4901:1-27-12 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