Chapter 4909: PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION - FIXATION OF RATES

4909.01 Public utilities commission - fixation of rates definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Public utility" has the same meaning as in section 4905.02 of the Revised Code.

(B) "Electric light company," "gas company," "natural gas company," "pipeline company," "water-works company," "sewage disposal system company," and "street railway company" have the same meanings as in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code.

(C) "Railroad" has the same meaning as in section 4907.02 of the Revised Code.

(D) " For-hire motor carrier" has the same meaning as in section 4921.01 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.

Effective Date: 01-01-2001

4909.02 Regulations and practices prescribed by commission prima-facie reasonable.

All regulations, practices, and service of railroad companies prescribed by the public utilities commission shall be in force and be prima-facie reasonable, unless suspended or found otherwise in an action brought for that purpose pursuant to Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., and 4909. of the Revised Code, or until changed or modified by the commission.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.03 Effect of rates fixed by commission.

All rates, fares, charges, classifications, and joint rates of railroad companies fixed by the public utilities commission shall be in force and be prima-facie lawful for two years from the day they take effect, or until changed or modified by the commission or by an order of a competent court in an action under Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., and 4909. of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.04 Valuation of property to determine justice of rates.

(A) The public utilities commission, for the purpose of ascertaining the reasonableness and justice of rates and charges for the service rendered by public utilities or railroads, or for any other purpose authorized by law, may investigate and ascertain the value of the property of any public utility or railroad in this state used or useful for the service and convenience of the public, using the same criteria that are set forth in section 4909.05 of the Revised Code. At the request of the legislative authority of any municipal corporation, the commission, after hearing and determining that such a valuation is necessary, may also investigate and ascertain the value of the property of any public utility used and useful for the service and convenience of the public where the whole or major portion of such public utility is situated in such municipal corporation.

(B) To assist the commission in preparing such a valuation, every public utility or railroad shall:

(1) Furnish to the commission, or to its agents, as the commission requires, maps, profiles, schedules of rates and tariffs, contracts, reports of engineers, and other documents, records, and papers, or copies of any of them, in aid of any investigation and ascertainment of the value of its property;

(2) Grant to the commission or its agents free access to all of its premises and property and its accounts, records, and memoranda whenever and wherever requested by any such authorized agent;

(3) Cooperate with and aid the commission and its agents in the work of the valuation of its property in such further particulars and to such extent as the commission requires and directs.

(C) The commission may make all rules which seem necessary to ascertain the value of the property and plant of each public utility or railroad.

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4909.05 Report of valuation of property.

As used in this section:

(A) A "lease purchase agreement" is an agreement pursuant to which a public utility leasing property is required to make rental payments for the term of the agreement and either the utility is granted the right to purchase the property upon the completion of the term of the agreement and upon the payment of an additional fixed sum of money or title to the property vests in the utility upon the making of the final rental payment.

(B) A "leaseback" is the sale or transfer of property by a public utility to another person contemporaneously followed by the leasing of the property to the public utility on a long-term basis.

(C) The public utilities commission shall prescribe the form and details of the valuation report of the property of each public utility or railroad in the state. Such report shall include all the kinds and classes of property, with the value of each, owned, held, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be owned or held as of the date certain, by each public utility or railroad used and useful, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be used and useful as of the date certain, for the service and convenience of the public. Such report shall contain the following facts in detail:

(1) The original cost of each parcel of land owned in fee and in use, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be owned in fee and in use as of the date certain, determined by the commission; and also a statement of the conditions of acquisition, whether by direct purchase, by donation, by exercise of the power of eminent domain, or otherwise;

(2) The actual acquisition cost, not including periodic rental fees, of rights-of-way, trailways, or other land rights held, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be held as of the date certain, by virtue of easements, leases, or other forms of grants of rights as to usage;

(3) The original cost of all other kinds and classes of property used and useful, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be used and useful as of the date certain, in the rendition of service to the public. Such original costs of property, other than land owned in fee, shall be the cost, as determined to be reasonable by the commission, to the person that first dedicated or dedicates the property to the public use and shall be set forth in property accounts and subaccounts as prescribed by the commission. To the extent that the costs of property comprising a coal research and development facility, as defined in section 1555.01 of the Revised Code, or a coal development project, as defined in section 1551.30 of the Revised Code, have been allowed for recovery as Ohio coal research and development costs under section 4905.304 of the Revised Code, none of those costs shall be included as a cost of property under this division.

(4) The cost of property constituting all or part of a project leased to or used by the utility, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be leased to or used by the utility as of the date certain, under Chapter 165., 3706., 6121., or 6123. of the Revised Code and not included under division (C)(3) of this section exclusive of any interest directly or indirectly paid by the utility with respect thereto whether or not capitalized;

(5) In the discretion of the commission, the cost to a utility, in an amount determined to be reasonable by the commission, of property constituting all or part of a project leased to the utility, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be leased to the utility as of the date certain, under a lease purchase agreement or a leaseback and not included under division (C)(3) of this section exclusive of any interest directly or indirectly paid by the utility with respect thereto whether or not capitalized;

(6) The proper and adequate reserve for depreciation, as determined to be reasonable by the commission;

(7) Any sums of money or property that the company may have received, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, is projected to receive as of the date certain, as total or partial defrayal of the cost of its property;

(8) The valuation of the property of the company, which shall be the sum of the amounts contained in the report pursuant to divisions (C)(1) to (5) of this section, less the sum of the amounts contained in the report pursuant to divisions (C)(6) and (7) of this section.

The report shall show separately the property used and useful to such public utility or railroad in the furnishing of the service to the public, the property held by such public utility or railroad for other purposes, and the property projected to be used and useful to or held by a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company as of the date certain, and such other items as the commission considers proper. The commission may require an additional report showing the extent to which the property is used and useful, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be used and useful as of the date certain. Such reports shall be filed in the office of the commission for the information of the governor and the general assembly.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 01-01-2001

4909.06 Additional facts.

The investigation and report required by section 4909.05 of the Revised Code shall show, when the public utilities commission deems it necessary, the amounts, dates, and rates of interest of all bonds outstanding against each public utility or railroad, the property upon which such bonds are a lien, the amounts paid for them, and, the original capital stock and the moneys received by any such public utility or railroad by reason of any issue of stock, bonds, or other securities. Such report shall also show the net and gross receipts of such public utility or railroad and the method by which moneys were expended or paid out and the purpose of such payments. The commission may prescribe the procedure to be followed in making the investigation and valuation, the form in which the results of the ascertainment of the value of each public utility or railroad shall be submitted, and the classifications of the elements that constitute the ascertained value. Such investigation shall also show the value of the property of every public utility or railroad as a whole, and if such property is in more than one county, the value of its property in each of such counties.

"Valuation" and "value," as used in this section, may include, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected valuation and value as of the date certain, if applicable because of a future date certain under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.07 Revision and correction of valuations.

The public utilities commission, during the making of the valuation provided for in sections 4909.04 to 4909.13 of the Revised Code, and after its completion, shall in like manner keep itself informed through its engineers, experts, and other assistants of all extensions, improvements, or other changes in the condition and value of the property of all public utilities or railroads and shall ascertain the value of such extensions, improvements, and changes. The commission shall, as is required for the proper regulation of such public utilities or railroads, revise and correct its valuations of property, showing such revisions and corrections as a whole and as to each county. Such revisions and corrections shall be filed in the same manner as original reports.

"Valuation" and "value," as used in this section, may include, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected valuation and value as of the date certain, if applicable because of a future date certain under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.08 Notice and hearing before valuation becomes final.

When the public utilities commission has completed the valuation of the property of any public utility or railroad and before such valuation becomes final, it shall give notice by registered letter to such public utility or railroad, and if a substantial portion of said public utility or railroad is situated in a municipal corporation, then to the mayor of such municipal corporation, stating the valuations placed upon the several kinds and classes of property of such public utility or railroad and upon the property as a whole and give such further notice by publication or otherwise as it shall deem necessary to apprise the public of such valuation. If, within thirty days after such notification, no protest has been filed with the commission, such valuation becomes final. If notice of protest has been filed by any public utility or railroad, the commission shall fix a time for hearing such protest and shall consider at such hearing any matter material thereto presented by such public utility, railroad, or municipal corporation, in support of its protest or by any representative of the public against such protest. If, after the hearing of any protest of any valuation so fixed, the commission is of the opinion that its inventory is incomplete or inaccurate or that its valuation is incorrect, it shall make such changes as are necessary and shall issue an order making such corrected valuations final. A final valuation by the commission and all classifications made for the ascertainment of such valuations shall be public and are prima-facie evidence relative to the value of the property.

"Valuation" and "value," as used in this section, may include, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected valuation and value as of the date certain, if applicable because of a future date certain under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 10-26-1953

4909.09 Ascertainment of valuation.

When the authority is conferred or the obligation is imposed upon the public utilities commission to ascertain the value of any public utility or railroad, such valuation shall be made in accordance with sections 4901.01 to 4901.14 , 4901.17 to 4901.24 , 4903.10 , 4903.12 to 4903.19 , and 4909.04 to 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4909.10 Hearing to ascertain value of property - notice.

For the purpose of ascertaining the value of the property of any public utility or railroad in this state, including municipally owned or operated public utilities, the public utilities commission may cause a hearing to be held at such time and place as the commission designates. Before any hearing is had, the commission shall give the public utility or railroad affected thereby, and if a substantial portion of said public utility or railroad is situated in any municipal corporation, then to the mayor of such municipal corporation, at least thirty days' written notice specifying the time and place of hearing and give such further notice by publication or otherwise as it deems necessary to apprise the public of the time and place of hearing. This section does not prevent the commission from making any preliminary examination or investigation into the matters referred to in this section, or from inquiring into such matters in any other investigation or hearing. All public utilities or railroads affected, and any municipal corporation in which the whole or the major portion of said public utility or railroad is located, are entitled to be heard and to introduce evidence at such hearing. The commission may resort to any other source of information available. The evidence introduced at such hearing shall be reduced to writing and certified under the seal of the commission.

Effective Date: 10-26-1953

4909.11 Filing and review of findings.

The public utilities commission shall make and file its findings of fact in writing upon all matters, concerning which evidence has been introduced before it, which in its judgment have bearing on the value of the property of the public utility or railroad affected. Such findings shall be subject to review by the supreme court in the same manner and within the same time as other orders and decisions of the commission.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.12 Admissibility of findings in evidence.

The findings of the public utilities commission made and filed under section 4909.11 of the Revised Code, when properly certified under the seal of the commission, are admissible in evidence in any action, proceeding, or hearing before the commission or any court, in which the commission, the state or any officer, department, or institution thereof, or any county, municipal corporation, or other body politic, and the public utility or railroad affected may be interested, whether arising under Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., 4909., 4921., 4923., and 4925. of the Revised Code or otherwise. Such findings, when so introduced, shall be evidence of the facts stated in them, as of the date stated in them under conditions then existing.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.13 Additional hearings.

The public utilities commission may cause further hearings and investigations to be had for the purpose of making revaluations or ascertaining the value of any betterments, improvements, additions, or extensions made by any public utility or railroad subsequent to any prior hearing or investigation, and may examine into all matters which may change, modify, or affect any finding of fact previously made, and may at such time make findings of fact supplementary to those previously made. Such hearings shall be had upon the same notice and be conducted in the same manner, and the findings so made shall have the same effect, as the original notice, hearing, and findings. Such findings made at supplemental hearings or investigations shall be considered in connection with and as a part of the original findings except insofar as such supplemental findings change or modify the findings made at the original hearing or investigation.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.14 Wrongful valuation.

No member of the public utilities commission shall willfully overvalue the property of a public utility for the purpose of enabling such public utility to exact a higher rate for service than could lawfully be exacted, or willfully undervalue such property for the purpose of preventing such public utility from charging a lawful rate for such service.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.15 Fixation of reasonable rate.

(A) The public utilities commission, when fixing and determining just and reasonable rates, fares, tolls, rentals, and charges, shall determine:

(1) The valuation as of the date certain of the property of the public utility used and useful or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be used and useful as of the date certain, in rendering the public utility service for which rates are to be fixed and determined. The valuation so determined shall be the total value as set forth in division (C)(8) of section 4909.05 of the Revised Code, and a reasonable allowance for materials and supplies and cash working capital as determined by the commission.

The commission, in its discretion, may include in the valuation a reasonable allowance for construction work in progress but, in no event, may such an allowance be made by the commission until it has determined that the particular construction project is at least seventy-five per cent complete.

In determining the percentage completion of a particular construction project, the commission shall consider, among other relevant criteria, the per cent of time elapsed in construction; the per cent of construction funds, excluding allowance for funds used during construction, expended, or obligated to such construction funds budgeted where all such funds are adjusted to reflect current purchasing power; and any physical inspection performed by or on behalf of any party, including the commission's staff.

A reasonable allowance for construction work in progress shall not exceed ten per cent of the total valuation as stated in this division, not including such allowance for construction work in progress.

Where the commission permits an allowance for construction work in progress, the dollar value of the project or portion thereof included in the valuation as construction work in progress shall not be included in the valuation as plant in service until such time as the total revenue effect of the construction work in progress allowance is offset by the total revenue effect of the plant in service exclusion. Carrying charges calculated in a manner similar to allowance for funds used during construction shall accrue on that portion of the project in service but not reflected in rates as plant in service, and such accrued carrying charges shall be included in the valuation of the property at the conclusion of the offset period for purposes of division (C)(8) of section 4909.05 of the Revised Code.

From and after April 10, 1985, no allowance for construction work in progress as it relates to a particular construction project shall be reflected in rates for a period exceeding forty-eight consecutive months commencing on the date the initial rates reflecting such allowance become effective, except as otherwise provided in this division.

The applicable maximum period in rates for an allowance for construction work in progress as it relates to a particular construction project shall be tolled if, and to the extent, a delay in the in-service date of the project is caused by the action or inaction of any federal, state, county, or municipal agency having jurisdiction, where such action or inaction relates to a change in a rule, standard, or approval of such agency, and where such action or inaction is not the result of the failure of the utility to reasonably endeavor to comply with any rule, standard, or approval prior to such change.

In the event that such period expires before the project goes into service, the commission shall exclude, from the date of expiration, the allowance for the project as construction work in progress from rates, except that the commission may extend the expiration date up to twelve months for good cause shown.

In the event that a utility has permanently canceled, abandoned, or terminated construction of a project for which it was previously permitted a construction work in progress allowance, the commission immediately shall exclude the allowance for the project from the valuation.

In the event that a construction work in progress project previously included in the valuation is removed from the valuation pursuant to this division, any revenues collected by the utility from its customers after April 10, 1985, that resulted from such prior inclusion shall be offset against future revenues over the same period of time as the project was included in the valuation as construction work in progress. The total revenue effect of such offset shall not exceed the total revenues previously collected.

In no event shall the total revenue effect of any offset or offsets provided under division (A)(1) of this section exceed the total revenue effect of any construction work in progress allowance.

(2) A fair and reasonable rate of return to the utility on the valuation as determined in division (A)(1) of this section;

(3) The dollar annual return to which the utility is entitled by applying the fair and reasonable rate of return as determined under division (A)(2) of this section to the valuation of the utility determined under division (A)(1) of this section;

(4) The cost to the utility of rendering the public utility service for the test period used for the determination under division (C)(1) of this section, less the total of any interest on cash or credit refunds paid, pursuant to section 4909.42 of the Revised Code, by the utility during the test period.

(a) Federal, state, and local taxes imposed on or measured by net income may, in the discretion of the commission, be computed by the normalization method of accounting, provided the utility maintains accounting reserves that reflect differences between taxes actually payable and taxes on a normalized basis, provided that no determination as to the treatment in the rate-making process of such taxes shall be made that will result in loss of any tax depreciation or other tax benefit to which the utility would otherwise be entitled, and further provided that such tax benefit as redounds to the utility as a result of such a computation may not be retained by the company, used to fund any dividend or distribution, or utilized for any purpose other than the defrayal of the operating expenses of the utility and the defrayal of the expenses of the utility in connection with construction work.

(b) The amount of any tax credits granted to an electric light company under section 5727.391 of the Revised Code for Ohio coal burned prior to January 1, 2000, shall not be retained by the company, used to fund any dividend or distribution, or utilized for any purposes other than the defrayal of the allowable operating expenses of the company and the defrayal of the allowable expenses of the company in connection with the installation, acquisition, construction, or use of a compliance facility. The amount of the tax credits granted to an electric light company under that section for Ohio coal burned prior to January 1, 2000, shall be returned to its customers within three years after initially claiming the credit through an offset to the company's rates or fuel component, as determined by the commission, as set forth in schedules filed by the company under section 4905.30 of the Revised Code. As used in division (A)(4)(b) of this section, "compliance facility" has the same meaning as in section 5727.391 of the Revised Code.

(B) The commission shall compute the gross annual revenues to which the utility is entitled by adding the dollar amount of return under division (A)(3) of this section to the cost, for the test period used for the determination under division (C)(1) of this section, of rendering the public utility service under division (A)(4) of this section.

(C)

(1) Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the revenues and expenses of the utility shall be determined during a test period. The utility may propose a test period for this determination that is any twelve-month period beginning not more than six months prior to the date the application is filed and ending not more than nine months subsequent to that date. The test period for determining revenues and expenses of the utility shall be the test period proposed by the utility, unless otherwise ordered by the commission.

(2) The date certain shall be not later than the date of filing, except that it shall be, for a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, not later than the end of the test period.

(D) A natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company may propose adjustments to the revenues and expenses to be determined under division (C)(1) of this section for any changes that are, during the test period or the twelve-month period immediately following the test period, reasonably expected to occur. The natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company shall identify and quantify, individually, any proposed adjustments. The commission shall incorporate the proposed adjustments into the determination if the adjustments are just and reasonable.

(E) When the commission is of the opinion, after hearing and after making the determinations under divisions (A) and (B) of this section, that any rate, fare, charge, toll, rental, schedule, classification, or service, or any joint rate, fare, charge, toll, rental, schedule, classification, or service rendered, charged, demanded, exacted, or proposed to be rendered, charged, demanded, or exacted, is, or will be, unjust, unreasonable, unjustly discriminatory, unjustly preferential, or in violation of law, that the service is, or will be, inadequate, or that the maximum rates, charges, tolls, or rentals chargeable by any such public utility are insufficient to yield reasonable compensation for the service rendered, and are unjust and unreasonable, the commission shall:

(1) With due regard among other things to the value of all property of the public utility actually used and useful for the convenience of the public as determined under division (A)(1) of this section, excluding from such value the value of any franchise or right to own, operate, or enjoy the same in excess of the amount, exclusive of any tax or annual charge, actually paid to any political subdivision of the state or county, as the consideration for the grant of such franchise or right, and excluding any value added to such property by reason of a monopoly or merger, with due regard in determining the dollar annual return under division (A)(3) of this section to the necessity of making reservation out of the income for surplus, depreciation, and contingencies, and;

(2) With due regard to all such other matters as are proper, according to the facts in each case,

(a) Including a fair and reasonable rate of return determined by the commission with reference to a cost of debt equal to the actual embedded cost of debt of such public utility,

(b) But not including the portion of any periodic rental or use payments representing that cost of property that is included in the valuation report under divisions (C)(4) and (5) of section 4909.05 of the Revised Code, fix and determine the just and reasonable rate, fare, charge, toll, rental, or service to be rendered, charged, demanded, exacted, or collected for the performance or rendition of the service that will provide the public utility the allowable gross annual revenues under division (B) of this section, and order such just and reasonable rate, fare, charge, toll, rental, or service to be substituted for the existing one. After such determination and order no change in the rate, fare, toll, charge, rental, schedule, classification, or service shall be made, rendered, charged, demanded, exacted, or changed by such public utility without the order of the commission, and any other rate, fare, toll, charge, rental, classification, or service is prohibited.

(F) Upon application of any person or any public utility, and after notice to the parties in interest and opportunity to be heard as provided in Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., 4909., 4921., and 4923. of the Revised Code for other hearings, has been given, the commission may rescind, alter, or amend an order fixing any rate, fare, toll, charge, rental, classification, or service, or any other order made by the commission. Certified copies of such orders shall be served and take effect as provided for original orders.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 11-24-1999

4909.151 Consideration of costs attributable to service.

In fixing the just, reasonable, and compensatory rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals to be observed and charged for service by any public utility, the public utilities commission may consider the costs attributable to such service. The utility shall file with the commission an allocation of the cost, except cost related to sparsity of population, for services for which a change in rates is proposed when evidence relating thereto is presented which indicates that the rate or rates do not generally reflect the cost of providing these services. As used in this section, "costs" includes [include] operation and maintenance expense, depreciation expense, tax expense, and return on investment as actually incurred by the utility. The costs allocated to each service shall include only those costs used by the public utilities commission to determine total allowable revenues.

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4909.152 Consideration of efficiency, sufficiency, adequacy of facilities.

In fixing the just, reasonable, and compensatory rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals to be observed and charged for service by any public utility, the public utilities commission may consider the efficiency, sufficiency, and adequacy of the facilities provided and the services rendered by the public utility, the value of such service to the public, and the ability of the public utility to improve such service and facility. If the commission determines that the facility or service is inefficient, insufficient, or inadequate, the commission may order the public utility to improve such facility or service to a level determined by the commission to be efficient, sufficient, or adequate. However, in any order entered pursuant to section 4909.19 of the Revised Code, the commission shall authorize a rate of return that is just and reasonable.

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4909.153 Hearing service complaints.

In fixing the just, reasonable, and compensatory rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals to be observed and charged for service by any public utility, the public utilities commission may hear service complaints, if any, that may be presented by customers and the public during any proceeding involving such rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals. No complaint shall be considered by the commission unless the public utility has been given notice of the complaint to be considered at the hearing. The notice shall be in writing and shall be given at least fifteen days prior to the hearing.

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4909.154 Consideration of management policies, practices, and organization of public utility.

In fixing the just, reasonable, and compensatory rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals to be observed and charged for service by any public utility, the public utilities commission shall consider the management policies, practices, and organization of the public utility. The commission shall require such public utility to supply information regarding its management policies, practices, and organization. If the commission finds after a hearing that the management policies, practices, or organization of the public utility are inadequate, inefficient, or improper, the commission may recommend management policies, management practices, or an organizational structure to the public utility. In any event, the public utilities commission shall not allow such operating and maintenance expenses of a public utility as are incurred by the utility through management policies or administrative practices that the commission considers imprudent.

Effective Date: 01-11-1983

4909.155 Filing report on bonds, stock and money.

In fixing the just, reasonable, and compensatory rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals to be observed and charged for service by any public utility, the public utilities commission may require the utility to file a report showing:

(A) The amounts, date of issuance, due date, terms, and rates of interest of all bonds and debentures outstanding against such utility;

(B) The face value of any outstanding preferred stock and the stated value of all outstanding common stock issued by such utility;

(C) The total amount of money received by such utility from the issue of debt and equity securities that are outstanding as of a date certain to be chosen by the commission.

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4909.156 Filing report showing property valuation.

In fixing the just, reasonable, and compensatory rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals to be observed and charged for service by any public utility, the public utilities commission shall, in action upon an application filed pursuant to section 4909.18 of the Revised Code, require a public utility to file a report showing the proportionate amounts of the valuation of the property of the utility, as determined under section 4909.05 of the Revised Code, and the proportionate amounts of the revenues and expenses of the utility that are proposed to be considered as attributable to the service area involved in the application.

"Valuation," as used in this section, may include, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected valuation as of the date certain, if applicable because of a future date certain under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4909.157 to 4909.159 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-2001

4909.16 Power to amend, alter, or suspend schedule of rates.

When the public utilities commission deems it necessary to prevent injury to the business or interests of the public or of any public utility of this state in case of any emergency to be judged by the commission, it may temporarily alter, amend, or, with the consent of the public utility concerned, suspend any existing rates, schedules, or order relating to or affecting any public utility or part of any public utility in this state. Rates so made by the commission shall apply to one or more of the public utilities in this state, or to any portion thereof, as is directed by the commission, and shall take effect at such time and remain in force for such length of time as the commission prescribes.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.161 Recovering increased excise tax levy and kilowatt-hour tax.

(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapters 4905. and 4909. of the Revised Code, the payment of any type of increased excise tax levy shall be considered to be a normal expense incurred by a public utility in the course of rendering service to the public, and may be recovered as such in accordance with an order of the public utilities commission. Any public utility required to pay any such increased excise tax levy may file with the public utilities commission revised rate schedules that will permit full recovery on an interim or permanent basis in its rates, of the amount of any resultant increased tax payments and the commission shall promptly act to approve such schedules.

(B) Notwithstanding Chapters 4905. and 4909. of the Revised Code, the payment of the kilowatt-hour tax imposed by section 5727.81 of the Revised Code shall be considered a normal expense incurred by an electric distribution utility, as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, in the course of rendering service to the public, and may be recovered as such in accordance with an order of the commission. An electric distribution utility required to pay the kilowatt-hour tax may file with the commission revised rate schedules, consistent with Chapters 4905. and 4909. and division (A)(6) of section 4928.34 of the Revised Code, that will permit full recovery on a permanent basis in its rates, of the amount of any resultant tax payments, after taking into account any reductions of taxes in its rates resulting from Sub. S.B. No. 3 of the 123rd general assembly, and the commission shall act promptly to approve those schedules.

Effective Date: 01-01-2001

4909.17 Approval required for change in rate.

No rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, no change in any rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, and no regulation or practice affecting any rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental of a public utility shall become effective until the public utilities commission, by order, determines it to be just and reasonable, except as provided in this section and sections 4909.18 , 4909.19 , and 4909.191 of the Revised Code. Such sections do not apply to any rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, or any regulation or practice affecting the same, of railroads, street and electric railways, for-hire motor carriers, and pipe line companies.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.171 Basing waterworks rate charge on change in water cost imposed by local government.

(A) Any waterworks company or any sewage disposal system company may submit an application to the public utilities commission for an increase or decrease in any rate or charge for, respectively, water or sewage treatment, if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The water or sewage treatment is provided to the company by either of the following:

(a) A municipal corporation or other local governmental unit of this state whose rates are not subject to regulation by the commission;

(b) Another waterworks company, or another sewage disposal system company, that is a public utility and whose rates for the water, or the sewage treatment, have been approved by the commission pursuant to an application filed under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code.

(2) The change in rate or charge is based solely on a change in the cost to the company of the water or the sewage treatment. Sections 4909.18 and 4909.19 of the Revised Code do not apply to any application filed under this section. An application shall be accompanied by evidence of the new rates and charges charged the company by a provider described in division (A)(1)(a) or (b) of this section.

(B) Pursuant to the filing of an application under division (A) of this section by a waterworks company or a sewage disposal system company, the commission shall approve appropriate revisions in the schedule of the company filed under section 4905.30 of the Revised Code, which revisions shall reflect solely the change in the cost to the company of the water or the sewage treatment, as specified in division (A) of this section and no other cost, charge, or item, and shall not change the distribution of the revenue responsibility of the various classes of the company's customers.

(C) An increase authorized pursuant to division (B) of this section shall not be effective until forty-five days after the date the waterworks company or the sewage disposal system company has provided affected customers with notification of the increase, in such form and by such method as the commission shall prescribe.

Effective Date: 11-07-2003

4909.172 Application for approval to collect infrastructure improvement surcharge.

(A) A waterworks company, or a sewage disposal system company, that is a public utility may file an application with the public utilities commission for approval to collect an infrastructure improvement surcharge, determined in accordance with this section, from customers located in the company's affected service areas and subject to affected schedules filed by the company under section 4905.32 of the Revised Code. The application shall be in such form and contain such information as the commission prescribes. At the time of filing, the company shall serve a copy of the application upon the chief executive of each municipal corporation, the board of township trustees of each township, and the board of county commissioners of each county in which affected customers are located. A company for which an infrastructure improvement surcharge is authorized under this section may file an application for another such surcharge not sooner than twelve months after the filing date of its most recent infrastructure improvement surcharge application.

(B) The commission shall provide an opportunity for the filing of comments on an application filed under division (A) of this section. After considering those comments, the commission may authorize an infrastructure improvement surcharge for the company that is just and reasonable and is sufficient, but does not exceed, the revenue requirement necessary to do both of the following:

(1) Cover such infrastructure plant costs of the company as are described in division (C) of this section, incurred after March 1, 2003, and before the date of filing, and not already reflected in the affected schedules filed by the company under section 4905.32 of the Revised Code;

(2) Provide a fair and reasonable rate of return on the filing date valuation of that particular infrastructure plant.

Each infrastructure improvement surcharge chargeable to each affected customer class within any single tariff of the company shall not exceed three per cent, for a sewage disposal system company, and four and one quarter per cent, for a waterworks company, of the rates and charges applicable to the class and for the tariff in effect on the date the application was filed and, as to the allowed percentage increase, shall be uniform for each such class. The commission shall not authorize a company to have more than three infrastructure improvement surcharges for any single company tariff in effect at any time.

Additionally, the commission shall not authorize an infrastructure improvement surcharge under this section if it determines that the surcharge causes the company to earn an excessive rate of return on its valuation under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

(C) For purposes of this section, a company's costs of infrastructure plant may include depreciation expenses. Such infrastructure plant may consist of the following capital improvements that the commission determines are used and useful in rendering public utility service:

(1) In the case of a waterworks company, replacement of existing plant including chemical feed systems, filters, pumps, motors, plant generators, meters, service lines , hydrants, mains, and valves , main extensions that eliminate dead ends to resolve documented water supply problems presenting significant health or safety issues to then existing customers , and main cleaning or relining;

(2) In the case of a sewage disposal system company, replacement of existing infrastructure including chemical feed systems, filters, pumps, motors, sludge-handling equipment, plant generators, mains and lift stations , main extensions that resolve documented sewage disposal problems presenting significant health or safety issues to then existing customers , and main cleaning, inflow and infiltration elimination, or relining;

(3) Unreimbursed capital expenditures made by the waterworks company, or the sewage disposal system company, for waterworks, or sewage disposal, facility relocation required by a governmental entity due to a street or highway project;

(4) Minimum land or land rights acquired by the company as necessary for any service line, equipment, or facility described in divisions (C)(1) to (3) of this section.

(D) During the period that an authorized infrastructure improvement surcharge is in effect, the commission, by order and on its own motion or upon good cause shown, may reduce the amount of or terminate an infrastructure improvement surcharge if it determines that the surcharge causes the company to earn an excessive rate of return on its valuation under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

(E) An order issued by the commission deciding an application by a waterworks company or a sewage disposal system company for an increase in rates and charges pursuant to an application filed by the company under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code shall provide for the termination, as of the earlier of the effective date of the increase or the date specified in division (F) of this section, of any infrastructure improvement surcharges of the company authorized under this section.

(F) All surcharges authorized under this section shall terminate by operation of law not later than December 31, 2025.

(G) The company shall provide notice of any infrastructure improvement surcharge authorized under this section to each affected customer with or on the customer's first bill containing the surcharge.

(H) The commission may adopt such rules as it considers necessary to carry out this section.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Effective Date: 11-07-2003

4909.18 Application to establish or change rate.

Any public utility desiring to establish any rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, or to modify, amend, change, increase, or reduce any existing rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, or any regulation or practice affecting the same, shall file a written application with the public utilities commission. Except for actions under section 4909.16 of the Revised Code, no public utility may issue the notice of intent to file an application pursuant to division (B) of section 4909.43 of the Revised Code to increase any existing rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, until a final order under this section has been issued by the commission on any pending prior application to increase the same rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental or until two hundred seventy-five days after filing such application, whichever is sooner. Such application shall be verified by the president or a vice-president and the secretary or treasurer of the applicant. Such application shall contain a schedule of the existing rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, or regulation or practice affecting the same, a schedule of the modification amendment, change, increase, or reduction sought to be established, and a statement of the facts and grounds upon which such application is based. If such application proposes a new service or the use of new equipment, or proposes the establishment or amendment of a regulation, the application shall fully describe the new service or equipment, or the regulation proposed to be established or amended, and shall explain how the proposed service or equipment differs from services or equipment presently offered or in use, or how the regulation proposed to be established or amended differs from regulations presently in effect. The application shall provide such additional information as the commission may require in its discretion. If the commission determines that such application is not for an increase in any rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, the commission may permit the filing of the schedule proposed in the application and fix the time when such schedule shall take effect. If it appears to the commission that the proposals in the application may be unjust or unreasonable, the commission shall set the matter for hearing and shall give notice of such hearing by sending written notice of the date set for the hearing to the public utility and publishing notice of the hearing one time in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in the service area affected by the application. At such hearing, the burden of proof to show that the proposals in the application are just and reasonable shall be upon the public utility. After such hearing, the commission shall, where practicable, issue an appropriate order within six months from the date the application was filed.

If the commission determines that said application is for an increase in any rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental there shall also, unless otherwise ordered by the commission, be filed with the application in duplicate the following exhibits:

(A) A report of its property used and useful, or, with respect to a natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, projected to be used and useful as of the date certain, in rendering the service referred to in such application, as provided in section 4909.05 of the Revised Code;

(B) A complete operating statement of its last fiscal year, showing in detail all its receipts, revenues, and incomes from all sources, all of its operating costs and other expenditures, and any analysis such public utility deems applicable to the matter referred to in said application;

(C) A statement of the income and expense anticipated under the application filed;

(D) A statement of financial condition summarizing assets, liabilities, and net worth;

(E) Such other information as the commission may require in its discretion.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 01-11-1983

4909.181 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 07-02-1980

4909.19 Publication of notice - investigation.

(A) Upon the filing of any application for increase provided for by section 4909.18 of the Revised Code the public utility shall forthwith publish notice of such application, in a form approved by the public utilities commission, once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper published and in general circulation throughout the territory in which such public utility operates and directly affected by the matters referred to in said application . The notice shall include instructions for direct electronic access to the application or other documents on file with the public utilities commission. The first publication of the notice shall be made in its entirety and may be made in a preprinted insert in the newspaper. The second publication may be abbreviated if all of the following apply:

(1) The abbreviated notice is at least one-fourth of the size of the notice in the first publication.

(2) At the same time the abbreviated notice is published, the notice in the first publication is posted in its entirety on the newspaper's web site, if the newspaper has a web site, and the commission's web site.

(3) The abbreviated notice contains a statement of the web site posting or postings, as applicable, and instructions for accessing the posting or postings.

(B) The commission shall determine a format for the content of all notices required under this section, and shall consider costs and technological efficiencies in making that determination. Defects in the publication of said notice shall not affect the legality or sufficiency of notices published under this section provided that the commission has substantially complied with this section, as described in section 4905.09 of the Revised Code.

(C) The commission shall at once cause an investigation to be made of the facts set forth in said application and the exhibits attached thereto, and of the matters connected therewith. Within a reasonable time as determined by the commission after the filing of such application, a written report shall be made and filed with the commission, a copy of which shall be sent by certified mail to the applicant, the mayor of any municipal corporation affected by the application, and to such other persons as the commission deems interested. If no objection to such report is made by any party interested within thirty days after such filing and the mailing of copies thereof, the commission shall fix a date within ten days for the final hearing upon said application, giving notice thereof to all parties interested. At such hearing the commission shall consider the matters set forth in said application and make such order respecting the prayer thereof as to it seems just and reasonable.

If objections are filed with the commission, the commission shall cause a pre-hearing conference to be held between all parties, intervenors, and the commission staff in all cases involving more than one hundred thousand customers.

If objections are filed with the commission within thirty days after the filing of such report, the application shall be promptly set down for hearing of testimony before the commission or be forthwith referred to an attorney examiner designated by the commission to take all the testimony with respect to the application and objections which may be offered by any interested party. The commission shall also fix the time and place to take testimony giving ten days' written notice of such time and place to all parties. The taking of testimony shall commence on the date fixed in said notice and shall continue from day to day until completed. The attorney examiner may, upon good cause shown, grant continuances for not more than three days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The commission may grant continuances for a longer period than three days upon its order for good cause shown. At any hearing involving rates or charges sought to be increased, the burden of proof to show that the increased rates or charges are just and reasonable shall be on the public utility.

When the taking of testimony is completed, a full and complete record of such testimony noting all objections made and exceptions taken by any party or counsel, shall be made, signed by the attorney examiner, and filed with the commission. Prior to the formal consideration of the application by the commission and the rendition of any order respecting the prayer of the application, a quorum of the commission shall consider the recommended opinion and order of the attorney examiner, in an open, formal, public proceeding in which an overview and explanation is presented orally. Thereafter, the commission shall make such order respecting the prayer of such application as seems just and reasonable to it.

In all proceedings before the commission in which the taking of testimony is required, except when heard by the commission, attorney examiners shall be assigned by the commission to take such testimony and fix the time and place therefor, and such testimony shall be taken in the manner prescribed in this section. All testimony shall be under oath or affirmation and taken down and transcribed by a reporter and made a part of the record in the case. The commission may hear the testimony or any part thereof in any case without having the same referred to an attorney examiner and may take additional testimony. Testimony shall be taken and a record made in accordance with such general rules as the commission prescribes and subject to such special instructions in any proceedings as it, by order, directs.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

Effective Date: 01-11-1983

4909.191 Submission of rate or charge adjustments or recalculations after actual data acquired.

(A) If the public utilities commission, under division (D) of section 4909.15 of the Revised Code, incorporated proposed adjustments to revenues and expenses into the commission's determination under that section, the natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company shall, not later than ninety days after actual data for all of the incorporated adjustments becomes known, submit to the commission proposed rate or charge adjustments that provide for the recalculation of rates or charges, reflective of customer-class responsibility, corresponding to the differences, if any, between the incorporated adjustments to revenues and expenses and the actual revenues and expenses associated with the incorporated adjustments.

(B) If the commission incorporated projected value or valuation of property into the commission's determination under division (A)(1) of section 4909.15 of the Revised Code, the natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company shall, not later than ninety days after data for the actual value or valuation as of the date certain becomes known, submit to the commission proposed rate or charge adjustments that provide for the recalculation of rates or charges, reflective of customer-class responsibility, corresponding to the differences, if any, between the projected value or valuation incorporated into the commission's determination and the actual value or valuation as of the date certain.

(C) The commission shall review the proposed rate or charge adjustments submitted under divisions (A) and (B) of this section. The review shall not include a hearing unless the commission finds that the proposed rate or charge adjustments may be unreasonable, in which case the commission may, in its discretion, schedule the matter for a hearing.

(D) The commission shall issue, not later than one hundred fifty days after the date that any proposed rate or charge adjustments are submitted under division (A) or (B) of this section, a final order on the proposed rate or charge adjustments. Any rate or charge adjustments authorized under this division shall be limited to amounts that are not greater than those consistent with the proposed adjustments to revenues and expenses that were incorporated into the commission's determination under division (D) of section 4909.15 of the Revised Code, and not greater than those consistent with the incorporated projected value or valuation. In no event shall rate or charge adjustments authorized under this division be upward.

After the commission has issued such a final order, the natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, if applicable, shall submit to the commission proposed reconciliation adjustments that refund to customers the difference between the actual revenues collected by the natural gas, water-works, or sewage disposal system company, under the rates and charges determined by the commission under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code, and the rates or charges recalculated under the adjustments authorized under this division. The reconciliation adjustments shall be effective for a twelve-month period.

(E) The reconciliation adjustments ordered under division (D) of this section may be subject to a final reconciliation by the commission. Any such final reconciliation shall occur after the twelve-month period described in division (D) of this section.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.20, HB 95, §1, eff. 9/9/2011.

4909.192, 4909.193 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-2001

4909.20 Regulation of freight charges.

No railroad company, or person owning, controlling, or operating a railroad in whole or in part within this state, shall charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of freight of like kind, for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line or route in the same direction, the shorter being included within the longer distance, or charge any greater compensation as a through route than the aggregate of the intermediate rates, within the state. This section does not authorize any company or person within the terms of this section to charge or receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance. Upon application to the public utilities commission, such company or person may in special cases, after investigation, be authorized by the commission to charge less for a longer than for shorter distances for the transportation of freight of like kind, and the commission may prescribe the extent to which such designated company or person may be relieved from the operation of this section.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.21 Rules and regulations relative to carload shipments of livestock.

Any company owning or operating a railroad in whole or in part in this state, which receives livestock for shipment in carload lots, shall be governed and regulated by the following rules and regulations relative to the intrastate rates and minimum weights to be charged in carload lot shipments of livestock:

(A) If such company receives hogs for carload lot shipments in cars:

(1) Of a length of thirty-six and seven-tenths feet or under, the rate charged shall be on a basis of a minimum weight of not more than sixteen thousand pounds for single-deck cars, and twenty-two thousand pounds for double-deck cars;

(2) Of a length exceeding thirty-six and seven-tenths feet, and not more than forty feet, the rate charged shall be on a basis of minimum weight of not more than seventeen thousand pounds for single-deck cars, and twenty-three thousand pounds for double-deck cars;

(3) Over forty feet in length the rate charged shall be on a basis of a minimum weight of not exceeding eighteen thousand pounds for single-deck cars and twenty-four thousand pounds for double-deck cars.

(B) If such company receives for shipment a car containing a mixture of hogs, cattle, and sheep, or any two of them, the freight rate charged shall be based upon the same animal classification as is used to determine the minimum freight weight. The public utilities commission shall enforce this section.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.22 Rates shall be just and reasonable.

When passengers or property are transported over two or more connecting railroads between points in this state, and the railroad companies have made joint rates for the transportation of such passengers or property, such rates and all charges in connection therewith shall be just and reasonable. Every unjust and unreasonable charge is prohibited. A less charge by each of such railroads for its proportion of such joint rates than is made locally between the same points on their respective lines is not for that reason a violation of Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., and 4909. of the Revised Code and does not render such railroads liable to any of the penalties in such chapters.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.23 Special contract rates.

Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., 4909., 4921., 4923., and 4925. of the Revised Code do not prevent concentration, commodity, transit, and other special contract rates, but all such rates are subject to such chapters as to their printing and filing. Such rates shall be open to all shippers for a like kind of traffic under similar circumstances and conditions and shall be under the supervision and regulation of the public utilities commission.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.24 Complaints and hearings.

Upon complaint of a person, firm, corporation, or association, of a mercantile, agricultural, or manufacturing society, or of a body politic or municipal organization, that any of the rates, fares, charges, or classifications, or any joint rates are in any respect unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or that any regulation or practice, affecting the transportation of persons or property, or any service in connection therewith, are in any respect unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or that any service is inadequate, the public utilities commission may notify the railroad complained of that complaint has been made, and ten days after such notice proceed to investigate such charges as provided in Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., and 4909. of the Revised Code. Before making such investigation, the commission shall give the railroad and the complainants ten days' notice of the time and place such matters will be considered and determined, and such parties are entitled to be heard and to have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses.

A railroad may make complaint with like effect as though made by any person, firm, corporation, or association, mercantile, agricultural, or manufacturing society, body politic, or municipal organization.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.25 Separate hearings.

When complaint is made of more than one rate or charge, the public utilities commission may order separate hearings thereon, and may consider and determine the matters complained of separately, and at such times as it prescribes. No complaint shall necessarily be dismissed because of the absence of direct damage to the complainant.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.26 Commission may change unreasonable rate.

Upon an investigation, if the rate, or any regulation, practice, or service of any railroad complained of is found to be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or the service inadequate, the public utilities commission may fix and order substituted therefor, such rate, fare, charge, or classification as it determines is to be just and reasonable, which shall be charged, imposed, and followed in the future. The commission may also make such orders respecting such regulation, practice, or service as it determines is reasonable, which shall be observed and followed in the future, but no rate fixed shall exceed the maximum rate prescribed by any statute of this state in force at the time the commission fixes such rates.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.27 Investigating rates upon its own motion.

If the public utilities commission believes that any rate or charge may be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, and that an investigation relating thereto should be made, it may investigate them upon its own motion. Before such investigation it shall present to the railroad a statement in writing setting forth the rate or charge to be investigated. Thereafter, on ten days' notice to the railroad of the time and place of such investigation, the commission may proceed to investigate such rate or charge in the same manner and make like orders in respect thereto, as if such investigation had been made upon complaint. When any schedule is filed with the commission stating a new individual or joint rate or charge, any new individual or joint classification, or any new individual or joint regulation or practice affecting any rate or charge, the commission may, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint, at once, and if it so orders, without answer or other formal pleading by the interested carriers, but upon reasonable notice, enter upon a hearing concerning the propriety of such rate, charge, classification, regulation, or practice. Pending such hearing and the decision thereon, the commission upon filing with such schedule and delivering to the carriers affected thereby, a statement in writing of its reasons for such suspension, may suspend the operation of such schedule and postpone the use and operation of such rate, charge, classification, regulation, or practice, for a period of not longer than one hundred twenty days beyond the time when such rate, charge, classification, regulation, or practice would otherwise go into effect. After a full hearing, whether completed before or after the rate, charge, classification, regulation, or practice goes into effect, the commission may make such order in reference to such rate, charge, classification, regulation, or practice as would be proper in a proceeding initiated after the rate, charge, classification, regulation, or practice, had become effective. If any such hearing cannot be concluded within such period of suspension, the commission may extend the time of suspension for a further period not exceeding thirty days. At any hearing involving a rate increased or a rate sought to be increased, the burden of proof to show that the increased rate or the proposed increased rate is just and reasonable is upon the common carrier, and the commission shall give to the hearing and decision of such question preference over all other questions pending before it and decide the same as speedily as possible. A full record shall be kept of the proceedings before the commission on such investigations. All testimony shall be taken by the stenographer appointed by the commission.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.28 Commission may change rate or service.

If, upon an investigation under Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., and 4909. of the Revised Code, the public utilities commission finds that any existing rate, fare, charge, or classification, any joint rate, or any regulation or practice affecting the transportation of persons or property, or service in connection therewith, is unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory, or that any service is inadequate, it shall determine and by order fix a reasonable rate, fare, charge, classification, joint rate, regulation, practice, or service to be imposed, observed, and followed in the future, in place of that so found to be unreasonable, unjustly discriminatory, or inadequate. A certified copy of each such order shall be delivered to an officer or station agent of the railroad affected, and such order shall of its own force take effect and become operative thirty days after service.

All railroads to which such order applies shall make such changes in their schedules on file as are necessary to conform to such order, and no change shall thereafter be made by any railroad in any such rate, fare, or charge, or in any joint rate, without the approval of the commission.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.29 Copies of orders to be supplied railroad.

Certified copies of all orders, other than those referred to in section 4909.28 of the Revised Code, of the public utilities commission shall be delivered to an officer or station agent of each railroad affected thereby, and shall take effect within such time thereafter as the commission prescribes.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.30 Commission may rescind or amend an order.

Upon application of any person or any railroad, and after notice to the parties in interest and opportunity to be heard as provided in section 4909.24 of the Revised Code for other hearings has been given, the public utilities commission may rescind, alter, or amend an order fixing any rate, fare, charge, or classification, or any other order made by the commission with respect to a railroad. Certified copies of such orders shall be served and take effect as provided for original orders.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.31 Supplemental order as to railroads.

Whenever a joint rate or charge is ordered substituted by the public utilities commission, and the railroads party thereto fail to agree within twenty days after the service of such order upon the apportionment of such rate or charge, the commission may, after a hearing, issue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment of such joint rate or charge, which shall take effect of its own force as part of the original order.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.32 Commission may fix joint rate.

Whenever railroads refuse or neglect to establish a joint rate for the transportation of persons or property, the public utilities commission may, upon notice to the railroads and after opportunity to be heard, fix and establish such joint rate. If the railroads party thereto fail to agree upon the apportionment of such joint rate within twenty days after service of such order, the commission may, upon a like hearing, issue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment of such joint rate which shall take effect of its own force as part of the original order.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.33 Supplemental order as to public utilities.

Whenever any rate, toll, charge, or service ordered substituted by the public utilities commission is a joint rate, toll, charge, or service, and the public utilities which are parties to it fail to agree upon the apportionment of such joint rate, toll, charge, or service within twenty days after the service of such order, the commission may, after hearing, make and issue a supplemental order fixing the apportionment of such joint rate, toll, charge, or service between such public utilities. Such order shall take effect of its own force as a part of the original order.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.34 Power of municipal corporation or group of corporations to fix rate, price, and charge.

Any municipal corporation or group of municipal corporations in which any public utility is established may, by ordinance or ordinances, at any time within one year before the expiration of any contract entered into under sections 715.34 , 743.26 , and 743.28 of the Revised Code between the municipal corporation or group of municipal corporations and such public utility with respect to the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental to be made, charged, demanded, collected, or exacted, for any commodity, utility, or service by such public utility, or at any other time authorized by law, proceed to fix the price, rate, charge, toll, or rental that such public utility may charge, demand, exact, or collect for such commodity, utility, or service for an ensuing period as provided in such sections, provided that:

(A) Upon complaint in writing by any such public utility which has not filed, prior to the passage of such ordinance or ordinances, a written application with the public utilities commission pursuant to section 4909.18 or 4909.35 of the Revised Code covering the municipal corporation or group of municipal corporations, the public utilities commission shall give thirty days' notice of the filing and pendency of such complaint, and of the time and place of the hearing of it, to the public utility and the mayor of such municipal corporation or the mayors of such group of municipal corporations, which notice shall plainly state the matters complained of.

(B) If at the time of passage of the ordinance or ordinances provided for in this section or in section 715.34 , 743.26 , or 743.28 of the Revised Code any such public utility has on file a written application with the public utilities commission pursuant to section 4909.18 or 4909.35 of the Revised Code covering such municipal corporation or group of municipal corporations, the passage of such ordinance or ordinances shall not operate to divest the public utilities commission of jurisdiction over the application of such public utility or any part thereof, unless such public utility files a written acceptance of such ordinance or ordinances as provided in section 743.28 of the Revised Code, whereupon the commission shall dismiss the application insofar as it covers such municipality or group of municipalities. If such public utility does not accept such ordinance or ordinances, it shall so notify the municipality or group of municipalities and the public utilities commission within thirty days after the passage of such ordinance or ordinances, and such notification shall be deemed to be the consent of such public utility to continue to furnish its product or service and devote its property engaged in so furnishing its product or service to such public use during the term so fixed by prior contract with such municipality or group of municipalities or by Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4909., 4921., and 4923. of the Revised Code. Upon receipt of notification by such public utility that it does not accept such ordinance or ordinances, the public utilities commission shall proceed to rule upon the application which such public utility has filed pursuant to section 4909.18 or 4909.35 of the Revised Code and, as a part of such proceedings, shall fix and determine the just and reasonable rate, fare, charge, toll, rental or service to be rendered, charged, demanded, exacted, or collected for the product or service of such public utility within such municipality or group of municipalities.

Effective Date: 09-28-1979

4909.35 Failure of municipal corporation to fix rates.

If the legislative authority of any municipal corporation fails to regulate, within sixty days after the expiration of any lawful rate, by ordinance, the rates to be charged by any public utility engaged in the business of supplying water for public or private consumption, such water company or one per cent of the qualified electors of such municipal corporation may petition the public utilities commission to fix the just and reasonable rates for the furnishing of such services, and the commission may thereupon proceed to fix the just and reasonable rates, tolls, and charges for such services which may be charged for two years from the date of the filing of such petition and thereafter until changed, altered, or modified by the legislative authority of such municipal corporation or further order of the commission upon like application.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.36 Hearing upon accepted rates - procedure.

If any public utility has accepted any rate, price, charge, toll, or rental fixed by ordinance of a municipal corporation or ordinances of a group of municipal corporations, it shall become operative, unless a complaint signed by not less than ten per cent of the qualified electors of such municipal corporation or not less than ten per cent of the qualified electors of each municipal corporation in such group has been filed with the public utilities commission within sixty days after such acceptance. Upon such filing, the commission shall forthwith give notice of the filing and pendency of such complaint to the mayor of such municipal corporation or the mayors of the group of municipal corporations, and fix a time and place for the hearing of such complaint. The commission shall, at such time and place, hear such complaint, and may adjourn the hearing from day to day. The filing of a complaint by a public utility, as provided in section 4909.34 of the Revised Code, shall be held to be the consent of such public utility to continue to furnish its product or service, and devote its property engaged in so furnishing its product or service to such public use during the term so fixed by ordinance or by Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., 4909., 4921., and 4923. of the Revised Code. Parties to the complaint shall be entitled to be heard, represented by counsel, and to have process to force the attendance of witnesses.

Effective Date: 09-28-1979

4909.37 Hearing where cause of action arose.

In all cases arising under sections 4909.34 to 4909.36 , inclusive, and other sections of the Revised Code providing for the hearing of complaints or protests against rates, hearings, when feasible and proper, may be held in the community in which the cause of action arose.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.38 Complaint, appeal, or notification requirements.

A complaint or appeal to the public utilities commission under division (A) of section 4909.34 or section 4909.35 of the Revised Code, shall meet the requirements of and shall be governed in all respects by sections 4909.17 to 4909.19 and 4909.42 of the Revised Code. Upon notification by a public utility pursuant to division (B) of section 4909.34 of the Revised Code that it does not accept an ordinance or ordinances, its pending application shall be governed in all respects by sections 4909.17 to 4909.19 and 4909.42 of the Revised Code. Such complaint, appeal, or notification to the commission shall suspend, vacate, and set aside all provisions of the ordinance or ordinances complained of, appealed from, or not accepted.

Effective Date: 09-28-1979

4909.39 Findings as to rate - valuation of property.

If the public utilities commission, after the hearing referred to in sections 4909.34 to 4909.36 of the Revised Code, is of the opinion that the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental, so fixed by ordinance is or will be unjust, unreasonable, or insufficient to yield reasonable compensation for the service, the commission shall fix and determine the just and reasonable rate, price, charge, toll, or rental to be charged, demanded, exacted, or collected by such public utility during the period so fixed by ordinance, which period shall not be less than two years, and order the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental so fixed substituted for the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental fixed by ordinance. The commission may find and declare that the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental, so fixed by ordinance, is just and reasonable, and ratify and confirm it. No rate, price, charge, toll, or rental so determined by the commission shall become effective until after the commission has ascertained and determined the valuation upon which such price, charge, toll, or rental is based. Such valuation, so determined, shall be at all times open to public inspection. Thereupon the commission shall make inquiry and investigation with respect to the ability of such public utility to furnish its product during such period. If it is found that the public utility is able to do so, the commission shall order it to continue to furnish such product for the period and at the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental so fixed and determined, and such public utility shall continue to furnish its product as provided in such order. If the commission, after the hearing provided for in this section and sections 4909.34 to 4909.36 of the Revised Code, is of the opinion that any provisions of the ordinance or ordinances appealed from or complained of other than the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental fixed by such ordinance or ordinances are or will be unjust or unreasonable or that the form and structure of the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental fixed by such ordinance or ordinances may be unfair or unreasonable, or may have the effect of causing any rate, price, charge, toll, or rental to be fixed by the commission to become unfair or unreasonable, the commission shall, in its order, strike out such unjust or unreasonable provisions, conditions, form, and structure of said ordinance or ordinances and shall substitute for them, if it deems it necessary, such provisions and conditions as it considers fair and reasonable, and make such changes in the form and structure of the rate, price, charge, toll, or rental fixed in such ordinance or ordinances as it considers fair and reasonable. In fulfillment of its duties under this section as to what constitutes an unjust, unreasonable, or insufficient rate, price, charge, toll, or rental, as to what constitutes a just and reasonable rate, price, charge, toll, or rental, as to what constitutes an unjust or unreasonable rate, price, charge, toll, or rental, or, insofar as the form and structure of any rate, price, charge, toll, or rental is concerned, as to what may have the effect of causing it to become unfair and unreasonable, the decision of the commission shall be based on the factors stated in section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 09-28-1979

4909.40 Certain rates, fares, regulations, and prices excepted.

Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., 4909., 4921., 4923., and 4925. of the Revised Code do not apply to any rate, fare, or regulation prescribed by any municipal corporation granting a right, permission, authority, or franchise to use its streets, alleys, avenues, or public places for street railway purposes, or to any prices so fixed under sections 715.34 , 743.26 , and 743.28 of the Revised Code, except as provided in sections 4909.34 , 4909.35 , 4909.36 , 4909.38 , and 4909.39 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.41 Violation.

No officer, agent, or employee in an official capacity of a public utility shall knowingly violate sections 4909.15 to 4909.19 , inclusive, or 4909.33 to 4909.40, inclusive, of the Revised Code, or willfully fail to comply with any lawful order or direction of the public utilities commission made with respect to any public utility. Each day's continuance of such failure is a separate offense.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4909.42 Commission fails to issue timely order.

If the proceeding on an application filed with the public utilities commission under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code by any public utility requesting an increase on any rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental or requesting a change in a regulation or practice affecting the same has not been concluded and an order entered pursuant to section 4909.19 of the Revised Code at the expiration of two hundred seventy-five days from the date of filing the application, an increase not to exceed the proposed increase shall go into effect upon the filing of a bond or a letter of credit by the public utility. The bond or letter of credit shall be filed with the commission and shall be payable to the state for the use and benefit of the customers affected by the proposed increase or change.

An affidavit attached to the bond or letter of credit must be signed by two of the officers of the utility, under oath, and must contain a promise on behalf of the utility to refund any amounts collected by the utility over the rate, joint rate, toll, classification, charge, or rental, as determined in the final order of the commission. All refunds shall include interest at the rate stated in section 1343.03 of the Revised Code. The refund shall be in the form of a temporary reduction in rates following the final order of the commission, and shall be accomplished in such manner as shall be prescribed by the commission in its final order. The commission shall exercise continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over such refunds.

If the public utilities commission has not entered a final order within five hundred forty-five days from the date of the filing of an application for an increase in rates under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code, a public utility shall have no obligation to make a refund of amounts collected after the five hundred forty-fifth day which exceed the amounts authorized by the commission's final order.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to mitigate any duty of the commission to issue a final order under section 4909.19 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.199, HB 379, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Effective Date: 07-06-2001

4909.43 Filing rate increase application.

(A) No public utility shall file a rate increase application covering a municipal corporation pursuant to section 4909.18 or 4909.35 of the Revised Code at any time prior to six months before the expiration of an ordinance of that municipal corporation enacted for the purpose of establishing the rates of that public utility.

(B) Not later than thirty days prior to the filing of an application pursuant to section 4909.18 or 4909.35 of the Revised Code, a public utility shall notify, in writing, the mayor and legislative authority of each municipality included in such application of the intent of the public utility to file an application, and of the proposed rates to be contained therein.

Effective Date: 01-11-1983

4909.45 Information furnished by gas or natural gas company to municipal corporation.

Every gas or natural gas company shall, prior to accepting any rate, price, charge, toll, or rental fixed by ordinance of a municipal corporation, submit to the legislative authority of the municipal corporation the following information:

(A) A report of its property used and useful in rendering the service to be provided;

(B) A complete operating statement of the previous fiscal year, showing in detail all its receipts, revenues, and incomes from all sources, all of its operating costs and other expenditures, and any other information the public utility deems applicable;

(C) A statement of the income and expense anticipated under the ordinance;

(D) A statement of financial condition summarizing assets, liabilities, and net worth;

(E) A proposed notice for newspaper publication fully disclosing the substance of the ordinance. The notice shall further include the average percentage increase in rate that a representative industrial, commercial, and residential customer will bear should the ordinance be accepted. Such information and exhibits shall be in the same form as the public utilities commission by rule may require.

Effective Date: 06-22-1984

4909.50 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 12-31-1999

4909.99 Penalty.

Whoever violates section 4909.14 or 4909.41 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996