4901:1-27-12 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on or before the specified date, the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's certificate will be rescinded.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