4901:1-21-06 Customer enrollment.

(A) Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this rule, competitive retail electric service (CRES) providers shall coordinate customer enrollment with the electric utility in accordance with the procedures set forth in the applicable electric utility tariff.

(B) Percentage of income payment plan (PIPP) customers will be coordinated exclusively by the Ohio department of development pursuant to section 4928.54 of the Revised Code.

(1) CRES providers are prohibited from knowingly enrolling PIPP and arrearage crediting program customers.

(2) Customers pending enrollment with a CRES provider who subsequently become approved for PIPP or the electric utility's arrearage crediting program shall not be switched to the CRES provider.

(3) Electric utility customers who have switched to a CRES provider and subsequently become approved for the electric utility's arrearage crediting program shall be transferred to the electric utility's standard offer service at the next regularly scheduled meter read date after the electric utility's enrolls the customer in the program.

(4) Until the Ohio department of development has in place a mechanism for the administration and operation of the low-income customer assistance programs, customers who have switched to a CRES provider and subsequently become approved for PIPP shall be transferred to the electric utility's standard offer service at the next regularly scheduled meter read date after the electric utility receives notice of the customer's participation in PIPP. Any switching fees shall be added to the customer's arrearages, not current charges.

(5) When the host electric utility is not purchasing the receivables of the affected CRES provider, the CRES provider shall submit to the host electric utility the pre-PIPP arrearages for the PIPP participant within sixty calendar days of the customer's transfer to the electric utility's standard offer service or the Ohio department of development's selected CRES provider pursuant to section 4928.54 of the Revised Code.

(C) CRES providers are prohibited from enrolling potential customers without their consent and proof of that consent as delineated in paragraph (D) of this rule. This requirement does not apply to automatic governmental aggregation pursuant to division (A) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code and (PIPP) customers who will be coordinated exclusively by the Ohio department of development pursuant to section 4928.54 of the Revised Code.

(D) Residential and small commercial enrollment.

(1) Mailings, facsimiles, and direct solicitation.

(a) Where enrollment occurs by mail, facsimile, or direct solicitation, the customer's signature on a contract shall constitute consent.

(b) Consistent with rule 4901:1-21-05 of the Administrative Code, prior to entering into a contract for service, CRES providers shall provide each customer with enrollment documents that contain, at a minimum, understandable pricing, the terms and conditions of service, the dollar amount of all recurring and nonrecurring charges(including any fees for early termination of the contract), the applicable generation resource mix and environmental characteristics, and the duration of the contract.

(c) Before obtaining a signature from the applicant, CRES providers shall provide each customer a reasonable opportunity to read all enrollment documents and shall answer any and all questions posed by any applicant about information contained in the documents.

(d) Immediately upon obtaining the customer's signature, CRES providers shall provide the applicant a legible copy of the signed contract.

(e) Where enrollment occurs by direct solicitation, customers shall be advised both verbally and in the contract that: (i) the electric utility will be sending a confirmation notice of the transfer of service; (ii) they are allowed a seven day period to rescind the contract; and (iii) the customer should contact the electric utility to rescind the contract.

(f) The CRES provider shall not initiate enrollment with the electric utility prior to the completion of the enrollment transaction with the customer.

(g) The CRES provider shall send an electronic enrollment request to the electric utility within three calendar days following completion of the enrollment transaction with the customer, unless a later start date is agreed to in the contract.

(2) Telephonic enrollment

(a) To enroll a residential or small commercial customer telephonically, a CRES provider shall make a date and time stamped audio recording verifying before the completion of the telephone call, at a minimum, all of the following:

(i) The CRES provider's identity and the exact purpose of the call;

(ii) A verbal statement and the customer's acknowledgement that the call is being recorded.

(iii) A verbal question and the customer's acknowledgement that the customer wishes to enroll with the provider.

(iv) A verbal question and the customer's acknowledgement that the customer is the customer of record at the customer's local distribution utility or is authorized to switch providers by the customer of record.

(v) In accordance with rule 4901:1-21-12 of the Administrative Code, a verbal statement and the customer's acceptance of each of the principal terms and conditions for the service that will be provided, including, but not limited to all of the following:

(a) The service(s) that will be provided.

(b) The price.

(c) The length of the contract term.

(d) An approximate service commencement date.

(e) The contract termination date, and any fees for customer cancellation prior to such date.

(f) Any material limitations, exclusions, contract contingencies or conditions precedent.

(g) Any fees or costs to the customer.

(h) If applicable, whether the provider will perform a credit check and require a deposit, including the amount.

(i) Who will bill for the provider's service(s).

(vi) A verbal statement and the customer's acknowledgement that the provider will, within one calendar day, send the customer a written contract that details the terms and conditions that were summarized in the telephone call.

(vii) A verbal statement and the customer's acknowledgement that the customer has seven calendar days from the postmark date of the electric utility's confirmation notice to cancel the contract without penalty and a reminder that the electric utility will give the customer a cancellation number to confirm any cancellation of the contract during the cancellation period.

(viii) A toll-free telephone number the customer can call to cancel the contract.

(ix) If applicable, a verbal request for and the customer's provision of the customer's electric utility account number.

(x) A verbal request for and the customer's provision of the customer's mailing address.

(xi) A unique enrollment confirmation number.

(b) Following telephonic enrollment, the CRES provider shall comply with all of the following:

(i) Within one calendar day, send the customer a written contract that details the terms and conditions summarized in the telephone call and the generation resource mix and environmental characteristics information pursuant to rule 4901:1-21-09 of the Administrative Code. Such contract shall in no way alter the terms and conditions to which the customer agreed in the telephone call.

(ii) Retain the audio recording of the customer's enrollment for one year after the contract with the customer is terminated.

(iii) Provide a copy of the audio recording to the customer, commission, or the staff within five calendar days of a request.

(c) The CRES provider shall send an electronic enrollment request to the electric utility no sooner than three calendar days and no later than five calendar days after sending the customer the written contract, unless a later start date is agreed to in the contract.

(d) The CRES provider shall not initiate enrollment with the electric utility prior to the completion of the enrollment transaction with the customer.

(3) Internet enrollment.

(a) Where enrollment occurs by internet, prior consent shall be obtained by encrypted customer input on a provider's internet web site.

(b) The internet enrollment web site shall, at a minimum, include all of the following:

(i) A copy of the CRES provider's customer contract with all terms and conditions as required by rule 4901:1-21-12 of the Administrative Code.

(ii) A conspicuous statement, within the body of the electronic version of the contract, that residential and small commercial customers may cancel their enrollment within seven calendar days following a confirmation notice from the electric utility.

(iii) A statement that the electric utility will be sending a confirmation notice of the transfer of service and that the customer should contact the electric utility to rescind the contract and a reminder that the electric utility will give the customer a cancellation number to confirm any cancellation of the contract during the cancellation period.

(iv) A conspicuous prompt for the customer to print or save a copy of the contract.

(c) The CRES provider shall not initiate enrollment with the electric utility prior to the completion of the enrollment transaction with the customer.

(d) The CRES provider shall send an electronic enrollment request to the electric utility within three calendar days following completion of the enrollment transaction with the customer, unless a later start date is agreed to in the contract.

(e) Any electronic version of the contract shall be identified by version number, in order to ensure the ability to verify the particular contract to which the customer assents.

(f) Throughout the duration of the contract, the CRES provider shall retain and, within three calendar days of the customer's request, provide to the customer an e-mail, paper, or facsimile of the terms and conditions of the numbered contract version to which the customer assents.

(g) The CRES provider shall require the customer to complete an electronic customer consent form in a format retrievable by the CRES provider that includes the following:

(i) The customer's agreement to the terms and conditions.

(ii) An electronic agreement version number.

(iii) The name of the CRES provider.

(iv) The date the customer electronically enrolled.

(v) The name of the account holder.

(vi) The electric utility account number or other customer identification number provided by the electric utility and used for customer choice purposes.

(vii) The account holder's U.S. mailing address.

(h) The CRES provider shall provide a mechanism by which both the submission and receipt of the electronic customer consent form are recorded by time and date.

(i) After the customer completes the electronic customer consent form, the internet enrollment process shall disclose conspicuously that the customer has been enrolled and the CRES provider shall provide the customer a unique enrollment confirmation number.

Effective: 06/29/2009
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/26/2008 and 09/30/2012
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4928.06 , 4928.10 , 4928.53
Rule Amplifies: 4928.10 , 4928.54
Prior Effective Dates: 9/18/00, 1/1/04