4901:1-21-05 Marketing and solicitation.

(A) Each competitive retail electric service (CRES) provider that offers retail electric generation service to residential or small commercial customers shall provide, in marketing materials that include or accompany a service contract, sufficient information for customers to make intelligent cost comparisons against offers they receive from other CRES providers.

(1) For fixed-rate offers, such information shall, at minimum, include:

(a) The cost per kilowatt hour for generation service.

(b) The amount of any other recurring or nonrecurring CRES provider charges.

(c) A statement that the customer will incur additional service and delivery charges from the electric utility.

(d) A statement of any contract contingencies or conditions precedent.

(2) For variable-rate offers, such information shall, at a minimum, include:

(a) A clear and understandable explanation of the factors that will cause the price to vary, including any related indices, and how often the price can change and, for discounted rates, an explanation of the discount and the basis on which any discount is calculated.

(b) The amount of any other recurring or nonrecurring CRES provider charges.

(c) A statement that the customer will incur additional service and delivery charges from the electric utility.

(d) A statement of any contract contingencies or conditions precedent.

(B) A CRES provider's promotional and advertising material that is targeted for residential and small commercial customers shall be provided to the commission or its staff within five calendar days of a request by the commission or its staff.

(C) No CRES provider may engage in marketing, solicitation, or sales acts, or practices which are unfair, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable in the marketing, solicitation, or sale of a CRES. Such unfair, misleading, deceptive, or unconscionable acts or practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Soliciting customers to enroll at either of the following times:

(a) After suspension, rescission, or conditional rescission of its certification by the commission.

(b) After denial of certification renewal by the commission.

(2) Failing to comply with paragraph (A) or (B) of this rule.

(3) Failing to provide in or with its advertisements and promotional materials that make an offer for sale, a toll-free telephone number (and address for printed materials) which the potential customer may call or write to request detailed information regarding the price, terms, conditions, limitations, restrictions, and, if applicable, environmental characteristics of the service offered.

(4) Soliciting via telephone calls initiated by the CRES provider (or its agent) without first taking both of the following actions:

(a) Obtaining the list of Ohio individuals who have requested to be placed on the federal trade commission's "do not call" registry by the appropriate area code.

(b) Obtaining monthly updates of the federal trade commission's "do not call" registry for the appropriate area code.

(5) Engaging in telephone solicitation of individuals who have been placed on the federal trade commission's "do not call" registry and who are not otherwise exempted.

(6) Engaging in telephone solicitation to residential customers either before nine a.m. or after nine p.m..

(7) Engaging in direct solicitation to residential customers where the CRES provider's sales agent fails to wear and display a valid CRES provider photo identification.

(8) Advertising or marketing offers that:

(a) Claim that a specific price advantage, savings, or guarantee exists if it does not.

(b) Claim to provide a CRES when such an offer is not a bona fide offer to sell such services.

(c) Offer a fixed price for CRES without disclosing the cost per kilowatt hour and all recurring and nonrecurring charges.

(d) Offer a variable price for CRES without disclosing all recurring and nonrecurring charges.

(e) Fail to disclose all material limitations, exclusions, contract contingencies, conditions precedent and offer expiration dates.

(f) Offer a variable price for competitive retail electric service that is not based on verifiable factors.

(g) Fail to conspicuously disclose an affiliate relationship with an existing Ohio electric utility.

(h) Lead the customer to believe that the CRES provider is soliciting on behalf of or is an agent of an Ohio electric utility when no such relationship exists.

(9) Marketing, advertising, or claiming that the environmental characteristics of any generation service energy source(s) provide an environmental advantage that does not exist.

(10) Engaging in any solicitation that leads the customer to believe that the CRES provider is soliciting on behalf of or is an agent of an Ohio electric utility when no such relationship exists.

Effective: 06/29/2009
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/26/2008 and 09/30/2012
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4928.06 , 4928.10
Rule Amplifies: 4928.10
Prior Effective Dates: 9/18/00, 1/1/04, 2/24/05