4928.58 Public benefits advisory board.

(A) There is hereby created the public benefits advisory board, which has the purpose of ensuring that energy services be provided to low-income consumers in this state in an affordable manner consistent with the policy specified in section 4928.02 of the Revised Code. The advisory board shall consist of twenty-one members as follows: the director of development, the chairperson of the public utilities commission, the consumers' counsel, and the director of the air quality development authority, each serving ex officio and represented by a designee at the official's discretion; two members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, neither of the same political party, and two members of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, neither of the same political party; and thirteen members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, consisting of one representative of suppliers of competitive retail electric service; one representative of the residential class of electric utility customers; one representative of the industrial class of electric utility customers; one representative of the commercial class of electric utility customers; one representative of agricultural or rural customers of an electric utility; two customers receiving assistance under one or more of the low-income customer assistance programs, to represent customers eligible for any such assistance, including senior citizens; one representative of the general public; one representative of local intake agencies; one representative of a community-based organization serving low-income customers; one representative of environmental protection interests; one representative of lending institutions; and one person considered an expert in energy efficiency or renewables technology. Initial appointments shall be made not later than November 1, 1999.

(B) Initial terms of six of the appointed members shall end on June 30, 2003, and initial terms of the remaining seven appointed members shall end on June 30, 2004. Thereafter, terms of appointed members shall be for three years, with each term ending on the same day of the same month as the term it succeeds. Each member shall hold office from the date of the member's appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. Members may be reappointed. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration date of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office as a member for the remainder of that term. A member shall continue in office after the expiration date of the member's term until the member's successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

(C) Board members shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of board duties. The reimbursements constitute, as applicable, administrative costs of the low-income customer assistance programs for the purpose of division (A) of section 4928.51 of the Revised Code or administrative costs of the advanced energy program for the purpose of division (A) of section 4528.61 of the Revised Code.

(D) The advisory board shall select a chairperson from among its members. Only board members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate shall be voting members of the board; each shall have one vote in all deliberations of the board. A majority of the voting members constitute a quorum.

(E) The duties of the advisory board shall be as follows:

(1) Advise the director in the administration of the universal service fund and the low-income customer assistance programs and advise the director on the director's recommendation to the commission regarding the appropriate level of the universal service rider;

(2) Advise the director on the administration of the advanced energy program and the advanced energy fund under sections 4928.61 to 4928.63 of the Revised Code.

(F) The advisory board is not an agency for purposes of sections 101.82 to 101.87 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 03-22-2001; 01-04-2007