4901:1-21-16 Formation and operation of an opt-out governmental aggregation.

(A) Prior to applying for certification from the commission, a governmental aggregator seeking to form an opt-out aggregation shall complete all of the requirements specified in divisions (A) to (C) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code, including adopting an ordinance or resolution authorizing an opt-out aggregation, conducting a general or special election in accordance with division (B) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code for authorization from electors to form the aggregation, and approving a plan for operation and governance of the aggregation as specified by division (C) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code.

(B) The operation and governance plan adopted shall detail the services to be provided under the aggregation and specify all customer rights and obligations under the aggregation. The plan shall be sufficiently detailed to allow customers to readily understand the services that the governmental aggregator is to provide and to compare those services to similar services provided by competitive suppliers. The governmental aggregator shall write the plan in clear and plain language so that customers can easily understand it. The plan shall, at a minimum, contain all of the following:

(1) A detailed description of services that the governmental aggregator is to provide under the aggregation, noting whether the service is to be provided directly by the governmental aggregator or by a party contracted by the governmental aggregator.

(2) A description of the processes that the governmental aggregator will use to determine the rates that will be charged, including the applicable surcharge that may be charged to customers pursuant to division (I) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code.

(3) A description of the process that the governmental aggregator will use to notify customers if the governmental aggregator chooses to implement division (J) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code, including a description of the potential impact on the customers in the aggregation program.

(4) A detailed description of the governmental aggregator's plan for providing the required opt-out disclosure notices to customers. The plan shall describe the steps that the governmental aggregator will take to ensure that all eligible customers residing within the governmental aggregator's boundaries are notified. The plan shall also identify the time frames associated with the opt-out disclosure notice.

(5) A detailed description of the process for developing the pool of customer accounts that will be included in the aggregation, including the steps that the governmental aggregator will take to identify and exclude from the pool customers who have opted out of the aggregation and customers that are otherwise ineligible.

(6) A detailed description of the governmental aggregator's opt-out process and opt-out methodologies. The process shall include provisions for customers to opt out, including returning a postcard or similar notice to the governmental aggregator. The process may include, in addition, other opt-out methods, such as telephonic or internet notice, provided that these alternative methods allow for verification of a customer's election to opt out of the aggregation.

(7) A detailed description of the customer classes that the governmental aggregator intends to include in its aggregation pool.

(8) The governmental aggregator's plan for billing customers, including an identification of billing intervals and the identity of the entity that will transmit the bill to the customer.

(9) A listing of any credit or deposit procedures and policies that the governmental aggregator will employ in the event the customer fails to pay its bill(s).

(10) A detailed description of the governmental aggregator's customer service procedures and dispute resolution processes, including notice of the customer's right to contact the commission and the commission's toll-free and TTY numbers. These procedures and processes shall comply with the requirements specified in rule 4901:1-21-08 of the Administrative Code.

(11) A detailed description of the policies associated with a customer moving into the aggregation or within the aggregation where the electric utility considers the customer that is moving to be a new customer. If the policies provide that these customers will be automatically included in the aggregation, the governmental aggregator shall provide the customer an opportunity to opt out of the aggregation in accordance with the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-21-17 of the Administrative Code.

(12) A detailed description of the policies associated with a customer moving within the aggregation where the customer is not assigned a new account number by the electric utility. A customer in these circumstances shall maintain the rate that the customer was charged at its previous location or, if the rate at the new location is higher than at the customer's previous location, 4901:1-21-16 2 the customer shall have the opportunity to opt out of the aggregation without penalty, pursuant to the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-21-17 of the Administrative Code.

(13) A description of the governmental aggregator's policies regarding the ability of a customer who has previously opted out of the aggregation to join the aggregation, including identification of any associated conditions.

(C) A governmental aggregator shall keep its operation and governance plan available for public inspection and shall, upon request, provide a copy of the plan to any existing or potential customer of the aggregation.

(D) A governmental aggregator shall not alter its operation and governance plan in any way that materially affects the customers of the aggregation without first providing notice to all affected customers and providing these customers the opportunity to opt out of the aggregation according to the procedures established for the initial opt-out disclosure notice set forth in rule 4901:1-21-17 of the Administrative Code. The notice shall set forth the changes to the plan, inform the customer of its right to opt out of the aggregation without penalty, and identify the method and time frame for the customer to opt out.

(E) Notwithstanding paragraph (D) of this rule, if a governmental aggregator elects not to receive standby service from the electric utility under an approved electric security plan during the term of the governmental aggregation program pursuant to division (J) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code, the governmental aggregation shall not alter its governmental aggregation program in a manner that would require conducting an additional opt-out for the duration of its governmental aggregation program.

(F) No governmental aggregator shall send an opt-out disclosure notice to potential customers of an aggregation prior to the governmental aggregator being certified by the commission as a competitive retail electric service provider.

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 , 4928.20
Rule Amplifies: 4928.20
Prior Effective Dates: 4/12/02, 1/1/04