Chapter 4901:5-25 Gas Emergency

4901:5-25-01 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

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

(B) "Consumer" means any person purchasing, delivering, storing, or transporting, or seeking to purchase, deliver, store, or transport, natural gas at a specified location, including industrial, commercial, and residential consumers, but not including gas suppliers.

(C) "Customer" means a person legally responsible to pay for gas or gas delivery services.

(D) "Energy emergency" means:

(1) The governor has filed a written declaration of an energy emergency pursuant to section 4935.03 of the Revised Code, having found that the health, safety, or welfare of the residents of this state or of one or more counties of this state is so imminently and substantially threatened by an energy shortage with regard to the supply of gas that immediate action of state government is necessary to prevent loss of life, protect the public health or safety, and prevent unnecessary or avoidable damage to property.

(2) Such written declaration is in effect and has not been terminated.

(E) "Fuel source advisory council" means the advisory group formed by the chairperson of the commission to monitor and advise the commission concerning fuel supply or energy shortages and related matters.

(F) "Gas" means natural gas, artificial or synthetic gas, or a mixture of those gases, liquefied natural gas, and petroleum gas.

(G) "Gas supplier" means:

(1) A retail natural gas supplier as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) A pipeline company, as defined in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, when engaged in the business of transporting gas by pipeline.

(3) A governmental aggregator as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(4) A gas or natural gas company that is owned or operated by a municipal corporation.

(5) A cooperative gas or natural gas company, as described in division (B) of section 4905.02 of the Revised Code.

(6) A company in the business of delivering gas to end use consumers, including municipal gas companies and cooperative gas companies.

(H) "Nonpriority use" means all use of gas other than priority use.

(I) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, state or federal agency, or association.

(J) "Priority use" means the minimum amount of gas necessary for protection of the public's health and safety, and for prevention of unnecessary or avoidable damage to:

(1) Residences (including, but not limited to, homes, apartments, nursing homes, institutions, and facilities for permanent residents or transients).

(2) Hospitals.

(3) Medical and human life-support systems and facilities.

(4) Electric power generating facilities and central heating plants serving the public.

(5) Telephone, radio, television, and newspaper facilities.

(6) Local and suburban transit systems and air terminal facilities.

(7) Police and firefighting facilities, emergency management and response facilities, military bases, federal facilities essential to national defense, and Ohio national guard facilities.

(8) Sanitary service facilities for collection, treatment, or disposal of community sewage.

(9) Production facilities for gas, propane, and petroleum fuels and fuel refineries.

(10) Pipeline transmission and distribution facilities for gas, propane, and petroleum fuels.

(11) Production, processing, distribution, and storage facilities for perishable medicines and medical supplies, dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, produce, grain, breads, and livestock and poultry feed.

(12) Buildings and facilities, limited to protecting the physical plant and structure, appurtenances, equipment, product inventories, raw materials, livestock, and other real or personal property.

(13) Water supply and pumping facilities.

(14) Coal mines and related facilities.

(15) Such other similar facilities as may be determined by the commission to be a priority use.

Effective: 11/04/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/20/2012 and 11/30/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4935.03
Rule Amplifies: 4935.03
Prior Effective Dates: 6/24/78, 11/1/80, 7/2/84, 4/16/1987, 2/11/1994, 2/27/2010

4901:5-25-02 General provisions.

(A) The rules contained in this chapter prescribe requirements to protect priority use. Gas suppliers shall comply with the rules of this chapter and commission orders adopted under this chapter.

(B) The institutional and regulatory relationship between jurisdictional utilities and the commission remains intact. Except as otherwise provided by this chapter or commission order during an energy emergency, each gas supplier shall comply with all applicable rules and requirements of the commission.

(C) In order to respond to shortages of gas, each gas supplier with tariffs on file with the commission shall file with the commission its curtailment plan that specifies the order of curtailments for all gas sales and transportation service to its consumers, and the interconnections and related capacities with other gas suppliers. Curtailment plans shall be established so as not to discriminate among consumers based upon the supplier of commodity. The plan shall consider curtailment options from both supply and capacity shortage scenarios. Gas suppliers shall also include, as part of their curtailment planning, a program of voluntary curtailment arrangements with consumers.

(D) Each curtailment plan shall be filed in the gas supplier's existing tariff filing docket or other docket, as designated by the commission. Each year after the initial filing, each gas supplier shall file, on or before September first, any revisions it is proposing to make to its curtailment plan. If no revisions are to be made, a statement to that effect shall be filed.

(E) In anticipation of an imminent energy emergency, or during a declared energy emergency, each gas supplier shall submit periodic reports, as required by the commission, regarding its pipeline supply entitlement, pipeline supply draw, amount of gas in storage, storage withdrawal, other interstate deliveries, estimates of Ohio-produced gas deliveries, estimated gas sendout, and other information that may be required by the commission to administer this chapter.

(F) Each gas supplier may disconnect service, through the use of qualified supplier employees or qualified contractors acting on the supplier's behalf, to nonpriority use consumers who fail immediately to disconnect or curtail consumption after notification by the gas supplier pursuant to this chapter.

(G) In anticipation of an imminent energy emergency or during a declared energy emergency, each gas supplier shall be required to answer commission staff's questions, as well as to update its company's contact information with the commission.

(H) The commission's fuel source advisory council may notify and advise the chairperson of the commission about gas supply problems and shortages and may make recommendations, including the need for the governor to declare an energy emergency and to implement rule 4901:5-25-05 of the Administrative Code.

(I) The chairperson of the commission shall notify the governor when, based on the information available to the chairperson, the chairperson believes that either of the following conditions exists:

(1) An energy emergency may exist with regard to the supply of gas.

(2) An energy emergency no longer exists with regard to the supply of gas.

(J) 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.

(K) The commission may direct the attorney general to bring an action for immediate injunction or other appropriate relief to enforce commission orders and to secure immediate compliance with this chapter.

Effective: 11/04/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/20/2012 and 11/30/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4935.03
Rule Amplifies: 4935.03
Prior Effective Dates: 6/24/78, 11/1/80, 7/2/84, 4/16/1987, 2/11/1994, 2/27/2010

4901:5-25-03 Enforcement on governor's instruction.

(A) No rule shall be implemented and no person shall be penalized under any rule in this chapter, other than paragraphs (A) to (E) and (G) to (K) of rule 4901:5-25-02 of the Administrative Code and all of rule 4901:5-25-04 of the Administrative Code, until the governor, by executive order, during a declared energy emergency, specifically designates by rule number and title which rule or rules are to be implemented and enforced and fixes the date and time after which the named rule or rules shall be implemented or enforced.

(B) Alternatively, the governor may request, under section 4935.03 of the Revised Code, that the commission issue and enforce orders effecting the implementation of this chapter.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/20/2012 and 11/30/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4935.03
Rule Amplifies: 4935.03
Prior Effective Dates: 2/27/2010

4901:5-25-04 Actions in anticipation of an imminent energy emergency.

(A) In anticipation of an imminent energy emergency, the commission may, by order, require that each regulated gas supplier:

(1) Notify its consumers through reports in the news media, or written notice where appropriate, about an imminent shortage of gas or interruption of gas service and request its consumers to reduce their consumption of gas and to implement energy conservation measures. These measures shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Curtailing outdoor gas lighting, except for essential safety and security purposes.

(b) Reducing gas water heating temperatures.

(c) Reducing space heating temperatures for buildings, factories, and transportation facilities.

(2) Issue periodic reports to notify consumers about the following:

(a) Gas supply levels.

(b) Plans and procedures for gas transfers, restrictions, curtailments, and reallocations pursuant to the gas supplier's curtailment plan or commission order.

(c) Projected or actual dates when consumers or classes of consumers would be subject to curtailment, reallocation, or restriction.

(3) Implement gas supply measures that include:

(a) Fulfilling gas requirements for priority use by its consumers.

(b) Transferring gas supplies to other gas suppliers to fulfill priority use requirements of consumers of the recipient gas suppliers.

(c) Reallocating and/or curtailing gas supplies among its consumers. Each gas supplier that curtails deliveries of sales and/or transportation gas to consumers who obtain gas on an interruptible basis shall curtail gas deliveries pursuant to its curtailment plan and voluntary arrangements with individual consumers. Each gas supplier shall, to the extent reasonably feasible, monitor consumer compliance with its curtailments of gas, and shall report the level of compliance to the commission periodically, as requested.

(B) Nothing in this rule shall preclude a gas supplier, after notification to the commission, from initiating its curtailment plans prior to commission directive, in order to meet operational needs.

(C) Actions ordered by the commission pursuant to this rule shall supersede filed curtailment plans to the extent there is a conflict.

Replaces: 4901:5-25-04,4901:5-25-05

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/20/2012 and 11/30/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4935.03
Rule Amplifies: 4935.03
Prior Effective Dates: 2/27/2010

4901:5-25-05 Actions taken upon declaration of energy emergency.

(A) Voluntary curtailment. Upon declaration of an energy emergency by the governor, the following provisions shall be applicable:

(1) Each gas supplier included within paragraphs (G) (4) to (G)(6) of rule 4901:5-25-01 of the Administrative Code:

(a) Shall contact its consumers and alert them to the declaration of an energy emergency and impending shortage of gas.

(b) Shall appeal to its consumers to reduce their consumption of gas on a voluntary basis. The appeals shall, where appropriate, include suggestions for achieving such reductions by all gas consumers.

(c) May initiate service restrictions, as set forth in rule 4901:5-25-06 of the Administrative Code.

(d) Shall provide its consumers information regarding:

(i) Actions the gas supplier will take to allocate the available gas supply.

(ii) The time period(s) during which any consumer or class of consumers is expected to be subject to curtailment, allocation, or other restriction of gas supply.

(iii) Procedures to be followed by consumers wishing to substantiate a claim for priority use.

(e) Shall report to the commission information that the commission determines necessary to manage the energy emergency.

(f) Shall make an oral report to the commission by telephone, twice weekly, at such time as it has an inadequate supply of gas for the foreseeable future. This report shall reflect the situation for the reporting supplier as of the previous day. Telephonic reports shall be made as prescribed by the commission.

(2) The commission may:

(a) Calculate the remaining gas supply for priority use in a reasonable manner.

(b) Provide information to suppliers and consumers regarding appropriate gas conservation measures.

(c) Provide public service announcements on television or other media, regarding the declaration of an energy emergency and the impending shortage of gas.

(d) Require, by order any gas supplier to:

(i) Reallocate and/or curtail gas supplies among its consumers.

(ii) Fulfill gas priority use requirements for its consumers.

(iii) Transfer gas supplies to other gas suppliers to fulfill gas priority use requirements of consumers of the recipient gas suppliers.

(iv) Monitor consumer compliance with mandatory emergency actions.

(B) Mandatory curtailment - stage one. During an energy emergency, at such time as the governor or the commission determines that it is appropriate, the following provisions shall be applicable in addition to the provisions set forth in paragraph (A) of this rule:

(1) All outdoor gas lighting, except for essential safety and security purposes, shall be prohibited.

(2) All interruptible gas service shall be curtailed.

(3) Gas usage for space heating purposes shall be restricted to maintaining temperatures within all:

(a) Public and private elementary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, vocational schools, government buildings, factories, and industrial buildings to no higher than sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit during business hours and to no higher than fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit during nonbusiness hours.

(b) Buildings and facilities not included in paragraph (B)(3)(a) of this rule no higher than the minimum temperatures required to protect health, safety, or welfare.

(4) The Ohio emergency management agency may be requested to:

(a) Establish and maintain a central emergency operations center staffed with appropriate persons from state, local, and other agencies for the purpose of providing coordinated responses to threats to life, property, public health, or safety.

(b) Plan the necessary administrative and logistical capability to support delivery of, and to provide security for the movement of, gas to designated priority consumers, where life, property, public health, or safety is threatened.

(c) Establish and maintain communications with emergency managers within each county in the geographic area for which the governor declared an energy emergency, for the purpose of providing coordinated local responses to threats to life, property, public health, or safety.

(5) The commission may take other actions it considers to be reasonable and appropriate.

(C) Mandatory curtailment - stage two. During an energy emergency, at such time as the governor or the commission determines that it is appropriate, the following provisions shall be applicable in addition to the provisions set forth in paragraph (B) of this rule:

(1) All firm gas service to any consumer in excess of fifty thousand cubic feet per day shall be curtailed, except for service for any priority use.

(2) Gas usage for space heating purposes shall be restricted to maintaining temperatures within all:

(a) Retail stores and transportation facilities to no higher than sixty degrees Fahrenheit during business hours and to no higher than fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit during nonbusiness hours.

(b) Buildings and facilities not included in paragraphs (B)(3)(a) and (C)(2)(a) of this rule to no higher than sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit during business hours and to no higher than the minimum temperatures required to protect health, safety, or welfare during nonbusiness hours.

(D) Mandatory curtailment - stage three. During an energy emergency, at such time as the governor or the commission determines that it is appropriate, the following provisions shall be applicable in addition to the provisions set forth in paragraph (C) of this rule:

(1) All firm gas service shall be curtailed, except for service for any priority use.

(2) Gas usage for space heating purposes shall be restricted as follows:

(a) Temperatures within all residences, hospitals, medical and human life-support systems, blood banks, and outpatient health facilities shall be maintained at no higher than sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit from six a.m. to eleven p.m. and no higher than fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit at other times, except where necessary to protect health, safety, or welfare.

(b) Residential hot water heaters shall be set at no higher than low or medium settings, except where necessary to protect health, safety, or welfare.

(E) Mandatory curtailment - stage four. If the commission or the governor determines that the provisions of paragraph (D) of this rule do not adequately protect priority use or the public health, safety, or welfare, the commission, by order, may further curtail or restrict gas supply and usage.

Effective: 11/04/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/20/2012 and 11/30/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4935.03
Rule Amplifies: 4935.03
Prior Effective Dates: 6/24/78, 11/1/80, 7/2/84, 4/16/1987, 2/27/10

4901:5-25-06 Service restrictions.

(A) During an energy emergency, each gas supplier, unless otherwise ordered by the commission, may:

(1) Suspend promotional activities to acquire new gas consumers through advertising and mass media, bill inserts or other direct mailings to consumers and telephone calls to obtain or arrange "conversions" to gas space heating or to sell or promote gas appliances. This suspension does not apply to:

(a) Service calls to repair existing gas equipment.

(b) Recommendations and information relating to the replacement of existing gas equipment.

(c) Counseling consumers about heating efficiency and safety measures for existing gas equipment.

(d) Direct contact with existing or potential consumers to promote the installation of dual-fuel equipment.

(e) Responses to consumer-initiated inquiries.

(2) Refuse new service to applicants unless the gas supplier receives approval from the commission of a non-discriminatory limited growth policy. Such policy should be based on actual gas supplies available to the gas supplier and its ability to meet the needs of its existing consumers. Preference should be given to the addition of priority use loads before adding other types of loads.

(3) Prohibit consumers from increasing consumption of gas above the normal usage of presently installed equipment.

(4) Prohibit consumers from installing equipment that would increase gas consumption.

(5) Require consumers to verify that installing replacement equipment would not increase fuel burning capacity.

(B) The following plan shall be followed to restore or commence service to residential and small commercial premises during an energy emergency while new service restrictions are in effect:

(1) The following residential and small commercial locations are ineligible for restoration or commencement of gas service:

(a) Any existing structure:

(i) Which has never received gas service.

(ii) With regard to which service has been transferred to a different location, unless gas service is transferred to that existing structure from another location.

(b) Any vacant site:

(i) Which has not received gas service within the last five years.

(ii) With regard to which gas service has been transferred to a different location, unless gas service has been transferred to the vacant site from another location within the last five years.

(2) Gas service for eligible, currently unserved residential and small commercial premises may be restored provided that both of the following provisions are met:

(a) The consumption pattern must be similar to the consumption pattern of the premises during the last five-year period that the premises was receiving gas service and the volume consumed must not exceed the largest volume consumed at that premises during the last five-year period during which the premises received gas service. If the gas supplier does not have records covering the entire preceding five-year period, then it may, for purposes of this paragraph, use data from the period for which such information is readily available.

(b) The customer shall reimburse the gas supplier for all direct costs to commence service at such premises.

(3) The owner of premises may submit a written application to the gas supplier to transfer gas to new or currently unserved premises that are owned by the applicant. The applicant shall demonstrate qualification for the exclusion. Such an application may be approved provided that:

(a) The applicant demonstrates that:

(i) The conditions set forth in paragraph (B)(2) of this rule are satisfied.

(ii) All gas burning equipment and all visible piping have been removed by the applicant from the premises from which gas service is to be transferred.

(iii) An onsite inspection has been conducted by the gas supplier to verify that the conditions set forth in paragraph (B)(3) of this rule have been met.

(b) If gas is transferred to new or currently unserved premises, an application for service at the site of the premises from which service was transferred will be treated as an application for new service under this plan, unless gas service was transferred to those premises from another location within the preceding five years.

(c) No gas service shall be transferred from premises located within a geographical area designated as "inner city" or "impacted area" by a municipal corporation to a new or currently unserved premises outside this "inner city" or "impacted area." The gas supplier shall request the municipal corporation it serves to file with the utility a written document indicating the geographical limits of the areas the municipality defines as "inner city" or "impacted area." The gas supplier shall file copies of these documents with the commission.

Any disputes concerning the designation of an "inner city" or an "impacted area" will be resolved by the commission after reviewing the locations of existing urban renewal projects, and the criteria set forth in the definitions of a "blighted area" and a "slum area" contained in section 725.01 of the Revised Code.

(4) In computing the five-year period referred to in this rule, the gas supplier shall exclude:

(a) Any period of time during which the property was subject to probate proceedings under Title 21 of the Revised Code.

(b) Any period of time during which the property was held by any governmental entity, whether federal, state, municipal, township, or county, or any agency or division thereof.

(5) If residential or small commercial consumers are curtailed pursuant to a curtailment plan, then the volume allocated upon restoration of service shall be limited according to the curtailment plan rather than paragraph (B)(2)(a) of this rule.

(6) For each gas supplier, the definition of small commercial consumer shall be as set forth in previous orders authorizing curtailment or restrictions on new service. If no such definition has been approved, the following definition shall apply: small commercial consumers are those engaged primarily in the sale of goods and services, and local, state and federal governmental agencies and departments other than those involved in manufacturing or electric power generation, whose average daily usage during the peak billing period is less than fifty thousand cubic feet.

Effective: 11/04/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/20/2012 and 11/30/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4935.03
Rule Amplifies: 4935.03
Prior Effective Dates: 1/20/63, 6/24/78, 11/1/80, 7/2/84, 4/16/1987, 10/28/90, 2/1/91, 2/11/1994, 2/27/2010