130th Ohio General Assembly
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(124th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 9)



AN ACT
To amend sections 4719.01, 4905.10, 4905.302, 4911.18, 4929.01, 4929.02, 4929.14, 4935.03, 5727.01, and 5727.02 and to enact sections 4929.20 to 4929.30 of the Revised Code and to amend Section 37 of Am. Sub. H.B. 283 of the 123rd General Assembly, as subsequently amended, to require certain governmental aggregators and retail natural gas suppliers to be certified by the Public Utilities Commission; to authorize governmental aggregation for competitive retail natural gas services under specified circumstances; to authorize the Commission to require large natural gas companies to provide distribution service on a fully open, equal, and nondiscriminatory basis to its nonmercantile distribution customers upon Commission approval of an application of a retail gas supplier, or of a governmental aggregator within the area of a governmental aggregation; to consolidate consumer protection enforcement authority with respect to natural gas transactions; to authorize Project Temporary Heating Assistance for Warmth; and to make an appropriation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 4719.01, 4905.10, 4905.302, 4911.18, 4929.01, 4929.02, 4929.14, 4935.03, 5727.01, and 5727.02 be amended and sections 4929.20, 4929.21, 4929.22, 4929.23, 4929.24, 4929.25, 4929.26, 4929.27, 4929.28, 4929.29, and 4929.30 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 4719.01.  (A) As used in sections 4719.01 to 4719.18 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Affiliate" means a business entity that is owned by, operated by, controlled by, or under common control with another business entity.

(2) "Communication" means a written or oral notification or advertisement that meets both of the following criteria, as applicable:

(a) The notification or advertisement is transmitted by or on behalf of the seller of goods or services and by or through any printed, audio, video, cinematic, telephonic, or electronic means.

(b) In the case of a notification or advertisement other than by telephone, either of the following conditions is met:

(i) The notification or advertisement is followed by a telephone call from a telephone solicitor or salesperson.

(ii) The notification or advertisement invites a response by telephone, and, during the course of that response, a telephone solicitor or salesperson attempts to make or makes a sale of goods or services. As used in division (A)(2)(b)(ii) of this section, "invites a response by telephone" excludes the mere listing or inclusion of a telephone number in a notification or advertisement.

(3) "Gift, award, or prize" means anything of value that is offered or purportedly offered, or given or purportedly given by chance, at no cost to the receiver and with no obligation to purchase goods or services. As used in this division, "chance" includes a situation in which a person is guaranteed to receive an item and, at the time of the offer or purported offer, the telephone solicitor does not identify the specific item that the person will receive.

(4) "Goods or services" means any real property or any tangible or intangible personal property, or services of any kind provided or offered to a person. "Goods or services" includes, but is not limited to, advertising; labor performed for the benefit of a person; personal property intended to be attached to or installed in any real property, regardless of whether it is so attached or installed; timeshare estates or licenses; and extended service contracts.

(5) "Purchaser" means a person that is solicited to become or does become financially obligated as a result of a telephone solicitation.

(6) "Salesperson" means an individual who is employed, appointed, or authorized by a telephone solicitor to make telephone solicitations but does not mean any of the following:

(a) An individual who comes within one of the exemptions in division (B) of this section;

(b) An individual employed, appointed, or authorized by a person who comes within one of the exemptions in division (B) of this section;

(c) An individual under a written contract with a person who comes within one of the exemptions in division (B) of this section, if liability for all transactions with purchasers is assumed by the person so exempted.

(7) "Telephone solicitation" means a communication to a person that meets both of the following criteria:

(a) The communication is initiated by or on behalf of a telephone solicitor or by a salesperson.

(b) The communication either represents a price or the quality or availability of goods or services or is used to induce the person to purchase goods or services, including, but not limited to, inducement through the offering of a gift, award, or prize.

(8) "Telephone solicitor" means a person that engages in telephone solicitation directly or through one or more salespersons either from a location in this state, or from a location outside this state to persons in this state. "Telephone solicitor" includes, but is not limited to, any such person that is an owner, operator, officer, or director of, partner in, or other individual engaged in the management activities of, a business.

(B) A telephone solicitor is exempt from the provisions of sections 4719.02 to 4719.18 and section 4719.99 of the Revised Code if the telephone solicitor is any one of the following:

(1) A person engaging in a telephone solicitation that is a one-time or infrequent transaction not done in the course of a pattern of repeated transactions of a like nature;

(2) A person engaged in telephone solicitation solely for religious or political purposes; a charitable organization, fund-raising counsel, or professional solicitor in compliance with the registration and reporting requirements of Chapter 1716. of the Revised Code; or any person or other entity exempt under section 1716.03 of the Revised Code from filing a registration statement under section 1716.02 of the Revised Code;

(3) A person, making a telephone solicitation involving a home solicitation sale as defined in section 1345.21 of the Revised Code, that makes the sales presentation and completes the sale at a later, face-to-face meeting between the seller and the purchaser rather than during the telephone solicitation. However, if the person, following the telephone solicitation, causes another person to collect the payment of any money, this exemption does not apply.

(4) A licensed securities, commodities, or investment broker, dealer, investment advisor, or associated person when making a telephone solicitation within the scope of the person's license. As used in division (B)(4) of this section, "licensed securities, commodities, or investment broker, dealer, investment advisor, or associated person" means a person subject to licensure or registration as such by the securities and exchange commission; the National Association of Securities Dealers or other self-regulatory organization, as defined by 15 U.S.C.A. 78c; by the division of securities under Chapter 1707. of the Revised Code; or by an official or agency of any other state of the United States.

(5)(a) A person primarily engaged in soliciting the sale of a newspaper of general circulation;

(b) As used in division (B)(5)(a) of this section, "newspaper of general circulation" includes, but is not limited to, both of the following:

(i) A newspaper that is a daily law journal designated as an official publisher of court calendars pursuant to section 2701.09 of the Revised Code;

(ii) A newspaper or publication that has at least twenty-five per cent editorial, non-advertising content, exclusive of inserts, measured relative to total publication space, and an audited circulation to at least fifty per cent of the households in the newspaper's retail trade zone as defined by the audit.

(6)(a) An issuer, or its subsidiary, that has a class of securities to which all of the following apply:

(i) The class of securities is subject to section 12 of the "Securities Exchange Act of 1934," 15 U.S.C.A. 78l, and is registered or is exempt from registration under 15 U.S.C.A. 78l(g)(2)(A), (B), (C), (E), (F), (G), or (H);

(ii) The class of securities is listed on the New York stock exchange, the American stock exchange, or the NASDAQ national market system;

(iii) The class of securities is a reported security as defined in 17 C.F.R. 240.11Aa3-1(a)(4).

(b) An issuer, or its subsidiary, that formerly had a class of securities that met the criteria set forth in division (B)(6)(a) of this section if the issuer, or its subsidiary, has a net worth in excess of one hundred million dollars, files or its parent files with the securities and exchange commission an S.E.C. form 10-K, and has continued in substantially the same business since it had a class of securities that met the criteria in division (B)(6)(a) of this section. As used in division (B)(6)(b) of this section, "issuer" and "subsidiary" include the successor to an issuer or subsidiary.

(7) A person soliciting a transaction regulated by the commodity futures trading commission, if the person is registered or temporarily registered for that activity with the commission under 7 U.S.C.A. 1 et. seq. and the registration or temporary registration has not expired or been suspended or revoked;

(8) A person soliciting the sale of any book, record, audio tape, compact disc, or video, if the person allows the purchaser to review the merchandise for at least seven days and provides a full refund within thirty days to a purchaser who returns the merchandise or if the person solicits the sale on behalf of a membership club operating in compliance with regulations adopted by the federal trade commission in 16 C.F.R. 425;

(9) A supervised financial institution or its subsidiary. As used in division (B)(9) of this section, "supervised financial institution" means a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, savings bank, credit union, industrial loan company, consumer finance lender, commercial finance lender, or institution described in section 2(c)(2)(F) of the "Bank Holding Company Act of 1956," 12 U.S.C.A. 1841(c)(2)(F), as amended, supervised by an official or agency of the United States, this state, or any other state of the United States; or a licensee or registrant under sections 1321.01 to 1321.19, 1321.51 to 1321.60, or 1321.71 to 1321.83 of the Revised Code.

(10)(a) An insurance company, association, or other organization that is licensed or authorized to conduct business in this state by the superintendent of insurance pursuant to Title XXXIX of the Revised Code or Chapter 1751. of the Revised Code, when soliciting within the scope of its license or authorization.

(b) A licensed insurance broker, agent, or solicitor when soliciting within the scope of the person's license. As used in division (B)(10)(b) of this section, "licensed insurance broker, agent, or solicitor" means any person licensed as an insurance broker, agent, or solicitor by the superintendent of insurance pursuant to Title XXXIX of the Revised Code.

(11) A person soliciting the sale of services provided by a cable television system operating under authority of a governmental franchise or permit;

(12) A person soliciting a business-to-business sale under which any of the following conditions are met:

(a) The telephone solicitor has been operating continuously for at least three years under the same business name under which it solicits purchasers, and at least fifty-one per cent of its gross dollar volume of sales consists of repeat sales to existing customers to whom it has made sales under the same business name.

(b) The purchaser business intends to resell the goods purchased.

(c) The purchaser business intends to use the goods or services purchased in a recycling, reuse, manufacturing, or remanufacturing process.

(d) The telephone solicitor is a publisher of a periodical or of magazines distributed as controlled circulation publications as defined in division (CC) of section 5739.01 of the Revised Code and is soliciting sales of advertising, subscriptions, reprints, lists, information databases, conference participation or sponsorships, trade shows or media products related to the periodical or magazine, or other publishing services provided by the controlled circulation publication.

(13) A person that, not less often than once each year, publishes and delivers to potential purchasers a catalog that complies with both of the following:

(a) It includes all of the following:

(i) The business address of the seller;

(ii) A written description or illustration of each good or service offered for sale;

(iii) A clear and conspicuous disclosure of the sale price of each good or service; shipping, handling, and other charges; and return policy;

(b) One of the following applies:

(i) The catalog includes at least twenty-four pages of written material and illustrations, is distributed in more than one state, and has an annual postage-paid mail circulation of not less than two hundred fifty thousand households;

(ii) The catalog includes at least ten pages of written material or an equivalent amount of material in electronic form on the internet or an on-line computer service, the person does not solicit customers by telephone but solely receives telephone calls made in response to the catalog, and during the calls the person takes orders but does not engage in further solicitation of the purchaser. As used in division (B)(13)(b)(ii) of this section, "further solicitation" does not include providing the purchaser with information about, or attempting to sell, any other item in the catalog that prompted the purchaser's call or in a substantially similar catalog issued by the seller.

(14) A political subdivision or instrumentality of the United States, this state, or any state of the United States;

(15) A college or university or any other public or private institution of higher education in this state;

(16) A public utility, as defined in section 4905.02 of the Revised Code or a retail natural gas supplier as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, that if the utility or supplier is subject to regulation by the public utilities commission, or its the affiliate of the utility or supplier;

(17) A travel agency or tour promoter that is registered in compliance with section 1333.96 of the Revised Code when soliciting within the scope of the agency's or promoter's registration;

(18) A person that solicits sales through a television program or advertisement that is presented in the same market area no fewer than twenty days per month or offers for sale no fewer than ten distinct items of goods or services; and offers to the purchaser an unconditional right to return any good or service purchased within a period of at least seven days and to receive a full refund within thirty days after the purchaser returns the good or cancels the service;

(19)(a) A person that, for at least one year, has been operating a retail business under the same name as that used in connection with telephone solicitation and both of the following occur on a continuing basis:

(i) The person either displays goods and offers them for retail sale at the person's business premises or offers services for sale and provides them at the person's business premises.

(ii) At least fifty-one per cent of the person's gross dollar volume of retail sales involves purchases of goods or services at the person's business premises.

(b) An affiliate of a person that meets the requirements in division (B)(19)(a) of this section if the affiliate meets all of the following requirements:

(i) The affiliate has operated a retail business for a period of less than one year;

(ii) The affiliate either displays goods and offers them for retail sale at the affiliate's business premises or offers services for sale and provides them at the affiliate's business premises;

(iii) At least fifty-one per cent of the affiliate's gross dollar volume of retail sales involves purchases of goods or services at the affiliate's business premises.

(c) A person that, for a period of less than one year, has been operating a retail business in this state under the same name as that used in connection with telephone solicitation, as long as all of the following requirements are met:

(i) The person either displays goods and offers them for retail sale at the person's business premises or offers services for sale and provides them at the person's business premises;

(ii) The goods or services that are the subject of telephone solicitation are sold at the person's business premises, and at least sixty-five per cent of the person's gross dollar volume of retail sales involves purchases of goods or services at the person's business premises;

(iii) The person conducts all telephone solicitation activities according to sections 310.3, 310.4, and 310.5 of the telemarketing sales rule adopted by the federal trade commission in 16 C.F.R. part 310.

(20) A person who performs telephone solicitation sales services on behalf of other persons and to whom one of the following applies:

(a) The person has operated under the same ownership, control, and business name for at least five years, and the person receives at least seventy-five per cent of its gross revenues from written telephone solicitation contracts with persons who come within one of the exemptions in division (B) of this section.

(b) The person is an affiliate of one or more exempt persons and makes telephone solicitations on behalf of only the exempt persons of which it is an affiliate.

(c) The person makes telephone solicitations on behalf of only exempt persons, the person and each exempt person on whose behalf telephone solicitations are made have entered into a written contract that specifies the manner in which the telephone solicitations are to be conducted and that at a minimum requires compliance with the telemarketing sales rule adopted by the federal trade commission in 16 C.F.R. part 310, and the person conducts the telephone solicitations in the manner specified in the written contract.

(d) The person performs telephone solicitation for religious or political purposes, a charitable organization, a fund-raising council, or a professional solicitor in compliance with the registration and reporting requirements of Chapter 1716. of the Revised Code; and meets all of the following requirements:

(i) The person has operated under the same ownership, control, and business name for at least five years, and the person receives at least fifty-one per cent of its gross revenues from written telephone solicitation contracts with persons who come within the exemption in division (B)(2) of this section;

(ii) The person does not conduct a prize promotion or offer the sale of an investment opportunity; and

(iii) The person conducts all telephone solicitation activities according to sections 310.3, 310.4, and 310.5 of the telemarketing sales rules adopted by the federal trade commission in 16 C.F.R. part 310.

(21) A person that is a licensed real estate salesperson or broker under Chapter 4735. of the Revised Code when soliciting within the scope of the person's license;

(22)(a) Either of the following:

(i) A publisher that solicits the sale of the publisher's periodical or magazine of general, paid circulation, or a person that solicits a sale of that nature on behalf of a publisher under a written agreement directly between the publisher and the person.

(ii) A publisher that solicits the sale of the publisher's periodical or magazine of general, paid circulation, or a person that solicits a sale of that nature as authorized by a publisher under a written agreement directly with a publisher's clearinghouse provided the person is a resident of Ohio for more than three years and initiates all telephone solicitations from Ohio and the person conducts the solicitation and sale in compliance with 16 C.F.R. Part 310, as adopted by the federal trade commission.

(b) As used in division (B)(22) of this section, "periodical or magazine of general, paid circulation" excludes a periodical or magazine circulated only as part of a membership package or given as a free gift or prize from the publisher or person.

(23) A person that solicits the sale of food, as defined in section 3715.01 of the Revised Code, or the sale of products of horticulture, as defined in section 5739.01 of the Revised Code, if the person does not intend the solicitation to result in, or the solicitation actually does not result in, a sale that costs the purchaser an amount greater than five hundred dollars.

(24) A funeral director licensed pursuant to Chapter 4717. of the Revised Code when soliciting within the scope of that license, if both of the following apply:

(a) The solicitation and sale are conducted in compliance with 16 C.F.R. part 453, as adopted by the federal trade commission, and with sections 1107.33 and 1345.21 to 1345.28 of the Revised Code;

(b) The person provides to the purchaser of any preneed funeral contract a notice that clearly and conspicuously sets forth the cancellation rights specified in division (G) of section 1107.33 of the Revised Code, and retains a copy of the notice signed by the purchaser.

(25) A person, or affiliate thereof, licensed to sell or issue Ohio instruments designated as travelers checks pursuant to sections 1315.01 to 1315.11 of the Revised Code.

(26) A person that solicits sales from its previous purchasers and meets all of the following requirements:

(a) The solicitation is made under the same business name that was previously used to sell goods or services to the purchaser;

(b) The person has, for a period of not less than three years, operated a business under the same business name as that used in connection with telephone solicitation;

(c) The person does not conduct a prize promotion or offer the sale of an investment opportunity;

(d) The person conducts all telephone solicitation activities according to sections 310.3, 310.4, and 310.5 of the telemarketing sales rules adopted by the federal trade commission in 16 C.F.R. part 310;

(e) Neither the person nor any of its principals has been convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or has entered a plea of no contest for a felony or a theft offense as defined in sections 2901.02 and 2913.01 of the Revised Code or similar law of another state or of the United States;

(f) Neither the person nor any of its principals has had entered against them an injunction or a final judgment or order, including an agreed judgment or order, an assurance of voluntary compliance, or any similar instrument, in any civil or administrative action involving engaging in a pattern of corrupt practices, fraud, theft, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of property; the use of any untrue, deceptive, or misleading representation; or the use of any unfair, unlawful, deceptive, or unconscionable trade act or practice.

(27) An institution defined as a home health agency in section 3701.88 of the Revised Code, that conducts all telephone solicitation activities according to sections 310.3, 310.4, and 310.5 of the telemarketing sales rules adopted by the federal trade commission in 16 C.F.R. part 310, and engages in telephone solicitation only within the scope of the institution's certification, accreditation, contract with the department of aging, or status as a home health agency; and that meets one of the following requirements:

(a) The institution is certified as a provider of home health services under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. 301, as amended; and is registered with the department of health pursuant to division (B) of section 3701.88 of the Revised Code;

(b) The institution is accredited by either the joint commission on accreditation of health care organizations or the community health accreditation program;

(c) The institution is providing PASSPORT services under the direction of the Ohio department of aging under section 173.40 of the Revised Code;

(d) An affiliate of an institution that meets the requirements of division (B)(27)(a), (b), or (c) of this section when offering for sale substantially the same goods and services as those that are offered by the institution that meets the requirements of division (B)(27)(a), (b), or (c) of this section.

(28) A person licensed to provide a hospice care program by the department of health pursuant to section 3712.04 of the Revised Code when conducting telephone solicitations within the scope of the person's license and according to sections 310.3, 310.4, and 310.5 of the telemarketing sales rules adopted by the federal trade commission in 16 C.F.R. part 310.

Sec. 4905.10.  (A) For the sole purpose of maintaining and administering the public utilities commission and exercising its supervision and jurisdiction over the railroads and public utilities of the this state, an amount equivalent to the appropriation from the public utilities fund created under division (B) of this section to the public utilities commission for railroad and public utilities regulation in each fiscal year shall be apportioned among and assessed against each railroad and public utility within the this state by the commission by first computing an assessment as though it were to be made in proportion to the intrastate gross earnings or receipts, excluding earnings or receipts from sales to other public utilities for resale, of the railroad or public utility for the calendar year next preceding that in which the assessment is made. The commission may include in that first computation any amount of a railroad's or public utility's intrastate gross earnings or receipts that were underreported in a prior year. In addition to whatever penalties apply under the Revised Code to such underreporting, the commission shall assess the railroad or public utility interest at the rate stated in division (A) of section 1343.01 of the Revised Code. The commission shall deposit any interest so collected into the public utilities fund.

The final computation of the assessment shall consist of imposing upon each railroad and public utility whose assessment under the first computation would have been fifty dollars or less an assessment of fifty dollars and recomputing the assessments of the remaining railroads and public utilities by apportioning an amount equal to the appropriation to the public utilities commission for administration of the utilities division in each fiscal year less the total amount to be recovered from those paying the minimum assessment, in proportion to the intrastate gross earnings or receipts of the remaining railroads and public utilities for the calendar year next preceding that in which the assessments are made.

In the case of an assessment based on intrastate gross receipts under this section against a public utility that is an electric utility as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, or an electric services company, electric cooperative, or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4928.08 of the Revised Code, such receipts shall be those specified in the utility's, company's, cooperative's, or aggregator's most recent report of intrastate gross receipts and sales of kilowatt hours of electricity, filed with the commission pursuant to division (F) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code, and verified by the commission.

In the case of an assessment based on intrastate gross receipts under this section against a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, such receipts shall be those specified in the supplier's or aggregator's most recent report of intrastate gross receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas, filed with the commission pursuant to division (B) of section 4929.23 of the Revised Code, and verified by the commission. However, no such retail natural gas supplier or such governmental aggregator serving or proposing to serve customers of a particular natural gas company, as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, shall be assessed under this section until after the commission, pursuant to section 4905.26 or 4909.18 of the Revised Code, has removed from the base rates of the natural gas company the amount of assessment under this section that is attributable to the value of commodity sales service, as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, in the base rates paid by those customers of the company that do not purchase that service from the natural gas company.

(B) On or before the first day of October in each year, the commission shall notify each such railroad and public utility of the sum assessed against it, whereupon payment shall be made to the commission, which shall deposit it into the state treasury to the credit of the public utilities fund, which is hereby created. Any such amounts paid into the fund but not expended by the commission shall be credited ratably, after first deducting any deficits accumulated from prior years, by the commission to railroads and public utilities that pay more than the minimum assessment, according to the respective portions of such sum assessable against them for the ensuing calendar year. The assessments for such calendar year shall be reduced correspondingly.

(C) Within five days after the beginning of each fiscal year, the director of budget and management shall transfer from the general revenue fund to the public utilities fund an amount sufficient for maintaining and administering the public utilities commission and exercising its supervision and jurisdiction over the railroads and public utilities of the state during the first four months of the fiscal year. The director shall transfer the same amount back to the general revenue fund from the public utilities fund at such time as the director determines that the balance of the public utilities fund is sufficient to support the appropriations from the fund for the fiscal year. The director may transfer less than that amount if the director determines that the revenues of the public utilities fund during the fiscal year will be insufficient to support the appropriations from the fund for the fiscal year, in which case the amount not paid back to the general revenue fund shall be payable to the general revenue fund in future fiscal years.

(D) For the purpose of this section only, "public utility" includes, in:

(1) In addition to an electric utility as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, an electric services company, an electric cooperative, or a governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4928.08 of the Revised Code, to the extent of the company's, cooperative's, or aggregator's engagement in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply in this state of any retail electric service for which it must be so certified;

(2) In addition to a natural gas company as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, to the extent of the supplier's or aggregator's engagement in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply in this state of any competitive retail natural gas service for which it must be certified.

(E) Each public utilities commissioner shall receive a salary fixed at the level set by pay range 49 under schedule E-2 of section 124.152 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4905.302.  (A)(1) For the purpose of this section, the term "purchased gas adjustment clause" means:

(a) A provision in a schedule of a gas company or natural gas company that requires or allows the company to, without adherence to section 4909.18 or 4909.19 of the Revised Code, adjust the rates that it charges to its customers in accordance with any fluctuation in the cost to the company of obtaining the gas that it sells, that has occurred since the time any order has been issued by the public utilities commission establishing rates for the company pertaining to those customers;

(b) A provision in an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 743.26 or 4909.34 of the Revised Code or Section 4 of Article XVIII of the, Ohio Constitution, with respect to which a gas company or natural gas company is required or allowed to adjust the rates it charges under such an ordinance in accordance with any fluctuation in the cost to the company of obtaining the gas that it sells, that has occurred since the time of the adoption of the ordinance.

(2) For the purpose of this section, the term "special purchase" means any purchase of interstate natural gas, any purchase of liquified natural gas, and any purchase of synthetic natural gas from any source developed after the effective date of this section, April 27, 1976, provided that this purchase be of less than one hundred twenty days duration and the price for this purchase is not regulated by the federal power commission. For the purpose of this division, the expansion or enlargement of a synthetic natural gas plant existing at such date shall be considered a source so developed.

(3) For the purpose of this section, the term "residential customer" means urban, suburban, and rural patrons of gas companies and natural gas companies insofar as their needs for gas are limited to their residence. Such term includes those patrons whose rates have been set under an ordinance adopted pursuant to sections 743.26 and 4909.34 of the Revised Code or Section 4 of Article XVIII of the, Ohio Constitution.

(B) A purchased gas adjustment clause may not allow, and no such clause may be interpreted to allow, a gas company or natural gas company that has obtained an order from the public utilities commission permitting the company to curtail the service of any customer or class of customers other than residential customers, such order being based on the company's inability to secure a sufficient quantity of natural gas, to distribute the cost of any special purchase made subsequent to the effective date of such order, to the extent that such purchase decreases the level of curtailment of any such customer or class of customers, to any class of customers of the company that was not curtailed, to any class of residential customers of the company, or to any class of customers of the company whose level of curtailment was not decreased and whose consumption increased as a result of, or in connection with, the special purchase.

(C)(1) The commission shall promulgate a purchased gas adjustment rule, consistent with this section, that establishes a uniform purchased gas adjustment clause to be included in the schedule of gas companies and natural gas companies subject to the jurisdiction of the public utilities commission and that establishes investigative procedures and proceedings including, but not limited to, periodic reports, audits, and hearings.

(2) Unless otherwise ordered by the commission for good cause shown:

(a) The commission's staff shall conduct any audit or other investigation of a natural gas company having fifteen thousand or fewer customers in this state that may be required under the purchased gas adjustment rule.

(b) Except as provided in section 4905.10 of the Revised Code, the commission shall not impose upon such company any fee, expense, or cost of such audit or other investigation or any related hearing under this section.

(3) Unless otherwise ordered by the commission for good cause shown either by an interested party or by the commission on its own motion, no natural gas company having fifteen thousand or fewer customers in this state shall be subject under the purchased gas adjustment rule to any audit or other investigation or any related hearing, other than a financial audit or, as necessary, any hearing related to a financial audit.

(4) In issuing an order under division (C)(2) or (3) of this section, the commission shall file a written opinion setting forth the reasons showing good cause under such division and the specific matters to be audited, investigated, or subjected to hearing. Nothing in division (C)(2) or (3) of this section relieves such a natural gas company from the duty to file such information as the commission may require under the rule for the purpose of showing that a company has charged its customers accurately for the cost of gas obtained.

(D) Nothing in this section or any other provision of law shall be construed to mean that the commission, in the event of any cost distribution allowed under this section, may issue an order pursuant to which the prudent and reasonable cost of gas to a gas company or natural gas company of any special purchase may not be recovered by the company. For the purpose of this division, such cost of gas neither includes any applicable franchise taxes nor the ordinary losses of gas experienced by the company in the process of transmission and distribution.

(E) The commission shall not at any time prevent or restrain such costs as are distributable under this section from being so distributed, unless the commission has reason to believe that an arithmetic or accounting inaccuracy exists with respect to such a distribution or that the company has not accurately represented the amount of the cost of a special purchase, or has followed imprudent or unreasonable procurement policies and practices, has made errors in the estimation of cubic feet sold, or has employed such other practices, policies, or factors as the commission considers inappropriate.

(F) The cost of natural gas under this section shall not include any cost recovered by a natural gas company pursuant to section 4929.25 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4911.18.  (A) For the sole purpose of maintaining and administering the office of the consumers' counsel and exercising the powers of the consumers' counsel under this chapter, an amount equal to the appropriation to the office of the consumers' counsel in each fiscal year shall be apportioned among and assessed against each public utility within the this state, as defined in section 4911.01 of the Revised Code, by first computing an assessment as though it were to be made in proportion to the intrastate gross earnings or receipts of the public utility for the calendar year next preceding that in which the assessment is made, excluding earnings or receipts from sales to other public utilities for resale. The office may include in that first computation any amount of a public utility's intrastate gross earnings or receipts underreported in a prior year. In addition to whatever penalties apply under the Revised Code to such underreporting, the office shall assess the public utility interest at the rate stated in division (A) of section 1343.01 of the Revised Code. The office shall deposit any interest so collected into the consumers' counsel operating fund.

The final computation of the assessment shall consist of imposing upon each public utility whose assessment under the first computation would have been fifty dollars or less an assessment of fifty dollars and recomputing the assessment of the remaining companies by apportioning an amount equal to the appropriation to the office of consumers' counsel in each fiscal year less the total amount to be recovered from those paying the minimum assessment, in proportion to the intrastate gross earnings or receipts of the remaining companies for the calendar year next preceding that in which the assessments are made, excluding earnings or receipts from sales to other public utilities for resale.

In the case of an assessment based on intrastate gross receipts under this section against a public utility that is an electric utility as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, or an electric services company, electric cooperative, or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4928.08 of the Revised Code, such receipts shall be those specified in the utility's, company's, cooperative's, or aggregator's most recent report of intrastate gross receipts and sales of kilowatt hours of electricity, filed with the public utilities commission pursuant to division (F) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code, and verified by the commission.

In the case of an assessment based on intrastate gross receipts under this section against a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, such receipts shall be those specified in the supplier's or aggregator's most recent report of intrastate gross receipts and sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas, filed with the commission pursuant to division (B) of section 4929.23 of the Revised Code, and verified by the commission. However, no such retail natural gas supplier or such governmental aggregator serving or proposing to serve customers of a particular natural gas company, as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, shall be assessed under this section until after the commission, pursuant to section 4905.26 or 4909.18 of the Revised Code, has removed from the base rates of the natural gas company the amount of assessment under this section that is attributable to the value of commodity sales service, as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, in the base rates paid by those customers of the company that do not purchase that service from the natural gas company.

(B) On or before the first day of October in each year, the office of consumers' counsel shall notify each public utility of the sum assessed against it, whereupon payment shall be made to the counsel, who shall deposit it into the state treasury to the credit of the consumers' counsel operating fund, which is hereby created. Any such amounts paid into the fund but not expended by the office shall be credited ratably by the office to the public utilities that pay more than the minimum assessment, according to the respective portions of such sum assessable against them for the ensuing calendar year, after first deducting any deficits accumulated from prior years. The assessments for such calendar year shall be reduced correspondingly.

(C) Within five days after the beginning of each fiscal year, the director of budget and management shall transfer from the general revenue fund to the consumers' counsel operating fund an amount sufficient for maintaining and administering the office of the consumers' counsel and exercising the powers of the consumers' counsel under this chapter during the first four months of the fiscal year. Not later than the thirty-first day of December of the fiscal year, the same amount shall be transferred back to the general revenue fund from the consumers' counsel operating fund.

(D) As used in this section, "public utility" includes, in:

(1) In addition to an electric utility as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, an electric services company, an electric cooperative, or a governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4928.08 of the Revised Code, to the extent of the company's, cooperative's, or aggregator's engagement in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply in this state of any retail electric service for which it must be so certified;

(2) In addition to a natural gas company as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, to the extent of the supplier's or aggregator's engagement in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply in this state of any competitive retail natural gas service for which it must be certified.

Sec. 4929.01.  As used in this chapter:

(A) "Alternative rate plan" means a method, alternate to the method of section 4909.15 of the Revised Code, for establishing rates and charges, under which rates and charges may be established for a commodity sales service or ancillary service that is not exempt pursuant to section 4929.04 of the Revised Code or for a distribution service. Alternative rate plans may include, but are not limited to, methods that provide adequate and reliable natural gas services and goods in this state; minimize the costs and time expended in the regulatory process; tend to assess the costs of any natural gas service or goods to the entity, service, or goods that cause such costs to be incurred; afford rate stability; promote and reward efficiency, quality of service, or cost containment by a natural gas company; or provide sufficient flexibility and incentives to the natural gas industry to achieve high quality, technologically advanced, and readily available natural gas services and goods at just and reasonable rates and charges. Alternative rate plans also may include, but are not limited to, automatic adjustments based on a specified index or changes in a specified cost or costs.

(B) "Ancillary service" means a service that is ancillary to the receipt or delivery of natural gas to consumers, including, but not limited to, storage, pooling, balancing, and transmission.

(C) "Commodity sales service" means the sale of natural gas to consumers, exclusive of any distribution or ancillary service.

(D) "Comparable service" means any regulated service or goods whose availability, quality, price, terms, and conditions are the same as or better than those of the services or goods that the natural gas company provides to a person with which it is affiliated or which it controls, or, as to any consumer, that the natural gas company offers to that consumer as part of a bundled service that includes both regulated and exempt services or goods.

(E) "Consumer" means any person or association of persons purchasing, delivering, storing, or transporting, or seeking to purchase, deliver, store, or transport, natural gas, including industrial consumers, commercial consumers, and residential consumers, but not including natural gas companies.

(F) "Distribution service" means the delivery of natural gas to a consumer at the consumer's facilities, by and through the instrumentalities and facilities of a natural gas company, regardless of the party having title to the natural gas.

(G) "Natural gas company" means a natural gas company, as defined in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, that is a public utility as defined in section 4905.02 of the Revised Code and excludes a retail natural gas supplier.

(H) "Person," except as provided in division (N) of this section, has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code, and includes this state and any political subdivision, agency, or other instrumentality of this state and includes the United States and any agency or other instrumentality of the United States.

(I) "Billing or collection agent" means a fully independent agent, not affiliated with or otherwise controlled by a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, to the extent that the agent is under contract with such supplier or aggregator solely to provide billing and collection for competitive retail natural gas service on behalf of the supplier or aggregator.

(J) "Competitive retail natural gas service" means any retail natural gas service that may be competitively offered to consumers in this state as a result of revised schedules approved under division (C) of section 4929.29 of the Revised Code, a rule or order adopted or issued by the public utilities commission under Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code, or an exemption granted by the commission under sections 4929.04 to 4929.08 of the Revised Code.

(K) "Governmental aggregator" means either of the following:

(1) A legislative authority of a municipal corporation, a board of township trustees, or a board of county commissioners acting exclusively under section 4929.26 or 4929.27 of the Revised Code as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service;

(2) A municipal corporation acting exclusively under Section 4 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, as an aggregator for the provision of competitive retail natural gas service.

(L)(1) "Mercantile customer" means a customer that consumes, other than for residential use, more than five hundred thousand cubic feet of natural gas per year at a single location within this state or consumes natural gas, other than for residential use, as part of an undertaking having more than three locations within or outside of this state. "Mercantile customer" excludes a customer for which a declaration under division (L)(2) of this section is in effect pursuant to that division.

(2) A not-for-profit customer that consumes, other than for residential use, more than five hundred thousand cubic feet of natural gas per year at a single location within this state or consumes natural gas, other than for residential use, as part of an undertaking having more than three locations within or outside this state may file a declaration under division (L)(2) of this section with the public utilities commission. The declaration shall take effect upon the date of filing, and by virtue of the declaration, the customer is not a mercantile customer for the purposes of this section and sections 4929.20 to 4929.29 of the Revised Code or the purposes of a governmental natural gas aggregation or arrangement or other contract entered into after the declaration's effective date for the supply or arranging of the supply of natural gas to the customer to a location within this state. The customer may file a rescission of the declaration with the commission at any time. The rescission shall not affect any governmental natural gas aggregation or arrangement or other contract entered into by the customer prior to the date of the filing of the rescission and shall have effect only with respect to any subsequent such aggregation or arrangement or other contract. The commission shall prescribe rules under section 4929.10 of the Revised Code specifying the form of the declaration or a rescission and procedures by which a declaration or rescission may be filed.

(M) "Retail natural gas service" means commodity sales service, ancillary service, natural gas aggregation service, natural gas marketing service, or natural gas brokerage service.

(N) "Retail natural gas supplier" means any person, as defined in section 1.59 of the Revised Code, that is engaged on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply of a competitive retail natural gas service to consumers in this state that are not mercantile customers. "Retail natural gas supplier" includes a marketer, broker, or aggregator, but excludes a natural gas company, a governmental aggregator as defined in division (K)(1) or (2) of this section, an entity described in division (B) or (C) of section 4905.02 of the Revised Code, or a billing or collection agent, and excludes a producer or gatherer of gas to the extent such producer or gatherer is not a natural gas company under section 4905.03 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4929.02.  (A) It is the policy of this state to, throughout this state:

(1) Promote the availability to consumers of adequate, reliable, and reasonably priced natural gas services and goods;

(2) Promote the availability of unbundled and comparable natural gas services and goods that provide wholesale and retail consumers with the supplier, price, terms, conditions, and quality options they elect to meet their respective needs;

(3) Promote diversity of natural gas supplies and suppliers, by giving consumers effective choices over the selection of those supplies and suppliers;

(4) Encourage innovation and market access for cost-effective supply- and demand-side natural gas services and goods;

(5) Encourage cost-effective and efficient access to information regarding the operation of the distribution systems of natural gas companies in order to promote effective customer choice of natural gas services and goods;

(6) Recognize the continuing emergence of competitive natural gas markets through the development and implementation of flexible regulatory treatment;

(7) Promote an expeditious transition to the provision of natural gas services and goods in a manner that achieves effective competition and transactions between willing buyers and willing sellers to reduce or eliminate the need for regulation of natural gas services and goods under Chapters 4905. and 4909. of the Revised Code;

(8) Promote effective competition in the provision of natural gas services and goods by avoiding subsidies flowing to or from regulated natural gas services and goods;

(9) Ensure that the risks and rewards of a natural gas company's offering of nonjurisdictional and exempt services and goods do not affect the rates, prices, terms, or conditions of nonexempt, regulated services and goods of a natural gas company and do not affect the financial capability of a natural gas company to comply with the policy of this state specified in this section;

(10) Facilitate the state's competitiveness in the global economy;

(11) Facilitate additional choices for the supply of natural gas for residential consumers, including aggregation.

(B) The public utilities commission shall follow the policy specified in this section in carrying out sections 4929.03 to 4929.10 4929.30 of the Revised Code.

(C) Nothing in Chapter 4929. of the Revised Code shall be construed to alter the public utilities commission's construction or application of division (A)(6) of section 4905.03 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4929.14.  (A) Subject to division (B) of this section, sections Sections 1345.01 to 1345.13 of the Revised Code shall apply to transactions between a natural gas company and its customers that involve natural gas services or goods that are exempt from or otherwise not subject to the jurisdiction of the public utilities commission pursuant to section 4929.03 to 4929.05 of the Revised Code.

(B) For purposes of investigating and enforcing division (A) of this section:

(1) The attorney general, except as provided in division (B)(2) of this section, shall have the responsibilities and powers set forth in Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code.

(2) With respect to consumer transactions described in division (A) of this section, the consumers' counsel shall have the investigatory and enforcement powers set forth in sections 1345.06 and 1345.07 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4929.20. (A) No governmental aggregator as defined in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code or no retail natural gas supplier shall provide a competitive retail natural gas service on or after thirteen months following the effective date of this section to a consumer in this state without first being certified by the public utilities commission regarding its managerial, technical, and financial capability to provide that service and providing reasonable financial assurances sufficient to protect customers and natural gas companies from default. In addition, a retail natural gas supplier may be required to provide a performance bond sufficient to protect customers and natural gas companies from default. Certification shall be granted pursuant to procedures and standards the commission shall prescribe in accordance with rules adopted under section 4929.10 of the Revised Code. However, certification or certification renewal shall be deemed approved thirty days after the filing of an application with the commission unless the commission suspends that approval for good cause shown. In the case of such a suspension, the commission shall act to approve or deny certification or certification renewal to the applicant not later than ninety days after the date of the suspension.

(B) Capability standards adopted in rules pursuant to division (A) of this section shall be sufficient to ensure compliance with section 4929.22 of the Revised Code and with the minimum service requirements established under section 4929.23 of the Revised Code. The standards shall allow flexibility for voluntary aggregation, to encourage market creativity in responding to consumer needs and demands. The rules shall include procedures for biennially renewing certification.

(C)(1) The commission may suspend, rescind, or conditionally rescind the certification of any retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator issued under this section if the commission determines, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, that the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator has failed to comply with any applicable certification standards prescribed in rules adopted pursuant to this section or section 4929.22 of the Revised Code.

(2) An affected natural gas company may file an application with the commission for approval of authority to recover in accordance with division (C)(2) of this section incremental costs reasonably and prudently incurred by the company in connection with the commission's continuation, suspension, rescission, or conditional rescission of a particular retail natural gas supplier's certification under division (C)(1) of this section. Upon the filing of such an application, the commission shall conduct an audit of such incremental costs as are specified in the application. Cost recovery shall be through a rider on the base rates of customers of the company for which there is a choice of supplier of commodity sales service as a result of revised schedules approved under division (C) of section 4929.29 of the Revised Code, a rule or order adopted or issued by the commission under Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code, or an exemption granted by the commission under sections 4929.04 to 4929.08 of the Revised Code. The rider shall take effect ninety days after the date of the application's filing unless the commission, based on the audit results and for good cause shown, sets the matter for hearing. After the hearing, the commission shall approve the application, and authorize such cost recovery rider effective on the date specified in the order, only for such incremental costs as the commission determines were reasonably and prudently incurred by the company in connection with the continuation, suspension, rescission, or conditional rescission of a retail natural gas supplier's certification under division (C)(1) of this section. Any proceeding under division (C)(2) of this section shall be governed by Chapter 4903. of the Revised Code.

(D) No natural gas company, on and after thirteen months following the effective date of this section, shall knowingly distribute natural gas, to a retail consumer in this state, for any governmental aggregator, as defined in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, or retail natural gas supplier, that has not been certified by the commission pursuant to this section.

Sec. 4929.21.  (A)(1) Beginning on the effective date of initial rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, no person shall operate in this state as a retail natural gas supplier, unless that person first does both of the following:

(a) Consents irrevocably to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state and service of process in this state, including, without limitation, service of summonses and subpoenas, for any civil or criminal proceeding arising out of or relating to such operation, by providing that irrevocable consent in accordance with division (A)(4) of this section;

(b) Designates an agent authorized to receive that service of process in this state, by filing with the public utilities commission a document designating that agent.

(2) Beginning on the effective date of initial rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, no person shall continue to operate as such retail natural gas supplier unless that person continues to consent to such jurisdiction and service of process in this state and continues to designate an agent as provided under this division, by refiling in accordance with division (A)(4) of this section the appropriate documents filed under division (A)(1) of this section or, as applicable, the appropriate amended documents filed under division (A)(3) of this section. Such refiling shall occur during the month of December of every fourth year after the initial filing of a document under division (A)(1) of this section.

(3) If the address of the person filing a document under division (A)(1) or (2) of this section changes, or if a person's agent or the address of the agent changes, from that listed on the most recently filed of such documents, the person shall file an amended document containing the new information.

(4) The consent and designation required by divisions (A)(1), (2), and (3) of this section shall be in writing, on forms prescribed by the commission. The original of each such document or amended document shall be legible and shall be filed with the commission, with a copy filed with the office of the consumers' counsel and with the attorney general's office.

(B) A person who enters this state pursuant to a summons, subpoena, or other form of process authorized by this section is not subject to arrest or service of process, whether civil or criminal, in connection with other matters that arose before the person's entrance into this state pursuant to such summons, subpoena, or other form of process.

(C) Divisions (A) and (B) of this section do not apply to any of the following:

(1) A corporation incorporated under the laws of this state that has appointed a statutory agent pursuant to section 1701.07 or 1702.06 of the Revised Code;

(2) A foreign corporation licensed to transact business in this state that has appointed a designated agent pursuant to section 1703.041 of the Revised Code;

(3) Any other person that is a resident of this state or that files consent to service of process and designates a statutory agent pursuant to other laws of this state.

Sec. 4929.22. For the protection of consumers in this state, the public utilities commission shall adopt rules under section 4929.10 of the Revised Code specifying the necessary minimum service requirements of a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code regarding the marketing, solicitation, sale, or provision, directly or through its billing and collection agent, of any competitive retail natural gas service for which it is subject to certification. Rules adopted under this section shall include additional consumer protections concerning all of the following:

(A) Contract disclosure. The rules shall include requirements that a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code do both of the following:

(1) Provide consumers with adequate, accurate, and understandable pricing and terms and conditions of service, including any switching fees, and with a document containing the terms and conditions of pricing and service before the consumer enters into the contract for service;

(2) Disclose the conditions under which a customer may rescind a contract without penalty.

(B) Service qualification and termination. The rules shall include a requirement that, before a consumer is eligible for service from a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, the consumer shall discharge, or enter into a plan to discharge, all existing arrearages owed to or being billed by the natural gas company from which the consumer presently is receiving service. The rules also shall provide for disclosure of the terms identifying how customers may switch or terminate service, including any required notice and any penalties.

(C) Minimum content of customer bills. The rules shall include all of the following requirements, which shall be standardized:

(1) Price disclosure and disclosures of total billing units for the billing period and historical annual usage;

(2) To the maximum extent practicable, separate listing of each service component to enable a customer to recalculate its bill for accuracy;

(3) Identification of the supplier of each service;

(4) Statement of where and how payment may be made and provision of a toll-free or local customer assistance and complaint number for the retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator, as well as a consumer assistance telephone number or numbers for state agencies, such as the commission, the office of the consumers' counsel, and the attorney general's office, with the available hours noted;

(5) Other than for the first billing after the effective date of initial rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, highlighting and clear explanation on each customer bill, for two consecutive billing periods, of any changes in the rates, terms, and conditions of service.

(D) Disconnection and service termination, including requirements with respect to master-metered buildings. The rules shall include policies and procedures that are consistent with sections 4933.12 and 4933.122 of the Revised Code and the commission's rules adopted under those sections, and that provide for all of the following:

(1) Coordination between suppliers for the purpose of maintaining service;

(2) The allocation of partial payments between suppliers when service components are jointly billed;

(3) A prohibition against switching, or authorizing the switching of, a customer's supplier of competitive retail natural gas service without the prior consent of the customer in accordance with appropriate confirmation practices, which may include independent, third-party verification procedures;

(4) A requirement of disclosure of the conditions under which a customer may rescind a decision to switch its supplier without penalty;

(5) Specification of any required notice and any penalty for early termination of contract.

(E) Minimum service quality, safety, and reliability.

(F) Customer information. The rules shall include requirements that a natural gas company make generic customer load pattern information available to a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator as defined in division (K)(1) or (2) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis, and make customer information available to a retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator as defined in division (K)(1) or (2) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis unless, as to customer information, the customer objects. The rules shall ensure that each natural gas company provide clear and frequent notice to its customers of the right to object and of applicable procedures. The rules shall establish the exact language that shall be used in all such notices. The rules also shall require that, upon the request of a governmental aggregator defined in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, solely for purposes of the disclosure required by division (D) of section 4929.26 of the Revised Code, or for purposes of a governmental aggregator defined in division (K)(2) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, a natural gas company or retail natural gas supplier must provide the governmental aggregator, in a timely manner and at such cost as the commission shall provide for in the rules, with the billing names and addresses of the customers of the company or supplier whose retail natural gas loads are to be included in the governmental aggregation.

(G) Ohio office. The rules shall require that a retail natural gas supplier maintain an office and an employee in this state.

Sec. 4929.23. (A) A retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code shall provide the public utilities commission with such information, regarding a competitive retail natural gas service for which it is subject to certification, as the commission considers necessary to carry out sections 4929.20 to 4929.24 of the Revised Code. The commission shall take such measures as it considers necessary to protect the confidentiality of any such information.

(B) The commission shall require each retail natural gas supplier or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code to file an annual report of such receipts and sales from the provision of those competitive retail natural gas services for which it is subject to certification. For the purpose of the reports, sales of hundred cubic feet of natural gas are deemed to occur at the meter of the retail customer.

Sec. 4929.24.  (A)(1) The public utilities commission has jurisdiction under section 4905.26 of the Revised Code, upon complaint of any person or complaint or initiative of the commission regarding the provision by a retail natural gas supplier subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code of any service for which it is subject to certification.

(2) The commission also has jurisdiction under section 4905.26 of the Revised Code, upon complaint of any person or complaint or initiative of the commission to determine whether a retail natural gas supplier subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code has violated or failed to comply with any provision of sections 4929.20 to 4929.23 of the Revised Code regarding a competitive retail natural gas service for which it is subject to certification or any rule or order adopted or issued by the commission for purposes of those sections.

(B) In addition to its authority under division (C)(1) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code and to any other remedies provided by law, the commission, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with section 4905.26 of the Revised Code, may do any of the following:

(1) Order rescission of a contract, or restitution to customers, in any complaint brought pursuant to division (A)(1) or (2) of this section;

(2) Order any remedy or forfeiture provided under sections 4905.54 to 4905.60 and 4905.64 of the Revised Code upon a finding under division (A)(2) of this section that the retail natural gas supplier subject to certification under section 4929.20 of the Revised Code has violated or failed to comply, regarding a competitive retail natural gas service for which it is subject to certification, with any provision of sections 4929.20 to 4929.23 of the Revised Code or any rule or order adopted or issued under those sections.

(C)(1) In addition to the authority conferred under section 4911.15 of the Revised Code, the consumers' counsel may file a complaint under division (A)(1) or (2) of this section on behalf of residential consumers in this state or appear before the commission as a representative of those consumers pursuant to any complaint filed under division (A)(1) or (2) of this section.

(2) In addition to the authority conferred under section 4911.19 of the Revised Code, the consumers' counsel, upon reasonable grounds, may file with the commission under section 4905.26 of the Revised Code a complaint for discovery if the recipient of an inquiry under section 4911.19 of the Revised Code fails to provide a response within the time specified in that section.

(D) The commission's jurisdiction with respect to a natural gas company under Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code extends to any violation of division (D) of section 4929.20 or any failure to comply with division (C) of section 4929.29 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4929.25.  (A) Upon the filing of an application by a natural gas company in such form and pursuant to such procedures as shall be prescribed by rule of the commission under section 4929.10 of the Revised Code for the purpose of this division, the commission shall determine the total allowable amount of capacity and commodity costs, and costs incidental thereto, of the company to be received as revenues under this division. Such amount shall be the just and reasonable costs of the company that the commission by order determines meet all of the following criteria:

(1) The costs were prudently incurred.

(2) The costs are legitimate, net, verifiable, and directly due to capacity and commodity obligations entered into by the natural gas company on behalf of consumers that take commodity sales service from other than the natural gas company.

(3) The costs are otherwise unrecoverable.

(4) The company would otherwise be entitled to an opportunity to recover those costs.

The commission shall not authorize such revenue opportunity for a company under this division without first setting the matter for hearing, giving notice of the hearing date to the company, and publishing notice of the hearing one time in a newspaper of general circulation in each county affected by the application. At the hearing, the company shall have the burden of demonstrating allowable costs under this division.

(B) Upon the issuance of an order under division (A) of this section determining any allowable capacity and commodity costs, and costs incidental thereto, of a natural gas company, the company shall file with the commission under section 4905.30 of the Revised Code revised schedules allowing the recovery of such costs as the commission authorized in the order, and containing such necessary and appropriate cost recovery mechanism or mechanisms as the commission prescribes in the order. The commission shall act promptly to approve such revised schedules as it determines comply with the order.

Sec. 4929.26.  (A)(1) The legislative authority of a municipal corporation may adopt an ordinance, or the board of township trustees of a township or the board of county commissioners of a county may adopt a resolution, under which, in accordance with this section and except as otherwise provided in division (A)(2) of this section, the legislative authority or board may aggregate automatically, subject to the opt-out requirements of division (D) of this section, competitive retail natural gas service for the retail natural gas loads that are located, respectively, within the municipal corporation, township, or unincorporated area of the county and for which there is a choice of supplier of that service as a result of revised schedules approved under division (C) of section 4929.29 of the Revised Code, a rule or order adopted or issued by the commission under Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code, or an exemption granted by the commission under sections 4929.04 to 4929.08 of the Revised Code. An ordinance or a resolution adopted under this section shall expressly state that it is adopted pursuant to the authority conferred by this section. The legislative authority or board also may exercise its authority under this section jointly with any other such legislative authority or board. For the purpose of the aggregation, the legislative authority or board may enter into service agreements to facilitate the sale and purchase of the service for the retail natural gas loads.

(2)(a) No aggregation under an ordinance or resolution adopted under division (A)(1) of this section shall include the retail natural gas load of any person that meets any of the following criteria:

(i) The person is both a distribution service customer and a mercantile customer on the date of commencement of service to the aggregated load, or the person becomes a distribution service customer after that date and also is a mercantile customer.

(ii) The person is supplied with commodity sales service pursuant to a contract with a retail natural gas supplier that is in effect on the effective date of the ordinance or resolution.

(iii) The person is supplied with commodity sales service as part of a retail natural gas load aggregation provided for pursuant to a rule or order adopted or issued by the commission under this chapter or Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code.

(b) Nothing in division (A)(2)(a) of this section precludes a governmental aggregation under this section from permitting the retail natural gas load of a person described in division (A)(2)(a) of this section from being included in the aggregation upon the expiration of any contract or aggregation as described in division (A)(2)(a)(ii) or (iii) of this section or upon the person no longer being a customer as described in division (A)(2)(a)(i) of this section or qualifying to be included in an aggregation described under division (A)(2)(a)(iii) of this section.

(B) An ordinance or resolution adopted under division (A) of this section shall direct the board of elections to submit the question of the authority to aggregate to the electors of the respective municipal corporation, township, or unincorporated area of a county at a special election on the day of the next primary or general election in the municipal corporation, township, or county. The legislative authority or board shall certify a copy of the ordinance or resolution to the board of elections not less than seventy-five days before the day of the special election. No ordinance or resolution adopted under division (A) of this section that provides for an election under this division shall take effect unless approved by a majority of the electors voting upon the ordinance or resolution at the election held pursuant to this division.

(C) Upon the applicable requisite authority under divisions (A) and (B) of this section, the legislative authority or board shall develop a plan of operation and governance for the aggregation program so authorized. Before adopting a plan under this division, the legislative authority or board shall hold at least two public hearings on the plan. Before the first hearing, the legislative authority or board shall publish notice of the hearings once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction. The notice shall summarize the plan and state the date, time, and location of each hearing.

(D) No legislative authority or board, pursuant to an ordinance or resolution under divisions (A) and (B) of this section, shall aggregate any retail natural gas load located within its jurisdiction unless it in advance clearly discloses to the person whose retail natural gas load is to be so aggregated that the person will be enrolled automatically in the aggregation and will remain so enrolled unless the person affirmatively elects by a stated procedure not to be so enrolled. The disclosure shall state prominently the rates, charges, and other terms and conditions of enrollment. The stated procedure shall allow any person enrolled in the aggregation the opportunity to opt out of the aggregation every two years, without paying a switching fee. Any such person that opts out of the aggregation pursuant to the stated procedure shall default to the natural gas company providing distribution service for the person's retail natural gas load, until the person chooses an alternative supplier.

(E)(1) With respect to a governmental aggregation for a municipal corporation that is authorized pursuant to divisions (A) to (D) of this section, resolutions may be proposed by initiative or referendum petitions in accordance with sections 731.28 to 731.41 of the Revised Code.

(2) With respect to a governmental aggregation for a township or the unincorporated area of a county, which aggregation is authorized pursuant to divisions (A) to (D) of this section, resolutions may be proposed by initiative or referendum petitions in accordance with sections 731.28 to 731.40 of the Revised Code, except that:

(a) The petitions shall be filed, respectively, with the township clerk or the board of county commissioners, who shall perform those duties imposed under those sections upon the city auditor or village clerk.

(b) The petitions shall contain the signatures of not less than ten per cent of the total number of electors in the township or the unincorporated area of the county, respectively, who voted for the office of governor at the preceding general election for that office in that area.

(F) A governmental aggregator under division (A) of this section is not a public utility engaging in the wholesale purchase and resale of natural gas, and provision of the aggregated service is not a wholesale utility transaction. A governmental aggregator shall be subject to supervision and regulation by the public utilities commission only to the extent of any competitive retail natural gas service it provides and commission authority under this chapter.

Sec. 4929.27.  (A)(1) The legislative authority of a municipal corporation may adopt an ordinance, or the board of township trustees of a township or the board of county commissioners of a county may adopt a resolution, under which, in accordance with this section and except as otherwise provided in division (A)(2) of this section, the legislative authority or board may aggregate, with the prior consent of each person whose retail natural gas load is proposed to be aggregated, competitive retail natural gas service for any such retail natural gas load that is located, respectively, within the municipal corporation, township, or unincorporated area of the county and for which there is a choice of supplier of that service as a result of revised schedules approved under division (C) of section 4929.29 of the Revised Code, a rule or order adopted or issued by the commission under Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code, or an exemption granted by the commission under sections 4929.04 to 4929.08 of the Revised Code. An ordinance or a resolution adopted under this section shall expressly state that it is adopted pursuant to the authority conferred by this section. The legislative authority or board also may exercise such authority jointly with any other such legislative authority or board. For the purpose of the aggregation, the legislative authority or board may enter into service agreements to facilitate the sale and purchase of the service for the retail natural gas loads.

(2)(a) No aggregation under an ordinance or resolution adopted under division (A)(1) of this section shall include the retail natural gas load of any person that meets either of the following criteria:

(i) The person is supplied with commodity sales service pursuant to a contract with a retail natural gas supplier that is in effect on the effective date of the ordinance or resolution.

(ii) The person is supplied with commodity sales service as part of a retail natural gas load aggregation provided for pursuant to a rule or order adopted or issued by the commission under this chapter or Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code.

(b) Nothing in division (A)(2)(a) of this section precludes a governmental aggregation under this section from permitting the retail natural gas load of a person described in division (A)(2)(a) of this section from being included in the aggregation upon the expiration of any contract or aggregation as described in division (A)(2)(a)(i) or (ii) of this section or upon the person no longer qualifying to be included in such an aggregation.

(B) Upon the applicable requisite authority under division (A) of this section, the legislative authority or board shall develop a plan of operation and governance for the aggregation program so authorized. Before adopting a plan under this division, the legislative authority or board shall hold at least two public hearings on the plan. Before the first hearing, the legislative authority or board shall publish notice of the hearings once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction. The notice shall summarize the plan and state the date, time, and location of each hearing.

(C)(1) With respect to a governmental aggregation for a municipal corporation that is authorized pursuant to division (A) of this section, resolutions may be proposed by initiative or referendum petitions in accordance with sections 731.28 to 731.41 of the Revised Code.

(2) With respect to a governmental aggregation for a township or the unincorporated area of a county, which aggregation is authorized pursuant to division (A) of this section, resolutions may be proposed by initiative or referendum petitions in accordance with sections 731.28 to 731.40 of the Revised Code, except that:

(a) The petitions shall be filed, respectively, with the township clerk or the board of county commissioners, who shall perform those duties imposed under those sections upon the city auditor or village clerk.

(b) The petitions shall contain the signatures of not less than ten per cent of the total number of electors in the township or the unincorporated area of the county, respectively, who voted for the office of governor at the preceding general election for that office in that area.

(D) A governmental aggregator under division (A) of this section is not a public utility engaging in the wholesale purchase and resale of natural gas, and provision of the aggregated service is not a wholesale utility transaction. A governmental aggregator shall be subject to supervision and regulation by the public utilities commission only to the extent of any competitive retail natural gas service it provides and commission authority under this chapter.

Sec. 4929.28. Any governmental aggregator as defined in division (K)(1) or (2) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code or retail natural gas supplier shall act in good faith with a natural gas company to resolve any issues regarding an aggregation prior to the date of commencement of service to the aggregated load. In the event agreement cannot be reached, either party may petition the public utilities commission to resolve the issues.

Sec. 4929.29. (A)(1) The legislative authority of a municipal corporation described in division (K)(1) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, the board of township trustees of a township, or the board of county commissioners of a county may petition the public utilities commission to require a natural gas company with fifteen thousand or more customers in this state to provide, upon the effective date of an ordinance or resolution authorized and adopted under section 4929.26 or 4929.27 of the Revised Code, distribution service on a fully open, equal, and nondiscriminatory basis to consumers that are not mercantile customers and are within the area of the governmental aggregation and to which the company provides distribution service through distribution facilities it singly or jointly owns or operates.

(2) The legislative authority of a municipal corporation described in division (K)(2) of section 4929.01 of the Revised Code may petition the commission to require a natural gas company with fifteen thousand or more customers in this state to provide, upon the effective date of an ordinance adopted under Section 5 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, distribution service on a fully open, equal, and nondiscriminatory basis to consumers that are within the area of the governmental aggregation and to which the company provides distribution service through distribution facilities it singly or jointly owns or operates.

(3) A retail natural gas supplier may petition the commission to require a natural gas company with fifteen thousand or more customers in this state to so provide such fully open, equal, and nondiscriminatory service to all consumers that are not mercantile customers and to which the company provides distribution service through distribution facilities it singly or jointly owns or operates.

(B) Upon petition under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, the commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing and by order, may require that the natural gas company provide the service within the area specified in the petition, provided that the commission finds that the provision of the service within the area is in the public interest. The applicant shall have the burden of proof under this division. Chapter 4903. of the Revised Code shall apply to a proceeding under this division.

(C) Upon the issuance of an order under division (B) of this section requiring distribution service on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis within the area specified in the order, the natural gas company shall file with the commission under section 4905.30 of the Revised Code revised schedules under which the company shall provide the service so ordered. The commission shall act promptly to approve the schedules.

Sec. 4929.30. (A) Nothing in sections 4929.20 to 4929.29 of the Revised Code affects any arrangement or other contract to supply or arrange for the supply of commodity sales service or ancillary service to a consumer in this state, which arrangement or contract was entered into prior to the effective date of initial rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, and was authorized as a result of a rule or order adopted or issued by the public utilities commission under Chapter 4905. of the Revised Code; and nothing in sections 4929.20 to 4929.29 of the Revised Code affects any rights or duties of any person under such an arrangement or contract for the term of the arrangement or contract.

(B) Nothing in sections 4929.20 to 4929.29 of the Revised Code applies to a community aggregation program that is designed and operated to avoid gaps in the cumulative coverage of the aggregation and under which more than fifty per cent of a natural gas company's customers were enrolled in the program as of January 1, 2001. A municipal corporation served under such a program by the facilities of a natural gas company may continue to provide competitive retail natural gas service to customers in the aggregation, including school districts and customers outside the boundaries of the municipal corporation.

Sec. 4935.03.  (A) The public utilities commission shall adopt, and may amend or rescind, rules in accordance with section 111.15 of the Revised Code, with the approval of the governor, defining various foreseen types and levels of energy emergency conditions for critical shortages or interruptions in the supply of electric power, natural gas, coal, or individual petroleum fuels and specifying appropriate measures to be taken at each level or for each type of energy emergency as necessary to protect the public health or safety or prevent unnecessary or avoidable damage to property. The rules may prescribe different measures for each different type or level of declared energy emergency, and for any type or level shall empower the governor to:

(1) Restrict the energy consumption of state and local government offices and industrial and commercial establishments;

(2) Restrict or curtail public or private transportation or require or encourage the use of car pools or mass transit systems;

(3) Order, during a declared energy emergency, any electric light, natural gas or gas, or pipeline company; any supplier subject to certification under section 4928.08 or 4929.20 of the Revised Code; electric power or gas utility that is owned by a municipal corporation or not for profit; coal producer or supplier; electric power producer or marketer; or petroleum fuel producer, refiner, wholesale distributor, or retail dealer to sell electricity, gas, coal, or petroleum fuel in order to alleviate hardship, or if possible to acquire or produce emergency supplies to meet emergency needs;

(4) Order, during a declared energy emergency, other energy conservation or emergency energy production or distribution measures to be taken in order to alleviate hardship;

(5) Mobilize emergency management, national guard, law enforcement, or emergency medical services.

The rules shall be designed to protect the public health and safety and prevent unnecessary or avoidable damage to property. They shall encourage the equitable distribution of available electric power and fuel supplies among all geographic regions in the state.

(B) The governor may, after consultation with the chairman chairperson of the commission, declare an energy emergency by filing with the secretary of state a written declaration of an energy emergency at any time he the governor finds that the health, safety, or welfare of the residents of this state or of one or more counties of this state is so imminently and substantially threatened by an energy shortage that immediate action of state government is necessary to prevent loss of life, protect the public health or safety, and prevent unnecessary or avoidable damage to property. The declaration shall state the counties, utility service areas, or fuel market areas affected, or its statewide effect, and what fuels or forms of energy are in critically short supply. An energy emergency goes into immediate effect upon filing and continues in effect for the period prescribed in the declaration, but not more than thirty days. At the end of any thirty-day or shorter energy emergency, the governor may issue another declaration extending the emergency. The general assembly may by concurrent resolution terminate any declaration of an energy emergency. The emergency is terminated at the time of filing of the concurrent resolution with the secretary of state. When an energy emergency is declared, the commission shall implement the measures which it determines are appropriate for the type and level of emergency in effect.

(C) Energy emergency orders issued by the governor pursuant to this section shall take effect immediately upon issuance, and the person to whom the order is directed shall initiate compliance measures immediately upon receiving the order. During an energy emergency the attorney general or the prosecuting attorney of the county where violation of a rule adopted or order issued under this section occurs may bring an action for immediate injunction or other appropriate relief to secure prompt compliance. The court may issue an ex parte temporary order without notice which shall enforce the prohibitions, restrictions, or actions that are necessary to secure compliance with the rule or order. Compliance with rules or orders issued under this section is a matter of statewide concern.

(D) During a declared energy emergency the governor may use the services, equipment, supplies, and facilities of existing departments, offices, and agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof to the maximum extent practicable and necessary to meet the energy emergency, and the officers and personnel of all such departments, offices, and agencies shall cooperate with and extend such services and facilities to the governor upon request.

(E) During an energy emergency declared under this section, no person shall violate any rule adopted or order issued under this section. Whoever violates this division is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense, and a misdemeanor of the first degree upon subsequent offenses or if the violation was purposely committed.

Sec. 5727.01.  As used in this chapter:

(A) "Public utility" means each person referred to as a telephone company, telegraph company, electric company, natural gas company, pipe-line company, water-works company, water transportation company, heating company, rural electric company, railroad company, or combined company.

(B) "Gross receipts" means the entire receipts for business done by any person from operations as a public utility, or incidental thereto, or in connection therewith, including any receipts received under Chapter 4928. of the Revised Code. The gross receipts for business done by an incorporated company engaged in operation as a public utility includes the entire receipts for business done by such company under the exercise of its corporate powers, whether from the operation as a public utility or from any other business.

(C) "Rural electric company" means any nonprofit corporation, organization, association, or cooperative engaged in the business of supplying electricity to its members or persons owning an interest therein in an area the major portion of which is rural.

(D) Any person:

(1) Is a telegraph company when engaged in the business of transmitting telegraphic messages to, from, through, or in this state;

(2) Is a telephone company when primarily engaged in the business of providing local exchange telephone service, excluding cellular radio service, in this state;

(3) Is an electric company when engaged in the business of generating, transmitting, or distributing electricity within this state for use by others, but excludes a rural electric company;

(4) Is a natural gas company when engaged in the business of supplying or distributing natural gas for lighting, power, or heating purposes to consumers within this state, excluding a person that is a governmental aggregator or retail natural gas supplier as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code;

(5) Is a pipe-line company when engaged in the business of transporting natural gas, oil, or coal or its derivatives through pipes or tubing, either wholly or partially within this state;

(6) Is a water-works company when engaged in the business of supplying water through pipes or tubing, or in a similar manner, to consumers within this state;

(7) Is a water transportation company when engaged in the transportation of passengers or property, by boat or other watercraft, over any waterway, whether natural or artificial, from one point within this state to another point within this state, or between points within this state and points without this state;

(8) Is a heating company when engaged in the business of supplying water, steam, or air through pipes or tubing to consumers within this state for heating purposes;

(9) Is a railroad company when engaged in the business of owning or operating a railroad either wholly or partially within this state on rights-of-way acquired and held exclusively by such company, or otherwise, and includes a passenger, street, suburban, or interurban railroad company.

As used in division (D)(2) of this section, "local exchange telephone service" means making available or furnishing access and a dial tone to all persons within a local calling area for use in originating and receiving voice grade communications over a switched network operated by the provider of the service within the area and for gaining access to other telecommunication services.

(E) "Taxable property" means the property required by section 5727.06 of the Revised Code to be assessed by the tax commissioner, but does not include either of the following:

(1) An item of tangible personal property that for the period subsequent to the effective date of an air, water, or noise pollution control certificate and continuing so long as the certificate is in force, has been certified as part of the pollution control facility with respect to which the certificate has been issued;

(2) An item of tangible personal property that during the construction of a plant or facility and until the item is first capable of operation, whether actually used in operation or not, is incorporated in or being held exclusively for incorporation in that plant or facility.

(F) "Taxing district" means a municipal corporation of township, or part thereof, in which the aggregate rate of taxation is uniform.

(G) "Telecommunications service" has the same meaning as in division (AA) of section 5739.01 of the Revised Code.

(H) "Interexchange telecommunications company" means a person that is engaged in the business of transmitting telephonic messages to, from, through, or in this state, but that is not a telephone company.

(I) "Sale and leaseback transaction" means a transaction in which a public utility or interexchange telecommunications company sells any tangible personal property to a person other than a public utility or interexchange telecommunications company and leases that property back from the buyer.

(J) "Production equipment" means all taxable steam, nuclear, hydraulic, and other production plant equipment used to generate electricity. For tax years prior to 2001, "production equipment" includes taxable station equipment that is located at a production plant.

(K) "Tax year" means the year for which property or gross receipts are subject to assessment under this chapter. This division does not limit the tax commissioner's ability to assess and value property or gross receipts outside the tax year.

(L) "Combined company" means any person engaged in the activity of an electric company or rural electric company that is also engaged in the activity of a heating company or a natural gas company, or any combination thereof.

Sec. 5727.02.  As used in this chapter, "public utility," "electric company," "natural gas company," "pipe-line company," "water-works company," "water transportation company" or "heating company" does not include any of the following:

(A) Any person that is engaged in some other primary business to which the supplying of electricity, heat, natural gas, water, water transportation, steam, or air to others is incidental. As used in this division, "supplying of electricity" means generating, transmitting, or distributing electricity.

(B) Any person that supplies electricity, natural gas, water, water transportation, steam, or air to its tenants, whether for a separate charge or otherwise;

(C) Any person whose primary business in this state consists of producing, refining, or marketing petroleum or its products.

(D) Any person whose primary business in this state consists of producing or gathering natural gas rather than supplying or distributing natural gas to consumers.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 4719.01, 4905.10, 4905.302, 4911.18, 4929.01, 4929.02, 4929.14, 4935.03, 5727.01, and 5727.02 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. Any person, as defined in section 4929.01 of the Revised Code, as amended by this act, that, prior to the effective date of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, is engaged in supplying or arranging for the supply of commodity sales service to consumers in this state as authorized by law, may continue to so engage until the person's initial application for certification under division (A) of section 4929.20 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, is approved or denied pursuant to that division.

SECTION 4. All items in this section are hereby appropriated as designated out of any moneys in the state treasury to the credit of the General Revenue Fund. For all appropriations made in this act, those in the first column are for fiscal year 2000 and those in the second column are for fiscal year 2001. The appropriations made in this act are in addition to any other appropriations made for the 1999-2001 biennium.

JFS DEPARTMENT OF JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES

GRF 600-437 Temporary Heating Assistance for Warmth $ 0 $ 20,000,000
TOTAL GRF General Revenue Fund $ 0 $ 20,000,000
TOTAL ALL BUDGET FUND GROUPS $ 0 $ 20,000,000

TEMPORARY HEATING ASSISTANCE FOR WARMTH

The foregoing appropriation item 600-437, Temporary Heating Assistance for Warmth, shall be used for Project Temporary Heating Assistance for Warmth, which is a program hereby authorized to provide assistance with the payment of winter heating expenses for persons not eligible for assistance under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, and whose gross monthly income does not exceed 200 per cent of the federal poverty guidelines, as established by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. The Department of Job and Family Services may provide funds for this program from this appropriation to county departments of job and family services to provide assistance on behalf of eligible households. Each eligible household may receive a one-time benefit of 50 per cent of one primary heating bill for any heating fuel, including any arrearages that arose due to primary heating bills incurred between December 1, 2000, and April 1, 2001, not to exceed $250. No assistance shall be provided for fuel purchased prior to October 1, 2000, or after March 31, 2001. The Department of Job and Family Services may issue guidelines for the implementation of this program. Total expenditures for this program shall not exceed $20,000,000.

If the balance in the General Revenue Fund is not sufficient to fund the foregoing appropriation item 600-437, Temporary Heating Assistance for Warmth, the Director of Budget and Management is authorized to reduce other General Revenue Fund appropriations for fiscal year 2001 proportionately to fund this appropriation item.

Within the limits set forth in this act, the Director of Budget and Management shall establish accounts indicating the source and amount of funds for each appropriation made in this act, and shall determine the form and manner in which appropriation accounts shall be maintained. Expenditures from appropriations contained in this act shall be accounted for as though made in Am. Sub. H.B. 283 of the 123rd General Assembly. The appropriations made in this act are subject to all provisions of Am. Sub. H.B. 283 of the 123rd General Assembly that are generally applicable to such appropriations.

SECTION 5. That Section 37 of Am. Sub. H.B. 283 of the 123rd General Assembly, as most recently amended by Am. Sub. H.B. 640 of the 123rd General Assembly, be amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 37.  DEV DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENT

General Revenue Fund


GRF195-100Personal Services$2,578,880$2,583,300
GRF195-200Maintenance$608,000$608,000
GRF195-300Equipment$111,550$111,550
GRF195-401Thomas Edison Program$25,553,540$25,528,749
GRF195-404Small Business Development$2,445,388$2,465,504
GRF195-405Minority Business Development Division$2,323,570$2,324,418
GRF195-406Transitional and Permanent Housing$2,760,270$2,826,679
GRF195-407Travel and Tourism$6,300,000$6,327,600
GRF195-408Coal Research Development$588,465$587,907
GRF195-409Energy Credit Administration$0$694,814
GRF195-410Defense Conversion Assistance Program$740,000$500,000
GRF195-412Business Development Grants$15,005,000$10,005,000
GRF195-414First Frontier Match$485,000$496,628
GRF195-415Regional Offices and Economic Development$6,414,854$6,338,038
GRF195-416Governor's Office of Appalachia$1,628,800$5,059,376
GRF195-417Urban/Rural Initiative$1,000,000$1,000,000
GRF195-422Technology Action$15,100,000$15,100,000
GRF195-428Project 100$2,000,000$2,000,000
GRF195-429Y2K Compliance$10,000,000$0
GRF195-431Community Development Corporation Grants$2,520,386$2,582,510
GRF195-432International Trade$5,291,540$5,416,621
GRF195-434Industrial Training Grants$18,000,000$20,000,000
GRF195-436Labor/Management Cooperation$1,164,000$1,164,000
GRF195-440Emergency Shelter Housing Grants$2,930,029$2,999,139
GRF195-441Low and Moderate Income Housing$7,760,000$7,760,000
GRF195-497CDBG Operating Match$1,147,067$1,176,608
GRF195-498State Energy Match$147,221$151,299
GRF195-501Appalachian Local Development Districts$452,370$463,227
GRF195-502Appalachian Regional Commission Dues$190,000$194,400
GRF195-505Utility Bill Credits$0$7,500,000
GRF195-507Travel & Tourism Grants$1,795,000$1,640,000
GRF195-513Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities$2,000,000$0
TOTAL GRF General Revenue Fund$139,040,930$135,605,367

General Services Fund Group


135195-605Supportive Services$7,463,030$7,472,165
136195-621International Trade$75,000$0
685195-636General Reimbursements$1,199,500$1,222,233
TOTAL GSF General Services Fund
Group$8,737,530$8,694,398

Federal Special Revenue Fund Group


3K8195-613Community Development Block Grant$65,000,000$65,000,000
3K9195-611Home Energy Assistance $55,000,000$55,000,000
Block Grant75,000,000
3K9195-614HEAP Weatherization$10,421,000$10,412,041
3L0195-612Community Services Block Grant$20,090,000$20,090,000
308195-602Appalachian Regional Commission$650,000$650,000
308195-603Housing and Urban Development$34,895,700$34,895,700
308195-605Federal Projects$7,871,000$7,855,501
308195-609Small Business Administration$3,701,900$3,701,900
308195-616Technology Programs$117,700$0
308195-618Energy Federal Grants$2,832,325$2,803,560
335195-610Oil Overcharge$8,500,000$8,500,000
380195-622Housing Development Operating$3,711,800$3,938,200
TOTAL FED Federal Special Revenue
Fund Group$212,791,425$212,846,902
232,846,902

State Special Revenue Fund Group


4F2195-639State Special Projects$1,530,000$1,030,100
4H4195-641First Frontier$1,000,000$1,000,000
4S0195-630Enterprise Zone Operating$323,079$323,355
4S1195-634Job Creation Tax Credit Operating$251,856$258,422
4W1195-646Minority Business Enterprise Loan$3,898,213$3,972,954
444195-607Water and Sewer Commission Loans$500,000$500,000
445195-617Housing Finance Agency$3,669,522$3,532,181
450195-624Minority Business Bonding Program Administration$12,644$12,947
451195-625Economic Development Financing Operating$1,906,075$1,970,014
586195-653Scrap Tire Loans and Grants$1,000,000$1,000,000
5F7195-658Local Government Y2K Loan Program$10,000,000$0
611195-631Water and Sewer Administration$15,000$15,000
617195-654Volume Cap Administration$200,000$196,640
646195-638Low and Moderate Income Housing Trust Fund$20,445,200$21,034,500
TOTAL SSR State Special Revenue
Fund Group$44,751,589$34,846,113

Facilities Establishment Fund


037195-615Facilities Establishment$53,970,000$55,481,100
4Z6195-647Rural Industrial Park Loan$3,000,000$5,000,000
5D1195-649Port Authority Bond Reserves$2,500,000$2,500,000
5D2195-650Urban Redevelopment Loans$10,000,000$10,000,000
5H1195-652Family Farm Loan$2,246,375$2,246,375
TOTAL 037 Facilities
Establishment Fund$71,716,375$75,227,475

Coal Research/Development Fund


046195-632Coal Research and Development Fund$12,276,000$12,570,624
TOTAL 046 Coal Research/
Development Fund$12,276,000$12,570,624
TOTAL ALL BUDGET FUND GROUPS$489,313,849$479,790,879
499,790,879"

SECTION 6. That existing Section 37 of Am. Sub. H.B. 283 of the 123rd General Assembly, as most recently amended by Am. Sub. H.B. 640 of the 123rd General Assembly, is hereby repealed.

SECTION 7. Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this act are not subject to the referendum. Therefore, under Ohio Constitution, Article II, Section 1d and section 1.471 of the Revised Code, Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this act go into immediate effect when this act becomes law.

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