including nonpayment of security deposits.

(I) For good cause shown.

Replaces: 4901:1-18-02

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.30 , 4933.17 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 7/27/80, 6/13/81, 7/1/99, 9/1/04, 4/6/06

4901:1-18-04 Delinquent bills.

(A) Individually metered residential service accounts will be considered delinquent and subject to the utility company's disconnection procedures for nonpayment if the account meets one of the following criteria:

(1) The customer has not made full payment or arrangements for payment by the due date, for any given bill containing a previous balance for regulated services provided by the utility company.

(2) The customer is in default on an extended payment plan.

(3) The customer fails to make the initial payment on an extended payment plan.

(B) The minimum payment necessary in order to avoid the disconnection procedures shall not be greater than the delinquent amount, i.e., that portion of the bill that represents a previous balance for regulated services provided by the utility company.

Replaces: 4901:1-18-03

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 9/1/04

4901:1-18-05 Extended payment plans and responsibilities.

(A) Upon contact by a customer whose account is delinquent or who desires to avoid a delinquency, the utility company shall inform the customer that it will make reasonable extensions or other extended payment plans appropriate for both the customer and the utility company. If the customer proposes payment terms, the utility company may exercise discretion in the acceptance of the payment terms based upon the account balance, the length of time that the balance has been outstanding, the customer's recent payment history, the reasons why payment has not been made, and any other relevant factors concerning the customer including health, age, and family circumstances.

(B) If the customer fails to propose payment terms acceptable to the utility company, the utility company shall then advise the customer of the availability of all of the following extended payment plans and the percentage of income payment plan (PIPP). If a customer requests additional information about PIPP, the utility company shall inform the customer of the eligibility requirements as set forth in paragraphs (B) and (C) of rule 4901:1-18-12 of the Administrative Code (gas PIPP) or to Chapter 122:5-3 of the Administrative Code (electric PIPP), and provide the customer with a copy of PIPP literature and direct the customer to the local community action agency:

(1) One-sixth plan - A plan that requires six equal payments on the arrearages in addition to full payment of the current bill.

(2) One-ninth plan - A plan that requires nine equal monthly payments on the arrearages in addition to a budget payment plan for the projected monthly bills, which will end nine months from the initial payment. The budget portion of the payments may be adjusted periodically during the nine-month period as needed.

(3) Winter heating season plan - In addition to the one-sixth and one-ninth plans in this paragraph, during the winter heating season, the utility company shall offer to any customer not on a payment plan, the one-third payment plan for any bills that include any usage occurring from November first to April fifteenth of each year. The one-third plan requires payment of one-third of the balance due each month (arrearages plus the current bill). For any outstanding balance remaining after the last one-third bill has been rendered, the utility company shall remove the customer from the one-third payment plan and shall offer the customer the option to pay the balance, or to enter into one of the other plans in this paragraph, or to enroll in PIPP, provided that he/she meets the qualifications for that PIPP plan.

(C) A customer who is in default on an agreed-upon extended payment plan in paragraph

(A) of this rule shall be offered the payment plans in paragraph (B) of this rule and PIPP, provided that he/she meets the qualifications for that plan. A customer who is in default on one of the extended payment plans in paragraph (B) of this rule shall be offered PIPP, provided that he/she meets the qualifications for the PIPP plan. If a customer is having difficulty complying with any payment plan and requests that the utility company review that payment plan, the utility company may agree to modify the payment plan to meet both the customer's and utility company's needs.

(D) For customers without arrearages, the utility company shall also offer a budget plan

(a uniform payment plan).

(E) If a customer informs the utility company of a medical problem, the utility company shall inform the customer of the medical certification program as provided in paragraph (C) of rule 4901:1-18-06 of the Administrative Code.

(F) A customer's failure to make any payment under one of the payment plans in paragraph (B) of this rule or PIPP shall entitle the utility company to disconnect service in accordance with the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-18-06 of the Administrative Code.

(G) The utility company shall advise the customer, who enters into an extended payment plan, that it will provide the customer with the terms of the plan in writing. The utility company shall also advise the customer that failure to make a payment under the extended payment plan may result in the disconnection of service in accordance with the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-18-06 of the Administrative Code.

(H) No utility company shall charge late payment fees to customers that are current on the payment plans identified in paragraph (A) or (B) of this rule or PIPP.

Effective: 02/03/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.30 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 10/6/82, 12/1/83, 1/9/84, 10/10/84 (Emer.), 1/8/85, 12/7/91, 9/1/04, 11/1/10

4901:1-18-06 Disconnection procedures for electric, gas, and natural gas utilities.

(A) If a residential customer is delinquent, as defined in paragraph (A) of rule 4901:1-18-04 of the Administrative Code, in paying for regulated services, the utility company may, after at least fourteen days' notice, disconnect the customer's service during normal utility company business hours in compliance with all of the following conditions.

(1) No disconnections for nonpayment shall be made after twelve-thirty p.m. on the day preceding a day on which all services necessary for the customer to arrange and the utility company to perform reconnection are not regularly performed.

(2) On the day of disconnection of service, the utility company shall provide the customer with personal notice. If the customer is not at home, the utility company shall provide personal notice to an adult consumer. If neither the customer nor an adult consumer is at home, the utility company shall attach written notice to the premises in a conspicuous location prior to disconnecting service.

(3) Third-party or guarantor notification.

(a) Each utility company shall permit a residential customer to designate a third party to receive notice of the pending disconnection of the customer's service and any other credit notices sent to the customer. If the customer has a guarantor, the guarantor shall receive notice of the pending disconnection of the guaranteed customer's service and any other credit notices sent to the guaranteed customer, pursuant to rule 4901:1-17-03 of the Administrative Code. The utility company shall notify the third party or the guarantor at least fourteen days prior to disconnecting the customer's service.

(b) The utility company shall inform the third party that his/her receipt of such notices does not constitute acceptance of any liability by the third party for payment for service provided to the customer unless the third party has also agreed, in writing, to be a guarantor for the customer.

(c) In compliance with division (E) of section 4933.12 and division (D) of section 4933.121 of the Revised Code, if the utility company plans to disconnect the residential utility service of a customer for the nonpayment of his/her bill, and that customer resides in an Ohio county in which the department of job and family services has provided the utility company with a written request for notification of residential service disconnection prior to the disconnection, then the utility company shall provide, during the period of the fifteenth of November to the fifteenth of April, the appropriate county department of job and family services with a listing, electronically if feasible, of those customers whose service will be disconnected for nonpayment. This information will include at a minimum, the customer's first name, middle initial, last name, service address, and county of residence, and shall be made available to the county department of job and family services simultaneous with the generation of any ten-day disconnection notices being distributed to customers. The county department of job and family services may use this information to assist customers in the payment of delinquent utility bills in an effort to avoid disconnection of service.

(d) Upon the request of a property owner or the agent of a property owner, each utility company shall provide the property owner or the agent of a property owner with at least three days' advance notice when service to his/her property is to be disconnected either at the request of a residential customer who is a tenant or for nonpayment.

(4) Utility company employees or agents of the utility company who disconnect service at the premises may or may not, at the discretion of the utility company, be authorized to make extended payment arrangements. Utility company employees or agents who disconnect service shall be authorized to complete one of the following:

(a) Accept payment in lieu of disconnection.

(b) Dispatch an employee to the premises to accept payment.

(c) Make available to the customer another means to avoid disconnection.

(5) The disconnection notice may be mailed separately or included on the regular monthly bill. If the notice is included on the regular monthly bill, it shall be prominently identified as a disconnection notice. The following information shall be clearly displayed either on the disconnection notice or in documents accompanying the disconnection notice:

(a) The delinquent billing account number, the total amount required to prevent disconnection of the regulated services provided by the utility company and/or any security deposit owed at the time of the notice.

(b) The earliest date when disconnection may occur.

(c) The local or toll-free number and address of the utility company's office for customers to contact about their account.

(d) The following statement:

"If you have a complaint in regard to this disconnection notice that can not be resolved after you have called (name of utility company), or for general utility company information, residential and business customers may contact the public utilities commission of Ohio (PUCO) for assistance at 1-800-686-7826 (toll free) from eight a.m. to five p.m. weekdays, or at http://www.puco.ohio.gov. Hearing or speech impaired customers may contact the PUCO via 7-1-1 (Ohio relay service).

The Ohio consumer counsel (OCC) represents residential utility customers in matters before the PUCO. The OCC can be contacted at 1-877-742-5622 (toll free) from eight a.m. to five p.m. weekdays, or at http://www.pickocc.org."

(e) A statement that the customer's failure to pay the amount on the disconnection notice at the utility company's office or to one of its authorized agents before the date specified on the disconnection notice may require payment of a security deposit and a charge for reconnection. The statement shall also include the amount of the security deposit and the reconnection charge.

(f) If applicable, a statement that the failure to pay charges for nontariffed products or services may result in the loss of those products and/or services.

(g) An explanation of the payment plans and options available to a customer whose account is delinquent, as provided in this rule and rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code, and percentage of income payment plan(PIPP), pursuant to rule 4901:1-18-12 of the Administrative Code, and, when applicable, rule 4901:1-18-09 of the Administrative Code.

(h) If disconnection of service is to occur as a result of nonpayment, a statement that a medical certification program and forms are available from the utility company for customers or consumers where the disconnection of service would be especially dangerous to the health of those persons.

(i) A statement that a listing of the utility company's authorized payment agents is available by calling the utility company's toll-free customer service number.

(B) During the period of November first through April fifteenth, if payment or payment arrangements are not made to prevent disconnection before the disconnection date stated on the fourteen-day disconnection notice, the utility company shall not disconnect service to residential customers for nonpayment unless the utility company completes each of the following:

(1) Makes contact with the customer or other adult consumer at the premises ten days prior to disconnection of service by personal contact, telephone, or hand-delivered written notice. Utility companies may send this notice by regular, U.S. mail; however, such notice must allow three calendar days for mailing. This additional notice shall extend the date of disconnection, as stated on the fourteen-day notice required by paragraph (A) of this rule, by ten additional days.

(2) Informs the customer or adult consumer that sources of federal, state, and local government aid for payment of utility bills and for home weatherization are available at the time the utility company delivers the notice required in paragraph (B)(1) of this rule, and provides sufficient information to allow the customer to further pursue available assistance.

(3) Informs the customer of the right to enter into any of the payment plans set forth in paragraph (B) of rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code, or to enroll in PIPP. If the customer does not respond to the notice described in paragraph (B)(1) of this rule, or refuses to accept a payment plan or fails to make the initial payment on a payment plan referenced in this paragraph, the utility company may disconnect service after the ten-day notice expires.

(C) Medical certification

(1) In accordance with the certification requirements of this rule, the utility company shall not disconnect residential service for nonpayment for either of the following situations:

(a) If the disconnection of service would be especially dangerous to the health of any consumer who is a permanent resident of the premises.

(b) When the disconnection of service would make operation of necessary medical or life-supporting equipment impossible or impractical.

(2) The medical condition or the need for medical or life-supporting equipment shall be certified to the utility company by a licensed physician, physician assistant, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or local board of health physician.

(3) The utility company shall act in accordance with the following medical certification requirements:

(a) Upon request of any residential consumer, the utility company shall provide a medical certification form to the customer or to any of the health care professionals identified in paragraph (C)(2) of this rule. The utility company shall use the medical certification form provided in the appendix to this rule.

(b) The certification of the medical condition or the need for the medical or life-supporting equipment required by paragraph (C)(1) of this rule shall be in writing and shall include the name of the person to be certified; a statement that the person is a permanent resident of the premises in question; the name, business address, and telephone number of the certifying party; the nature of the medical condition; an explanation of the need for the medical or life-supporting equipment, if applicable; and a signed statement by the certifying party that disconnection of service will be especially dangerous to the health of a permanent resident of the premises.

(c) Initial certification by the certifying party may be by telephone if written certification is forwarded to the utility company within seven calendar days.

(d) Certification shall prohibit disconnection of service for thirty calendar days.

(e) If a medical certificate is used to avoid disconnection, the customer shall enter into an extended payment plan prior to the end of the medical certification period or be subject to disconnection. The initial payment on the plan shall not be due until the end of the certification period.

(f) If service has been disconnected for nonpayment within twenty-one calendar days prior to the certification of either a special danger to the health of a qualifying resident or the need for medical or life-supporting equipment, the utility company shall restore service to that residence once the certifying party provides the required certification to the utility company and the customer agrees to an extended payment plan.

(g) If certification is provided to the utility company prior to three-thirty p.m., the utility company shall restore the customer's service within the same day. If the certification is received after three-thirty p.m., the utility company shall reconnect service by the earliest time possible on the following business day. Also, if the certification is received after three-thirty p.m. on a day that precedes a day on which all services necessary for the customer to arrange and the utility company to perform reconnection are not regularly performed, the utility company shall make an effort to restore service by the end of that day.

(h) A consumer may renew the certification two additional times (thirty days each) by providing additional certificates to the utility company. The total certification period may not exceed ninety days per household in any twelve-month period.

(4) The electric utility company shall give notice of availability of medical certification to its residential customers by means of bill inserts or special notices at the beginning of the winter heating period and at the beginning of the summer cooling period. The natural gas utility company shall give notice of the availability of medical certification to its residential customers by means of bill inserts or special notices at the beginning of the winter heating period.

(D) This provision is to address circumstances where an electric, gas, or natural gas utility company elects to leave the utility service on at a particular service location for the utility company's convenience after receiving a request for disconnection from the customer of record.

(1) If the new resident does not contact the utility company to establish service, the utility company may subsequently disconnect the utility service in accordance with the fraud provisions in paragraph (C) of rule 4901:1-10-20 of the Administrative Code(electric) and paragraph (C) of rule 4901:1-13-09 of the Administrative Code(gas and natural gas).

(2) Under the circumstance where the new resident becomes an applicant for service and is required to pay a deposit to establish financial responsibility, the utility company must advise the applicant of the date that the utility service may be disconnected for nonpayment of the deposit.

(3) Under either circumstance above where the new resident becomes a consumer of the electric, gas, or natural gas service that was left on by the utility company, the consumer will be financially responsible for the utility service consumed from the date of move-in.

(E) Upon request of the customer, the utility company shall provide an opportunity for review of the initial decision to disconnect the service. The utility company shall review the circumstances surrounding the disconnection, escalate the review to an appropriate supervisor if requested, and inform the customer of the decision upon review as soon as possible. At the customer's request, the utility company shall respond in writing.

(F) The utility company when contacted by the commission's staff shall respond to an inquiry concerning a pending disconnection or actual disconnection within two business days. At the request of commission staff, the utility company shall respond in writing. Commission staff will notify the customer of the utility company's response.

(G) The utility company shall include in its tariff its current standard practices and procedures for disconnection, including any applicable collection and reconnect charges. Any utility company proposing changes to its disconnection notice shall submit a copy to commission staff for review.

Click to view Appendix

Effective: 02/16/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4933.122
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.261 , 4905.30 , 4933.17 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122 , 4911.021
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 10/6/82, 12/1/83, 4/21/86, 6/19/88, 12/3/94, 2/4/00, 9/1/04, 4/6/06, 2/11/08, 11/1/10

4901:1-18-07 Reconnection of service.

(A) Upon payment or proof of payment of the delinquent amount as stated on the disconnection notice, or of an amount sufficient to cure the default on an extended payment plan or the percentage of income payment plan (PIPP), applicable reconnection charge, the utility company shall reconnect service that has been disconnected for nonpayment pursuant to the following provisions:

(1) For customers disconnected from service for ten business days or less, the utility company may assess a reconnection charge and shall reconnect service by the close of the following regular utility company working day. Pursuant to rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code, the amount sufficient to cure the default for customers on extended payment plans shall include all amounts that would have been due and owing under the terms of the applicable extended payment plan, absent default, on the date that service is reconnected. Under paragraph (D)(2)(b) of rule 4901:1-18-12 of the Administrative Code, the amount sufficient to cure the default for PIPP customers includes all amounts that would have been due for any missed PIPP payments, but not more than the arrearage balance.

(2) For customers disconnected from service for more than ten business days, the utility company may treat the customers as new customers and connect service consistent with the timeframes in rules 4901:1-10-09 , 4901:1-13-05 and paragraph (C) of rule 4901:1-17-04 of the Administrative Code. In addition, the utility company may assess the customer a reconnection charge in accordance with approved tariffs. Pursuant to paragraph (D)(2)(b) of rule 4901:1-18-12 of the Administrative Code, PIPP customers shall be required to pay any missed PIPP payments but not more than the arrearage balance. PIPP customers shall not be required to pay a deposit pursuant to rule 4901:1-18-15 of the Administrative Code.

(B) If service is disconnected for nonpayment for no more than ten business days and the customer wishes to guarantee the reconnection of service the same day on which payment is rendered:

(1) The customer must provide proof of payment, as required in paragraph (A)(1) of this rule to the utility company no later than twelve-thirty p.m.

(2) If the customer requests that reconnection occur after normal business hours, and such service is offered by the utility company, the utility company may require the customer to pay or agree to pay the utility company's approved tariff charges for after-hours reconnection. The utility company may collect this fee prior to reconnection or with the customer's next monthly billing.

(C) The utility company shall not assess a reconnection charge unless the utility company has actually disconnected the service. The utility company may, however, assess a collection charge if the collection charge is part of the utility company's approved tariff. A collection charge shall not be assessed more than once per billing cycle.

(D) If the utility company accepts a guarantor in order to reestablish service, it shall follow all of the requirements of paragraph (A)(5) of rule 4901:1-17-03 of the Administrative Code.

Replaces: 4901:1-18-06

Click to view Appendix

Click to view Appendix

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.30 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 10/6/82, 12/1/83, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-08 Landlord-tenant provisions.

This rule is to address circumstances where the utility company knows that the customer is the landlord for a multi-unit dwelling (i.e., tenants who receive master-metered services) or for a single-occupancy dwelling where the utilities are included in the rent. A utility company may disconnect the utility service of these consumers, for nonpayment by the landlord, only in accordance with the following:

(A) The utility company shall give a notice of disconnection of service to the landlord/agent at least fourteen days before the disconnection would occur. If, at the end of the fourteen-day notice period, the customer has not paid or made payment arrangements for the bill to which the fourteen-day notice relates, the utility company shall then make a good faith effort by mail, or otherwise, to provide a separate ten-day notice of pending disconnection to the landlord/agent, to each unit of a multi-unit dwelling (i.e., each tenant who receives master-metered service), and to single-occupancy dwellings where the utilities are included in the rent. This ten-day notice shall be in addition to the fourteen-day notice given to the landlord/agent. This notice requirement shall be complied with throughout the year. In a multi-unit dwelling, written notice shall also be placed in a conspicuous place.

(B) The utility company shall also provide all of the following information in its ten-day notice:

(1) A summary of the remedies tenants may choose to prevent disconnection or to have service reconnected.

(2) A statement to inform tenants that a list of procedures and forms to prevent disconnection or to have service reconnected are available from the utility company upon request. A model form of the tenants' ten-day notice is attached as appendix A to this rule.

(C) The utility company shall inform any consumer inquiring about the notice, posted pursuant to paragraph (A) of this rule, of the amount due for the current month's bill and that the disconnection of service may be prevented if the consumer(s) makes a single payment to the utility company in the amount of the current month's bill.

(D) The utility company shall credit to the appropriate account any payment made by tenants equal to or exceeding the landlord's current bill for those premises. The utility company is under no obligation to accept partial payment from individual tenants. The utility company may choose to accept only a single payment from a representative acting on behalf of all the tenants.

(E) No utility company shall disconnect service to master-metered premises, or to a single-occupancy dwelling where utilities are included in the rent, when all of the following actions take place:

(1) A tenant delivers to the utility company a copy of the written notice required by division (A) of section 5321.07 of the Revised Code, signed by fifty per cent or more of the tenants of the occupied dwelling units in a multi-unit dwelling, or the tenant in a single-occupancy dwelling, which notice shall designate the imminent disconnection of utility service (as shown by the disconnection notices received) as a reason for the notice.

(2) A tenant informs the utility company in writing of the date of the last day on which rent may be paid before a penalty is assessed or the date on which default on the lease or rental agreement can be claimed.

(3) The tenants timely invoke the remedies provided in divisions (B)(1) and (B)(2) of section 5321.07 of the Revised Code, including but not limited to:

(a) Depositing all rent that is due and thereafter becomes due to the landlord, with the clerk of the municipal or county court having jurisdiction.

(b) Applying to the court for an order to use the rent deposited to remedy the condition or conditions specified in the tenant's notice to the landlord (including but not necessarily limited to payment to the utility company rendering the disconnection notice).

(F) Each utility company that delivers notice pursuant to paragraph (A) of this rule shall provide to each tenant, upon request, the procedures to avoid disconnection or to have service reconnected as described in appendix B to this rule. The forms referenced in appendix B to this rule shall be made available by the utility company and also will be available on the commission's website at http://www.puc.ohio.gov/PUCO/rules or by contacting the commission's call center at 1-800-686-7826 (toll free) from eight a.m. to five p.m. weekdays. Hearing or speech impaired customers may contact the commission via 7-1-1 (Ohio relay service). The utility company shall also identify for the tenant any resources in the community where he/she can obtain assistance in pursuing his/her claim, including but not limited to:

(1) The telephone number(s) of the local legal services program (in cities over one hundred thousand served by that utility company).

(2) The toll-free number(s) for the Ohio state legal services association.

(3) The toll-free number(s) of the office of consumers' counsel.

(4) The telephone number(s) of the local bar association.

(5) The telephone number(s) of the local tenant organization(s).

(G) If a utility company disconnects service to consumers whose utility services are included in rental payments or who are residing in master-metered premises, the utility company, upon inquiry, shall inform the consumer that service will be reconnected upon payment of the amount due for the current month's bill plus any reconnection charge if the payment is made within fourteen days of disconnection. The utility company shall continue service at the premises as long as the tenant's representative continues to pay for each month's service (based upon actual or estimated consumption) by the due date of the bill for that service. The utility company shall also reconnect service for those consumers who, within fourteen days of the disconnection of service, invoke the provisions of section 5321.07 of the Revised Code, as specified in paragraph (E) of this rule. If the consumers choose to have their service reconnected by paying the current month's bill and payment is not made by the due date each month, the utility company shall post the notice in a conspicuous location on the premises and make a good faith effort by mail or otherwise to notify each household unit of a multi-unit dwelling, or tenant receiving service in the master-metered premises, or tenant in a single-occupancy dwelling, of the impending service disconnection. The utility company is not required to reconnect service pursuant to this paragraph where the landlord resides on the premises.

(H) The utility company shall provide service to a master-metered premise only if the customer is the landlord/owner of the premises. Company acceptance of new applications for service to master-metered premises requires the landlord/owner to provide to the company an accurate list specifying the individual mailing addresses of each unit served at the master-metered premises.

(I) The utility company may charge the landlord/owner of the master-metered premises, or of a single-occupancy dwelling, a reasonable fee, as set forth in the utility company's tariffs, designed to pay the utility company's incurred cost for providing the notice to tenants required by paragraph (A) of this rule.

(J) The utility company has the burden of collecting from the landlord/owner any billed amounts unpaid at the next billing cycle.

(K) If a customer, who is a property owner, landlord, or the agent of a property owner, requests disconnection of service when residential tenants reside at the premises, the utility company shall perform both of the following actions:

(1) Provide at least a ten-day notice prior to the disconnection of service by mail to the residential tenants or by posting the notice in conspicuous places on the premises.

(2) Inform such customer of the customer's liability for all utility service consumed during the ten-day notice period.

(L) Notwithstanding any notice requirement for a utility company under paragraph (K) of this rule and paragraph (A)(3)(d) of rule 4901:1-18-06 of the Administrative Code, a utility company will not be found to have violated these rules if either the following occurs:

(1) The utility company uses reasonable efforts to determine the status of the customer/consumer as either a property owner, landlord, the agent of a property owner, or a tenant.

(2) The customer/consumer misrepresents the status of the customer/consumer as the property owner, the landlord, the agent of a property owner, or a tenant.

Click to view Appendix

Effective: 02/16/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.261 , 4905.30 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122 , 4911.021
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 10/6/82, 12/1/83, 4/21/86, 12/19/86, 9/1/04, 11/1/10

4901:1-18-09 Combination utility companies.

(A) The residential customers and consumers of a combination utility company that provides both natural gas and electric service shall have the same rights pursuant to Chapter 4901:1-18 of the Administrative Code as customers and consumers who are served by separate natural gas and electric companies. In the event of disconnection or pending disconnection of both gas and electric services, a residential customer of a combination utility company has the right to choose to retain or have reconnected both utility services or one service, either gas or electric.

(B) A combination utility company shall apply the payments from residential customers to their gas and electric accounts separately and shall apportion the payments based on the total balance for each service, including any arrearage plus the current month's charge(s). For purposes of applying these payments:

(1) For customers billed only for services provided by the combination utility company, the utility company shall apply payments first to past due amounts, then to current regulated charges, and finally to any nontariffed charges.

(2) For customers billed by the combination utility company for any competitive services provided by either a competitive retail natural gas supplier and/or a competitive retail electric provider, the utility company shall apply payments as provided for under paragraph (H) of rule 4901:1-10-33 of the Administrative Code.

(C) Whenever a residential customer receiving both gas and electric service from a combination utility company has received a disconnection of service notice, the utility company shall give the customer each of the following options:

(1) An extended payment plan for both gas and electric as provided for in rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code.

(2) An extended payment plan to retain either gas or electric service as chosen by the customer. Such extended payment plan shall include an extended payment plan as provided in rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code.

(D) If a residential customer of a combination utility company who has entered into one extended payment plan for both gas and electric service receives a disconnection of service notice and notifies the utility company of an inability to pay the full amount due under such plan, the utility company shall offer the customer, if eligible pursuant to paragraph (B) of rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code, another payment plan to maintain both services. The utility company shall give the customer the opportunity to retain only one service by paying the defaulted payment plan portion for either the gas or electric service, as selected by the customer.

(E) If both the gas and electric service of a residential customer of a combination utility company have been discontinued for nonpayment, the utility company shall reconnect both services, or either service, as designated by the customer, pursuant to rule 4901:1-18-07 of the Administrative Code.

(F) The combination utility company shall in its disconnection of service notice, as provided for in Chapter 4901:1-18 of the Administrative Code, advise combination residential customers of their rights to select the service(s) for retention or reconnection as provided for in paragraphs (C), (D), and (E) of this rule. The notice shall state with specificity the conditions under which customers may exercise their rights and shall state the telephone number and business address of a utility company representative to be contacted to inquire about those rights.

(G) For a customer who has received a disconnection of service notice and who contacts the combination utility company, the utility company shall inform the customer of the total past due amount for each service, and with respect to the extended payment plans available under this rule, the monthly payment due on the past due amount for each service.

Replaces: 4901:1-18-10

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.30 , 4933.17 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 6/6/81, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-10 Insufficient reasons for refusing service or for disconnecting service.

The utility company shall not refuse service to or disconnect service to any applicant/customer for any of the following reasons:

(A) Failure to pay for service furnished to a former customer unless the former customer and the new applicant for service continue to be members of the same household.

(B) Failure to pay for nonresidential service.

(C) Failure to pay any amount which is in bona fide dispute. Where the customer has registered a complaint with the commission's call center or filed a formal complaint with the commission that reasonably asserts a bona fide dispute, the utility company shall not disconnect service if the customer pays either the undisputed portion of the bill, if known or can reasonably be determined, or the amount billed for the same billing period in the previous year.

(D) Failure to pay any nontariffed service charges, including competitive retail electric service.

Replaces: 4901:1-18-11

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.261 , 4905.30 , 4933.17 , 4933.12 , 4933.121 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 10/6/82, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-11 Restrictive language prohibition.

Except as provided in Chapter 4901:5-37 and rule 4901:5-25-06 of the Administrative Code, or other commission-approved curtailment provisions, no gas, natural gas, or electric utility company shall deny service to a prospective customer or discontinue service to a present customer because the utility company would be or is providing only auxiliary, stand-by or emergency service as an alternative energy source.

Upon application to and approval by the commission, a gas, natural gas, or electric utility company may file a separate applicable tariff containing rates which reflect the costs incurred by that company to provide such services.

Replaces: 4901:1-18-12

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.28
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.30 , 4905.31 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 7/7/85, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-12 Percentage of income payment plan program eligibility for gas utility service.

(A) Rules 4901:1-18-12 to 4901:1-18-17 of the Administrative Code, apply to the percentage of income payment plan (PIPP) for residential service from a gas or natural gas utility company. PIPP rules and requirements for residential electric utility service are located in Chapter 122:5-3 of the Administrative Code.

(B) A customer is eligible for PIPP if the customer meets one of the following criteria:

(1) The household income for the past three months, if annualized, would be less than or equal to one hundred fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines.

(2) The annualized household income for the past three months is more than one hundred fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines, but the customer has a household income for the past twelve months which is less than or equal to one hundred fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines.

(C) If the customer meets the income eligibility requirements, as set forth in paragraph (B) of this rule, to participate in PIPP, the customer must also:

(1) Apply for all public energy assistance for which the customer is eligible.

(2) Apply for all weatherization programs for which the customer is eligible.

(3) Sign and submit a release to the Ohio department of development and the affected jurisdictional gas or natural gas utility company giving permission for that entity to receive information from any public or private agency that provides income or energy assistance to the customer, or from any member of the customer's household, and/or from any public or private employer of the customer or member of the customer's household as it relates to PIPP eligibility.

(4) Notify the local agency designated by the Ohio department of development, within thirty days, of any change in income or household size.

(D) In addition to the requirements set forth in paragraphs (B) and (C) of this rule, a PIPP customer must also periodically reverify his/her eligibility.

(1) All PIPP customers must provide proof of eligibility to the Ohio department of development of the household income at least once every twelve months at or about the customer's PIPP anniversary date. The customer shall be accorded a grace period of sixty days after the customer's PIPP anniversary date to reverify eligibility.

(2) Except as provided in this paragraph, the PIPP customer must be current on his/her income-based PIPP payments at the customer's PIPP reverification date to be eligible to remain on PIPP for the subsequent twelve months. The customer will have one billing cycle after the PIPP reverification date to pay any missed PIPP payments before being removed from the program. Missed PIPP payments include:

(a) Any delayed payments as a result of the customer's prior use of a medical certificate in accordance with paragraph (C) of rule 4901:1-18-06 of the Administrative Code.

(b) Any missed payments, including PIPP payments which would have been due for the months the customer is disconnected from gas utility service. These missed PIPP payments must be paid prior to the restoration of utility service. The amount of the PIPP payments due shall not exceed the amount of the customer's arrearage.

(3) All PIPP customers must also provide proof of eligibility to the gas or natural gas utility company upon request. No gas or natural gas utility company shall request such proof without justification.

(4) PIPP customers who have been dropped from the PIPP program due to nonpayment may re-enroll in the program after all missed PIPP payments, from the time of enrollment or the PIPP reverification date, up until re-enrollment, have been cured. This includes payments for any months in which the customer was disconnected. The amount due shall not exceed the amount of the customer's arrearage.

(E) Upon the customer's enrollment in PIPP and at reverification, the gas or natural gas utility company shall provide the customer with a copy of PIPP literature including, at a minimum, the customer's monthly payment, service address, arrearage at plan initiation, nonrecurring fees, timely payment incentives, reverification requirements including the customer's anniversary date, and customer responsibilities when the customer is no longer eligible for the program.

Replaces: part of 4901:1-18-04

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.06
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 10/6/82, 12/1/83, 1/19/84, 10/10/84, 1/8/85, 12/7/91, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-13 Payment requirements for percentage of income payment plan customers.

(A) The payment requirements for a percentage of income payment plan (PIPP) or graduate PIPP customer, as referenced in Chapter 4901:1-18 of the Administrative Code, shall be calculated as set forth in this rule.

(1) PIPP. Each PIPP customer shall be billed six per cent of his/her household income or ten dollars, whichever is greater, per billing cycle by the jurisdictional gas or natural gas utility company that provides the customer with his/her source of heat.

(2) Graduate PIPP. Each graduate PIPP customer shall be billed the average of the customer's most recent PIPP income-based payment and the customer's budget bill amount, per billing cycle by the jurisdictional gas or natural gas utility company that provides the customer with his/her source of heat.

(B) Customers who are also enrolled in the PIPP program for their electric utility service should refer to Chapter 122:5-3 of the Administrative Code, for the applicable payment requirement(s).

(C) Any money provided to the jurisdictional gas or natural gas utility company by a public or private entity for the purpose of paying utility bills shall not be considered as household income when calculating PIPP eligibility.

(1) Home energy assistance program (HEAP). Money provided from HEAP, or a similar program, shall not be counted as part of the monies paid by the customer to meet the monthly PIPP income-based payment requirement. These monies shall first be applied to the customer's arrearages and then held to be applied to future arrearages. Monies shall not be directly remitted to PIPP customers.

(2) Money other than HEAP or emergency HEAP (E-HEAP). Money provided on an irregular or emergency basis by a public or private agency shall first be applied to the customer's defaulted income-based payment, if any, then applied to the customer's current bill and, lastly, shall be applied to the customer's arrearages.

Replaces: part of 4901:1-18-04

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.06
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 10/6/82, 12/1/83, 1/19/84, 10/10/84, 1/8/85, 12/7/91, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-14 Incentive programs for percentage of income payment plan and graduate percentage of income payment plan customers.

(A) Percentage of income payment plan (PIPP) and graduate PIPP customers shall be provided the incentive of a reduction in their outstanding arrearages in return for making timely payments.

(1) PIPP customer. Each time the PIPP customer makes his/her required income-based payment or more, as determined pursuant to rule 4901:1-18-13 of the Administrative Code, to the gas or natural gas utility company by the due date, the gas or natural gas utility company shall reduce the customer's account arrearage by the difference between the amount of the required income-based payment and the current monthly bill plus one twenty-fourth of the customer's accumulated arrearages, as calculated at the time of enrollment or in the event of late or missed payments, at the time of reverification.

(2) Graduate PIPP customer. Each time the graduate PIPP customer makes his/her required payment or more, as determined pursuant to rule 4901:1-18-13 of the Administrative Code, to the gas or natural gas utility company by the due date, the gas or natural gas utility company shall reduce the customer's account arrearage by the difference between the amount of the required payment and the current monthly bill plus one-twelfth of the customer's accumulated arrearages, as calculated at the time of enrollment in the graduate PIPP program.

(B) PIPP and graduate PIPP customers are not eligible to have any credit balance appearing on his/her account refunded to the customer. When a PIPP or graduate PIPP customer's account is finaled, any credit balance on the customer's account shall first be applied to the customer's arrearage and then as an offset to the gas or natural gas utility company's PIPP rider. When a PIPP or graduate PIPP customer transfers service to a new address within the company's service area, any credits on the customer's account shall be applied to service at the new address.

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.06
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.122

4901:1-18-15 General percentage of income payment plan provisions.

(A) A PIPP customer who is current on his/her PIPP payments shall not be disconnected, refused reconnection, or denied a transfer of service to a new address, based solely on outstanding arrearages accrued while in the PIPP program.

(B) No gas or natural gas utility company shall require a deposit on PIPP customer accounts or new or reconnected accounts where the customer has signed up for PIPP. The gas or natural gas utility company may assess the customer the deposit if it is determined that the customer is ineligible for PIPP. Any deposit paid by a customer prior to signing up for PIPP, to initiate, retain or restore service, shall, upon enrollment in PIPP, be credited to the customer's outstanding arrearage.

(C) No gas or natural gas utility company shall apply late fees to a PIPP customer's account.

(D) The gas or natural gas utility company shall include the PIPP customer's anniversary date on each monthly bill.

Replaces: part of 4901:1-18-04

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.06
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 3/22/80, 10/6/82, 12/1/83, 1/19/84, 10/10/84, 1/8/85, 12/7/91, 9/1/04

4901:1-18-16 Graduate percentage of income payment plan program.

(A) Percentage of income payment plan (PIPP) customers that remain within the gas or natural gas utility company's service territory shall automatically be enrolled in the graduate PIPP program when one of the following occurs:

(1) The customer elects to terminate participation in the PIPP program.

(2) The customer is no longer eligible to participate in PIPP as a result of an increase in the household income or a change in the household size.

(B) PIPP customers removed from the program due to fraudulent enrollment in the PIPP program are not eligible to participate in graduate PIPP.

(C) Any graduate PIPP customer who tampers with the gas or natural gas utility company's meter, metering equipment or other property, or is the beneficiary of such act, shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs (E)(3)(a) to (E)(3)(d) of rule 4901:1-18-03 of the Administrative Code. Any former PIPP customer determined by the Ohio department of development or the gas or natural gas utility company to have been fraudulently enrolled in the PIPP program shall be required to pay the gas or natural gas utility company the difference between any PIPP income-based payments made and the actual bill amount and to pay any arrearage credits accrued for timely payments during the period the customer was fraudulently enrolled in PIPP and the graduate PIPP program. The gas or natural gas utility company shall credit such amounts received to the company's PIPP rider. For a period of twenty-four months, the gas or natural gas utility company shall treat such customer as subject to rules 4901:1-18-01 to 4901:1-18-11 of the Administrative Code, should the customer return to the gas or natural gas utility company.

(D) To be enrolled in graduate PIPP, a former PIPP customer must be current with his/her income-based payments on the gas or natural gas utility company account or cure any missed PIPP payments within one billing cycle of the customer's enrollment in graduate PIPP.

(E) Upon enrollment in graduate PIPP, the gas or natural gas utility company shall provide the graduate PIPP customer with a copy of the graduate PIPP participation requirements including, at a minimum, the customer's monthly payment plan over the next twelve months, service address, mailing address, the account arrearage at graduate PIPP initiation, applicable fees, if any, arrearage credit, and the customer's responsibilities.

(F) Graduate PIPP customers shall be provided the incentive of a reduction in their outstanding arrearages in return for continuing to make timely payments of the amount due, as set forth in rule 4901:1-18-14 of the Administrative Code.

(G) The graduate PIPP customer shall be billed the average of his/her income-based PIPP payment and the customer's budget bill amount, calculated using the utility company's normal methodology, ([PIPP payment + budget bill amount] / 2) for the twelve billing cycles following enrollment in the program. The income-based payment shall be based on the income and household size immediately prior to the PIPP customer becoming ineligible for PIPP or electing to terminate participation in PIPP. After twelve billing cycles, the graduate PIPP customer is no longer eligible for arrearage credits. Any remaining arrearage on the customer's account may become due and the customer may be placed on one of the extended payment plans in rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code. If the arrearage remains on the customer's account and the customer fails to make extended payment arrangements, the gas or natural gas utility company may initiate disconnection procedures for failure to pay the remaining arrearage.

(H) No gas or natural gas utility company shall require a deposit on graduate PIPP customer accounts while the customer is enrolled in graduate PIPP. The gas or natural gas utility company may assess the customer a deposit, pursuant to rule 4901:1-17-04 of the Administrative Code, if the customer elects to terminate participation in graduate PIPP or the customer's participation in PIPP is terminated.

(I) No gas or natural gas utility company shall apply late fees to a graduate PIPP customer's account.

Effective: 11/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.06
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.122

4901:1-18-17 Removal from or termination of customer participation in the percentage of income payment plan.

(A) The gas or natural gas utility company shall remove a percentage of income payment plan (PIPP) customer from PIPP when the customer fails to comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (B), (C), or (D) of rule 4901:1-18-12 of the Administrative Code.

(B) After removal from PIPP for failure to timely reverify eligibility, the former PIPP customer may re-enroll in PIPP and must make any missed income-based payments to bring the account current.

(C) If a customer is removed from PIPP for failure to timely reverify eligibility and fails to reverify and re-enroll in PIPP or to qualify for graduate PIPP pursuant to paragraph (D) of rule 4901:1-18-16 of the Administrative Code, the entire account arrearage will become due. The gas or natural gas utility company shall offer the customer an extended payment plan pursuant to paragraph (B) of rule 4901:1-18-05 of the Administrative Code. If the customer fails to make payment under the agreed payment plan, the former PIPP customer's service may be subject to disconnection in accordance with rules 4901:1-18-03 to 4901:1-18-06 of the Administrative Code.

(D) Fraud. The gas or natural gas utility company shall terminate a customer's participation in PIPP when it is determined that the PIPP customer was fraudulently enrolled in the program. The customer shall be required to pay the gas utility the actual bill for gas that the customer consumed during the period in which the customer was fraudulently enrolled minus previously paid PIPP payments. Any arrearage credits which accrued to the customer's account shall be reversed. The customer shall not be eligible to participate in PIPP, graduate PIPP, or to receive any other benefits available to PIPP customers or graduates for twenty-four months from when the customer is removed from PIPP.

(E) Any PIPP customer who tampers with the gas or natural gas utility company's meter, metering equipment or other property, or is the beneficiary of such act, shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs (E)(3)(a) to (E)(3)(d) of rule 4901:1-18-03 of the Administrative Code. Furthermore, to clarify the application of paragraph (E)(3)(b) of rule 4901:1-18-03 of the Administrative Code, the amount of the arrearages generated by the unauthorized usage shall be removed from the customer's arrearages and shall be paid by the customer before service is restored. Any usage charges previously credited to the customer as a result of the arrearage crediting program shall be reversed and are also due before service shall be restored.

Effective: 02/03/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2013
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.06
Rule Amplifies: 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4933.12 , 4933.122
Prior Effective Dates: 11/1/2010