4901:1-10-24 Customer safeguards and information.

(A) Each electric utility shall notify customers annually, by bill insert or other notice, about its summary of customer rights and responsibilities, as prescribed by rule 4901:1-10-12 of the Administrative Code, and how to request a copy from the electric utility.

(B) Each electric utility shall maintain a listing in each local telephone service provider's directory operating in the electric utility's certified territory.

(C) Customer education and marketing practices.

Each electric utility shall provide informational, promotional, and educational materials that are non-customer specific and explain services, rates, and options to customers. The staff may review and/or request modification of informational, promotional, and educational materials. Such materials, shall include the following information:

(1) An explanation of the service, its application, and any material exclusions, reservations, restrictions, limitations, modifications, or conditions.

(2) If services are bundled, an identification and explanation of service components and associated prices.

(3) An identification and explanation of:

(a) Any one-time or nonrecurring charge(s) (e.g., penalties and open-ended clauses).

(b) Recurring charge(s) (e.g., usage).

(D) Unfair and deceptive acts or practices. No electric utility shall commit an unfair or deceptive act or practice in connection with the promotion or provision of service, including an omission of material information. An unfair or deceptive act/practice includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) An electric utility states to a customer that distribution service will or may be disconnected unless the customer pays any amount due for a nontariffed or nonregulated service.

(2) An electric utility charges a customer for a service for which the customer did not make an initial affirmative order. An affirmative order means that a customer or applicant for service must positively elect to subscribe to a service before it is added to the account. Failure to refuse an offered or proposed service is not an affirmative order for the service.

(E) Customer specific information.

(1) An electric utility shall not disclose a customer's account number without the customer's written consent, or electronic authorization, or a court or commission directive ordering disclosure, except for the following purposes:

(a) An electric utility's collections and/or credit reporting activities.

(b) Participation in the home energy assistance program, the emergency home energy assistance program, and programs funded by the universal service fund, pursuant to section 4928.52 of the Revised Code, such as the percentage of income payment plan programs.

(c) Cooperation with governmental aggregation programs, pursuant to section 4928.20 of the Revised Code.

The electric utility must use the consent form set forth in paragraph (E)(3) of this rule, unless authorization is obtained electronically.

(2) An electric utility shall not disclose a customer's social security number without the customer's written consent or without a court order, except for the following purposes:

(a) Completing a customer credit evaluation.

(b) An electric utility's or competitive retail electric service (CRES) provider's collections and/or credit reporting activities.

(c) Participation in the home energy assistance program, the emergency home energy assistance program, and programs funded by the universal service fund, pursuant to section 4928.52 of the Revised Code, such as the percentage of income payment plan programs.

The electric utility must use the consent form set forth in paragraph (E)(3) of this rule.

(3) The consent form shall be on a separate piece of paper and shall be clearly identified on its face as a release of personal information and all text appearing on the consent form shall be in at least sixteen-point type. The following statement shall appear prominently on the consent form, just prior to the signature, in type darker and larger than the type in surrounding sentences: "I realize that under the rules and regulations of the public utilities commission of Ohio, I may refuse to allow (name of the electric utility) to release the information set forth above. By my signature, I freely give (name of the electric utility) permission to release the information designated above." The information that the electric utility seeks to release shall be specified on the form. Forms requiring a customer to circle or to check off preprinted types of information to be released may not be used.

(4) Nothing in this rule prohibits the commission from accessing records or business activities of an electric utility, as provided for in paragraph (B) of rule 4901:1-10-03 of the Administrative Code.

(F) Customer load pattern information. An electric utility shall:

(1) Upon request, timely provide twenty-four months of a customer's usage history, payment history, detailed consumption data, if available, and time differentiated price data, if applicable, to the customer without charge.

(2) Provide generic customer load pattern information, in a universal file format, to other electric service providers on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis.

(3) Provide customer-specific information to CRES providers on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis as prescribed in paragraph (E) of rule 4901:1-10-29 of the Administrative Code, unless the customer objects to the disclosure of such information.

(4) Prior to issuing any eligible-customer lists and at least four times per calendar year, provide all customers clear written notice, in billing statements or other communications, of their right to object to being included on such lists. Such notice shall include instructions for reporting such objection. This notice shall read as follows:

"We are required to include your name, address, and usage information on a list of eligible customers that is made available to other competitive retail electric service providers. If you do not wish to be included on this list, please call (electric utility telephone number) or write (electric utility address). If you have previously made a similar election, your name will continue to be excluded from the list without any additional action on your part. If you previously decided not to be included on the list and would like to reverse that decision, please call or write us at the same telephone number and address. An election not to be included on this list will not prevent (electric utility name) from providing your information to governmental aggregators."

In addition, the electric utility may offer its customers the option of contacting the electric utility by electronic means and, if it does so, the electric utility shall add its electronic mail address or web site to the above notice.

(5) If a customer objects as provided in paragraphs (F)(3) and (F)(4) of this rule, the electric utility shall not release such information unless and until the customer affirmatively indicates that the information may be released.

(G) Each electric utility shall develop, update, and maintain a list of certified CRES providers that are actively seeking residential customers within the electric utility's service territory. Where CRES providers are actively seeking residential customers, the electric utility shall provide such lists to:

(1) All of its customers quarterly.

(2) All applicants for new service and customers returning to standard offer service.

(3) Any customer upon request.

Effective: 06/29/2009
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/26/2008 and 09/30/2012
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.22 , 4905.04 , 4928.06 , 4928.11
Rule Amplifies: 4928.11 , 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.37
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/99, 9/18/00, 1/1/04