4928.53 Director of development to administer low-income customer assistance programs.

(A) Beginning July 1, 2000, the director of development is hereby authorized to administer the low-income customer assistance programs. For that purpose, the public utilities commission shall cooperate with and provide such assistance as the director requires for administration of the low-income customer assistance programs. The director shall consolidate the administration of and redesign and coordinate the operations of those programs within the department to provide, to the maximum extent possible, for efficient program administration and a one-stop application and eligibility determination process at the local level for consumers.

(B)

(1) Not later than March 1, 2000, the director, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall adopt rules to carry out sections 4928.51 to 4928.58 of the Revised Code and ensure the effective and efficient administration and operation of the low-income customer assistance programs. The rules shall take effect on the July 1, 2000.

(2) The director's authority to adopt rules under this division for the Ohio energy credit program shall be subject to such rule-making authority as is conferred on the director by sections 5117.01 to 5117.12 of the Revised Code, as amended by Sub. S.B. No. 3 of the 123rd general assembly, except that rules initially adopted by the director for the Ohio energy credit program shall incorporate the substance of those sections as they exist on the effective date of this section.

(3) The director's authority to adopt rules under this division for the percentage of income payment plan program shall include authority to adopt rules prescribing criteria for customer eligibility and policies regarding payment and crediting arrangements and responsibilities, procedures for verifying customer eligibility, procedures for disbursing public funds to suppliers and otherwise administering funds under the director's jurisdiction, and requirements as to timely remittances of revenues described in division (B) of section 4928.51 of the Revised Code. The director's authority in division (B)(3) of this section excludes authority to prescribe service disconnection and customer billing policies and procedures and to address complaints against suppliers under the percentage of payment plan program, which excluded authority shall be exercised by the public utilities commission, in coordination with the director. Rules adopted by the director under this division for the percentage of income payment plan program shall specify a level of payment responsibility to be borne by an eligible customer based on a percentage of the customer's income. Rules initially adopted by the director for the percentage of income payment plan program shall incorporate the eligibility criteria and payment arrangement and responsibility policies set forth in rule 4901:1-18-04(B) of the Ohio Administrative Code in effect on the effective date of this section.

Effective Date: 10-05-1999