Chapter 4901:1-27 Certification of Governmental Aggregators and Retail Natural Gas Suppliers

4901:1-27-01 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Abandonment" means to cease being a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator in this state.

(B) "Ancillary service" has the meaning set forth in division (B) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(C) "Applicant" means a person who files an application for certification or certification renewal under this chapter.

(D) "Application form" means a form, approved by the commission, that an applicant seeking certification or certification renewal as a retail natural gas supplier or as a governmental aggregator shall file with the commission as set forth in this chapter.

(E) "Billing or collection agent" has the meaning set forth in division (I) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

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

(G) "Commodity sales service" has the meaning set forth in division (C) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(H) "Comparable service" has the meaning set forth in division (D) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(I) "Competitive retail natural gas service" has the meaning set forth in division (J) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(J) "Consumer" has the meaning set forth in division (E) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(K) "Contract" means an agreement between a customer and retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator that specifies the terms and conditions for provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(L) "Customer" means a person who contracts with or is solicited by a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator for the provision of a competitive retail natural gas service.

(M) "Existing customer" means a person who has a contract with a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(N) "Governmental aggregator" has the meaning set forth in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code. For purposes of this chapter, "governmental aggregator" specifically excludes a municipal corporation acting exclusively under Section 4 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(O) "Mercantile customer" has the meaning set forth in division (L) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(P) "Natural gas company" has the meaning set forth in division (G) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(Q) "Person" has the meaning set forth in division (H) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(R) "Regulated sales service" means the provision of natural gas commodity service to consumers at the gas cost recovery rate or any alternate gas cost pricing mechanism approved by the commission pursuant to Chapter 4901:1-19 of the Administrative Code.

(S) "Regulated sales service customer" means a person who has an agreement by contract and/or tariff with a natural gas company or gas company to receive regulated sales service.

(T) "Retail natural gas aggregation service" means combining the natural gas load of multiple retail residential customers or small commercial customers via an agreement with the customers for the purpose of purchasing competitive retail natural gas service on an aggregated basis.

(U) "Retail natural gas aggregator" means a person who contracts with customers to combine the customers' natural gas load for the purposes of purchasing competitive retail natural gas service on an aggregated basis.

(V) "Retail natural gas brokerage service" means assuming the contractual and legal responsibility for the sale and/or arrangement for the supply of competitive retail natural gas service to a retail customer in this state without taking title to the natural gas.

(W) "Retail natural gas broker" means a person who provides retail natural gas brokerage service.

(X) "Retail natural gas marketing service" means assuming the contractual and legal responsibility for the sale and provision of competitive retail natural gas service to a retail natural gas service customer in this state and having title to natural gas at some point during the transaction.

(Y) "Retail natural gas marketer" means a person who provides retail natural gas marketing service.

(Z) "Retail natural gas service" has the meaning set forth in division (M) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(AA) "Retail natural gas supplier" has the meaning set forth in division (N) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(BB) "Small commercial customer" means a commercial customer which is not a mercantile customer under paragraph (O) of this rule.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.01
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-01 [Effective 12/1/2014] Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Abandonment" means to cease being a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator in this state.

(B) "Applicant" means a person who files an application for certification or certification renewal under this chapter.

(C) "Application form" means a form, approved by the commission, that an applicant seeking certification or certification renewal as a retail natural gas supplier or as a governmental aggregator shall file with the commission as set forth in this chapter.

(D) "Billing or collection agent" has the meaning set forth in division (I) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

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

(F) "Commodity sales service" has the meaning set forth in division (C) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Comparable service" has the meaning set forth in division (D) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(H) "Competitive retail natural gas service" has the meaning set forth in division (J) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(I) "Consumer" has the meaning set forth in division (E) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(J) "Contract" means an agreement between a customer and retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator that specifies the terms and conditions for provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(K) "Customer" means a person who contracts with or is solicited by a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator for the provision of a competitive retail natural gas service.

(L) "Existing customer" means a person who has a contract with a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(M) "Gas company" means a company that meets the definition of a gas company set forth in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code and that also meets the definition of a public utility under section 4905.02 of the Revised Code.

(N) "Governmental aggregator" has the meaning set forth in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code. For purposes of this chapter, "governmental aggregator" specifically excludes a municipal corporation acting exclusively under Section 4 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(O) "Mercantile customer" has the meaning set forth in division (L) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(P) "Natural gas company" has the meaning set forth in division (G) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(Q) "Person" has the meaning set forth in division (H) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(R) "Regulated sales service" means the provision of natural gas commodity service to consumers at the gas cost recovery rate or any alternate gas cost pricing mechanism approved by the commission pursuant to Chapter 4901:1-19 of the Administrative Code.

(S) "Regulated sales service customer" means a person who has an agreement by contract and/or tariff with a natural gas company or gas company to receive regulated sales service.

(T) "Retail natural gas aggregation service" means combining the natural gas load of multiple retail residential customers or small commercial customers via an agreement with the customers for the purpose of purchasing competitive retail natural gas service on an aggregated basis.

(U) "Retail natural gas aggregator" means a person who contracts with customers to combine the customers' natural gas load for the purposes of purchasing competitive retail natural gas service on an aggregated basis.

(V) "Retail natural gas brokerage service" means assuming the contractual and legal responsibility for the sale and/or arrangement for the supply of competitive retail natural gas service to a retail customer in this state without taking title to the natural gas.

(W) "Retail natural gas broker" means a person who provides retail natural gas brokerage service.

(X) "Retail natural gas marketing service" means assuming the contractual and legal responsibility for the sale and provision of competitive retail natural gas service to a retail natural gas service customer in this state and having title to natural gas at some point during the transaction.

(Y) "Retail natural gas marketer" means a person who provides retail natural gas marketing service.

(Z) "Retail natural gas service" has the meaning set forth in division (M) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(AA) "Retail natural gas supplier" has the meaning set forth in division (N) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(BB) "Small commercial customer" means a commercial customer which is not a mercantile customer under paragraph (P) of this rule.

(CC) "Staff" means the commission staff.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/24/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.01 , 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-02 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Purpose and scope.

Under the rules in this chapter:

(A) Any retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator that intends to offer or provide a competitive retail natural gas service in this state shall obtain a certificate to operate from the commission before commencing operations.

(B) Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude, in any way, the commission from altering, amending, or waiving, in whole or in part, any of these rules.

(C) These rules do not apply to a billing and collection agent if it is a fully independent agent, not affiliated with or otherwise controlled by a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, to the extent that the agent is under contract with such supplier or aggregator solely to provide billing and collection for competitive retail natural gas service on behalf of the supplier or aggregator. Nothing in this rule exempts such supplier or aggregator from liability for the acts of its billing and collection agents.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011

Promulgated Under: 111.15

Statutory Authority: 4929.20

Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.01

Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-02 [Effective 12/1/2014] Purpose and scope.

Under the rules in this chapter:

(A) Any retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator that intends to offer or provide a competitive retail natural gas service in this state shall obtain a certificate to operate from the commission before commencing operations.

(B) The commission may, upon an application or a motion filed by a party, waive any requirement of this chapter, other than a requirement mandated by statute, for good cause shown.

(C) This chapter does not apply to a billing and collection agent if it is a fully independent agent, not affiliated with or otherwise controlled by a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, to the extent that the agent is under contract with such supplier or aggregator solely to provide billing and collection for competitive retail natural gas service on behalf of the supplier or aggregator. Nothing in this rule exempts such supplier or aggregator from liability for the acts of its billing and collection agents.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/24/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.01 , 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-03 [Effective until 12/1/2014] General prohibitions.

(A) On or after July 26, 2002, no retail natural gas suppliers or governmental aggregators shall offer, contract for, or supply competitive retail natural gas service in this state without a valid certificate. This paragraph shall not apply to contracts in effect before the effective date of this rule.

(B) Nothing in this rule is intended to prohibit a person from conducting market research or advertisements designed solely to ascertain and raise public awareness and/or improve name recognition.

(C) Enforcement of any rule in this chapter or commission order adopted thereunder will be conducted in accordance with Chapter 4901:1-34 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.30 , 4905.04
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-03 [Effective 12/1/2014] General prohibitions.

(A) No retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall offer, contract for, or supply competitive retail natural gas service in this state without a valid certificate.

(B) Nothing in this rule is intended to prohibit a person from conducting market research or advertisements designed solely to ascertain and raise public awareness and/or improve name recognition.

(C) Enforcement of any rule in this chapter or commission order adopted thereunder will be conducted in accordance with Chapter 4901:1-34 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/24/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.30 , 4905.04
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-04 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Application process.

(A) An application for certification or certification renewal shall be made on forms authorized by the commission. The application forms shall provide for sufficient information to enable the commission to assess an applicant's managerial, financial, and technical capability to provide the service it intends to offer, its ability to provide reasonable financial assurances sufficient to protect regulated sales service customers and natural gas companies from default, and its ability to comply with commission rules or orders.

(B) The applicant shall complete the appropriate application form (e.g., retail natural gas marketer, retail gas aggregator/broker, or governmental aggregator) in its entirety and supply all required attachments, affidavits, and evidence of capability specified by the form at the time an application is filed.

(1) Retail natural gas marketers shall file general, technical, managerial, and financial information as set forth in the application. This information includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Ownership and organizational descriptions.

(b) Managerial experience and capabilities and prior regulatory or judicial actions.

(c) Balance sheets, credit ratings, and other relevant financial information.

(d) Technical ability and experience in nominating, scheduling, and providing natural gas to retail customers.

(e) Proof of an Ohio office and an employee in this state in accordance with division (G) of section 4929.22 of the Revised Code.

(f) Statements as to whether the applicant has ever been terminated from any choice program; if applicant's certification has ever been revoked or suspended; or if applicant has ever been in default for failure to deliver.

(2) Retail natural gas aggregators/retail natural gas brokers shall file general, technical, managerial, and financial information as set forth in the application. This information includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Ownership and organizational descriptions.

(b) Balance sheets, credit ratings, and other relevant financial information.

(c) Managerial, technical ability, and experience in providing aggregation services, financial capability as depicted on publicly available information, and applicable credit ratings.

(d) Proof of an Ohio office and an employee in this state in accordance with division (G) of section 4929.22 of the Revised Code.

(3) Governmental aggregators shall file general information as set forth in the application. This information includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Copies of its operational plans.

(b) Descriptions of experience.

(C) An applicant for certification or certification renewal shall file a completed and notarized original application signed by a principal officer of the applicant and ten conformed copies, including all supporting attachments and affidavits, with the commission's docketing division.

(1) The date that the commission's docketing division stamps an application received shall serve as the official filing date with the commission.

(2) In accordance with rule 4901:1-27-06 of the Administrative Code, the commission may deny without prejudice any application that is not complete or does not include the attachments, documentation, and affidavits required by the application form.

(3) In accordance with this chapter, in instances where information and/or documentation required by these rules is not available at the time of filing an application, an applicant may substitute a notarized affidavit by an officer of the applicant stating that the applicant will file such information and/or documentation with the commission at least ten business days prior to offering or providing competitive retail natural gas service to a customer in this state. The affidavit shall be accompanied by an explanation as to why such information is not available for inclusion with the application.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.22
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-04 [Effective 12/1/2014] Expired certificates.

Any retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator that fails to file an application for certification renewal pursuant to rule 4901:1-27-09 of the Administrative Code prior to the expiration date on the certificate must file a new application for certification in a new case and may request, no later than sixty days after the expiration date on the certificate, to extend its previous certificate during the pendency of the new application review. If the motion is filed in conformance with rule 4901:1-27-07 of the Administrative Code, it shall be deemed automatically approved unless, within three business days of filing, the commission or an attorney examiner appointed by the commission rules otherwise.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20

4901:1-27-05 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Affidavits.

In addition to all other affidavits required by this chapter, each applicant shall submit with its application, on forms prescribed by the commission, affidavits attesting that:

(A) The information provided by the applicant on its application form and supporting attachments is complete, true, and accurate to the best knowledge of the applicant.

(B) The applicant will timely file an annual report of its intrastate gross receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas pursuant to division (A) of section 4905.10 , division (A) of section 4911.18 , and division (B) of section 4929.23 of the Revised Code.

(C) The applicant will timely pay any assessment made pursuant to section 4905.10 or division (A) of section 4911.18 of the Revised Code.

(D) The applicant will comply with all applicable commission rules or orders adopted pursuant to Title XLIX of the Revised Code.

(E) The applicant will cooperate with the commission and its staff in the investigation of any complaint regarding any service offered or provided by the applicant.

(F) The applicant will comply with section 4929.21 of the Revised Code regarding consent to the jurisdiction of Ohio courts and the service of process.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.23 , 4905.10 , 4911.18 , 4929.21
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-05 [Effective 12/1/2014] Application content.

(A) An application for certification or certification renewal shall be made on forms supplied by the commission. The application forms shall provide for sufficient information to enable the commission to assess an applicant's managerial, financial, and technical capability to provide the service it intends to offer, its ability to provide reasonable financial assurances sufficient to protect customers and natural gas companies from the consequences of default, and its ability to comply with commission rules or orders.

(B) The applicant shall complete the appropriate application form (e.g., retail natural gas marketer, retail gas aggregator/broker, or governmental aggregator) in its entirety and supply all required attachments, affidavits, and evidence of capability specified by the form at the time an application is filed.

(1) A natural gas marketer shall file general, technical, managerial, and financial information as set forth in the application. This information includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Ownership and organizational descriptions.

(b) Managerial experience and capabilities.

(c) Credit ratings and relevant financial information including financial statements, financial arrangements, and forecasted financial statements.

(d) Technical ability and experience in nominating, scheduling, and providing natural gas to retail customers.

(e) Proof of an Ohio office and an employee in this state in accordance with division (G) of section 4929.22 of the Revised Code.

(f) Statements as to whether the applicant has ever been terminated from any choice program; if applicant's certification has ever been revoked or suspended; if applicant has ever been in default for failure to deliver; or if there are pending or past regulatory or judicial actions against the applicant or past rulings finding against the applicant.

(2) A retail natural gas aggregator/retail natural gas broker shall file general, managerial, and financial information as set forth in the application. This information includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Ownership and organizational descriptions.

(b) Managerial experience and capabilities.

(c) Credit ratings and relevant financial information, including financial statements, financial arrangements, and forecasted financial statements.

(d) Proof of an Ohio office and an employee in this state in accordance with division (G) of section 4929.22 of the Revised Code.

(e) Financial capability as depicted on publicly available information, and applicable credit ratings.

(f) Statements as to whether the applicant's certification has ever been revoked or suspended or if there are pending or past regulatory or judicial actions against the applicant or past rulings finding against the applicant.

(3) A governmental aggregator shall file general information as set forth in the application. This information includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Copies of its operation and governance plans.

(b) Descriptions of experience.

(C) An applicant for certification or certification renewal shall file a completed and notarized original application signed by a principal officer of the applicant in accordance with the application instructions, including all supporting attachments and affidavits, with the commission's docketing division.

(1) The date that the commission's docketing division stamps an application received shall serve as the official filing date with the commission.

(2) In accordance with rule 4901:1-27-10 of the Administrative Code, the commission may deny without prejudice any application that is not complete or does not include the attachments, documentation, and affidavits required by the application form.

(3) In accordance with this chapter, in instances where information and/or documentation required by these rules is not available at the time of filing an application, an applicant may substitute a notarized affidavit by an officer of the applicant stating that the applicant will file such information and/or documentation with the commission at least ten business days prior to offering or providing competitive retail natural gas service to a customer in this state. The affidavit shall be accompanied by an explanation as to why such information is not available for inclusion with the application.

(D) All retail natural gas suppliers or governmental aggregators shall include in their certification application, the name, telephone number, and electronic mail address of a contact person who will respond to commission concerns pertaining to consumer complaints. If any of the required information relating to the contact person should change, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall file notice of such changes with the commission within thirty days of such material change in accordance with paragraph (B)(8) of rule 4901:1-27-11 of the Administrative Code.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-04

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.22
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-06 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Application approval or denial.

(A) If the commission does not act upon an application within thirty days of the filing date, the application shall be deemed automatically approved pursuant to section 4929.20 of the Revised Code on the thirty-first day after the official filing date.

(1) Upon good cause shown, the commission, or an attorney examiner appointed by the commission, may suspend its consideration of an application.

(2) If the commission, or an attorney examiner appointed by the commission, acts to suspend an application, it will:

(a) Docket its decision and notify the applicant of the reasons for such suspension and may direct the applicant to furnish any additional information as the commission deems necessary to evaluate the application.

(b) Act to approve or deny the application within ninety days from the date that the application was suspended.

(c) At its discretion, set the matter for hearing.

(B) In evaluating an application, the commission will consider the information contained in the application, supporting evidence and attachments, evidence filed by any interested parties, and recommendations of its staff.

(C) The commission will act to approve an application if it finds all of the following:

(1) The applicant is managerially, financially, and technically fit and capable of performing the service it intends to provide.

(2) The applicant is managerially, financially, and technically fit and capable to comply with all applicable commission rules and orders.

(3) The applicant is able to provide reasonable financial assurances sufficient to protect natural gas companies and the regulated sales service customers from default.

(D) When the commission approves an application, it will issue the applicant a numbered certificate that indicates the service(s) for which the applicant is certified to provide and the dates for which the certificate is valid.

(E) Unless otherwise specified by the commission, a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's initial or renewal certificate is valid for a period of two years, beginning and ending on the dates specified on the certificate.

(F) If the commission acts to deny, in whole or in part, an application, it will docket its decision and notify the applicant that its application, or parts of its application, has been denied, including the reason(s) for such denial.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-06 [Effective 12/1/2014] Affidavits.

In addition to all other affidavits required by this chapter, each applicant shall submit with its application, on forms prescribed by the commission, affidavits attesting that:

(A) The information provided by the applicant on its application form and supporting attachments is complete, true, and accurate to the best knowledge of the applicant.

(B) The applicant will timely file an annual report of its intrastate gross receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas pursuant to division (A) of section 4905.10 , division (A) of section 4911.18 , and division (B) of section 4929.23 of the Revised Code.

(C) The applicant will timely pay any assessment made pursuant to section 4905.10 or division (A) of section 4911.18 of the Revised Code.

(D) The applicant will comply with all applicable commission rules or orders adopted pursuant to Title XLIX of the Revised Code.

(E) The applicant will cooperate with the commission and its staff in the investigation of any complaint regarding any service offered or provided by the applicant.

(F) The applicant will comply with section 4929.21 of the Revised Code regarding consent to the jurisdiction of Ohio courts and the service of process.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-05

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4929.23 , 4905.10 , 4911.18 , 4929.21
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-07 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Regulatory assessments.

(A) In accordance with sections 4905.10 and 4911.18 of the Revised Code, each retail natural gas supplier and governmental aggregator is subject to an annual assessment based upon its intrastate gross receipts or gross earnings (collectively "gross revenue") associated with the provision of each competitive retail natural gas service for which it is certified to provide. Any retail natural gas supplier and governmental aggregator that reports zero gross revenue shall not be assessed.

(B) Each retail natural gas supplier that supplies competitive retail natural gas service shall, in the manner and on the date specified by the commission or its staff, file an annual report of the gross revenue derived from its intrastate sales of natural gas. For the purpose of the report, sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas are deemed to occur at the meter of a retail customer.

(C) Each retail natural gas supplier and governmental aggregator that supplies competitive retail natural gas service(s) in addition to, or other than, natural gas shall, in the manner and on the date specified by the commission or its staff, file an annual report of the intrastate gross revenue derived from its provision of such service(s). For the purpose of the report, sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas are deemed to occur at the meter of a retail customer.

(D) Each retail natural gas supplier and governmental aggregator shall maintain detailed records to support the information provided pursuant to paragraphs (B) and (C) of this rule. Such records and information are subject to audit by the commission.

(E) In instances where a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator underreports its gross revenue, the commission may, in computing an assessment made pursuant to this rule, include any gross revenues that were underreported in a prior year. The commission shall also, in addition to any other penalty under the Revised Code, assess the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator interest on the amount underreported at the rate stated in section 1343.01 of the Revised Code.

(F) No retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall be assessed under this section until after the commission has removed from the base rates of the natural gas company, the amount of assessment under this section that is attributable to the value of commodity sales service for those customers that do not purchase that service from the natural gas company.

(G) For purposes of meeting the requirements of this section, an annual report shall be filed in accordance with rule 4901:1-30-01 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.10 , 4911.18
Rule Amplifies: 4905.10 , 4911.18 , 4929.23
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-07 [Effective 12/1/2014] Motions.

(A) Motions filed by an applicant (e.g., motions for extension of the certificate and motions for protective order) must be filed by an attorney authorized to practice law in the state of Ohio.

(B) An out-of-state attorney may seek permission to appear pro hac vice before the commission in any case upon the filing of a motion. Such motions shall include all the information and documents required by rule XII, section 2(A)(6) of the "Supreme Court rules for the government of the bar" of Ohio.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20

4901:1-27-08 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Financial security.

(A) Pursuant to a tariff filed with the commission in accordance with division (A) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code and rule 4901:1-29-13 of the Administrative Code, a natural gas company may require a retail natural gas supplier to issue and maintain a financial security with the natural gas company to protect the natural gas company and the regulated sales service customers from default.

(B) A natural gas company may require a retail natural gas supplier to furnish financial and other information contained in the natural gas company's tariff to determine the type and/or amount of the financial security required for compliance with paragraph (A) of this rule.

(C) A retail natural gas supplier may bring an action before the commission seeking review of the natural gas company's determination of financial security requirements or may seek staff mediation as to any dispute.

(D) If a retail natural gas supplier fails to maintain sufficient financial security to protect a natural gas company and the regulated sales service customers from default by the retail natural gas supplier, the natural gas company may apply for relief at the commission.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4905.26
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-08 [Effective 12/1/2014] Protective orders.

(A) An applicant may file financial statements, financial arrangements, and forecasted financial statements under seal. If these exhibits are filed under seal, they will be afforded protective treatment for a period of six years from the date of the certificate for which the information is being provided.

(B) An applicant may file a motion for protective order covering information not covered under paragraph (A) of this rule. If the motion is filed in conformance with rule 4901:1-27-07 of the Administrative Code, it shall be automatically approved on the thirty-first day after the date of filing and the information shall be afforded protective treatment for a period of six years from the date of the certificate for which the information is being provided, unless the commission or an attorney examiner appointed by the commission rules otherwise.

(C) At the expiration of the six-year period provided for in paragraphs (A) and (B) of this rule, the information will be automatically released into the open record.

(D) An applicant wishing to extend a protective order beyond the six-year time period provided for in paragraphs (A) and (B) of this rule must file a motion that complies with rule 4901-1-24 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20

4901:1-27-09 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Certification renewal.

(A) No less than thirty and no more than one hundred twenty days prior to the expiration date indicated on the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall file an application with the commission for certification renewal on forms provided by the commission.

(B) The applicant shall, as instructed by the application form, update and describe any material changes, as set forth in paragraph (B) of rule 4901:1-27-10 of the Administrative Code, to the information supplied with an applicant's initial or any subsequent certification application, whichever is the most recent.

(C) The commission will act to approve, deny, or suspend an application for certification renewal pursuant to the same processes, standards, and timelines delineated in rule 4901:1-27-06 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-09 [Effective 12/1/2014] Certification renewal.

(A) No less than thirty and no more than sixty days prior to the expiration date indicated on the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall file an application with the commission for certification renewal on forms provided by the commission.

(B) Any renewal application filed fewer than thirty calendar days prior to the expiration date indicated on the certificate, but no later than the expiration date on the certificate, shall be filed with a motion requesting an extension of the certificate. If the motion is filed in conformance with rule 4901:1-27-07 of the Administrative Code, it shall be deemed automatically approved unless, within three business days of its filing, the commission or an attorney examiner appointed by the commission rules otherwise.

(C) The applicant shall, as instructed by the renewal form, update the information supplied with an applicant's initial certification application.

(D) The commission will act to approve, deny, or suspend an application for certification renewal pursuant to the same processes, standards, and timelines delineated in rule 4901:1-27-10 or 4901:1-27-13 of the Administrative Code.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-09

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-10 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Material changes in business.

(A) Retail natural gas suppliers and governmental aggregators shall file with the commission a notification of any material change to the information supplied in a certification or most recent certification renewal application within thirty days of such material change.

(1) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall file such notice under the docket number assigned to the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's initial certification or most recent certification renewal application, whichever is the most recent. The supplier or aggregator shall also serve such notice upon all natural gas companies serving customers in the areas covered by certification of the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator.

(2) After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the commission may suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate if it determines that the material change will adversely affect the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's fitness or ability to provide the services for which it is certified; or to provide reasonable financial assurances sufficient to protect natural gas companies and the regulated sales service customers from default.

(B) Material changes to the information contained in or supplied with a certification or most recent certification renewal application include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Any significant change in ownership (being an ownership interest of five per cent or more) of the applicant or retail natural gas supplier.

(2) An affiliation with any public utility or change of an affiliation with a public utility in this state.

(3) Retirement or other long-term changes to the operational status of supply resources relied upon by the retail natural gas supplier or the retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator to provide competitive retail natural gas service.

(4) Revocation, restriction, or termination of any interconnection or service agreement with a pipeline company or natural gas company relied upon by a retail natural gas supplier or the retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator to provide competitive retail natural gas service.

(5) The applicant or retail natural gas supplier's bond rating falls below BBB- as reported by Standard & Poors, Duff & Phelps, or Fitch IBCA or below Baa3 as reported by Moody's investor service.

(6) The applicant or retail natural gas supplier has or intends to file for reorganization, protection from creditors, or any other form of bankruptcy with any court.

(7) Any judgment, finding, or ruling by a court or regulatory agency that could affect a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's fitness or ability to provide service in this state.

(8) Any change in the applicant's regulatory contact.

(9) Any change in the applicant's name or any use of a fictitious name.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-10 [Effective 12/1/2014] Application approval or denial.

(A) If the commission does not act upon an application for certification or certification renewal within thirty days of the filing date, the application shall be deemed automatically approved pursuant to section 4929.20 of the Revised Code on the thirty-first day after the official filing date.

(1) Upon good cause shown, the commission, or an attorney examiner appointed by the commission, may suspend its consideration of an application.

(2) If the commission, or an attorney examiner appointed by the commission, acts to suspend an application, it will:

(a) Docket its decision and notify the applicant of the reasons for such suspension and may direct the applicant to furnish any additional information as the commission deems necessary to evaluate the application.

(b) Act to approve or deny the application within ninety days from the date that the application was suspended.

(c) At its discretion, set the matter for hearing.

(B) In evaluating an application, the commission will consider the information contained in the application, supporting evidence and attachments, evidence filed by any interested parties, and recommendations of its staff.

(C) The commission will act to approve an application if it finds all of the following:

(1) The applicant is managerially, financially, and technically fit and capable of performing the service it intends to provide.

(2) The applicant is managerially, financially, and technically fit and capable to comply with all applicable commission rules and orders.

(3) The applicant is able to provide reasonable financial assurances sufficient to protect natural gas companies and the customers from default.

(D) When the commission approves an application, it will issue the applicant a numbered certificate that indicates the service(s) for which the applicant is certified to provide and the dates for which the certificate is valid.

(E) Unless otherwise specified by the commission, a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's initial or renewal certificate is valid for a period of two years, beginning and ending on the dates specified on the certificate.

(F) If the commission acts to deny an application, in whole or in part, it will docket its decision and notify the applicant that its application, or parts of its application, has been denied, including the reason(s) for such denial.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-06

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-11 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Transfer or abandonment of a certificate.

(A) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall not transfer its certificate to any person without prior commission approval.

(1) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator may apply for commission approval to transfer its certificate by filing a certificate transfer application.

(2) A transfer application shall be automatically approved on the thirty-first day after filing, unless the commission or attorney examiner acts to suspend or reject the application.

(B) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall not abandon the operation(s) it provided under a certificate without fulfilling the terms of all existing contracts with customers or assigning such contracts to another retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator, and without commission approval.

(1) Abandonment applications shall be filed at least ninety days before the effective date that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator will abandon operations. The application shall include copies of any notices provided pursuant to paragraphs (B)(2), (B)(3), and (B)(4) of this rule.

(2) At least ninety days before abandoning operations in the state of Ohio, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide written notice to each natural gas company in whose service area the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator operates of its intent to abandon operations in the state of Ohio. That notice shall reflect that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has filed an abandonment application with the commission.

(3) At least ninety days before abandoning operations, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide written notice to its existing customers and the office of the Ohio consumers' counsel of its intent to abandon operations. Such notice shall indicate the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's intent to fulfill or assign customer contracts, including the effective date of such assignment, the effective date it will cease to provide service, and identify the commission's toll-free and TTY-TDD telephone numbers. That notice shall reflect that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has filed an abandonment application with the commission. Such notice shall also inform existing customers that, if they do not choose an alternative supplier, their natural gas company will supply them and provide instructions on how they can obtain service from an alternative retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator. Such notice shall be provided to the commission staff for its review and to the incumbent natural gas company, prior to customer dissemination.

(4) The retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide notice of its abandonment to its existing customers by separate message that is mailed or otherwise directly delivered to the customer or by notice on customer billing statements. Where the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator is providing the billing, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide notice of its abandonment. Where the natural gas company is billing for the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator may negotiate with the incumbent natural gas company to provide such notice of its abandonment on each billing statement rendered to existing customers. Abandonment notices shall begin at least ninety days before the effective date of the abandonment and shall continue monthly until the operation is abandoned.

(5) If the commission does not act upon the application within ninety days of the filing date, the application shall be deemed automatically approved on the ninety-first day after the official filing date.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-11 [Effective 12/1/2014] Material changes to business operations.

(A) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall file with the commission notification of any material change to the information supplied in a certification or most recent certification renewal application within thirty days of such material change.

(1) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall file such notice under the docket number assigned to the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's initial certification or most recent certification renewal application, whichever is the most recent.

(2) After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the commission may suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate if it determines that the material change will adversely affect the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's fitness or ability to provide the services for which it is certified; or to provide reasonable financial assurances sufficient to protect natural gas companies and the regulated sales service customers from default.

(B) Material changes to the information contained in or supplied with a certification or most recent certification renewal application include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Any significant change in ownership (being an ownership interest of five per cent or more) of the applicant or retail natural gas supplier.

(2) An affiliation with any public utility or change of an affiliation with a public utility in this state.

(3) Retirement or other long-term changes to the operational status of supply resources relied upon by the retail natural gas supplier or the retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator to provide competitive retail natural gas service.

(4) Revocation, restriction, or termination of any interconnection or service agreement with a pipeline company or natural gas company relied upon by a retail natural gas supplier or the retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator to provide competitive retail natural gas service.

(5) The applicant or retail natural gas supplier's bond rating falls below BBB- as reported by Standard & Poors, Duff & Phelps, or Fitch IBCA or below Baa3 as reported by Moody's investor service.

(6) The applicant or retail natural gas supplier has or intends to file for reorganization, protection from creditors, or any other form of bankruptcy with any court.

(7) Any judgment, finding, or ruling by a court or regulatory agency that could affect a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's fitness or ability to provide service in this state.

(8) Any change in the name of the applicant's regulatory contact, the staff contact for consumer complaints, and the customer service contact, the contact's business or electronic mail address, or telephone or fax number.

(9) Any change in the applicant's name or any use of a fictitious name.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-10

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-12 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Certification suspension, rescission, or conditional rescission.

(A) After reasonable notice and the opportunity for a hearing, the commission may, upon its own motion or upon complaint, suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, in whole or in part, for good cause shown.

(B) If the commission suspends a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, the commission will notify the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator of the reasons and effective dates for such suspension and specify the actions, including associated time frames, that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator must take in order to have the suspension lifted.

(C) If the commission suspends a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall continue to provide all services it is obligated to provide under contract to its existing customers, but it shall not advertise, offer, or contract to provide any new competitive retail natural gas service to existing customers, nor advertise, offer, or contract to provide any competitive retail natural gas service to potential customers during the suspension, unless the commission orders otherwise. Such suspensions and related prohibitions against advertising, offering or entering into contracts apply statewide, unless otherwise ordered by the commission.

(D) If the commission conditionally rescinds a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, it will delineate the specific conditions that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator must meet and establish a date by which the conditions must be met in order for the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator to avoid permanent rescission of its certificate. If, in the commission's sole discretion, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator does not meet the condition(s) set forth by the commission on or before the specified date, the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate will be rescinded. Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall continue to provide all services it is obligated to provide under contract to its existing customers, but it shall not advertise, offer, or contract to provide any new competitive retail natural gas service to existing customers, nor advertise, offer, or contract to provide any competitive retail natural gas service to potential customers throughout the duration of a conditional rescission of a certificate.

(E) If the commission rescinds a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, the commission will notify the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator of the reasons for and effective date of such rescission.

(F) Upon the effective date specified by the commission, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator whose certificate has been rescinded shall cease providing all competitive retail natural gas service for which it is no longer certified to provide.

(G) Before the effective date of the certificate rescission, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator that provides competitive retail natural gas service to customers shall cooperate fully with each natural gas company in whose service area it provides such service to ensure that its existing customers will be served by another retail natural gas supplier, governmental aggregator or by the natural gas company on and after the effective date of the certificate rescission.

(H) Before the effective date of the certificate rescission, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator whose certificate has been rescinded shall provide a written notice to each of its customers that indicates that its certificate has been rescinded and specifies the date(s) it will cease to provide service. Such notice shall be provided to the commission staff for its review and to the incumbent natural gas company prior to customer dissemination. Such notice shall also inform existing customers that, if they do not choose an alternative supplier, their natural gas company will supply them and provide instructions on how they can obtain service from an alternative retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator.

(I) Reasons that the commission may suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate include, but are not limited to:

(1) A retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's failure to timely pay any assessment made pursuant to section 4905.10 or section 4911.18 of the Revised Code.

(2) A retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's failure to timely file an annual report of its intrastate receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of gas pursuant to section 4905.10 , or section 4911.18 , or division (B) of section 4929.23 of the Revised Code.

(3) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has materially underreported its intrastate receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of gas on reports required by rule 4901:1-27-07 of the Administrative Code.

(4) A finding by the commission that any information reported to the commission subsequent to granting a certificate adversely affects a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's fitness or capability to provide any service covered by its certificate.

(5) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator knowingly omitted information or knowingly provided false information on a certification or certification renewal application, including supporting attachments.

(6) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has provided a competitive retail natural gas service on or after July 26, 2002, without being certified by the commission to provide such service.

(7) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has violated any applicable commission rule or order adopted pursuant to Chapter 4929. of the Revised Code.

(8) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has failed to consent to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state or has failed to designate an agent to accept service of process pursuant to section 4929.21 of the Revised Code.

(9) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has engaged in an anticompetitive act.

(10) A finding that a retail natural gas supplier or the retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator has failed to maintain appropriate financial security or has otherwise committed an act of default as defined by a natural gas company's tariff or by agreement between the natural gas company and the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator.

(11) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has failed to comply with state laws or rules designed to protect consumers in this state, or has otherwise engaged in any fraudulent, misleading or unfair practice.

(12) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier has failed to maintain an Ohio office and an employee in this state, in accordance with section 4929.22 of the Revised Code.

(J) In the event of a material default, as defined by a natural gas company's tariff or by an agreement between the natural gas company and the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator, the natural gas company shall serve a written notice of such default in reasonable detail and with a proposed remedy to the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator and the commission. On or after the date the default notice has been served, the natural gas company may file with the commission a written request for authorization to terminate or suspend the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator from participation with the natural gas company's supplier program. Except for default due to underdelivery or nondelivery, if the commission, or an attorney examiner, does not issue an entry to suspend or reject the action proposed by the natural gas company within ten business days after receipt of the request, the natural gas company's request to terminate or suspend shall be deemed authorized on the eleventh business day. If the default is due to underdelivery or nondelivery and, if the commission, or an attorney examiner, does not act within five business days after receipt of the request, the natural gas company's request to terminate or suspend shall be deemed authorized on the sixth business day. Terminations or suspensions from a natural gas company's supplier program shall require authorization from the commission.

The natural gas company shall send notices pursuant to this section by email, fax, overnight mail or hand delivery to the commission and staff at the commission's offices. The natural gas company shall notify all commissioners, the chief of staff, the director of the service monitoring and enforcement services department, the director of the utilities department, the director of the legal department and the chief of the attorney general's public utilities section. The natural gas company shall send the notice to the address and fax number provided by the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator in its aggregation agreement.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4905.26
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-27-12 [Effective 12/1/2014] Transfer or abandonment of a certificate.

(A) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall not transfer its certificate to any person without prior commission approval.

(1) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator may apply for commission approval to transfer its certificate by filing a certificate transfer application.

(2) A transfer application shall be automatically approved on the thirty-first day after filing, unless the commission or attorney examiner acts to suspend or reject the application.

(B) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall not abandon the service(s) it provided under a certificate without filing an abandonment application and without commission approval. The retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall fulfill the terms of all existing contracts with customers or assign such contracts to another retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator prior to abandoning service.

(1) Abandonment applications shall be filed at least ninety days prior to the effective date that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator will cease providing service. The application shall include copies of any notices provided pursuant to paragraphs (B)(2), (B)(3), and (B)(4) of this rule.

(2) At least ninety days prior to abandoning service in the state of Ohio, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide written notice to each natural gas company in whose service area the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator operates of its intent to cease providing service in the state of Ohio. That notice shall reflect that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has filed an abandonment application with the commission.

(3) At least ninety days prior to abandoning service, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide written notice to its existing customers and the office of the Ohio consumers' counsel of its intent to abandon service. Such notice shall indicate the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's intent to fulfill or assign customer contracts, including the effective date of such assignment, the effective date it will cease to provide service, and identify the commission's toll-free and Ohio relay service telephone numbers. That notice shall reflect that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has filed an abandonment application with the commission. Such notice shall also inform existing customers that, if they do not choose an alternative supplier, their natural gas company will supply them under the applicable tariff service and provide instructions on how they can obtain service from an alternative retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator. Such notice shall be provided to the commission staff for its review and to the incumbent natural gas company, prior to customer dissemination.

(4) The retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide notice of its abandonment to its existing customers by separate message that is mailed or otherwise directly delivered to the customer or by notice on customer billing statements. Where the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator is providing the billing, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall provide notice of its abandonment. Where the natural gas company is billing for the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator may negotiate with the incumbent natural gas company to provide such notice of its abandonment on each billing statement rendered to existing customers. Abandonment notices shall begin at least ninety days before the effective date of the abandonment and shall continue monthly until the operation is abandoned.

(5) If the commission does not act upon the application within ninety days of the filing date, the application shall be deemed automatically approved on the ninety-first day after the official filing date.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-12

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-13 [Effective 12/1/2014] Certification suspension, rescission, or conditional rescission.

(A) After reasonable notice and the opportunity for a hearing, the commission may, upon its own motion or upon complaint, suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate, in whole or in part, for good cause shown.

(B) If the commission suspends a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate:

(1) The commission will notify the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator of the reasons and effective dates for such suspension and specify the actions, including associated time frames, that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator must take in order to have the suspension lifted.

(2) The retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall continue to provide all services it is obligated to provide under contract to its existing customers, but it shall not advertise, offer, or contract to provide any new competitive retail natural gas service to existing customers, nor advertise, offer, or contract to provide any competitive retail natural gas service to potential customers during the suspension, unless the commission orders otherwise. Such suspensions and related prohibitions against advertising, offering or entering into contracts apply statewide, unless otherwise ordered by the commission.

(C) If the commission conditionally rescinds a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate:

(1) The commission will delineate the specific conditions that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator must meet and establish a date by which the conditions must be met in order for the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator to avoid permanent rescission of its certificate.

(2) Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator shall continue to provide all services it is obligated to provide under contract to its existing customers, but it shall not advertise, offer, or contract to provide any new competitive retail natural gas service to existing customers, nor advertise, offer, or contract to provide any competitive retail natural gas service to potential customers throughout the duration of a conditional rescission of a certificate.

(D) If the commission rescinds a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate:

(1) The commission will notify the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator of the reasons for and effective date of such rescission.

(2) Upon the effective date specified by the commission, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator whose certificate has been rescinded shall cease providing all competitive retail natural gas service for which it is no longer certified to provide.

(3) Before the effective date of the certificate rescission, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator that provides competitive retail natural gas service to customers shall cooperate fully with each natural gas company in whose service area it provides such service to ensure that its existing customers will be served by another retail natural gas supplier, governmental aggregator or by the natural gas company on and after the effective date of the certificate rescission.

(4) Before the effective date of the certificate rescission, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator whose certificate has been rescinded shall provide a written notice to each of its customers that indicates that its certificate has been rescinded and specifies the date(s) it will cease to provide service. Such notice shall be provided to the commission staff for its review and to the incumbent natural gas company prior to customer dissemination. Such notice shall also inform existing customers that, if they do not choose an alternative supplier, their natural gas company will supply them under the applicable tariff service and provide instructions on how they can obtain service from an alternative retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator.

(E) Reasons that the commission may suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate include, but are not limited to:

(1) A retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's failure to timely pay any assessment made pursuant to section 4905.10 or section 4911.18 of the Revised Code.

(2) A retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's failure to timely file an annual report of its intrastate gross receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of gas pursuant to section 4905.10 , or section 4911.18 , or division (B) of section 4929.23 of the Revised Code.

(3) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has materially underreported its intrastate gross receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of gas on reports required by rule 4901:1-30-01 of the Administrative Code.

(4) A finding by the commission that any information reported to the commission subsequent to granting a certificate adversely affects a retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's fitness or capability to provide any service covered by its certificate.

(5) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator knowingly omitted information or knowingly provided false information on a certification or certification renewal application, including supporting attachments.

(6) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has provided a competitive retail natural gas service without being certified by the commission to provide such service.

(7) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has violated any applicable commission rule or order adopted pursuant to Chapter 4929. of the Revised Code.

(8) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has failed to consent to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state or has failed to designate an agent to accept service of process pursuant to section 4929.21 of the Revised Code.

(9) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has engaged in an anticompetitive act.

(10) A finding that a retail natural gas supplier or the retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator has failed to maintain appropriate financial security or has otherwise committed an act of default as defined by a natural gas company's tariff or by agreement between the natural gas company and the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator.

(11) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has failed to comply with state laws or rules designed to protect consumers in this state, or has otherwise engaged in any fraudulent, misleading or unfair practice.

(12) A finding by the commission that a retail natural gas supplier has failed to maintain an Ohio office and an employee in this state, in accordance with section 4929.22 of the Revised Code.

(F) In the event of a material default, as defined by a natural gas company's tariff or by an agreement between the natural gas company and the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator:

(1) The natural gas company shall serve a written notice of such default in reasonable detail and with a proposed remedy to the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator and the commission.

(2) On or after the date the default notice has been served, the natural gas company may file with the commission a written request for authorization to terminate or suspend the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator from participation with the natural gas company's supplier program.

(3) If the material default is due to reasons other than underdelivery or nondelivery, and if the commission, or an attorney examiner, does not issue an entry to suspend or reject the action proposed by the natural gas company within ten business days after receipt of the request, the natural gas company's request to terminate or suspend shall be deemed authorized on the eleventh business day.

(4) If the default is due to underdelivery or nondelivery and, if the commission, or an attorney examiner, does not act within five business days after receipt of the request, the natural gas company's request to terminate or suspend shall be deemed authorized on the sixth business day.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (F)(3) and (F)(4) of this rule, terminations or suspensions from a natural gas company's supplier program shall require authorization from the commission.

(6) The natural gas company shall send notices pursuant to this section by electronic mail, fax, overnight mail or hand delivery to the commission and staff at the commission's offices. The natural gas company shall notify all commissioners, the chief of staff, the director of the service monitoring and enforcement services department, the director of the utilities department, the director of the legal department and the chief of the attorney general's public utilities section. The natural gas company shall send the notice to the address, electronic mail, and fax number provided by the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator in its aggregation agreement.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-12

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4905.26
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-27-14 [Effective 12/1/2014] Financial security.

(A) Pursuant to a tariff filed with the commission in accordance with division (A) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code and rule 4901:1-29-13 of the Administrative Code, a natural gas company may require a retail natural gas supplier to issue and maintain a financial security with the natural gas company to protect the natural gas company and the regulated sales service customers from default.

(B) A natural gas company may require a retail natural gas supplier to furnish financial and other information contained in the natural gas company's tariff to determine the type and/or amount of the financial security required for compliance with paragraph (A) of this rule.

(C) A retail natural gas supplier may bring an action before the commission seeking review of the natural gas company's determination of financial security requirements or may seek staff mediation as to any dispute.

(D) If a retail natural gas supplier fails to maintain sufficient financial security to protect a natural gas company and customers from default by the retail natural gas supplier, the natural gas company may apply for relief at the commission.

Replaces: 4901:1-27-08

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.20 , 4905.26
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07