Chapter 4901:5-29 Heating Oil and Propane Emergency

4901:5-29-01 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

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

(B) "Consumer" means a person who consumes heating oil or propane at a specified location.

(C) "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 heating oil or propane 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.

(D) "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.

(E) "Hardship" means actual or threatened conditions of substantial discomfort and/or economic dislocation.

(F) "Heating oil supplier" and "propane supplier" mean:

(1) A heating oil company or propane company owned by a municipal corporation.

(2) Any producer, broker, or person engaged in the business of supplying heating oil or propane to heating oil companies, propane companies, or consumers within this state.

(3) Any person that owns, operates, manages, controls, or leases intrastate storage fields or pools.

(G) "Heating oil" means all oil that can be used as boiler or space heating fuel, including kerosene, number two heating oil, and number six heating oil; but excluding fuel used primarily for internal combustion or other types of automotive transportation vehicles or equipment, such as gasoline, diesel, aviation and jet fuel, naphtha, butane, ethane, methane, and pentane; and excluding oil that is not used as boiler or space heating fuel, such as solvent, cutting oil, lubricating oil, and asphalt.

(H) "Kerosene" means a petroleum distillate that has a maximum distillation temperature of four hundred and one degrees Fahrenheit at the ten per cent recovery point, a final boiling point of five hundred and seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit, and a minimum flash point of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Included are the two grades generally known as number 1-K and number 2-K, and all grades of kerosene called range or stove oil. Kerosene is used in space heaters, cook stoves, and water heaters and is suitable for use as an illuminant when burned in wick lamps.

(I) "Nonpriority use" means all use of heating oil and propane for other than priority use.

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

(K) "Priority use" means the minimum amount of heating oil or propane 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 natural gas, artificial or synthetic gas, propane and petroleum fuels, and fuel refineries.

(10) Pipeline transmission and distribution facilities for natural gas, artificial or synthetic 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.

(L) "Propane" means a normally gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon that is colorless and boils at a temperature of minus forty-three point sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. Propane is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams. It includes all products generally used for commercial purposes and products generally known as HD-5 propane.

(M) "Supplier" means a heating oil supplier or propane supplier.

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, 1/7/83, 7/2/84, 4/16/1987, 5/19/1991, 1/22/1998, 2/27/2010

4901:5-29-02 General provisions.

(A) Suppliers shall continue their normal operations and distribution of all heating oil and propane product types and volumes reported on monthly forms to the United States department of energy and the commission following a declaration of an energy emergency. Pursuant to all federal and state laws and regulations, suppliers shall assure, to the extent reasonably possible, the provision of such products under their distribution control to ultimate Ohio consumers for priority use and shall reduce, on an equitable basis, provision of such products under their distribution to consumers for nonpriority use.

(B) Compliance with the rules in this chapter is mandatory upon all affected persons unless the federal government imposes allocation regulations, enacts federal regulations establishing a state set-aside system, or dictates supplier/purchaser relationships, any of which are in conflict with this chapter. In the case of a conflict, the federal regulations supersede all conflicting rules in this chapter.

(C) During an energy emergency, in the exceptional circumstance in which a supplier is unable to meet fully its consumers' priority use requirements for the current calendar month from volumes available, the commission may provide assistance in obtaining adequate product for priority use for the balance of the current month. Each supplier that has an inadequate supply of product for its consumers' priority use requirements for the current calendar month shall notify the commission of the number, names, product type, and volume required for priority use consumers beyond the capability of the supplier.

(D) During an energy emergency, the commission may accept requests for such assistance for relief of verifiable consumer hardship or extraordinary conditions. Such requests may be accepted by the commission from suppliers that would supply the affected consumer. All requests shall be submitted in a manner and form prescribed by the commission and shall comply with any applicable federal and state laws, regulations, or guidelines.

(E) During an energy emergency, the commission may establish a toll-free telephone number for consumers in this state to request state assistance for relief from verifiable emergency or hardship conditions.

(F) During an energy emergency, the commission may designate, as priority use, the volume of such product necessary to relieve emergency or hardship conditions found to be extant and may request the consumer's supplier to deliver such product volume to the consumer, provided the consumer offers fair compensation.

(G) During an energy emergency, if the commission finds that a supplier has insufficient product to provide for all consumers' priority use requirements in the current month and/or is unable to provide product for consumers who, facing emergency or hardship conditions, have had priority use designation by the commission, the commission may request another supplier to provide product.

(H) During an energy emergency, each supplier that has a surplus supply of product for its consumers' priority use requirements for the current calendar month is expected to assure, to the extent reasonably possible, provision of product to consumers that are not its customers for their priority use requirements for the balance of the current month, provided:

(1) Fair compensation is offered by the new priority use consumers.

(2) The new priority use consumers can substantiate their priority use requirements.

(3) No threat to the life, property, health, or safety of the supplier's customers would result.

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

(J) The commission's fuel source advisory council may notify and advise the chairperson of the commission about heating oil and propane supply problems and shortages and may make recommendations, including the need for the governor to declare an energy emergency and to implement rule 4901:5-29-04 of the Administrative Code.

(K) 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 heating oil or propane.

(2) An energy emergency no longer exists with regard to the supply of heating oil or propane.

(L) 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.

(M) 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, 1/7/83, 7/2/84, 4/16/1987, 5/19/1991, 1/22/1998, 2/27/2010

4901:5-29-03 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 (B) and (I) to (M) of rule 4901:5-29-02 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.

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, 4/16/1987, 2/27/2010

4901:5-29-04 Actions taken upon declaration of an energy emergency.

(A) Voluntary curtailment. Upon declaration of an energy emergency by the governor, or at such time as it is otherwise determined by the governor that such action is appropriate, the following provisions shall be applicable:

(1) The commission may implement, or cause to be implemented, a public appeals campaign through appropriate news media to alert the public to the impending shortage of heating oil or propane. This appeal may seek voluntary reduction in the consumption of such fuels and may include specific suggested conservation measures for achieving such reduction.

(2) The governor may request that federal priority be given to all air, rail, barge, and pipeline traffic of essential fuel supplies into this state or a region of this state affected by the energy emergency.

(3) The governor may request that the United States department of transportation suspend federal limits on highway drivers' hours of service for heating oil or propane delivery for the duration of the energy emergency.

(4) The Ohio department of transportation may be requested to suspend truck size and weight limitations that constrain the delivery of heating oil or propane, for the duration of the energy emergency.

(5) The governor may suspend intrastate motor carrier weight and drivers' hours of service limitations and waive economic permits and fees that constrain the delivery of heating oil or propane for the duration of the energy emergency.

(6) Each supplier, to the extent possible, shall notify any of its consumers for whom forecasted fuel supplies are inadequate for the foreseeable future and shall provide to its consumers information on:

(a) Actions the supplier will take to allocate the available supply of heating oil or propane.

(b) The time period(s) in which any consumer or class of consumers would be subject to curtailment, allocation, or other restriction of supply of heating oil or propane.

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

(7) Each supplier shall report to the commission the information that the commission determines necessary to evaluate the supply of heating oil or propane in Ohio.

(8) The commission may calculate the remaining supply of heating oil or propane for priority use.

(9) A supplier's highest priority shall be to meet in full the heating oil or propane product priority use requirements for the current calendar month of all consumers from such supplier's available volumes. Suppliers shall reduce sales and/or deliveries to consumers for nonpriority use sufficiently to assure that all consumers' priority use requirements for the balance of the current calendar month are met in full.

(10) The commission may designate certain geographical areas within the state as suffering from a supply imbalance. The commission may order suppliers to release part or all of their state set-aside volume, as determined under Chapter 4901:5-35 of the Administrative Code, in order to increase the supply of heating oil or propane in such designated areas. Orders issued pursuant to this paragraph shall be in writing and effective immediately upon issuance. Such orders shall represent an option on the supplier's set-aside volumes for the month of issuance regardless of the fact that delivery cannot be made until the following month.

(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 become effective in addition to the provisions set forth in paragraph (A) of this rule:

(1) The commission may issue directives to suppliers such that they shall be prohibited from selling directly to nonpriority use consumers, or selling for resale for use other than priority use.

(2) The commission may issue directives to each electric or gas utility that requires heating oil or propane in order to provide service to the public.

(3) The commission may:

(a) Monitor each supplier's stock and the supply of heating oil or propane remaining for each type of priority use.

(b) Determine the average day's supply of heating oil or propane remaining for each type of priority use.

(c) Identify suppliers with volumes of heating oil or propane in excess of their consumers' priority use requirements.

(d) Provide direct assistance to consumers experiencing hardship or extraordinary conditions, through the allocation of heating oil or propane from the state set-aside, as set forth in Chapter 4901:5-35 of the Administrative Code.

(e) Take other actions it considers to be reasonable and appropriate.

(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, heating oil or propane to designated priority use 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) Suppliers, regardless of whether or not they have surplus supply, may be directed by the commission to sell fuel to consumers who are not customers of that supplier, for priority use required to alleviate such consumers' hardship or extraordinary need.

(6) With respect to consumers of heating oil and propane:

(a) All public, commercial, and industrial buildings heated with heating oil or propane are to reduce space heating temperatures to a level specified by the governor or the commission, but not less than sixty degrees Fahrenheit, except where health requirements deem such measures inappropriate or where such a setting would increase energy consumption.

(b) All or some nonpriority industrial use of heating oil and propane may be prohibited.

(7) The commission may be requested to accept applications from suppliers regarding priority use. Such applications shall be in a manner and form prescribed by the commission.

(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 become effective in addition to the provisions set forth in paragraph (B) of this rule:

(1) All nonpriority use of heating oil or propane may be prohibited within the time frame determined by the governor.

(2) All public, commercial, and industrial buildings heated with heating oil or propane are to reduce space heating temperature to a level specified by the governor or the commission, except where health requirements deem such measures inappropriate or where such a setting would increase energy consumption.

(3) Any nonpriority heating oil or propane consumer with a storage capacity of ten thousand gallons or more may be required to report to the commission, within the time frame determined by the governor or the commission, the current product type and volume stockpiled.

(4) All persons may be required to report stocks of heating oil and propane to the commission.

(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 become effective in addition to the provisions set forth in paragraph (C) of this rule:

(1) Consumers may be prohibited from using heating oil or propane for other than priority use.

(2) Heating oil or propane stocks in excess of priority use requirements for the following ten-day period, currently stockpiled by suppliers and consumers, may be made available for assignment to designated priority use consumers.

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, 1/7/83, 7/2/84, 4/16/1987, 5/19/1991, 1/22/1998, 2/27/2010

4901:5-29-05 [Rescinded]Second stage actions.

Rescinded effective 2/27/10

Promulgated Under: 111.15

Statutory Authority: 4935.03

Rule Amplifies: 4935.03

Prior Effective Dates: 4/16/87, 5/19/91, 1/22/98

4901:5-29-06 [Rescinded]Third stage actions.

Rescinded effective 2/27/10

Promulgated Under: 111.15

Statutory Authority: 4935.03

Rule Amplifies: 4935.03

Prior Effective Dates: 4/16/87, 1/22/98

4901:5-29-07 [Rescinded]Fourth stage actions.

Rescinded effective 2/27/10

Promulgated Under: 111.15

Statutory Authority: 4935.03

Rule Amplifies: 4935.03

Prior Effective Dates: 4/16/87, 5/19/91, 1/22/98