As used in this chapter:
(A) "Alternative rate plan" means a method, alternate to the method of section 4909.15 of the Revised Code, for establishing rates and charges, under which rates and charges may be established for a commodity sales service or ancillary service that is not exempt pursuant to section 4929.04 of the Revised Code or for a distribution service. Alternative rate plans may include, but are not limited to, methods that provide adequate and reliable natural gas services and goods in this state; minimize the costs and time expended in the regulatory process; tend to assess the costs of any natural gas service or goods to the entity, service, or goods that cause such costs to be incurred; afford rate stability; promote and reward efficiency, quality of service, or cost containment by a natural gas company; provide sufficient flexibility and incentives to the natural gas industry to achieve high quality, technologically advanced, and readily available natural gas services and goods at just and reasonable rates and charges; or establish revenue decoupling mechanisms. Alternative rate plans also may include, but are not limited to, automatic adjustments based on a specified index or changes in a specified cost or costs.
(B) "Ancillary service" means a service that is ancillary to the receipt or delivery of natural gas to consumers, including, but not limited to, storage, pooling, balancing, and transmission.
(C) "Commodity sales service" means the sale of natural gas to consumers, exclusive of any distribution or ancillary service.
(D) "Comparable service" means any regulated service or goods whose availability, quality, price, terms, and conditions are the same as or better than those of the services or goods that the natural gas company provides to a person with which it is affiliated or which it controls, or, as to any consumer, that the natural gas company offers to that consumer as part of a bundled service that includes both regulated and exempt services or goods.
(E) "Consumer" means any person or association of persons purchasing, delivering, storing, or transporting, or seeking to purchase, deliver, store, or transport, natural gas, including industrial consumers, commercial consumers, and residential consumers, but not including natural gas companies.
(F) "Distribution service" means the delivery of natural gas to a consumer at the consumer's facilities, by and through the instrumentalities and facilities of a natural gas company, regardless of the party having title to the natural gas.
(G) "Natural gas company" means a natural gas company, as defined in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, that is a public utility as defined in section 4905.02 of the Revised Code and excludes a retail natural gas supplier.
(H) "Person," except as provided in division (N) of this section, has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code, and includes this state and any political subdivision, agency, or other instrumentality of this state and includes the United States and any agency or other instrumentality of the United States.
(I) "Billing or collection agent" means a fully independent agent, not affiliated with or otherwise controlled by a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, to the extent that the agent is under contract with such supplier or aggregator solely to provide billing and collection for competitive retail natural gas service on behalf of the supplier or aggregator.
(J) "Competitive retail natural gas service" means any retail natural gas service that may be competitively offered to consumers in this state as a result of revised schedules approved under division (C) of section 4929.29 of the Revised Code, a rule or order adopted or issued by the public utilities commission under Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code, or an exemption granted by the commission under sections 4929.04 to 4929.08 of the Revised Code.
(K) "Governmental aggregator" means either of the following:
(1) A legislative authority of a municipal corporation, a board of township trustees, or a board of county commissioners acting exclusively under section 4929.26 or 4929.27 of the Revised Code as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service;
(2) A municipal corporation acting exclusively under Section 4 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.
(1) "Mercantile customer" means a customer that consumes, other than for residential use, more than five hundred thousand cubic feet of natural gas per year at a single location within this state or consumes natural gas, other than for residential use, as part of an undertaking having more than three locations within or outside of this state. "Mercantile customer" excludes a customer for which a declaration under division (L)(2) of this section is in effect pursuant to that division.
(2) A not-for-profit customer that consumes, other than for residential use, more than five hundred thousand cubic feet of natural gas per year at a single location within this state or consumes natural gas, other than for residential use, as part of an undertaking having more than three locations within or outside this state may file a declaration under division (L)(2) of this section with the public utilities commission. The declaration shall take effect upon the date of filing, and by virtue of the declaration, the customer is not a mercantile customer for the purposes of this section and sections 4929.20 to 4929.29 of the Revised Code or the purposes of a governmental natural gas aggregation or arrangement or other contract entered into after the declaration's effective date for the supply or arranging of the supply of natural gas to the customer to a location within this state. The customer may file a rescission of the declaration with the commission at any time. The rescission shall not affect any governmental natural gas aggregation or arrangement or other contract entered into by the customer prior to the date of the filing of the rescission and shall have effect only with respect to any subsequent such aggregation or arrangement or other contract. The commission shall prescribe rules under section 4929.10 of the Revised Code specifying the form of the declaration or a rescission and procedures by which a declaration or rescission may be filed.
(M) "Retail natural gas service" means commodity sales service, ancillary service, natural gas aggregation service, natural gas marketing service, or natural gas brokerage service.
(N) "Retail natural gas supplier" means any person, as defined in section 1.59 of the Revised Code, that is engaged on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply of a competitive retail natural gas service to consumers in this state that are not mercantile customers. "Retail natural gas supplier" includes a marketer, broker, or aggregator, but excludes a natural gas company, a governmental aggregator as defined in division (K)(1) or (2) of this section, an entity described in division (A)(2) or (3) of section 4905.02 of the Revised Code, or a billing or collection agent, and excludes a producer or gatherer of gas to the extent such producer or gatherer is not a natural gas company under section 4905.03 of the Revised Code.
(O) "Revenue decoupling mechanism" means a rate design or other cost recovery mechanism that provides recovery of the fixed costs of service and a fair and reasonable rate of return, irrespective of system throughput or volumetric sales.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.
Effective Date: 06-26-2001; 2008 SB221 07-31-200.