(A) This rule applies to all gas or
natural gas company bills, including those issued on behalf of any retail
natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator. Gas or natural gas companies
shall make dual billing and consolidated billing available to retail natural
gas suppliers and governmental aggregators.
(B) Bills issued by or for the gas or
natural gas company shall be accurate and rendered at monthly intervals and
shall contain clear and understandable form and language. Each bill shall
display all of the following information:
(1) The customer's
name, billing address, service address, account number, and, if applicable, the
retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator account
(2) The gas or natural
gas company's name and its payment address.
(3) The gas or natural
gas company's twenty-four hour, local or toll-free telephone number for
reporting service emergencies.
(4) A statement that
customers with bill questions or complaints should call or write the gas or
natural gas company first. The bill shall list the gas or natural gas
company's local or toll-free telephone number(s) and the address where a
question or complaint may be sent.
(5) The following
"If your complaint is not resolved after
you have called (name of utility), or for general utility information,
residential and business customers may contact the public utilities commission
of Ohio (PUCO) for assistance at 1-800-686-7826 (toll free) from eight a.m. to
five p.m. weekdays, or at http://www.puco.ohio.gov. Hearing or speech impaired
customers may contact the PUCO via 7-1-1 (Ohio relay service).
The Ohio consumers' counsel (OCC)
represents residential utility customers in matters before the PUCO. The OCC
can be contacted at 1-877-742-5622 (toll free) from eight a.m. to five p.m.
weekdays, or at http://www.pickocc.org."
(6) The identification of
the applicable rate schedule.
(7) The dates of the
service period covered by the bill.
(8) The billing
determinants, if applicable:
(a) Beginning meter reading(s).
(b) Ending meter reading(s).
(e) Fixed monthly customer charge.
(9) The rate for purchase
of the gas or natural gas commodity, expressed in dollars and cents per Mcf or
Ccf, reflecting either of the following:
(a) The gas cost recovery rate.
(b) The rate for the commodity service, if the company has been
granted an exemption under section 4929.04 of the Revised Code.
(10) The total charge
attributable to the rate for purchase of the gas or natural gas commodity,
expressed in dollars and cents, reflecting either of the
(a) The gas cost recovery rate.
(b) The rate for the commodity sales service, if the company has
been granted an exemption under section 4929.04 of the Revised
(11) If applicable, the
name of the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator in close
proximity to the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator
commodity charges, as well as a toll-free or local telephone number and address
for customer billing questions or complaints regarding retail natural gas
supplier or governmental aggregator charges.
(12) The total charge attributable to the
gross receipts tax, expressed in dollars and cents, and the gross receipts tax
rate. This requirement only applies to gas or natural gas companies that allow
for competitive retail natural gas services on their system.
(13) The following prominently displayed price to compare
statement on residential and small commercial customer bills, if the company
has a choice program:
"When shopping for a natural gas
supplier, it may be useful to compare supplier offers with the standard choice
offer (SCO) rate [or, if applicable, the gas cost recovery (GCR) rate]
available to eligible customers, which varies monthly based on the market price
of natural gas. Price represents one feature of any offer; there may be other
features which you consider of value. More information about the SCO [or GCR,
if applicable] and other suppliers offers is available at
energychoice.ohio.gov or by contacting the PUCO."
(14) The identification of estimated
(15) The due date for
(16) The total charges for the current
(17) Any late payment charge or gross and
net charges, if applicable.
(18) Any unpaid amounts due from previous
bills, customer credits, and total amounts due and payable.
(19) The current balance of the account,
if the residential customer is billed according to a budget plan.
(20) The current gas and electric charges
separately, if the customer is billed for gas and electric service on the same
(21) If applicable, each charge for a
service that is either nontariffed or nonregulated and, with regard to services
that are, the name and toll-free telephone number of each provider of
(22) Any nonrecurring
(23) Any payment(s) or credit(s) applied
to the account during the current billing period.
(24) If applicable, all the percentage of
income payment plan plus (PIPP plus) billing information:
(a) Current PIPP plus payment.
(b) PIPP plus payments defaulted (i.e., past due).
(c) Total PIPP plus amount due.
(d) Total account arrearage.
(e) Any other information required to implement the PIPP plus
program under Chapter 4901:1-18 of the Administrative Code.
(25) An explanation of codes and
(26) If a customer's selected retail
natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator bills separately for its
supplier charges, the supplier's name and a statement that such supplier
is responsible for billing the gas supplier charges and such supplier will
separately bill the customer for that component of natural gas
(27) The customer's historical
consumption during each of the preceding twelve months, with a total and
average consumption for such twelve-month period, if the company has a choice
(28) A statement, either appearing
directly on the bill, in a bill insert, or as a separate mailing, of any
payment arrangement agreed upon by the customer and the company.
(29) Other information required by Ohio
law or commission rule or order.
(C) All bills shall be due no earlier
than fourteen days from the date of the postmark on the bill. If the bill is
sent electronically, the bill shall not be due earlier than fourteen days from
the date of the electronic postmark on the bill. If the bill is mailed by means
that does not place a postmark on the bill (i.e., such as permit mailing), the
bill shall not be due earlier than fourteen days from the date on the actual
bill. All bills mailed without postmarks shall be mailed no later than the day
listed on the bill. For residential bills being issued from outside the state
of Ohio, the due date shall be no less than seventeen days from the date on the
(D) A gas or natural gas company
proposing any new bill format shall file its proposed bill format with the
commission for approval. If the commission does not act upon an application for
a new bill format approval within forty-five days, the proposed bill format
shall automatically be approved on the forty-sixth day.
(E) Payment methodologies and
(1) Each gas or natural
gas company shall make payment options available to customers.
(a) Payment options may include, but are not limited to:
cash, check, or money order payments in person to the company or a payment
agent; check or money order through the mail; check over the telephone; credit
card; or electronic money transfers.
(b) Each gas or natural gas company shall, upon request,
provide customers with an updated list of its available payment options and
descriptions thereof, and shall post the updated list on its
(c) The list of available payment options shall include the
name and street address/location of the nearest payment center and/or local
authorized agent, and all applicable fees for utilizing the various methods
available for payment of customer bills.
(d) The gas or natural gas company may not deny a customer
the use of one or more of the payment options solely because the
customer's account is in arrears.
(2) If a gas or natural
gas company accepts payments from customers via authorized agents, the company
shall provide signage to the authorized agent with its logo, or other
appropriate indicators, that affirm the payment location as an authorized agent
of the gas or natural gas company.
(3) Each gas or natural gas company shall
not charge more than two dollars for processing payments by cash, check, or
money order at authorized agent locations. Customers may not be charged for
processing their payments by check or money order through the mail. Customers
may be charged for processing their payments by check over the telephone, by
credit card, or electronic money transfers and such charges will be evaluated
by the commission.
(4) When a customer pays the bill at the
gas or natural gas company's business office or to an authorized agent of
the company, the payment, including any partial payment, shall be immediately
credited to the customer's account where feasible, and, in any event, be
credited to the customer's account as of the date received at the business
office or by the agent. When payment is received at the company's business
office through other means, such as by mail or on line, the payment shall be
posted immediately upon receipt to the customer's account, where feasible,
and in any event, be credited to the customer's account on the date
(5) No gas or natural gas company shall
disconnect service to a customer who pays the total amount due (or an amount
agreed upon between the gas or natural gas company and the customer to prevent
disconnection) on the account by the close of business on the disconnection
date listed on the disconnection notice. Payment received by an authorized
agent of the gas or natural gas company shall constitute receipt of payment by
(6) Each gas or natural gas company shall
establish a written policy for its personnel at its business offices and for
its authorized agents to handle billing disputes, requests for payment
arrangements, and for the reporting of payments made by customers due to their
receipt of a disconnection notice, in order to prevent disconnection of
service. If such matters cannot be handled by an agent authorized to accept
payments, the agent shall provide customers with the gas or natural gas
company's local or toll-free telephone number.
(7) When applicable, a
supplier agreement between a gas or natural gas company and a retail natural
gas supplier must provide that if the gas or natural gas company collects
customer payments on behalf of the retail natural gas supplier, then
customer's liability to the retail natural gas supplier ceases to the
extent of a payment made and applicable to the customers retail natural
gas supplier account.
(F) Any gas or natural gas company that
issues billing statements electronically shall comply with each of the
(1) A customer receiving
a billing statement electronically shall not be required to pay that bill
electronically or pay electronically any future bill statements. All payment
methods shall continue to be available to the customer.
(2) No enrollment or
usage fees shall be assessed to a customer who chooses to receive bills and/or
customer information electronically.
(3) The electronic
billing statement shall include all requirements listed in paragraph (B) of
(4) The gas or natural
gas company shall maintain a secure and encrypted internet location that is to
be accessed only by the customer of record after completing a secure
(5) Any fees to accept
electronic payments shall be clearly disclosed in payment
(6) Any payment made
electronically shall be treated as a payment made at the company business
office and shall be posted to the account in accordance with paragraph (E)(4)
of this rule. The time needed to post the payment to the account shall be
(G) Handling partial
bills. Each gas or natural gas company shall credit any customer's partial
payments in the following order:
(a) First, credit past due distribution and sales service
(b) Second, credit current distribution and sales service
(c) Third, credit past due and current nonregulated or
(2) Consolidated bills.
Partial payments applied towards any past due amount on a bill or the balance
due on a disconnection notice must be apportioned in the following
(a) First, credit past due gas or natural gas company
service and delivery charges.
(b) Second, credit current gas or natural gas company
service and delivery charges.
(c) Third, credit retail natural gas supplier or
governmental aggregator charges.
If the customer pays the entire amount past
due or more, any amount paid over the amount past due shall be applied first to
gas or natural gas company service and delivery charges.
(3) Budget billing payments and payments
in full of the undisputed amount related to a bona fide dispute do not
constitute partial payments. Payments made on accounts for which there is a
bona fide dispute shall be credited to the undisputed portion of the
(H) Any billing adjustments shall be made
according to paragraph (G) of rule 4901:1-13-04 of the Administrative
(I) Transfer of customer billing
(1) The nonbilling retail
natural gas supplier shall furnish the applicable required bill content
information to the billing party in a timely manner and in a mutually agreed
upon electronic format for inclusion in the consolidated customer
(2) The billing gas or
natural gas company shall include in the consolidated bill all required bill
content information furnished by the nonbilling retail natural gas
(3) An entity ordered by
the commission to provide any bill content, message, insert, or notice remains
responsible to provide such information to its customers, although the
information may be provided through the consolidated bill.
(J) Except in cases where the gas or
natural gas company is engaging in a purchase of receivables program, when a
customer switches from a retail natural gas supplier, the gas or natural gas
company shall identify for the customer and state on the bill the date after
which the billing party will no longer remit payments to the previous retail
natural gas supplier and include any outstanding balance due the previous
retail natural gas supplier.