4901:1-13-05 Minimum customer service levels.

(A) Service initiation and upgrades. Each gas or natural gas company shall complete the installation of new service as set forth in this paragraph. Percentages shall be calculated as monthly averages (based on a calendar year.

(1) Ninety per cent of residential and small commercial new service requests requiring no installation of gas pipelines shall comply with either one of the following requirements:

(a) Requests will be completed within five business days after the gas or natural gas company has been notified that the customer's service location is ready for service and all necessary tariff and regulatory requirements have been met.

(b) Requests will be completed by the requested installation date, when a customer requests an installation date more than five business days after the customer's service location is ready for service and all necessary tariff and regulatory requirements have been met.

(2) Ninety per cent of residential and small commercial new service installations requiring installation of the service line, including the setting of the meter, shall comply with either one of the following requirements:

(a) Requests will be completed within twenty business days after the gas or natural gas company has been notified that the customer's service location is ready for service and all necessary tariff and regulatory requirements have been met.

(b) Requests will be completed by the requested installation date, when a customer requests an installation date more than twenty business days after the customer's service location is ready for service and all necessary tariff and regulatory requirements have been met.

Paragraph (A)(2) of this rule shall not apply to main line extension installations. For residential and small commercial customers placing requests for new service that require installation of main line extensions, the gas or natural gas company shall contact the customer within thirty days with an estimate of the cost of the main line extension and the amount, if any, of a deposit. In addition, the gas or natural gas company shall provide an estimated date to complete the main line extension.

(3) Prior to initial operation or reestablishment of residential or nonresidential gas service (including after an outage), the gas piping downstream of the meter shall be tested to determine that no leaks exist. Testing may be accomplished by pressure testing or dial testing as set forth in paragraphs (A)(3)(a) to (A)(3)(d) of this rule.

(a) When pressure testing, the test pressure shall be measured with a manometer or with a pressure measuring device of equal sensitivity and accuracy designed and calibrated to read, record, or indicate a pressure loss due to leakage during the pressure test period.

(b) For new house lines at new installations, a pressure test shall be conducted at no less than one and one-half times the proposed maximum working pressure, but not less than three pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG). Consideration shall be given to accommodate the manufacturer's inlet pressure specifications for connected appliances. Appliances may need to be isolated during the pressure test to prevent damage. All appliance drops shall be tested at a minimum of operating pressure. The test duration shall be no less than one-half hour for each five hundred cubic feet of pipe volume or fraction thereof. When testing a system having a volume less than ten feet or a system in a single-family dwelling, the test duration shall be a minimum of ten minutes. The duration of the test shall not be required to exceed twenty-four hours.

(c) For existing house lines when reestablishing gas service, a pressure test shall be conducted at operating pressure for a duration of no less than three minutes. When gas service has been off for less than thirty days (such as, during an outage), a dial test at operating pressure may be used in place of a pressure test. The duration of the dial test shall be no less than: five minutes for meters which have minimum registering dials showing one-fourth or one-half cubic foot; seven minutes for meters that have a minimum registering dial showing one cubic foot; ten minutes for meters that have a minimum registering dial showing two cubic feet; twenty minutes for meters that have a minimum registering dial showing five cubic feet; and thirty minutes for meters that have a minimum registering dial showing ten cubic feet.

(d) Prior to the reestablishment of service when gas has been disconnected or discontinued in a service line, the service line shall be tested in accordance with 49 C.F.R. 192, effective as of the date set forth in paragraph (I) of rule 4901:1-13-02 of the Administrative Code. Bare steel services operating at a pressure less than one PSIG shall be tested at a minimum of ten PSIG for a duration of no less than five minutes. Bare steel service lines that have been previously abandoned shall not be returned to service. For purposes of this rule, "abandoned" shall mean pipe that was not intended to be used again for supplying of gas or natural gas, including a deserted pipe that is closed off to future use.

(4) If a residential or small commercial customer complies with all pertinent tariff requirements and the gas or natural gas company cannot complete the requested service installation or service upgrade as set forth in paragraph (A)(1) or (A)(2) of this rule, the gas or natural gas company shall promptly notify the customer of the delay, the reasons for the delay, the steps being taken to complete the work, and the probable completion date. If a rescheduled completion date cannot be met, the customer shall be promptly notified. If the rescheduled completion date is delayed more than five business days, written notification shall be given to the customer including the reason(s) for the delay, the steps being taken to complete the work and the new rescheduled completion date. This notification process shall be repeated as necessary. Each subsequent missed completion date shall count as a missed service installation or upgrade for purposes of calculating performance under paragraph (A)(1) or (A)(2) of this rule.

(5) If the gas or natural gas company fails to complete the requested service installation or upgrade as set forth in paragraph (A)(1) or (A)(2) of this rule, as a result of a military action, war, insurrection, riot or strike or a failure by the residential or small commercial customer or the customer's agent to provide access to the premises when necessary, such failure shall be reported but not be included in the monthly percentage calculation for this rule. Each gas or natural gas company must justify and document in its records each instance where it applied any of the exceptions listed in this paragraph.

(B) Telephone response. On an average monthly basis (based on a calendar year), each gas or natural gas company's average answer time for customer service calls made to its customer service telephone number shall not exceed ninety seconds. A gas or natural gas company shall set its queue to minimize the number of disconnected calls and busy signals. The requirements in this paragraph do not apply to small gas and natural gas companies.

(1) As used in this paragraph, "answer" means the service representative or automated system is ready to render assistance and/or accept the information necessary to process the call. Acceptance of an automated call back feature by a caller, allowing a caller to pick a later time to be called by a live company representative, shall satisfy the definition of answer.

(2) Answer time shall be measured from the first ring at the gas or natural gas company or, for companies using a menu-driven, automated, interactive answering system, at the point when the caller begins to wait in queue.

(3) When a gas or natural gas company utilizes a menu-driven, automated, interactive answering system (referred to as the system), the initial recorded message presented by the system to the caller shall only identify the company and the general options available to the caller. The system should include the option of being transferred to a live attendant by selecting a zero on the phone or by following another prompt in the first or second tier of caller options. At any time during the call, the caller shall be transferred to a live attendant if the caller fails to interact with the system for a period of fifteen seconds following any prompt or if the customer pushes zero or equivalent prompt indicated in the first or second tier. Calls handled exclusively by an automated system shall be included in the answer time measurement.

(4) Callers shall not be delayed from reaching the queue by any promotional or merchandising material not selected by the caller.

(C) Scheduled appointments with customers.

(1) The gas or natural gas company shall provide all customers with an expected company arrival time window of four hours or less for all appointments requiring the customer to be present.

(2) On an average monthly basis (based on a calendar year), each gas or natural gas company shall complete ninety-five per cent of the scheduled appointments with its customers.

(3) If the gas or natural gas company offers a call-ahead process to confirm its imminent arrival at an appointment and the customer has requested telephonic or electronic notification of the company's imminent arrival, at the time the company offers the call-ahead process, the company must inform the customer that, if the customer does not respond to the notification, the appointment may be cancelled. The company must attempt to notify the customer at least twice before the company may consider the appointment to have been cancelled by the customer if the customer does not respond to the notification.

(4) When the gas or natural gas company will not be able to meet a scheduled appointment with a customer, the company shall reasonably attempt to notify the customer in advance of the failure to meet the appointment and arrange a new appointment date and time.

(D) If the gas or natural gas company repairs customer service lines, the company shall complete the repair of service-line leaks that require service shutoff by the end of the next day after the service has been shut off for residential and small commercial customers, unless the company is unable to perform the repair or replacement due to lack of access or unsafe working conditions. At the customer's request, the customer and the company may agree upon a mutually acceptable timeframe for the completion of repairs or replacement requiring either a discontinuance of service or a scheduled discontinuation. On an average monthly basis (based on a calendar year), each gas or natural gas company shall complete ninety-five per cent of these repairs by the end of the next day service has been shut off.

(E) Reporting requirements.

(1) When a gas or natural gas company does not meet the average monthly minimum service level set forth in paragraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this rule, in any calendar year, the gas or natural gas company shall notify the director of the commission's service monitoring and enforcement department or the director's designee in writing within sixty days after such failure. The notification shall include any factors that contributed to such failure, as well as any remedial action taken or planned to be taken or rationale for not taking any remedial action. Any failure to report the lack of compliance with the minimum service levels set forth in paragraph (A), (B), or (C) of this rule constitutes a violation of this rule.

(2) The commission's staff shall review and evaluate the failure reports required by this rule and make any necessary recommendations to the commission or the gas or natural gas company.

Effective: 01/06/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/18/2010 and 09/30/2014
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4905.04 , 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.28
Rule Amplifies: 4905.04 , 4905.06 , 4905.22 , 4905.28
Prior Effective Dates: 12/7/2006