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

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