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.
Effective Date: 03-31-2003