PUCO Adopts Price Cap For Certain Sales Of Electricity
September 6, 2023 Email This Story Copyright 2010-23 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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In a complaint case (21-990-EL-CSS), the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) found Nationwide Energy Partners, LLC (NEP), a submetering company, is not a “public utility” under Ohio law in its operations at five apartment complexes in Ohio. Instead, the PUCO found NEP was operating as an agent of the landlord
However, PUCO ordered additional consumer protections of customers of submetering companies
"In its order, the Commission recognized tenants served by a landlord’s submetering arrangement are not afforded similar consumer protections as those who are direct customers of a public utility. As such, the Commission emphasized it has authority to set reasonable terms and conditions on utilities providing master meter service to ensure that users of that service, such as landlords, are providing it to the ultimate end user in a manner which is safe and consistent with the public interest," PUCO said in a news release
Notably, PUCO ordered AEP Ohio to file a new electric reseller tariff that places conditions on the resale of electric service from a landlord to a tenant that a landlord must follow in order to comply with the tariff
Most notable of the conditions is that, "The landlord’s charges for resale of electricity to each tenant must be the same or lower than the total bill for a similarly situated customer served by the applicable utility’s standard service offer."
The full conditions for resale by landlords are:
1. Notice must be provided within the landlord’s lease agreement stating that, by signing the lease, the tenant agrees to have the landlord secure and resell electricity to the tenant and that, under current law, the tenant is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Commission and loses the rights under law associated with being under the Commission’s jurisdiction. This language should be printed in the lease in all capital letters and in a minimum font larger than the remainder of the lease language.
2. The landlord’s charges for resale of electricity to each tenant must be the same or lower than the total bill for a similarly situated customer served by the applicable utility’s standard service offer.
3. When engaging in the disconnection of electric service to a tenant for nonpayment of charges related to electric usage, the landlord must follow the same disconnect standards applicable to landlords under Ohio Adm.Code Chapter 4901:1-18.
A cursory review of PUCO's order did not indicate that PUCO established a specific manner for a comparison to the SSO bill
Submetered customers generally cannot select a retail supplier. The customer at the master meter generally holds such choice, which is applied to all submetered accounts