4901:1-29-09 Customer information.

(A) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator (and/or its agent) shall:

(1) Not disclose or use a customer's account number or any customer information for any purpose other than for operation, maintenance, assignment, and transfer of a customer's account, or for performing collection and credit reporting activities, and not disclose or use a customer's social security number for any purpose other than a to perform a credit check, without the customer's express written or electronic authorization on a release form or pursuant to a court or commission order. 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 all text 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 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 retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator) to release the information set forth above. By my signature, I freely give (name of the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator) permission to release the information designated above."

(d) Specify the information to be released.

(2) Timely provide the customer's payment history for services rendered by the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator (up to twenty-four months) to the customer without charge.

(B) Customer account numbers obtained from participation in a natural gas company's standard choice offer program shall not be used by retail natural gas suppliers in the marketing materials of competitive retail natural gas service. Account numbers must be provided by the customer prior to enrollment in any alternative offer to the standard choice offer.

(C) A natural gas company shall:

(1) Except as provided for in rule 4901:1-13-12 of the Administrative Code, not disclose or use a customer's social security number, account number, or any customer information, without the customer's express written or electronic authorization on a release form or pursuant to a court or commission order.

(2) Upon request, timely provide a customer's usage history (twelve months) and payment history (twenty-four months) to the customer without charge.

(3) Provide generic customer and usage information, in a universal file format, to other retail natural gas suppliers on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis.

(4) Provide customer-specific information to retail natural gas suppliers and governmental aggregators on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis as prescribed in paragraph (C) of rule 4901:1-29-13 of the Administrative Code, unless the customer objects to the disclosure of such information.

(5) 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 retail natural gas suppliers or governmental aggregators. If you do not wish to be included on this list, please call _________ or write ___________________ , or complete the appropriate form on ________________ website."

(6) Not release such information unless and until the customer affirmatively indicates that the information may be released, if a customer reports such objection as provided in paragraphs (C)(4) and (C)(5) of this rule.

Replaces: 4901:1-29-09

Effective: 12/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 07/28/2019
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4929.10 , 4929.22
Rule Amplifies: 4929.22 , 4905.04 , 4905.05 , 4905.06
Prior Effective Dates: 7/4/02, 4/13/07