130th Ohio General Assembly
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(126th General Assembly)
(Amended House Bill Number 85)



AN ACT
To amend section 4928.20 and to enact section 4928.21 of the Revised Code to limit retail electric service automatic governmental aggregation and to create a "Do Not Aggregate" list.

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

SECTION 1. That section 4928.20 be amended and section 4928.21 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 4928.20.  (A) 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, on or after the starting date of competitive retail electric service, it may aggregate in accordance with this section the retail electrical loads located, respectively, within the municipal corporation, township, or unincorporated area of the county and, for that purpose, may enter into service agreements to facilitate for those loads the sale and purchase of electricity. The legislative authority or board also may exercise such authority jointly with any other such legislative authority or board. An For customers that are not mercantile commercial customers, an ordinance or resolution under this division shall specify whether the aggregation will occur only with the prior, affirmative consent of each person owning, occupying, controlling, or using an electric load center proposed to be aggregated or will occur automatically for all such persons pursuant to the opt-out requirements of division (D) of this section. The aggregation of mercantile commercial customers shall occur only with the prior, affirmative consent of each such person owning, occupying, controlling, or using an electric load center proposed to be aggregated. Nothing in this division, however, authorizes the aggregation of such the retail electric loads of an electric load center, as defined in section 4933.81 of the Revised Code, that is located in the certified territory of a nonprofit electric supplier under sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code or an electric load center served by transmission or distribution facilities of a municipal electric utility.

(B) If an ordinance or resolution adopted under division (A) of this section specifies that aggregation of customers that are not mercantile commercial customers will occur automatically as described in that division, the ordinance or resolution 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 that provides for automatic aggregation of customers that are not mercantile commercial customers as described in division (A) of this section, shall aggregate the electrical load of any electric load center located within its jurisdiction unless it in advance clearly discloses to the person owning, occupying, controlling, or using the load center that the person will be enrolled automatically in the aggregation program 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 program the opportunity to opt out of the program every two years, without paying a switching fee. Any such person that opts out of the aggregation program pursuant to the stated procedure shall default to the standard service offer provided under division (A) of section 4928.14 or division (D) of section 4928.35 of the Revised Code until the person chooses an alternative supplier.

(E)(1) With respect to a governmental aggregation for a municipal corporation that is authorized pursuant to division 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 division 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 fiscal officer 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, respectively, the township or the unincorporated area of the county 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 electricity, 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 electric service it provides and commission authority under this chapter.

(G) This section does not apply in the case of a municipal corporation that supplies such aggregated service to electric load centers to which its municipal electric utility also supplies a noncompetitive retail electric service through transmission or distribution facilities the utility singly or jointly owns or operates.

(H) A governmental aggregator shall not include in its aggregation the accounts of any of the following:

(1) A customer that has opted out of the aggregation;

(2) A customer in contract with a certified competitive retail electric services provider;

(3) A customer that has a special contract with an electric distribution utility;

(4) A customer that is not located within the governmental aggregator's governmental boundaries;

(5) Subject to division (C) of section 4928.21 of the Revised Code, a customer who appears on the "do not aggregate" list maintained under that section.

Sec.  4928.21.  (A) A customer that desires to remove itself from the pool of customers eligible to participate in governmental aggregation under section 4928.20 of the Revised Code may register with the public utilities commission to appear on the "do not aggregate" list.

(B) The commission, by rule, shall establish a "do not aggregate" list. The commission shall maintain the "do not aggregate" list and make it publicly available on the commission's web site.

(C) If a customer is enrolled in a governmental aggregation program at the time the customer first appears on the "do not aggregate" list, the governmental aggregator shall remove the customer from the program at the next two-year opt out opportunity that is available to the customer under division (D) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code.

SECTION 2. That existing section 4928.20 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

Section 3. A mercantile commercial customer that is enrolled in an automatic governmental aggregation on the effective date of this act shall remain enrolled in that aggregation program until the earlier of the customer providing notice and paying any switching fee that may be required pursuant to rules adopted by the Public Utilities Commission or until the arrival of the program's next opt-out opportunity under division (D) of section 4928.20 of the Revised Code as amended by this act. The automatic enrollment of the mercantile commercial customer in the governmental aggregation shall then terminate by operation of law. Thereafter, in accordance with division (A) of that section, the mercantile commercial customer shall be enrolled in a governmental aggregation only with the customer's prior, affirmative consent.

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