(A) Beginning July 1, 2000, the universal service rider shall replace the percentage of income payment plan rider in existence on the effective date of this section and any amount in the rates of an electric utility for the funding of low-income customer energy efficiency programs. The universal service rider shall be a rider on retail electric distribution service rates as such rates are determined by the public utilities commission pursuant to this chapter. The universal service rider for the first five years after the starting date of competitive retail electric service shall be the sum of all of the following:
(1) The level of the percentage of income payment plan program rider in existence on the effective date of this section;
(2) An amount equal to the level of funding for low-income customer energy efficiency programs provided through electric utility rates in effect on the effective date of this section;
(3) Any additional amount necessary and sufficient to fund through the universal service rider the administrative costs of the low-income customer assistance programs and the consumer education program created in section 4928.56 of the Revised Code.
(B) If, during or after the five-year period specified in division (A) of this section, the director of development, after consultation with the public benefits advisory board created under section 4928.58 of the Revised Code, determines that revenues in the universal service fund and revenues from federal or other sources of funding for those programs, including general revenue fund appropriations for the Ohio energy credit program, will be insufficient to cover the administrative costs of the low-income customer assistance programs and the consumer education program and provide adequate funding for those programs, the director shall file a petition with the commission for an increase in the universal service rider. The commission, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, may adjust the universal service rider by the minimum amount necessary to provide the additional revenues. The commission shall not decrease the universal service rider without the approval of the director, after consultation by the director with the advisory board.
(C) The universal service rider established under division (A) or (B) of this section shall be set in such a manner so as not to shift among the customer classes of electric distribution utilities the costs of funding low-income customer assistance programs.
Effective Date: 10-05-1999