CRES/CRNGS Rules Update
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently revised several rules regarding competitive retail electric and natural gas service (CRES and CRNGS). The rules become effective on Dec. 1, 2014. Although the rules listed below are highlights of the updates, this list is not all inclusive. It is important to review each updated chapter for additional amendments. Chapters 4901:1-21 and 24, and 4901:1-27 through 34 were updated.
- CRES and CRNGS companies applying for certification are able to file specified financial exhibits under seal, which will now be automatically protected for six years. (4901:1-24-08 and 4901:1-27-08)
- The requirement to file a new application remains for companies that fail to file a renewal application before their certificate expires. However, the companies may request, no later than 60 days after the certificate’s expiration date, to extend their previous certificate while the Commission reviews their new application. (4901:1-24-04 and 4901:1-27-04)
- Terms and conditions may now be provided to customers in an electronic format sent to an email address, provided that certain conditions are met including, in part, that the customer has consented to receive the terms and conditions electronically, the terms and conditions are sent at the time of the sale and the customer is offered an unsigned paper copy. (4901:1-21-06(D) and 4901:1-29-06(D))
- CRES and CRNGS providers are able to satisfy their retention policy with electronically stored copies of records. ((4901:1-21-11) and (4901:1-29-10))
- CRES and CRNGS marketers engaging in direct solicitation to residential customers must display photo identification, which must be preapproved by the PUCO (4901:1-21-05(C)(7) and 4901:1-29-05(E)(4)); must comply with all applicable laws and ordinances in a customer’s jurisdiction (4901:1-21-05(C)(11) and 4901:1-29-05(E)(2)); must perform criminal background checks on all agents engaged in door-to-door marketing (4901:1-21-05(D) and 4901:1-29-05(E)(1)); shall not conduct door-to-door solicitation outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (4901:1-21-05(E) and 4901:1-29-05(E)(2)); and must provide for independent third-party-verification to ensure the validity of the enrollment. (4901:1-21-06(D)(1)(h) and 4901:1-29-06(D)(6)(b))
- CRES and CRNGS providers may unilaterally modify a contract to lower the price per kilowatt hour, or the price per one hundred cubic feet or one thousand cubic feet, respectively, as long as there are no other changes in the terms and conditions. (4901:1-21-12(B)(22) and 4901:1-29-11(U))
Please note that LAWriter may not have the most current chapters. To find the updated rules by chapter click here, then refer to the Word document in the right column of each chapter listed.
If you would like to know more about the PUCO or have utility-related questions or concerns, contact the PUCO at:
(800) 686-PUCO (7826)
(800) 686-1570 (TDD/TTY)
In Columbus only:
(614) 466-8180 (TDD/TTY)