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

History. Effective Date: 07-01-1996