(1) With respect to each of its residential customers, every energy company shall, after receipt of a certification list provided under division (A) of section 5117.08 of the Revised Code, cause the granting of a credit in accordance with this section against the monthly billing of each household appearing on the list except as provided in division (A) of section 5117.08 of the Revised Code. In the case of an applicant who has a total income of five thousand dollars or less or a current total income of two thousand five hundred dollars or less, the credit shall amount to thirty per cent of the current monthly bill rendered to such household by the company for the billing months of December, January, February, March, and April following the receipt of a list on which the household appears. In the case of an applicant who has a total income of more than five thousand dollars but not more than nine thousand dollars or a current total income of more than two thousand five hundred dollars but not more than four thousand five hundred dollars, the credit shall amount to twenty-five per cent of the current monthly bill rendered to such household by the company for the billing months of December, January, February, March, and April following the receipt of a list on which the household appears. If purchased power costs are incurred by an energy company during the billing month for which a credit is provided under this division, the credit shall also be applied to such costs, whether or not the costs are charged to a current monthly bill for such months.
(B) Every energy company shall read the meter of each of its qualified residential customers who may receive a credit under division (A) of this section at least one time for the service period of November and at least one time in the service period for the current monthly bill rendered for the billing month of April. In the event a company is unable to read a meter because of failure to gain access after a good faith effort or because a certification list was supplied to the utility fewer than thirty days prior to the normal date of meter reading, the company may render a calculated bill. In such instances the company shall make an adjustment to the amount of the credit granted to the customer based upon the next actual reading of the meter if the reading shows the previous calculation to have been in error and set forth the amount of such adjustments in the report required to be filed with the director of development under division (D) of this section.
(C) On each billing that is subject to a credit under division (A) of this section, there shall appear in ten-point type both the amount of the credit and to the left of such amount "Ohio Energy Credit."
(D) On or before the fifteenth day of each month following one in which credits were provided under division (A) of this section, each energy company shall, on a form prescribed by the director and requesting information that the director the commissioner determines is necessary for the purpose of verifying the propriety of the payment of credits, certify to the director the total amount of all credits it granted pursuant to division (A) of this section during the preceding month. Not later than thirty days after receipt of such certification, the director shall pay the company the amount certified. If the director determines that a company previously received amounts greater than the amounts of credits properly granted, such company, upon notice from the director, shall reimburse the director in the amount of the overpayments. Such reimbursements shall be deposited in the general revenue fund.
(1) Any energy company that purposely fails to grant the credit provided under division (A) of this section is liable to each person entitled to the credit and certified to the company by the director pursuant to division (A) of section 5117.08 of the Revised Code in treble the amount of the total credit not granted. The consumers' counsel, on behalf of any person or persons not granted the credit, may bring an action to recover such treble damages in the court of common pleas of the county in which is located the office of the company nearest the household of any such person or persons. The consumers' counsel also, on behalf of any persons not granted the credit, may bring a class action to recover such treble damages in the court of common pleas of any county in which is located an office of the company and, if feasible, in which is located a significant number of members of the class. Any treble damage recovery under this division does not, in any manner, diminish any other liability provided under sections 5117.01 to 5117.12 of the Revised Code. Clerical errors shall not be considered an offense or incur liability under this division.
(2) An action shall be brought by the consumers' counsel under division (E)(1) of this section only after the consumers' counsel has made a good faith attempt to dispose of the claim by settlement, including a good faith request for only such information in the possession of an energy company as is needed to determine the existence or extent of such a right of action.
(3) Nothing in division (E)(1) of this section shall be construed to prevent persons acting without the assistance of the consumers' counsel from bringing an action or class action under such division.
Effective Date: 07-01-2000