Chapter 4933: COMPANIES - GAS; ELECTRIC; WATER; OTHERS

4933.01 Powers.

A company organized for the purpose of supplying gas for lighting the streets and public and private buildings of a municipal corporation or township may manufacture, sell, and furnish the gas required in such municipal corporation or township for such or other purposes, a company organized for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of a municipal corporation or township with water may sell and furnish any quantity of water required in such municipal corporation or township for such or other purposes, and a company organized for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of a municipal corporation or township with sewage disposal services may supply said services as required by such municipal corporation or township for such or other purposes. Such companies may lay conductors for conducting gas, sewage, or water through the streets, lands, alleys, and squares in such municipal corporation with the consent of the municipal authorities or the board of township trustees under such reasonable regulations as such authorities or board prescribes.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.01

Effective Date: 09-19-1961

4933.02 Gas or electric companies may manufacture and supply both electricity and gas.

Every corporation organized under the laws of this state to manufacture and supply artificial gas for light, heat, or power purposes and every corporation organized under the laws of this state to manufacture and supply electricity for light, heat, or power purposes, subject to statutory provisions relating to the granting of franchises by municipal corporations for any such purpose in force at the time of granting the franchise, may manufacture and supply electricity and artificial gas, respectively, for light, heat, or power purposes. Such corporations may make all contracts and do all things necessary and convenient for furnishing electricity and artificial gas for both public and private objects.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.02

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.021 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.021

Effective Date: 11-29-1981

4933.03 Consent of municipal corporation.

Section 4933.02 of the Revised Code does not confer a right to engage in the business referred to in such section, or to erect or maintain structures in a street, alley, or public place, without the consent of the municipal corporation in which such structures are to be constructed.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.03

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.04 Contracts with municipal corporation for light, sewage disposal, and water.

The proper officers of any municipal corporation or the board of township trustees of any township in which a gas, sewage disposal system company, or water company is organized may contract with such company for lighting, disposal of sewage, or supplying with water the streets, lands, lanes, squares, and public places in such municipal corporation or township.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.04

Effective Date: 09-19-1961

4933.05 Gas company may extend mains beyond city.

A gas company in a municipal corporation may extend its pipes used for conveying gas to the various localities and inhabitants of the municipal corporation to any place in the vicinity of such municipal corporation outside the corporate limits; but the right of way must be obtained from the authorities or persons having control of the places to be affected by such extension.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.05

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.06 Minimum heating value of natural gas.

Except as otherwise provided in arrangements approved under section 4905.31 of the Revised Code, natural gas delivered to customers shall have a heating value of not less than nine hundred British thermal units per cubic foot when measured in the laboratory by direct heat release or by chemical composition, according to the procedures of the American Society for testing and materials or other recognized analytical methods in effect on the effective date of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.06

Effective Date: 04-16-1993

4933.07 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.07

Effective Date: 04-16-1993

4933.08 Gas meter must be sealed and stamped.

No gas meter shall be set unless it is tested by a meter-prover, sealed, and stamped as provided in section 4933.11 of the Revised Code. A company authorizing the setting of a meter, or allowing it to be used by a consumer of gas, without being so sealed and stamped, shall forfeit not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars, to be recovered upon the complaint of such consumer, in the name of the state, before any court of competent jurisdiction.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.08

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.09 Testing of gas meters.

Gas meters in use shall be tested on the request of the consumer, in his presence if desired by him, with a tested and sealed meter-prover, by an officer or servant of the gas company. If the meter is found to be correct, and it is deemed correct if the variation is not greater than three per cent, the party requesting the inspection shall pay a fee of twenty-five cents, and the expense of removing it for the purpose of being tested. The reinspection shall be stamped on the meter. If the meter is proved incorrect, no fees or expense shall be paid by the consumer, and the company shall furnish a new meter without charge to the consumer. No gas company shall charge rent for meters. This section applies to all gas companies supplying the public with either natural or artificial gas. Any person, firm, or corporation providing either natural or artificial gas to the public which fails to comply with this section shall forfeit to the state not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars, to be recovered upon the complaint of any consumer of such gas in the name of the state before any court of competent jurisdiction.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.09

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.10 Inspection of gas meters.

If authorized in writing by the president, treasurer, agent, or secretary of a gas company, its officer or servant may enter, at any reasonable time, any premises lighted with gas supplied by such company, to examine or remove the gas meters, and to ascertain the quantity of gas consumed or supplied. If a person prevents or hinders such officer or servant from so entering such premises, or from making such examination or removal, a judge of a county court or judge of a municipal court of the county in which the premises are located may, on complaint by the officer or servant under oath, stating the facts in the case, so far as he has knowledge of them, issue a warrant, directed to any constable of the municipal corporation where such company is located, commanding him to take sufficient aid and go to such premises, accompanied by such officer or servant who shall examine such meters and ascertain the quantity of gas consumed or supplied, and if required, remove any meters belonging to the company.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.10

Effective Date: 02-14-1967

4933.11 Meter-prover and photometer.

All gas companies supplying the public with artificial or natural gas shall provide for their use a meter-prover, the holder of which must contain not less than five feet. Such meter-prover shall be tested in the place where it is to be used, stamped, and sealed by the public utilities commission. Such tests shall be open to the public. All gas companies supplying artificial or natural gas for illuminating purposes shall, on the order of the commission provide for their own use a photometer of a type approved by such commission. Any person, firm, or corporation supplying the public with artificial or natural gas which fails to comply with this section shall forfeit to the state not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars to be recovered upon the complaint of any consumer, in the name of the state, before any court of competent jurisdiction.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.11

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.12 Company may shut off gas - exceptions.

(A) Except as provided in division (C) of this section and division (E) of section 5117.11 of the Revised Code, if any person supplied with gas neglects or refuses to pay the amount due for the gas or for rent of articles hired by the person from a natural gas company or a gas company, the company may stop the gas from entering the premises of the person. In such cases, after twenty-four hours' notice, the officers, servants, or workers of the company may enter the premises of such persons, between eight a.m. and four p.m., take away such property of the company, and disconnect any meter from the mains or pipes of the company.

(B) The company shall not refuse to furnish gas on account of arrearages due it for gas furnished to persons formerly receiving services at the premises as customers of the company, provided the former customers are not continuing to reside at the premises.

(C) The company shall not, for any reason, unless required by the consumer for safety reasons, or unless tampering with utility company equipment or theft of gas or utility company equipment has occurred, stop gas from entering the premises of any residential consumer for the period beginning on the fifteenth day of November and ending on the fifteenth day of the following April, unless both of the following apply:

(1) The account of the consumer is in arrears thirty days or more.

(2) If the occupant of residential premises is a tenant whose landlord is responsible for payment for the service provided by the company, the company has, five days previously, notified the occupant of its intent to discontinue service to the occupant.

(D) No company shall stop the gas from entering any residential premises between the fifteenth day of November and the fifteenth day of April because of a failure to pay the amount due for the gas unless the company, at the time it sends or delivers to the premises notices of termination, informs the occupant of the premises where to obtain state and federal aid for payment of utility bills and for home weatherization and information on local government aid for payment of utility bills and for home weatherization.

(E) On or before the first day of November, a county human services department may request a company to give prior notification of any residential service terminations to occur during the period beginning on the fifteenth day of November immediately following the department's request and ending on the fifteenth day of the following April. If a department makes such a written request, at least twenty-four hours before the company terminates services to a residential customer in the county during that period for failure to pay the amount due for service, the company shall provide written notice to the department of the residential customer whose service the company so intends to terminate. No company that has received such a request shall terminate such service during that period unless it has provided the notice required under this division.

(F) No company shall stop gas from entering the residential premises of any residential consumer who is deployed on active duty for nonpayment for gas supplied to the residential premises. Upon return of a residential consumer from active duty, the company shall offer the residential consumer a period equal to at least the period of deployment on active duty to pay any arrearages incurred during the period of deployment. The company shall inform the residential consumer that, if the period the company offers presents a hardship to the consumer, the consumer may request a longer period to pay the arrearages and, in the case of a company that is a public utility as defined in section 4905.02 of the Revised Code, may request the assistance of the public utilities commission to obtain a longer period. No late payment fees or interest shall be charged to the residential consumer during the period of deployment or the repayment period. If a company that is a public utility determines that amounts owed by a residential consumer who is deployed on active duty are uncollectible, the company may file an application with the public utilities commission for approval of authority to recover the amounts. The recovery shall be through a rider on the base rates of customers of the company or through other means as may be approved by the commission, provided that any amount approved to be recovered through a rider or other means shall not be considered by the commission in any subsequent rate determination. As used in this division, "active duty" means active duty pursuant to an executive order of the president of the United States, an act of the congress of the United States, or section 5919.29 or 5923.21 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.12

Effective Date: 07-09-1986; 05-18-2005

4933.121 Company may shut off electricity - exception.

(A) Except as provided in division (E) of section 5117.11 of the Revised Code, an electric light company shall not, for any reason, unless requested by the consumer for safety reasons, or unless tampering with utility company equipment or theft of electricity or utility company equipment has occurred, cease to provide electricity to any residential consumer for the period beginning on the fifteenth day of November and ending on the fifteenth day of the following April, unless both of the following apply:

(1) The account of the consumer is in arrears thirty days or more.

(2) If the occupant of residential premises is a tenant whose landlord is responsible for payment for the service provided by the company, the company has, five days previously, notified the occupant of its intent to discontinue service to the occupant.

(B) The company shall not refuse to furnish electricity on account of arrearages due it for electricity furnished to persons formerly receiving services at the premises as customers of the company, provided the former customers are not continuing to reside at the premises.

(C) No company shall cease to provide electricity to any residential premises between the fifteenth day of November and the fifteenth day of April because of a failure to pay the amount due for the electricity unless the company, at the time it sends or delivers to the premises notices of termination, informs the occupant of the premises where to obtain state and federal aid for payment of utility bills and for home weatherization and information on local government aid for payment of utility bills and for home weatherization.

(D) On or before the first day of November, a county human services department may request a company to give prior notification of any residential service terminations to occur during the period beginning on the fifteenth day of November immediately following the department's request and ending on the fifteenth day of the following April. If a department makes such a written request, at least twenty-four hours before the company terminates services to a residential customer in the county during that period for failure to pay the amount due for service, the company shall provide written notice to the department of the residential customer whose service the company so intends to terminate. No company that has received such a request shall terminate such service during that period unless it has provided the notice required under this division.

(E) No company shall cease to provide electricity to the residential premises of any residential consumer who is deployed on active duty for nonpayment for electricity provided to the residential premises. Upon return of a residential consumer from active duty, the company shall offer the residential consumer a period equal to at least the period of deployment on active duty to pay any arrearages incurred during the period of deployment. The company shall inform the residential consumer that, if the period the company offers presents a hardship to the consumer, the consumer may request a longer period to pay the arrearages and, in the case of a company that is a public utility as defined in section 4905.02 of the Revised Code, may request the assistance of the public utilities commission to obtain a longer period. No late payment fees or interest shall be charged to the residential consumer during the period of deployment or the repayment period. If a company that is a public utility determines that amounts owed by a residential consumer who is deployed on active duty are uncollectible, the company may file an application with the public utilities commission for approval of authority to recover the amounts. The recovery shall be through a rider on the base rates of customers of the company or through other means as may be approved by the commission, provided that any amount approved to be recovered through a rider or other means shall not be considered by the commission in any subsequent rate determination. As used in this division, "active duty" means active duty pursuant to an executive order of the president of the United States, an act of the congress of the United States, or section 5919.29 or 5923.21 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.121

Effective Date: 07-09-1986; 05-18-2005

4933.122 Procedure for terminating residential service.

No natural gas, gas, or electric light company shall terminate service, except for safety reasons or upon the request of the customer, at any time to a residential consumer, except pursuant to procedures that provide for all of the following:

(A) Reasonable prior notice is given to such consumer, including notice of rights and remedies, and no due date shall be established, after which a customer's account is considered to be in arrears if unpaid, that is less than fourteen days after the mailing of the billing. This limitation does not apply to charges to customers that receive service pursuant to an arrangement authorized by section 4905.31 of the Revised Code, nor to electric light companies operated not for profit or public utilities that are owned or operated by a municipal corporation.

(B) A reasonable opportunity is given to dispute the reasons for such termination;

(C) In circumstances in which termination of service to a consumer would be especially dangerous to health, as determined by the public utilities commission, or make the operation of necessary medical or life-supporting equipment impossible or impractical, and such consumer establishes that the consumer is unable to pay for such service in accordance with the requirements of the utility's billing except under an extended payment plan. Such procedures shall take into account the need to include reasonable provisions for elderly and handicapped consumers. The commission shall hold hearings and adopt rules to carry out this section. To the extent that any rules adopted for the purpose of division (C) of this section require a health care professional to validate the health of a consumer or the necessity of operation of a consumer's medical or life-supporting equipment, the rules shall include as a health care professional a physician assistant, a clinical nurse specialist, a certified nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.122

Effective Date: 03-31-2003

4933.123 Annual report of service disconnections for nonpayment.

(A) For the purpose of this section:

(1) "Energy company" shall have the meaning assigned in division (A)(4) of section 5117.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Service disconnection for nonpayment" means the intentional discontinuation of gas or electric services to a residential customer by an energy company due to the failure of the customer to pay for such services.

(3) "Service reconnections" means the reconnection of gas or electric services by an energy company to a residential customer whose service was discontinued by such company for nonpayment.

(B) Annually, on or before the thirtieth day of June, each energy company shall file a written report on service disconnections for nonpayment with the public utilities commission and the consumers' counsel. The report shall include the following information for the twelve-month period ending on the preceding thirty-first day of May, by month:

(1) Total number of service disconnections for nonpayment and the total dollar amount of unpaid bills represented by such disconnections;

(2) Total number of final notices of actual disconnection issued for service disconnections for nonpayment and the total dollar amount of unpaid bills represented by such notices;

(3) Total number of residential customer accounts in arrears by more than sixty days and the total dollar amount of such arrearages;

(4) Total number of security deposits received from residential customers and the total dollar amount of such deposits;

(5) Total number of service reconnections;

(6) Total number of residential customers.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.123

Effective Date: 12-23-1986

4933.13 Powers of electric light and power companies.

A company organized for supplying electricity for power purposes, and for lighting the streets and public and private buildings of a municipal corporation, may manufacture, sell, and furnish the electric light and power required in such municipal corporation for such or other purposes. With the consent of the municipal corporation, under such reasonable regulations as such municipal corporation prescribes, such company may construct lines for conducting electricity for power and light purposes through the streets, alleys, lanes, lands, squares, and public places of such municipal corporation, by the erection of the necessary fixtures, including posts, piers, and abutments necessary for the wires.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.13

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.14 Electric light, power, and automatic package carrier companies.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section ,division (A) of section4931.02 , and sections 4931.03 , 4931.04 , and 4933.13 to 4933.16 of the Revised Code apply to a company organized for supplying public and private buildings, manufacturing establishments, streets, alleys, lanes, lands, squares, and public places with electric light and power, and to an automatic package carrier. Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section,every such company has the powers and is subject to the restrictions prescribed for a telephone company by division (A) of section4931.02 and sections 4931.03 and 4931.04 of the Revised Code.

(B) Section4931.04 of the Revised Code applies to a company organized for supplying electricity only if the company transmits or distributes electricity, and every such company has the powers and is subject to the restrictions prescribed for a telephone company by that section except for the purpose of erecting, operating, or maintaining an electric generating station.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.14

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

Effective Date: 10-05-1999

4933.15 Right of entry - appropriation of property.

For the purpose of making preliminary examinations and surveys, any company transmitting or distributing electricity in the state for public or private use may enter upon any land held by any individual or corporation, whether acquired by purchase, appropriation proceedings, or otherwise, unless such land is owned by and essential to the purposes of another corporation possessing the power of eminent domain. The company also may appropriate so much of such land, or any right or interest in the land, including any trees, edifices, or buildings on the land, as is deemed necessary for either of the following purposes:

(A) The erection, operation, or maintenance of an electric plant, including its substations, switching stations, transmission and distribution lines, poles, towers, piers, conduits, cables, and wires and other necessary structures and appliances, but excluding its generating stations;

(B) Rights-of-way over such land and adjacent lands for the purpose of access to any part of such land. The right of appropriation shall be exercised in the same manner provided by sections 163.01 to 163.22 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.15

Effective Date: 10-05-1999

4933.151 Appropriation of property by water works companies.

Any company organized for supplying water for public and private use may enter upon any land held by any individual or private corporation, whether acquired by purchase, appropriation proceedings, or otherwise, for the purpose of making preliminary examination and surveys, unless such land is owned by and essential to the purposes of another corporation possessing the power of eminent domain, and may appropriate so much of such land, or any interest therein, including any trees, edifices, or buildings thereon, as is deemed necessary for the acquisition, construction, installation, operation, or maintenance of pumps, storage tanks, aqueducts, and water pipes, and for the protection thereof, and other structures and appliances necessary for the maintenance of pressure and the purification of water, and for rights of way over such land and adjacent [land] for the purpose of access to any part of such land. The right of appropriation shall be exercised in the same manner provided by sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.151

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

4933.16 Municipal control of electricity.

No person or company shall place, string, construct, or maintain a line, wire, fixture, or appliance of any kind to conduct electricity for lighting, heating, or power purposes through a street, alley, lane, square, place, or land of a municipal corporation without the consent of such municipal corporation. This prohibition extends to all levels above or below the surface of such public ways, grounds, or places, as well as along their surfaces, but not to rights received through and exercised under proceedings of a probate court prior to February 26, 1910. The penalty provided by section 4933.99 of the Revised Code for a violation of this section is cumulative to other means of enforcing this section open to the municipal corporation, by way of injunction or otherwise, and is not exclusive.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.16

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.17 Cash deposit - interest.

No person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of furnishing gas, natural gas, water, or electricity to consumers shall demand or require a consumer to deposit cash as security for the payment of any bills for such commodity to be furnished:

(A) If the proposed consumer is a freeholder who is financially responsible or a person who is able to give a reasonably safe guaranty in an amount sufficient to secure the payment of bills for sixty days' supply;

(B) If the security is not demanded within thirty days of the initiation of service, except that this division does not apply where the account of a customer is in arrears. In case no such security can be furnished, a deposit not exceeding an amount sufficient to cover an estimate of the monthly average of the annual consumption by such consumer plus thirty per cent may be required, upon which deposit interest at the rate of not less than three per cent per annum shall be allowed and paid to the consumer, provided it remains on deposit for six consecutive months. Any person, firm, or corporation convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit all right to collect or receive any sum from such consumer for gas, natural gas, water, or electricity so furnished. The making of any rule or requirement in conflict with this section, is forbidden, and hereby declared to be unlawful.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.17

Effective Date: 09-01-1976

4933.18 Tampering with utility equipment.

(A) In a prosecution for a theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, that involves alleged tampering with a gas, electric, steam, or water meter, conduit, or attachment of a utility that has been disconnected by the utility, proof that a meter, conduit, or attachment of a utility has been tampered with is prima-facie evidence that the person who is obligated to pay for the service rendered through the meter, conduit, or attachment and is in possession or control of the meter, conduit, or attachment at the time the tampering occurred has caused the tampering with intent to commit a theft offense.

In a prosecution for a theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, that involves the alleged reconnection of a gas, electric, steam, or water meter, conduit, or attachment of a utility that has been disconnected by the utility, proof that a meter, conduit, or attachment disconnected by a utility has been reconnected without the consent of the utility is prima-facie evidence that the person in possession or control of the meter, conduit, or attachment at the time of the reconnection has reconnected the meter, conduit, or attachment with intent to commit a theft offense.

(B) As used in this section:

(1) "Utility" means any electric light company, gas company, natural gas company, pipe-line company, water-works company, or heating or cooling company, as defined by division (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), or (H) of section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, its lessees, trustees, or receivers, or any similar utility owned or operated by a political subdivision.

(2) "Tamper" means to interfere with, damage, or by-pass a utility meter, conduit, or attachment with the intent to impede the correct registration of a meter or the proper functions of a conduit or attachment so as to reduce the amount of utility service that is registered on the meter.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.18

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: 07-01-1996

4933.19 Notice to customers concerning theft offenses.

Each electric light company, gas company, natural gas company, pipe-line company, water-works company, or heating or cooling company, as defined by division (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), or (H) of section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, or its lessees, trustees, or receivers, and each similar utility owned or operated by a political subdivision shall notify its customers, on an annual basis, that tampering with or bypassing a meter constitutes a theft offense that could result in the imposition of criminal sanctions.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.19

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: 07-01-1996

4933.20 Tampering with gas pipes and apparatus.

No person shall maliciously open, close, adjust, or interfere with a valve, regulator, gauge, gate, disc, curb cock, stopcock, meter, or other regulating, operating, or measuring device or appliance in or attached to the wells, tanks, conduits, pipelines, mains, service pipes, house pipes, display pipes, or other pipes of a gas company or manufacturer or furnisher of gas with intent to cause the escape of gas or to injure or destroy such property. No person shall maliciously enlarge or alter a mixer furnished or approved by a gas company or manufacturer or furnisher of gas to or for a consumer of gas, or maliciously remove from its connection a mixer so furnished or approved. No person shall without express permission, consume for fuel the gas of a gas company or manufacturer or furnisher of gas without the use of a mixer so furnished or approved by such gas company or manufacturer or furnisher of gas, or tap, sever, or open a main or pipe used or intended for the transmission of gas, or connect with such main or pipe any other main or pipe. This section does not apply to an agent or employee, for that purpose, of the owner, manufacturer, or operator of the devices or appliances referred to in this section. As used in this section, "gas" includes natural and artificial gas used for heating and illuminating purposes.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.20

Effective Date: 08-18-1978

4933.21 Interfering with electric wires.

No person shall willfully or maliciously injure, destroy, or intentionally permit to be injured or destroyed, disconnect, displace, cut, break, tap, ground, or make a connection with, or willfully or maliciously interfere with any pole, pier, cable, tower, or wire, legally erected, put, or strung, or electrical apparatus, appliance, or machinery used in the construction or operation of an electrical railway, electric light plant, or plant used in generating or transmitting electricity, or any meter, pipe, conduit, wire, line, post, lamp, burner, heater, machine, motor, or other appliance or apparatus used in the construction or operation of any such electrical railway or electrical plant. No person shall willfully or maliciously prevent any electric meter used in the construction or operation of any such electrical railway or electrical plant, from registering the quantity of electricity supplied, interfere with the proper action or just registration by such meter, alter the index in such meter, or, without the consent of the owner of such electrical railway or electrical plant, willfully or maliciously divert electric current from any such wire or otherwise willfully or maliciously use or cause to be used, without the consent of the owner of such electrical railway or electrical plant, electricity manufactured or distributed by any such electrical railway or electrical plant.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.21

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.22 Tampering with hydrant, pipe, or meter.

No person shall maliciously open, close, adjust, or interfere with a fire hydrant, valve, regulator, gauge, gate, disc, curb cock, stopcock, meter, or other regulator, operating or measuring device, or appliance in or attached to the wells, tanks, reservoirs, conduits, pipes, mains, service pipes, house pipes, or other pipes or apparatus of a water company or furnisher of water, with intent to cause the escape of water or to injure or destroy such property. No person shall tap, sever, open, or make unauthorized connections with a main or pipe used or intended for the transmission of water. This section does not apply to the agent or employee for that purpose, of the owner or operator of the appliances referred to in this section, and does not apply to anything done by or under authority of any regularly constituted fire department.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.22

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.23 Interfering with pipes and meters.

No person shall willfully or maliciously injure or destroy, or intentionally permit to be injured or destroyed, cut, break, adjust, or interfere with any pipe, valve, regulator, gauge, gate, stopcock, trap, meter, or other regulating or measuring device or appliance used in the construction or operation of any plant furnishing or distributing hot water or steam for heating purposes. No person shall willfully or maliciously prevent any meter or other measuring device or appliance used in any such heating plant from duly registering the quantity of hot water or steam supplied. No person shall, without the consent of the owner of such heating plant, willfully or maliciously divert any hot water or steam from any pipe or other part of such heating plant or otherwise willfully or maliciously use or cause to be used, without the consent of the owner of such heating plant, hot water or steam supplied by any such heating plant.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.23

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4933.24 Prohibiting interference with apparatus of sewage disposal companies or unauthorized taps.

No person shall maliciously open, close, adjust, or interfere with a valve, regulator, gauge, gate, disc, curb cock, stopcock, meter, or other regulator, operating or measuring device, or appliance in or attached to the tanks, conduits, pipes, mains, service pipes, house pipes, or other pipes or apparatus of a sewage disposal company, with intent to interfere with the flow of sewage, or to injure or destroy such property. No person shall tap, sever, open, or make unauthorized connections with a main or pipe used or intended for the transmission of sewage.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.24

Effective Date: 09-19-1961

4933.25 Issuing certificate of public convenience and necessity.

No sewage disposal system company established after September 19, 1961, or expanding after October 2, 1969, or water-works company established or expanding after October 2, 1969, shall construct, install, or operate sewage disposal system facilities or water distribution facilities until it has been issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity by the public utilities commission. The commission shall adopt rules prescribing requirements and the manner and form in which sewage disposal system companies and water-works companies shall apply for such a certificate. Before the commission issues a certificate of public convenience and necessity, it may hold a public hearing concerning the issuance of the certificate. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the board of county commissioners of any county and the chief executive authority of any municipal corporation to be served by a sewage disposal system company or water-works company. As used in this section, "sewage disposal system company" and "water-works company" have the same meanings as in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code and include only "public utilities" as defined in section 4905.02 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.25

Effective Date: 05-06-1998

4933.26 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.26

Effective Date: 07-02-1980

4933.27 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.27

Effective Date: 01-01-2001

4933.28 Correcting residential utility billings.

(A) Whenever a gas, natural gas, or electric light company operated for profit or not for profit has undercharged any residential customer as the result of a meter or metering inaccuracy or other continuing problem under its control, the company may only bill the customer for the amount of the unmetered gas or electricity rendered in the three hundred sixty-five days immediately prior to the date the company remedies the meter inaccuracy. The maximum portion of the undercharge for unmetered gas or electricity rendered that may be recovered from the customer in any billing month shall be determined by dividing the amount of the undercharge by twelve and the quotient is the maximum portion of the undercharge that the company may, subject to division (C) of this section, recover from the customer in any billing month, in addition to either regular monthly charges of any type or regular level payment amounts billed in accordance with an agreement between the customer and the company. Subject to division (C) of this section, the time period over which the undercharge may be collected shall be twelve consecutive months.

(B) No company shall recover any interest charge, service charge, or fee, whether or not a percentage is utilized for its computation, for billings made pursuant to this section.

(C) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the customer from paying an undercharge or any portion thereof in a time shorter than that stated in this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a gas, natural gas, or electric light company from collecting an undercharge or any portion thereof in a time longer than that stated in this section.

(D) A gas, natural gas, or electric light company may not collect any amount otherwise permitted to be collected under this section unless the company, in the first bill the purpose of which is to collect the amount for unmetered gas or electric service, states the entire amount that it seeks to collect.

(E) No gas, natural gas, or electric light company that is required to follow this section in order to collect an undercharge from a customer may shut off the service of the customer except for safety reasons, except in the event of a request by the customer, and except to enforce a shut-off provision in its filed tariffs with the public utilities commission that is triggered by nonpayment by a customer of a lawfully owing past due amount.

(F) This section does not apply to any act that is a theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, and that involves tampering with utility equipment or theft of utility service, or where a physical act of a customer or its agent causes inaccurate or no recording of the meter reading, or inaccurate or no measurement of the gas or electricity rendered.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.28

Effective Date: 07-01-1996

4933.29 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.29

Effective Date: 12-31-1981

4933.31 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.31

Effective Date: 05-27-2005

4933.32 Application of schedules and orders for curtailment of residential service.

Every portion of the schedule of an electric light, natural gas, and gas company and every order of the public utilities commission relating to curtailment of residential service by such a company shall apply uniformly to all residential consumers, as defined in section 4911.01 of the Revised Code, and shall not distinguish as to whether the residence of such consumers utilizes a solar, wind, or hydrothermal energy system, as defined in section 1551.20 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.32

Effective Date: 08-14-1979

4933.33 Annual statement.

(A) Annually, each electric distribution company, as defined in section 5727.80 of the Revised Code, shall state on each customer bill, or shall distribute to each of its customers, the following statement:

"Under state law, the amount you are being billed includes:

(1) Kilowatt-hour taxes that have been in effect since 2001 and are currently at $......... (The current dollar figure of the kilowatt-hour taxes levied by section 5727.81 of the Revised Code shall be placed in the blank); and

(2) Assessments to assist in the support of the operations of the PUCO and the office of the consumers' counsel that have been in effect since 1912 and 1977, respectively."

(B) Annually, each natural gas distribution company, as defined in section 5727.80 of the Revised Code, shall state on each customer bill, or shall distribute to each of its customers, the following statement:

"Under state law, the amount you are being billed includes:

(1) Natural gas distribution taxes that have been in effect since 2001 and are currently at $......... (The current dollar figure of the natural gas distribution excise taxes levied by section 5727.811 of the Revised Code shall be placed in the blank); and

(2) Assessments to assist in the support of the operations of the PUCO and the office of the consumers' counsel that have been in effect since 1912 and 1977, respectively."

(C) The notice required under division (A) or (B) of this section does not apply to an electric distribution company or a natural gas distribution company that is not subject to assessments to support the operations of the PUCO or the office of the consumers' counsel.

(D) Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that an electric distribution company or a natural gas distribution company subject to this section may not cause such appearance or distribute such statement on a more frequent basis.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.33

Effective Date: 12-21-2000

4933.34 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.34

Effective Date: 01-01-2001

4933.42 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4933.42

Effective Date: 09-26-1984

4933.81 Certified territories for electric suppliers definitions.

As used in sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Electric supplier" means any electric light company as defined in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, including electric light companies organized as nonprofit corporations, but not including municipal corporations or other units of local government that provide electric service.

(B) "Adequate facilities" means distribution lines or facilities having sufficient capacity to meet the maximum estimated electric service requirements of its existing customers and of any new customer occurring during the year following the commencement of permanent electric service, and to assure all such customers of reasonable continuity and quality of service. Distribution facilities and lines of an electric supplier shall be considered "adequate facilities" if such supplier offers to undertake to make its distribution facilities and lines meet such service requirements and, in the determination of the public utilities commission, can do so within a reasonable time.

(C) "Distribution line" means any electric line that is being or has been used primarily to provide electric service directly to electric load centers by the owner of such line.

(D) "Existing distribution line" means any distribution line of an electric supplier which was in existence on January 1, 1977, or under construction on that date.

(E) "Electric load center" means all the electric-consuming facilities of any type or character owned, occupied, controlled, or used by a person at a single location which facilities have been, are, or will be connected to and served at a metered point of delivery and to which electric service has been, is, or will be rendered.

(F) "Electric service" means retail electric service furnished to an electric load center for ultimate consumption, but excludes furnishing electric power or energy at wholesale for resale. In the case of a for-profit electric supplier and beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, "electric service" also excludes a competitive retail electric service. In the case of a not-for-profit electric supplier and beginning on that starting date, "electric service" also excludes any service component of competitive retail electric service that is specified in an irrevocable filing the electric supplier makes with the public utilities commission for informational purposes only to eliminate permanently its certified territory under sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code as to that service component. The filing shall specify the date on which such territory is so eliminated. Notwithstanding division (B) of section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, such a service component may include retail ancillary, metering, or billing and collection service irrespective of whether that service component has or has not been declared competitive under section 4928.04 of the Revised Code. Upon receipt of the filing by the commission, the not-for-profit electric supplier's certified territory shall be eliminated permanently as to the service component specified in the filing as of the date specified in the filing. As used in this division, "competitive retail electric service" and "retail electric service" have the same meanings as in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Certified territory" means a geographical area the boundaries of which have been established pursuant to sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code within which an electric supplier is authorized and required to provide electric service.

(H) "Other unit of local government" means any governmental unit or body that may come into existence after July 12, 1978, with powers and authority similar to those of a municipal corporation, or that is created to replace or exercise the relevant powers of any one or more municipal corporations.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.81

Effective Date: 10-05-1999

4933.82 Boundaries of certified territory of electric suppliers.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the boundaries of the certified territory of each electric supplier shall be considered set as a line or lines substantially equidistant between its existing distribution lines and the nearest existing distribution lines of any other electric supplier in every direction, so that there is thereby certified to each electric supplier such land area as is located nearer to one of its existing distribution lines than to the nearest existing distribution line of any other electric supplier.

(B) On or before one year after the effective date of this section or, when requested in writing by an electric supplier and for good cause shown, such further time as the commission may fix by order, each electric supplier shall file with the public utilities commission a map or maps showing all of its existing distribution lines and the proposed boundaries of its certified territory. The commission shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, within six months after such filing a map of uniform scale to show, accurately and clearly, the boundaries of the certified territory of each electric supplier as proposed by such electric supplier, or as established under division (A) of this section, and shall issue a map of the certified territory of each electric supplier. Such map shall show the service areas of municipally owned electric systems as of the date the map is drawn. The service area of each municipally owned electric system shall include all of the incorporated area of said system and that territory within a line substantially equidistant between its existing distribution lines and the nearest existing distribution line of any electric supplier in every direction. Certification of territory pursuant to sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code shall not in any manner prohibit or restrict the rights of municipalities under Article XVIII or any other article of the Ohio Constitution and the existence of a municipally owned electric system service area shall not in any respect restrict or limit the boundaries of the certified territory established for electric suppliers.

(C) Each electric supplier and any municipal corporation may examine the maps of electric suppliers filed with the commission pursuant to this section. Any electric supplier whose own certified territory is affected or any municipal corporation whose service area is affected by any such filing and that takes exception thereto, on the basis of an alleged error, may informally request the commission to arrange a conference of the affected parties to resolve the alleged error. The supplier making the request shall serve a copy of the request by certified mail on the electric supplier whose map is alleged to contain the error. The commission shall arrange a conference as promptly as practicable after receipt of the request and shall give notice thereof to all electric suppliers and municipal corporations affected by the alleged error. If an alleged error is not corrected to the satisfaction of any affected electric supplier or municipal corporation, such supplier or municipal corporation may formally petition the commission for a hearing and such hearing shall be granted by the commission as promptly as practicable.

(D) Upon completion by the commission of maps showing the boundaries of the certified territory of each electric supplier as established under division (A) of this section, each electric supplier shall have the right to examine all such maps, and any electric supplier whose own certified territory is affected thereby, on the basis of an alleged error, may informally request that the commission confer with it to resolve the issue of the alleged incorrect location of boundary. The procedure shall be as specified above for resolution of alleged errors in the maps supplied by any electric supplier, including the right of the supplier making the informal request to ultimately formally petition the commission for a hearing.

(E) In reaching its decision on any dispute formally or informally brought to the attention of the commission, under division (C) or (D) of this section, the commission shall follow the standards set forth in division (A) of this section and division (C) of section 4933.83 of the Revised Code.

(F) All portions of the state shall be included within certified territory established pursuant to this section.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.82

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.83 Exclusive right to furnish electric service to electric load centers.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section and Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution, each electric supplier shall have the exclusive right to furnish electric service to all electric load centers located presently or in the future within its certified territory, and shall not furnish, make available, render, or extend its electric service for use in electric load centers located within the certified territory of another electric supplier; provided that nothing in sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code shall impair the power of municipal corporations to require franchises or contracts for the provision of electric service within their boundaries, and provided that any electric supplier may extend its facilities through the certified territory of another electric supplier to connect any of its facilities, to serve electric load centers within its own certified territory or to interconnect with other electric suppliers. In the event that a new electric load center should locate in an area that is composed of two or more adjacent certified territories, the electric supplier in whose certified territory the greater portion of the land area covered by the electric load center is located shall serve that electric load center. In the event that a municipal corporation refuses to grant a franchise or contract for electric service within its boundaries to an electric supplier whose certified territory is included within the municipality, any other electric supplier may serve the municipal corporation under a franchise or contract with the municipal corporation.

(B) Electric suppliers shall furnish adequate facilities to meet the reasonable needs of the consumers and inhabitants in the certified territories that they are authorized and required to serve pursuant to sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code. The public utilities commission may, after a hearing had upon due notice, make such findings as may be supported by proof as to whether any electric supplier operating in a certified territory, or providing electric service pursuant to division (C) of this section, is rendering or proposes to render physically adequate service to an electric load center and in the event the commission finds that such electric supplier is not rendering and does not propose to render physically adequate service, the commission may enter an order specifying in what particulars such electric supplier has failed to render or propose to render physically adequate service and order that such failure be corrected within a reasonable time to be fixed in such order. If the electric supplier so ordered to correct such failure fails to comply with such order, the commission may authorize another electric supplier to furnish electric service to such electric load center and shall appropriately amend the maps of the certified territory of such electric suppliers.

(C) Except as provided in division (B) of this section and Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution, each electric supplier has the obligation and exclusive right to furnish electric service to electric load centers, wherever located, which it was serving on January 1, 1977, or which it had agreed to serve under lawful contracts in effect on or resulting from written bids submitted under bond prior to January 1, 1977, and no other electric supplier shall furnish, make available, or extend electric service to any such electric load centers.

(D) Sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code shall not prevent an electric supplier from extending its electric service after the effective date of this section to its own property or facilities.

(E) Notwithstanding the effectuation of certified territories established by or pursuant to sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code, and the exclusive right of electric suppliers to serve within such territory, and notwithstanding any other provisions of such sections establishing rights of electric suppliers to furnish electric service, any two or more electric suppliers may jointly petition the commission for the reallocation of their own territories and electric load centers among them and designating which portions of such territories and electric load centers are to be served by each of the electric suppliers. The commission, if it finds that granting the petition will promote the purposes of sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code and will provide adequate service to all territories and electric load centers affected thereby, shall approve such a petition, appropriately modify the territorial boundaries of the petitioning electric suppliers, and amend the maps of the certified territory of such electric suppliers accordingly.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.83

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.84 Right of electric supplier to continue or extend electric service within certified territory following annexation or incorporation of territory.

Annexation or incorporation by a municipal corporation or other unit of local government does not affect the right of an electric supplier to continue or extend electric service within its certified territory except insofar as that right is affected or modified by Article XVIII or any other article of the Ohio Constitution. Notwithstanding this section or any other provision of law, the right of a municipal corporation to furnish service to such portion of the corporation as has been annexed to the corporation since the time maps have been drawn in accordance with section 4933.82 of the Revised Code shall not be abridged.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.84

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.85 Assigning or transferring rights.

The rights and authority granted under sections 4933.81 to 4933.84 of the Revised Code may be assigned or transferred only with the approval of the public utilities commission and approval shall be granted if the commission finds that the assignment or transfer is not contrary to the public interest. Upon the merger or consolidation of electric suppliers, the surviving or new electric supplier shall, without further action, succeed to all rights and authority previously granted under sections 4933.81 to 4933.84 of the Revised Code to the merged or consolidated electric suppliers.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.85

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.86 Violations.

Any electric supplier that renders electric service in violation of sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code is subject to remedies and penalties provided by sections 4905.54 , 4905.56 , 4905.57 , 4905.59 , 4905.60 , and 4905.61 and division (B) of section 4905.99 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.86

Effective Date: 07-01-1996

4933.87 Right of municipal corporations to generate, transmit, distribute, or sell electric energy.

Nothing contained in sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code shall be construed to affect the right of municipal corporations to generate, transmit, distribute, or sell electric energy. The rights and powers of municipal corporations as they exist on or after the effective date of this section to acquire, construct, own, lease, or operate in any manner a public utility or to supply the service or product by means of a rate ordinance adopted under section 743.26 of the Revised Code or under Section 4, Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution in any portion of the state is not affected by sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code. When an electric system owned by a municipal corporation is sold, the purchaser thereof shall be considered an electric supplier and the area served by the system shall become the certified territory of the purchaser. An electric supplier whose certified territory also includes any portion of such service area shall have the right and obligation to continue providing electric service within its previously established certified territory and the sale of a municipal corporation's electric system shall not in any respect restrict or limit such right and obligation. The purchaser shall, for the purposes of sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code, be an electric supplier.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.87

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.88 Assessing expenses of administration.

The expenses of the public utilities commission in administering sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code shall be assessed by the commission against the affected electric suppliers on the following basis:

(A) Expenses that relate to the preparation or review of maps to establish the certified territory of a single electric supplier in any area where there is no other electric supplier shall be assessed solely to such electric supplier.

(B) Expenses that relate to the preparation or review of maps to establish the certified territories of two or more electric suppliers in any area where there are two or more electric suppliers shall be assessed in equal shares among such electric suppliers.

(C) Expenses that relate to the consideration and disposition of alleged errors pursuant to section 4933.82 of the Revised Code and the consideration and disposition of proposed adjustments pursuant to division (E) of section 4933.83 of the Revised Code shall be assessed in equal shares among the electric suppliers affected thereby.

(D) Expenses that relate to the enforcement by the commission of compliance with sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code shall be assessed in equal shares against the electric supplier or suppliers to which an order of enforcement is directed. Where such enforcement proceedings are initiated by an electric supplier or suppliers and no order of enforcement is issued by the commission, such expenses shall be assessed in equal shares against the electric supplier or suppliers initiating such proceedings.

(E) Any other expenses of the commission shall be assessed by the commission in equal shares among the electric suppliers that are subject to sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code.

(F) The commission may assess the expenses enumerated in this section on the basis of estimates made by it, with appropriate adjustment or credit after final determination of such expenses.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.88

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.89 Public utilities territorial administration fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a fund to be known as the public utilities territorial administration fund. The funds collected under section 4933.88 of the Revised Code as assessments shall be credited to the public utilities territorial administration fund.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.89

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.90 Review of public utilities commission actions.

Action of the public utilities commission pursuant to sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code is subject to review in accordance with Chapter 4903. of the Revised Code but during any appeal therefrom, the continuance of existing electric service is lawful.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.90

Effective Date: 07-12-1978

4933.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates section 4933.16 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(B) Whoever violates section 4933.20 , 4933.22 , 4933.24 , or 4933.25 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(C) Whoever violates section 4933.21 or 4933.23 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) Whoever violates division (E) of section 4933.28 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. Each day of a violation of that division constitutes a separate offense.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.99

Effective Date: 07-01-1996