Chapter 4901:1-28 Aggregation with Prior Consent

4901:1-28-01 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

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

(B) "Customer" means any person who has an agreement, by contract and/or tariff, with a gas or natural gas company to receive service or any person who requests or makes application for retail natural gas service.

(C) "Eligible customer" means a person that is eligible to participate in a governmental aggregation in accordance with sections 4929.26 and 4929.27 of the Revised Code and does not include any of the following:

(1) A person that is a both a distribution service customer and a mercantile customer on the date of commencement of service to the governmental aggregation, or the person becomes a distribution service customer after the service commencement date and is also a mercantile customer.

(2) A person that is supplied with commodity sales service pursuant to a contract with a retail natural gas supplier that is in effect on the effective date of the ordinance or resolution authorizing the aggregation.

(3) A person that is supplied with commodity sales service as part of the percentage of income payment plan program or similar or successor program adopted by the commission under Chapter 4905. or 4929. of the Revised Code.

(4) A person that has failed to discharge, or enter into a plan to discharge, all existing arrearages owed to or being billed by the incumbent natural gas company.

(D) Existing customer means a person who has a contract with a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(E) "Governmental aggregator" has the meaning set forth in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code. For purposes of this chapter, "governmental aggregator" specifically excludes a municipal corporation acting exclusively under Section 4 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(F) "Mercantile customer" has the meaning set forth in division (L) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Natural gas company" has the meaning set forth in division (G) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(H) "Operations and governance plan" means a plan adopted by a governmental aggregator pursuant to division (C) of section 4929.26 of the Revised Code.

(I) "Opt off" means an action by a person to remove their name and associated account information from a natural gas company's pre-enrollment list.

(J) "Opt-out notice" means a notice provided to the public pursuant to section 4929.26 of the Revised Code.

(K) "Pre-enrollment list" means a list of customers and associated customer information compiled by a natural gas company pursuant to division (F) of section 4929.22 of the Revised Code and as directed by the commission.

(L) "Retail natural gas service" has the meaning set forth in division (M) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(M) "Retail natural gas supplier" has the meaning set forth in division (N) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.01
Rule Amplifies: 4929.01 , 4929.26 , 4929.27 , 4929.22
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-28-01 [Effective 12/1/2014] Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

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

(B) "Customer" means a person who contracts with or is solicited by a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator for the provision of a competitive retail natural gas service.

(C) "Eligible governmental aggregation customer" means a person that is eligible to participate in a governmental aggregation in accordance with sections 4929.26 and 4929.27 of the Revised Code and does not include any of the following:

(1) A person that is both a distribution service customer and a mercantile customer on the date of commencement of service to the governmental aggregation, or the person becomes a distribution service customer after the service commencement date and is also a mercantile customer.

(2) A person that is supplied with commodity sales service pursuant to a contract with a retail natural gas supplier .

(3) A person that is supplied with commodity sales service as part of the percentage of income payment plan program or similar or successor program adopted by the commission under Chapter 4905. or 4929. of the Revised Code.

(4) A person that has failed to discharge, or enter into a plan to discharge, all existing arrearages owed to or being billed by the incumbent natural gas company.

(D) "Existing customer" means a person who has a contract with a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(E) "Governmental aggregation program" means the aggregation program established by the governmental aggregator with a fixed aggregation term, which shall be a period of not less than one year and no more than two years.

(F) "Governmental aggregator" has the meaning set forth in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code. For purposes of this chapter, "governmental aggregator" specifically excludes a municipal corporation acting exclusively under Section 4 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(G) "Mercantile customer" has the meaning set forth in division (L) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(H) "Natural gas company" has the meaning set forth in division (G) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(I) "Operations and governance plan" means a plan adopted by a governmental aggregator pursuant to division (C) of section 4929.26 of the Revised Code.

(J) "Opt off" means an action by a person to remove his/her name and associated account information from a natural gas company's pre-enrollment list.

(K) "Opt-out notice" means a notice provided to the public pursuant to section 4929.26 of the Revised Code.

(L) "Pre-enrollment list" means a list of customers and associated customer information compiled by a natural gas company pursuant to division (F) of section 4929.22 of the Revised Code and as directed by the commission.

(M) "Retail natural gas service" has the meaning set forth in division (M) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

(N) "Retail natural gas supplier" has the meaning set forth in division (N) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.01 , 4929.10 , 4929.20
Rule Amplifies: 4929.01 , 4929.22 , 4929.26 , 4929.27
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-28-02 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Purpose and scope.

The rules in this chapter:

(A) Apply to a governmental aggregator's formation and operation of an opt-out governmental aggregation pursuant to Chapter 4929. of the Revised Code and to cooperation between natural gas companies and governmental aggregators.

(B) Nothing contained in this chapter shall preclude, in any way, the commission from altering, amending, or waiving, in whole or in part, any of these rules.

(C) Are intended to:

(1) Establish minimum requirements for formation and operation of governmental aggregations.

(2) Establish minimum requirements for a governmental aggregator's operation and governance plan.

(3) Establish minimum requirements for a governmental aggregator's opt-out notice to customers.

(4) Foster cooperation between natural gas companies and governmental aggregators.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.27
Rule Amplifies: 4929.26 , 4929.27 , 4929.28 , 4905.04 , 4905.05
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-28-02 [Effective 12/1/2014] Purpose and scope.

(A) The rules in this chapter apply to a governmental aggregator's formation and operation of an opt-out governmental aggregation pursuant to Chapter 4929. of the Revised Code and to cooperation between natural gas companies and governmental aggregators.

(B) 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.

(C) Are intended to:

(1) Establish minimum requirements for formation and operation of governmental aggregations.

(2) Establish minimum requirements for a governmental aggregator's operation and governance plan.

(3) Establish minimum requirements for a governmental aggregator's opt-out notice to customers.

(4) Foster cooperation between natural gas companies and governmental aggregators.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20 , 4929.27
Rule Amplifies: 4905.04 , 4905.05 , 4929.26 , 4929.27 , 4929.28
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-28-03 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Formation and operation of an opt-out governmental aggregation and minimum requirements for operations and governance plans.

(A) Prior to applying for certification at the commission, a governmental aggregator that will form an opt-out aggregation shall complete all of the requirements specified in divisions (A) to (D) of section 4929.26 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 4929.26 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 4929.26 of the Revised Code.

(B) The operation and governance plan adopted shall detail the services that will 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 against similar services provided by competitive suppliers. The governmental aggregator shall write the plan in clear and plain language so that an average residential customer can easily understand it. The plan shall, at a minimum, contain all of the following:

(1) A detailed description of services the governmental aggregator is to provide under the aggregation, including 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.

(3) A detailed description of the governmental aggregator's plan for providing the required opt-out disclosure notices to eligible 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 governmental boundaries are notified. The plan shall also identify the time frames associated with the notice.

(4) A detailed description of the process for developing the pool of customer accounts that may be included in the aggregation, including the steps that will be taken to identify and eliminate customers that are not eligible to participate in the aggregation and eligible customers who opt out of the aggregation.

(5) 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.

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

(7) 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 TDD/TTY telephone numbers for its call center. These procedures and processes shall comport with the requirements specified in rule 4901:1-29-08 of the Administrative Code.

(8) A detailed description of the policies associated with a customer moving into the aggregation or within the aggregation where the incumbent natural gas company 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 customers an opportunity to opt-out of the aggregation in accordance with the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-28-04 of the Administrative Code.

(9) 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 incumbent natural gas company. A customer in these circumstances may 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, the customer shall have the opportunity to opt out of the aggregation without penalty, pursuant to the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-28-04 of the Administrative Code.

(10) A description of the governmental aggregator's policies regarding the ability of a customer who had 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 would materially affect 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 4901:1-28-04 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) 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.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.27
Rule Amplifies: 4929.26
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-28-03 [Effective 12/1/2014] Formation and operation of an opt-out governmental aggregation and minimum requirements for operations and governance plans.

(A) Prior to applying for certification at the commission, a governmental aggregator that will form an opt-out aggregation shall complete all of the requirements specified in divisions (A) to (D) of section 4929.26 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 4929.26 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 4929.26 of the Revised Code.

(B) The operation and governance plan adopted shall detail the services that will 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 against similar services provided by competitive suppliers. The governmental aggregator shall write the plan in clear and plain language so that an average residential customer can easily understand it. The plan shall, at a minimum, contain all of the following:

(1) A detailed description of services the governmental aggregator is to provide under the aggregation, including 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.

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

(4) A detailed description of the process for developing the pool of customer accounts that may be included in the aggregation, including the steps that will be taken to identify and eliminate customers that are not eligible to participate in the aggregation and eligible governmental aggregation customers who opt out of the aggregation.

(5) 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.

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

(7) 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 Ohio relay service telephone numbers for its call center. These procedures and processes shall comport with the requirements specified in rule 4901:1-29-08 of the Administrative Code.

(8) A detailed description of the policies associated with a customer moving into the aggregation or within the aggregation where the incumbent natural gas company 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 customers an opportunity to opt out of the aggregation in accordance with the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-28-04 of the Administrative Code.

(9) 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 incumbent natural gas company. A customer in these circumstances may 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, the customer shall have the opportunity to opt out of the aggregation without penalty, pursuant to the procedures set forth in rule 4901:1-28-04 of the Administrative Code.

(10) A description of the governmental aggregator's policies regarding the ability of a customer who had 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 would materially affect 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 4901:1-28-04 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) 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.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20 , 4929.27
Rule Amplifies: 4929.26
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-28-04 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Opt-out disclosure requirements.

(A) Prior to including a customer's natural gas account or accounts in an aggregation, a governmental aggregator shall provide each eligible customer written notice that the customer's account(s) will be automatically included in the aggregation unless the customer affirmatively opts out of the aggregation. The notice shall, at a minimum, include:

(1) A summary of the actions that the governmental entity took to authorize the aggregation.

(2) A description of the services that the governmental aggregator will provide under the aggregation.

(3) Disclosure of the price that the governmental aggregator will charge customers for competitive retail natural gas service. The price shall be expressed in dollars and/or cents per hundred cubic feet of gas ("Ccf") or thousand cubic feet of gas ("Mcf"), depending on the unit that is used by the natural gas company that serves the customer. If a variable rate is offered, it shall be accompanied by an understandable description of the factors that will cause the price to vary (including any associated indices) and disclosure of how frequently the rate will change. If different rates will be charged to different rate classes within the aggregation, the governmental aggregator shall disclose the applicable rate(s) to customers within the various rate classes.

(4) An itemized list and explanation of all fees and charges that are not incorporated into the rates charged for natural gas that the governmental aggregator will charge the customer for participating in the aggregation, including any applicable switching fees or early termination penalties. These switching fees and/or early termination penalties shall not apply to a customer that moves out of the governmental aggregator's territory.

(5) Disclosure of the dates covered by the aggregation, including an estimated service commencement date and notice that the customer may opt out of the aggregation at least every two years without penalty.

(6) Disclosure of any credit and/or deposit policies and requirements.

(7) Disclosure of any limitations or conditions on customer acceptance into the aggregation.

(8) A description of the process and associated time period for customers to opt out of the aggregation. The process shall include provisions for customers to return a post card or similar notice to the governmental aggregator or its agent. The process may include, in addition, other opt-out methods, such as telephonic or internet notice, provided that these methods provide for verification of a customer's election to opt out of the aggregation. The time period for a customer to choose to opt out of the aggregation shall extend at least twenty-one days from the date of the post mark on the written notice. A customer's return post card or notice that is post marked before the opt out deadline has elapsed shall be deemed to have opted out.

(9) A local or toll-free telephone number that customers can call with questions regarding the formation or operation of the aggregation, including associated calling hours.

(10) The language, on the front cover of the envelope or postcard shall state: "Important natural gas aggregation information".

(B) At least every two years from the establishment of its initial aggregation pool, a governmental aggregator shall provide notice to all customers served by the aggregation of their right to opt out of the aggregation without penalty. This notice shall follow the procedures established for the initial opt-out notice set forth in this rule and shall prominently disclose to customers all changes to the terms and conditions associated with the aggregation.

(C) No governmental aggregator or retail natural gas supplier serving a governmental aggregation shall impose any terms, conditions, fees, or charges on any customer served by a governmental aggregation unless the particular term, condition, fee, or charge was clearly disclosed to the customer at the time the customer chose not to opt out of the aggregation.

(D) To assist its preparation and dissemination of required opt-out notices, a governmental aggregator that is certified by the commission may request that the incumbent natural gas company provide it with customer information consistent with paragraph (A) of rule 4901:1-28-05 of the Administrative Code. The governmental aggregator shall not, without the customer's express written consent, disclose or use for any purpose other than formation and operation of its aggregation a customer's account number or social security number or any customer information regarding customers who had opted off of the incumbent natural gas company's pre-enrollment list. Before a governmental aggregator releases any customer account number, social security number, or any information related to a customer who has opted off of the incumbent natural gas company's pre-enrollment list, the governmental aggregator shall obtain the customer's signature on a release. The release shall be on a separate piece of paper. The release shall be clearly identified on its face as a release of personal information and all text on the release shall be in at least sixteen-point type. The following statements shall appear prominently on the release, just prior to the signature, in type larger and darker than the type in the surrounding sentences: "I realize that, under the rules and regulations of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, I may refuse to allow (name of aggregator) to release the information set forth above. By my signature, I freely give (name of aggregator) permission to release the information designated above." The information that the governmental aggregator 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.

(E) Each governmental aggregator shall use its best efforts to ensure that only eligible customer accounts within its governmental boundaries and customers who have not opted out are included in its aggregation. If ineligible accounts, accounts from outside of the governmental aggregator's governmental boundaries, or accounts for customers who opted out of the aggregation are switched to the governmental aggregation, the governmental aggregator shall promptly contact the natural gas company to have the customer switched back to the customer's former supplier. The governmental aggregator or the natural gas company, whichever is at fault for an improper switch, shall reimburse the customer for any switching fees that were paid by the customer as a result of the improper switch. In addition, if the customer's former rate was less than the rate charged by the governmental aggregator and the higher rate was paid by the customer, then the governmental aggregator or the natural gas company, whichever is at fault for an improper switch, shall reimburse the customer the difference between the customer's former rate and the governmental aggregator's rate multiplied by the customer's usage during the time that the customer was served by the governmental aggregator.

(F) The governmental aggregator shall docket with the commission's docketing division an advance notice of the governmental aggregation opt-out program with the final opt-out or any supplemental opt-out customer notification no more than thirty days, but no less than ten days, prior to sending the opt-out notification to customers. The advanced notice to the commission shall identify the affected community and natural gas company involved, include the beginning and ending dates of the twenty-one day opt-out period, and provide the identification of the selected competitive retail natural gas service supplier.

Effective: 04/13/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.27
Rule Amplifies: 4929.26 , 4929.22(F)
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-28-04 [Effective 12/1/2014] Opt-out disclosure requirements.

(A) Prior to including a customer's natural gas account or accounts in an aggregation, a governmental aggregator shall provide each eligible governmental aggregation customer written notice that the customer's account(s) will be automatically included in the aggregation unless the customer affirmatively opts out of the aggregation. The notice shall, at a minimum, include:

(1) The language on the front cover of the envelope or postcard providing the notice shall state "important natural gas aggregation information."

(2) A summary of the actions that the governmental entity took to authorize the aggregation.

(3) A description of the services that the governmental aggregator will provide under the aggregation.

(4) Disclosure of the price that the governmental aggregator will charge customers for competitive retail natural gas service, including:

(a) Dollars and/or cents per hundred cubic feet of gas ("Ccf") or thousand cubic feet of gas ("Mcf"), depending on the unit that is used by the natural gas company that serves the customer, if the product is based on a per-unit price. For flat-monthly rate offers, a specific listing of the rate to be charged per month for the duration of the contract.

(b) If a variable rate is offered, an understandable description of the factors that will cause the price to vary (including any associated indices) and disclosure of how frequently the rate will change.

(c) A statement that the retail natural gas supplier's or governmental aggregator's rate is exclusive of all applicable state and local taxes.

(5) If different rates will be charged to different rate classes within the aggregation, the governmental aggregator shall disclose the applicable rate(s) to customers within the various rate classes.

(6) An itemized list and explanation of all fees and charges that are not incorporated into the rates charged for natural gas that the governmental aggregator will charge the customer for participating in the aggregation, including any applicable switching fees or early termination penalties. These switching fees and/or early termination penalties shall not apply to a customer that moves out of the governmental aggregator's territory.

(7) Disclosure of the dates covered by the governmental aggregation program, including an estimated service commencement date and notice that the customer may opt out of the aggregation at least every two years without penalty.

(8) Disclosure of any credit and/or deposit policies and requirements.

(9) Disclosure of any limitations or conditions on customer acceptance into the aggregation.

(10) A description of the process and associated time period for customers to opt out of the aggregation. The process shall include provisions for customers to return a post card or similar notice to the governmental aggregator or its agent. The process may include, in addition, other opt-out methods, such as telephonic or internet notice, provided that these methods provide for verification of a customer's election to opt out of the aggregation.

(11) The time period for a customer to choose to opt out of the aggregation shall extend at least twenty-one days from the date of the post mark on the written notice. A customer's return post card or notice that is post marked before the opt-out deadline has elapsed shall be deemed to have opted out.

(12) A local or toll-free telephone number that customers can call with questions regarding the formation or operation of the aggregation, including associated calling hours.

(B) At least every two years from the establishment of its governmental aggregation program, a governmental aggregator shall provide notice to all customers served by the aggregation of their right to opt out of the aggregation without penalty. This notice shall follow the procedures established for the initial opt-out notice set forth in this rule and shall prominently disclose to customers all changes to the terms and conditions associated with the aggregation.

(C) No governmental aggregator or retail natural gas supplier serving a governmental aggregation shall impose any terms, conditions, fees, or charges on any customer served by a governmental aggregation unless the particular term, condition, fee, or charge was clearly disclosed to the customer at the time the customer chose not to opt out of the aggregation.

(D) To assist its preparation and dissemination of required opt-out notices, a governmental aggregator that is certified by the commission may request that the incumbent natural gas company provide it with customer information consistent with paragraph (A) of rule 4901:1-28-05 of the Administrative Code. The governmental aggregator shall not, without the customer's express written consent or electronic authorization or unless pursuant to a court or commission order:

(1) Disclose or use for any purpose other than formation and operation of its aggregation a customer's account number or social security number or any customer information regarding customers.

(2) Release any customer account number, social security number, or any information related to a customer without first obtaining the customer's signature on a release form. Forms requiring a customer to circle or to check off preprinted types of information to be released may not be used. The release form shall:

(a) Be on a separate piece of paper.

(b) Be clearly identified on its face as a release of personal information and contain text that shall be in at least sixteen-point type.

(c) Contain the following statements prominently, just prior to the signature, in type larger and darker than the type in the surrounding sentences: "I realize that, under the rules and regulations of the public utilities commission of Ohio, I may refuse to allow (name of aggregator) to release the information set forth above. By my signature, I freely give (name of aggregator) permission to release the information designated above."

(d) Specify on the form the information sought to be released.

(E) Each governmental aggregator shall use its best efforts to ensure that only eligible governmental aggregation customer accounts within its governmental boundaries and customers who have not opted out are included in its aggregation. If ineligible accounts, accounts from outside of the governmental aggregator's governmental boundaries, or accounts for customers who opted out of the aggregation are switched to the governmental aggregation:

(1) The governmental aggregator shall promptly contact the natural gas company to have the customer switched back to the customer's former supplier.

(2) The governmental aggregator or the natural gas company, whichever is at fault for an improper switch, shall reimburse the customer for any switching fees that were paid by the customer as a result of the improper switch.

(3) The governmental aggregator or the natural gas company, whichever is at fault for an improper switch, shall reimburse the customer for the difference between the customer's former rate and the governmental aggregator's rate multiplied by the customer's usage during the time that the customer was served by the governmental aggregator, if the customer's former rate was less than the rate charged by the governmental aggregator and the higher rate was paid by the customer.

(F) The governmental aggregator shall docket with the commission's docketing division an advance notice of the governmental aggregation opt-out program with the final opt-out or any supplemental opt-out customer notification no more than thirty days, but no less than ten days, prior to sending the opt-out notification to customers. The advanced notice to the commission shall identify the affected community and natural gas company involved, include the beginning and ending dates of the twenty-one day opt-out period, and provide the identification of the selected competitive retail natural gas service supplier.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.20 , 4929.27
Rule Amplifies: 4929.26 , 4929.22(F)
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07

4901:1-28-05 [Effective until 12/1/2014] Cooperation between natural gas companies and certified governmental aggregators.

(A) Each natural gas company, each governmental aggregator and each retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator shall cooperate to facilitate the proper formation and functioning of governmental aggregations. To assist a certified governmental aggregator's compliance with the opt-out disclosure notice requirements established in division (D) of section 4929.26 of the Revised Code, upon request, the incumbent natural gas company shall provide, on a best efforts basis, an updated list of eligible customers, including; names, account numbers, and service and mailing addresses for all eligible customers residing within the governmental aggregator's boundaries.

(B) Charges and/or fees for services and information provided to governmental aggregators by natural gas companies shall be published in an approved tariff filed with the commission.

(C) Unless the customer notifies the incumbent natural gas company of the customer's intent to not join a governmental aggregation by returning a confirmation notice or providing some other notice as provided by that natural gas company's tariffs, the incumbent natural gas company shall switch customer accounts to or from a governmental aggregation under the same processes and time frames provided in published tariffs for switching other customer accounts.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/24/2007 and 11/30/2011

Promulgated Under: 111.15

Statutory Authority: 4929.27

Rule Amplifies: 4929.26 , 4929.28 , 4905.04 , 4905.05 , 4929.22(F)

Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02

4901:1-28-05 [Effective 12/1/2014] Cooperation between natural gas companies and certified governmental aggregators.

(A) Each natural gas company, each governmental aggregator and each retail natural gas supplier of a governmental aggregator shall cooperate to facilitate the proper formation and functioning of governmental aggregations. To assist a certified governmental aggregator's compliance with the opt-out disclosure notice requirements established in division (D) of section 4929.26 of the Revised Code, upon request, the incumbent natural gas company shall provide, on a best-efforts basis, an updated list of eligible customers, including: names, account numbers, and service and mailing addresses for all eligible governmental aggregation customers residing within the governmental aggregator's boundaries.

(B) Governmental aggregators shall use the list of eligible governmental aggregation customers to distribute opt-out disclosure notices within thirty calendar days of the date the list is received from the natural gas company.

(C) Charges and/or fees for services and information provided to governmental aggregators by natural gas companies shall be published in an approved tariff filed with the commission.

(D) Unless the customer notifies the incumbent natural gas company of the customer's intent to not join a governmental aggregation by returning a confirmation notice or providing some other notice as provided by that natural gas company's tariffs, the incumbent natural gas company shall switch customer accounts to or from a governmental aggregation under the same processes and time frames provided in published tariffs for switching other customer accounts.

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2014 and 12/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.27
Rule Amplifies: 4929.26 , 4929.28 , 4905.04 , 4905.5, 4929.22(F)
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02