PUC's Draft Rules Would Limit Residential Utility Consolidated Billing To Including Only Supplier's Commodity Charge
Draft Addresses Contract Portability
PUC Proposes Allowing Customers To Place Switch Block On Accounts; Would Add Price To Compare Statement To Bills
December 18, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Updated: 4:10 p.m.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has issued a written order with the draft rules
In addition to the provisions first noted in our original story below, the draft rules would modify Ohio Adm.Code 4901:1-13-11 to provide that residential utility bills may only contain charges for the natural gas commodity and tariffed distribution service.
Specifically, the draft rule provision, applicable to utility bills, would state, "Natural gas residential bills are to contain only charges that are either a natural gas or
competitive retail natural gas commodity charge or an approved tariffed distribution charge or
Concerning the proposed switch block mechanism first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com in our original story below, the written order says of the proposal, "Ohio Adm.Code 4901:1-13-12 would be amended to permit a customer to
request that a retail natural gas supplier block be placed on the customer’s
The specific draft rule provision states, "Each gas or natural gas company will allow any customer to request a retail natural gas
supplier block be placed on the customer’s account. The block will prevent the customer’s
commodity service provider from being switched without the customer’s authorization (via
customer provided code or pin number) to the gas or natural gas company. The release will be
provided to the gas or natural gas company from the customer or other authorized person on
Utilities would also be required to inform customers of the ability to block a competitive switch in various information provided to customers
Concerning the proposed requirement that a Price to Compare statement be included on utility bills, the draft rule would require that utility bills shall include the following price to compare statement:
"In order for you to save money by selecting a competitive retail natural gas provider,
your price to compare, which is the standard choice offer (SCO) rate or the gas cost
recovery (GCR) rate, is (dollar amount per Mcf) for this billing month. The SCO rate or
GCR rate is approved by the public utilities commission." [sic]
Under the draft, utility bills would also have to include, "A prominently displayed notice of the commission’s energy choice
website to view the gas or natural gas company’s standard choice offer (SCO) rate or gas
cost recovery (GCR) rate and other CRNGS rate offers[.]"
The draft also addresses contract portability
The draft states, "Any gas or natural gas company that provides for competitive retail natural gas service
contract portability between premises will advise a customer at the time of a move request that
the customer’s natural gas supply is currently served by (the name of the supplier) and that the
current supplier will transfer to the customer’s new premise under the same terms and
conditions. The gas or natural gas company will also advise the customer of its choice program
and the commission’s energy choice website. Account numbers will be transferred to
competitive retail natural gas suppliers as part of operational need once notification is provided
"Contract portability" would be defined as the ability of a gas or natural gas company to allow a retail
natural gas supplier to maintain contracts with customers that move to another address within
the gas or natural gas company’s service territory.
Utilities would be required to inform customers of contract portability as part of various information provided to customers
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio voted to issue for comment draft revisions to the minimum gas service standards at Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 4901:1-13, with such changes including a switch block mechanism
A written copy of the draft rule changes was not immediately available
PUCO said in a news release that proposed rules from Staff would:
• "Allow customers to place a block on their account to prevent being switched to a different supplier without their consent"
• "Add a price to compare statement on customer bills and establish which charges may appear on customer bills. The price to compare is a tool to help customers compare the utilities’ default rate with offers from competitive retail natural gas suppliers."
This story will be updated once a written copy of the proposed rules are issued, check back for more details