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