130th Ohio General Assembly
The online versions of legislation provided on this website are not official. Enrolled bills are the final version passed by the Ohio General Assembly and presented to the Governor for signature. The official version of acts signed by the Governor are available from the Secretary of State's Office in the Continental Plaza, 180 East Broad St., Columbus.

(127th General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 221)



AN ACT
To amend sections 4905.31, 4928.01, 4928.02, 4928.05, 4928.09, 4928.14, 4928.17, 4928.20, 4928.31, 4928.34, 4928.35, 4928.61, 4928.67, 4929.01, and 4929.02; to enact sections 9.835, 3318.112, 4928.141, 4928.142, 4928.143, 4928.144, 4928.145, 4928.146, 4928.151, 4928.24, 4928.621, 4928.64, 4928.65, 4928.66, 4928.68, 4928.69, and 4929.051; and to repeal sections 4928.41, 4928.42, 4928.431, and 4928.44 of the Revised Code to revise state energy policy to address electric service price regulation, establish alternative energy benchmarks for electric distribution utilities and electric services companies, provide for the use of renewable energy credits, establish energy efficiency standards for electric distribution utilities, require greenhouse gas emission reporting and carbon dioxide control planning for utility-owned generating facilities, authorize energy price risk management contracts, and authorize for natural gas utilities revenue decoupling related to energy conservation and efficiency.

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

SECTION 1. That sections 4905.31, 4928.01, 4928.02, 4928.05, 4928.09, 4928.14, 4928.17, 4928.20, 4928.31, 4928.34, 4928.35, 4928.61, 4928.67, 4929.01, and 4929.02 be amended and sections 9.835, 3318.112, 4928.141, 4928.142, 4928.143, 4928.144, 4928.145, 4928.146, 4928.151, 4928.24, 4928.621, 4928.64, 4928.65, 4928.66, 4928.68, 4928.69, and 4929.051 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 9.835. (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Energy price risk management contract" means a contract that mitigates for the term of the contract the price volatility of energy sources, including, but not limited to, natural gas, gasoline, oil, and diesel fuel, and that is a budgetary and financial tool only and not a contract for the procurement of an energy source.

(2) "Political subdivision" means a county, city, village, township, park district, or school district.

(3) "State entity" means the general assembly, the supreme court, the court of claims, the office of an elected state officer, or a department, bureau, board, office, commission, agency, institution, or other instrumentality of this state established by the constitution or laws of this state for the exercise of any function of state government, but excludes a political subdivision, an institution of higher education, the public employees retirement system, the Ohio police and fire pension fund, the state teachers retirement system, the school employees retirement system, the state highway patrol retirement system, or the city of Cincinnati retirement system.

(4) "State official" means the elected or appointed official, or that person's designee, charged with the management of a state entity.

(B) If it determines that doing so is in the best interest of the state entity or the political subdivision, and subject to, respectively, state or local appropriation to pay amounts due, a state official or the legislative or other governing authority of a political subdivision may enter into an energy price risk management contract. Money received pursuant to such a contract entered into by a state official shall be deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund of this state, and, unless otherwise provided by ordinance or resolution enacted or adopted by the legislative authority of the political subdivision authorizing any such contract, money received under the contract shall be deposited to the credit of the general fund of the political subdivision.

Sec. 3318.112.  (A) As used in this section, "solar ready" means capable of accommodating the eventual installation of roof top, solar photovoltaic energy equipment.

(B) The Ohio school facilities commission shall adopt rules prescribing standards for solar ready equipment in school buildings under their jurisdiction. The rules shall include, but not be limited to, standards regarding roof space limitations, shading and obstruction, building orientation, roof loading capacity, and electric systems.

(C) A school district may seek, and the commission may grant for good cause shown, a waiver from part or all of the standards prescribed under division (B) of this section.

Sec. 4905.31.  Except as provided in section 4933.29 of the Revised Code, Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., 4909., 4921., and 4923., 4927., 4928., and 4929. of the Revised Code do not prohibit a public utility from filing a schedule or establishing or entering into any reasonable arrangement with another public utility or with one or more of its customers, consumers, or employees, and do not prohibit a mercantile customer of an electric distribution utility as those terms are defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code or a group of those customers from establishing a reasonable arrangement with that utility or another public utility electric light company, providing for any of the following:

(A) The division or distribution of its surplus profits;

(B) A sliding scale of charges, including variations in rates based upon either of the following:

(1) Stipulated stipulated variations in cost as provided in the schedule or arrangement;

(2) Any emissions fee levied upon an electric light company under Substitute Senate Bill No. 359 of the 119th general assembly as provided in the schedule. The public utilities commission shall permit an electric light company to recover the emissions fee pursuant to such a variable rate schedule.

(3) Any emissions fee levied upon an electric light company under division (C) or (D) of section 3745.11 of the Revised Code as provided in the schedule. The public utilities commission shall permit an electric light company to recover any such emission fee pursuant to such a variable rate schedule.

(4) Any schedule of variable rates filed under division (B) of this section shall provide for the recovery of any such emissions fee by applying a uniform percentage increase to the base rate charged each customer of the electric light company for service during the period that the variable rate is in effect.

(C) A minimum charge for service to be rendered unless such minimum charge is made or prohibited by the terms of the franchise, grant, or ordinance under which such public utility is operated;

(D) A classification of service based upon the quantity used, the time when used, the purpose for which used, the duration of use, and any other reasonable consideration;

(E) Any other financial device that may be practicable or advantageous to the parties interested. No In the case of a schedule or arrangement concerning a public utility electric light company, such other financial device may include a device to recover costs incurred in conjunction with any economic development and job retention program of the utility within its certified territory, including recovery of revenue foregone as a result of any such program; any development and implementation of peak demand reduction and energy efficiency programs under section 4928.66 of the Revised Code; any acquisition and deployment of advanced metering, including the costs of any meters prematurely retired as a result of the advanced metering implementation; and compliance with any government mandate.

No such schedule or arrangement, sliding scale, minimum charge, classification, variable rate, or device is lawful unless it is filed with and approved by the commission pursuant to an application that is submitted by the public utility or the mercantile customer or group of mercantile customers of an electric distribution utility and is posted on the commission's docketing information system and is accessible through the internet.

Every such public utility is required to conform its schedules of rates, tolls, and charges to such arrangement, sliding scale, classification, or other device, and where variable rates are provided for in any such schedule or arrangement, the cost data or factors upon which such rates are based and fixed shall be filed with the commission in such form and at such times as the commission directs. The commission shall review the cost data or factors upon which a variable rate schedule filed under division (B)(2) or (3) of this section is based and shall adjust the base rates of the electric light company or order the company to refund any charges that it has collected under the variable rate schedule that the commission finds to have resulted from errors or erroneous reporting. After recovery of all of the emissions fees upon which a variable rate authorized under division (B)(2) or (3) of this section is based, collection of the variable rate shall end and the variable rate schedule shall be terminated.

Every such schedule or reasonable arrangement, sliding scale, minimum charge, classification, variable rate, or device shall be under the supervision and regulation of the commission, and is subject to change, alteration, or modification by the commission.

Sec. 4928.01.  (A) As used in this chapter:

(1) "Ancillary service" means any function necessary to the provision of electric transmission or distribution service to a retail customer and includes, but is not limited to, scheduling, system control, and dispatch services; reactive supply from generation resources and voltage control service; reactive supply from transmission resources service; regulation service; frequency response service; energy imbalance service; operating reserve-spinning reserve service; operating reserve-supplemental reserve service; load following; back-up supply service; real-power loss replacement service; dynamic scheduling; system black start capability; and network stability service.

(2) "Billing and collection agent" means a fully independent agent, not affiliated with or otherwise controlled by an electric utility, electric services company, electric cooperative, or governmental aggregator subject to certification under section 4928.08 of the Revised Code, to the extent that the agent is under contract with such utility, company, cooperative, or aggregator solely to provide billing and collection for retail electric service on behalf of the utility company, cooperative, or aggregator.

(3) "Certified territory" means the certified territory established for an electric supplier under sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 of the Revised Code as amended by Sub. S.B. No. 3 of the 123rd general assembly.

(4) "Competitive retail electric service" means a component of retail electric service that is competitive as provided under division (B) of this section.

(5) "Electric cooperative" means a not-for-profit electric light company that both is or has been financed in whole or in part under the "Rural Electrification Act of 1936," 49 Stat. 1363, 7 U.S.C. 901, and owns or operates facilities in this state to generate, transmit, or distribute electricity, or a not-for-profit successor of such company.

(6) "Electric distribution utility" means an electric utility that supplies at least retail electric distribution service.

(7) "Electric light company" has the same meaning as in section 4905.03 of the Revised Code and includes an electric services company, but excludes any self-generator to the extent that it consumes electricity it so produces or to the extent it, sells that electricity for resale electricity it so produces, or obtains electricity from a generating facility it hosts on its premises.

(8) "Electric load center" has the same meaning as in section 4933.81 of the Revised Code.

(9) "Electric services company" means an electric light company that is engaged on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis in the business of supplying or arranging for the supply of only a competitive retail electric service in this state. "Electric services company" includes a power marketer, power broker, aggregator, or independent power producer but excludes an electric cooperative, municipal electric utility, governmental aggregator, or billing and collection agent.

(10) "Electric supplier" has the same meaning as in section 4933.81 of the Revised Code.

(11) "Electric utility" means an electric light company that has a certified territory and is engaged on a for-profit basis either in the business of supplying a noncompetitive retail electric service in this state or in the businesses of supplying both a noncompetitive and a competitive retail electric service in this state. "Electric utility" excludes a municipal electric utility or a billing and collection agent.

(12) "Firm electric service" means electric service other than nonfirm electric service.

(13) "Governmental aggregator" means a legislative authority of a municipal corporation, a board of township trustees, or a board of county commissioners acting as an aggregator for the provision of a competitive retail electric service under authority conferred under section 4928.20 of the Revised Code.

(14) A person acts "knowingly," regardless of the person's purpose, when the person is aware that the person's conduct will probably cause a certain result or will probably be of a certain nature. A person has knowledge of circumstances when the person is aware that such circumstances probably exist.

(15) "Level of funding for low-income customer energy efficiency programs provided through electric utility rates" means the level of funds specifically included in an electric utility's rates on October 5, 1999, pursuant to an order of the public utilities commission issued under Chapter 4905. or 4909. of the Revised Code and in effect on October 4, 1999, for the purpose of improving the energy efficiency of housing for the utility's low-income customers. The term excludes the level of any such funds committed to a specific nonprofit organization or organizations pursuant to a stipulation or contract.

(16) "Low-income customer assistance programs" means the percentage of income payment plan program, the home energy assistance program, the home weatherization assistance program, and the targeted energy efficiency and weatherization program.

(17) "Market development period" for an electric utility means the period of time beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service and ending on the applicable date for that utility as specified in section 4928.40 of the Revised Code, irrespective of whether the utility applies to receive transition revenues under this chapter.

(18) "Market power" means the ability to impose on customers a sustained price for a product or service above the price that would prevail in a competitive market.

(19) "Mercantile commercial customer" means a commercial or industrial customer if the electricity consumed is for nonresidential use and the customer consumes more than seven hundred thousand kilowatt hours per year or is part of a national account involving multiple facilities in one or more states.

(20) "Municipal electric utility" means a municipal corporation that owns or operates facilities to generate, transmit, or distribute electricity.

(21) "Noncompetitive retail electric service" means a component of retail electric service that is noncompetitive as provided under division (B) of this section.

(22) "Nonfirm electric service" means electric service provided pursuant to a schedule filed under section 4905.30 of the Revised Code or pursuant to an arrangement under section 4905.31 of the Revised Code, which schedule or arrangement includes conditions that may require the customer to curtail or interrupt electric usage during nonemergency circumstances upon notification by an electric utility.

(23) "Percentage of income payment plan arrears" means funds eligible for collection through the percentage of income payment plan rider, but uncollected as of July 1, 2000.

(24) "Person" has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code.

(25) "Advanced energy project" means any technologies, products, activities, or management practices or strategies that facilitate the generation or use of electricity and that reduce or support the reduction of energy consumption or support the production of clean, renewable energy for industrial, distribution, commercial, institutional, governmental, research, not-for-profit, or residential energy users. Such energy includes, including, but is not limited to, wind power; geothermal energy; solar thermal energy; and energy produced by micro turbines in distributed generation applications with high electric efficiencies, by combined heat and power applications, by fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, landfill gas, or geothermal sources, or by solar electric generation, landfill gas, or hydroelectric generation advanced energy resources and renewable energy resources. "Advanced energy project" also includes any project described in division (A), (B), or (C) of section 4928.621 of the Revised Code.

(26) "Regulatory assets" means the unamortized net regulatory assets that are capitalized or deferred on the regulatory books of the electric utility, pursuant to an order or practice of the public utilities commission or pursuant to generally accepted accounting principles as a result of a prior commission rate-making decision, and that would otherwise have been charged to expense as incurred or would not have been capitalized or otherwise deferred for future regulatory consideration absent commission action. "Regulatory assets" includes, but is not limited to, all deferred demand-side management costs; all deferred percentage of income payment plan arrears; post-in-service capitalized charges and assets recognized in connection with statement of financial accounting standards no. 109 (receivables from customers for income taxes); future nuclear decommissioning costs and fuel disposal costs as those costs have been determined by the commission in the electric utility's most recent rate or accounting application proceeding addressing such costs; the undepreciated costs of safety and radiation control equipment on nuclear generating plants owned or leased by an electric utility; and fuel costs currently deferred pursuant to the terms of one or more settlement agreements approved by the commission.

(27) "Retail electric service" means any service involved in supplying or arranging for the supply of electricity to ultimate consumers in this state, from the point of generation to the point of consumption. For the purposes of this chapter, retail electric service includes one or more of the following "service components": generation service, aggregation service, power marketing service, power brokerage service, transmission service, distribution service, ancillary service, metering service, and billing and collection service.

(28) "Small electric generation facility" means an electric generation plant and associated facilities designed for, or capable of, operation at a capacity of less than two megawatts.

(29)(28) "Starting date of competitive retail electric service" means January 1, 2001, except as provided in division (C) of this section.

(30)(29) "Customer-generator" means a user of a net metering system.

(31)(30) "Net metering" means measuring the difference in an applicable billing period between the electricity supplied by an electric service provider and the electricity generated by a customer-generator that is fed back to the electric service provider.

(32)(31) "Net metering system" means a facility for the production of electrical energy that does all of the following:

(a) Uses as its fuel either solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, or hydropower, or uses a microturbine or a fuel cell;

(b) Is located on a customer-generator's premises;

(c) Operates in parallel with the electric utility's transmission and distribution facilities;

(d) Is intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer-generator's requirements for electricity.

(33)(32) "Self-generator" means an entity in this state that owns or hosts on its premises an electric generation facility that produces electricity primarily for the owner's consumption and that may provide any such excess electricity to retail electric service providers another entity, whether the facility is installed or operated by the owner or by an agent under a contract.

(33) "Rate plan" means the standard service offer in effect on the effective date of the amendment of this section by S.B. 221 of the 127th general assembly.

(34) "Advanced energy resource" means any of the following:

(a) Any method or any modification or replacement of any property, process, device, structure, or equipment that increases the generation output of an electric generating facility to the extent such efficiency is achieved without additional carbon dioxide emissions by that facility;

(b) Any distributed generation system consisting of customer cogeneration of electricity and thermal output simultaneously, primarily to meet the energy needs of the customer's facilities;

(c) Clean coal technology that includes a carbon-based product that is chemically altered before combustion to demonstrate a reduction, as expressed as ash, in emissions of nitrous oxide, mercury, arsenic, chlorine, sulfur dioxide, or sulfur trioxide in accordance with the American society of testing and materials standard D1757A or a reduction of metal oxide emissions in accordance with standard D5142 of that society, or clean coal technology that includes the design capability to control or prevent the emission of carbon dioxide, which design capability the commission shall adopt by rule and shall be based on economically feasible best available technology or, in the absence of a determined best available technology, shall be of the highest level of economically feasible design capability for which there exists generally accepted scientific opinion;

(d) Advanced nuclear energy technology consisting of generation III technology as defined by the nuclear regulatory commission; other, later technology; or significant improvements to existing facilities;

(e) Any fuel cell used in the generation of electricity, including, but not limited to, a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cell, molten carbonate fuel cell, or solid oxide fuel cell;

(f) Advanced solid waste or construction and demolition debris conversion technology, including, but not limited to, advanced stoker technology, and advanced fluidized bed gasification technology, that results in measurable greenhouse gas emissions reductions as calculated pursuant to the United States environmental protection agency's waste reduction model (WARM).

(g) Demand-side management and any energy efficiency improvement.

(35) "Renewable energy resource" means solar photovoltaic or solar thermal energy, wind energy, power produced by a hydroelectric facility, geothermal energy, fuel derived from solid wastes, as defined in section 3734.01 of the Revised Code, through fractionation, biological decomposition, or other process that does not principally involve combustion, biomass energy, biologically derived methane gas, or energy derived from nontreated by-products of the pulping process or wood manufacturing process, including bark, wood chips, sawdust, and lignin in spent pulping liquors. "Renewable energy resource" includes, but is not limited to, any fuel cell used in the generation of electricity, including, but not limited to, a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cell, molten carbonate fuel cell, or solid oxide fuel cell; wind turbine located in the state's territorial waters of Lake Erie; storage facility that will promote the better utilization of a renewable energy resource that primarily generates off peak; or distributed generation system used by a customer to generate electricity from any such energy. As used in division (A)(35) of this section, "hydroelectric facility" means a hydroelectric generating facility that is located at a dam on a river, or on any water discharged to a river, that is within or bordering this state or within or bordering an adjoining state and meets all of the following standards:

(a) The facility provides for river flows that are not detrimental for fish, wildlife, and water quality, including seasonal flow fluctuations as defined by the applicable licensing agency for the facility.

(b) The facility demonstrates that it complies with the water quality standards of this state, which compliance may consist of certification under Section 401 of the "Clean Water Act of 1977," 91 Stat. 1598, 1599, 33 U.S.C. 1341, and demonstrates that it has not contributed to a finding by this state that the river has impaired water quality under Section 303(d) of the "Clean Water Act of 1977," 114 Stat. 870, 33 U.S.C. 1313.

(c) The facility complies with mandatory prescriptions regarding fish passage as required by the federal energy regulatory commission license issued for the project, regarding fish protection for riverine, anadromous, and catadromus fish.

(d) The facility complies with the recommendations of the Ohio environmental protection agency and with the terms of its federal energy regulatory commission license regarding watershed protection, mitigation, or enhancement, to the extent of each agency's respective jurisdiction over the facility.

(e) The facility complies with provisions of the "Endangered Species Act of 1973," 87 Stat. 884, 16 U.S.C. 1531 to 1544, as amended.

(f) The facility does not harm cultural resources of the area. This can be shown through compliance with the terms of its federal energy regulatory commission license or, if the facility is not regulated by that commission, through development of a plan approved by the Ohio historic preservation office, to the extent it has jurisdiction over the facility.

(g) The facility complies with the terms of its federal energy regulatory commission license or exemption that are related to recreational access, accommodation, and facilities or, if the facility is not regulated by that commission, the facility complies with similar requirements as are recommended by resource agencies, to the extent they have jurisdiction over the facility; and the facility provides access to water to the public without fee or charge.

(h) The facility is not recommended for removal by any federal agency or agency of any state, to the extent the particular agency has jurisdiction over the facility.

(B) For the purposes of this chapter, a retail electric service component shall be deemed a competitive retail electric service if the service component is competitive pursuant to a declaration by a provision of the Revised Code or pursuant to an order of the public utilities commission authorized under division (A) of section 4928.04 of the Revised Code. Otherwise, the service component shall be deemed a noncompetitive retail electric service.

(C) Prior to January 1, 2001, and after application by an electric utility, notice, and an opportunity to be heard, the public utilities commission may issue an order delaying the January 1, 2001, starting date of competitive retail electric service for the electric utility for a specified number of days not to exceed six months, but only for extreme technical conditions precluding the start of competitive retail electric service on January 1, 2001.

Sec. 4928.02.  It is the policy of this state to do the following throughout this state beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service:

(A) Ensure the availability to consumers of adequate, reliable, safe, efficient, nondiscriminatory, and reasonably priced retail electric service;

(B) Ensure the availability of unbundled and comparable retail electric service that provides consumers with the supplier, price, terms, conditions, and quality options they elect to meet their respective needs;

(C) Ensure diversity of electricity supplies and suppliers, by giving consumers effective choices over the selection of those supplies and suppliers and by encouraging the development of distributed and small generation facilities;

(D) Encourage innovation and market access for cost-effective supply- and demand-side retail electric service including, but not limited to, demand-side management, time-differentiated pricing, and implementation of advanced metering infrastructure;

(E) Encourage cost-effective and efficient access to information regarding the operation of the transmission and distribution systems of electric utilities in order to promote both effective customer choice of retail electric service and the development of performance standards and targets for service quality for all consumers, including annual achievement reports written in plain language;

(F) Ensure that an electric utility's transmission and distribution systems are available to a customer-generator or owner of distributed generation, so that the customer-generator or owner can market and deliver the electricity it produces;

(G) Recognize the continuing emergence of competitive electricity markets through the development and implementation of flexible regulatory treatment;

(G)(H) Ensure effective competition in the provision of retail electric service by avoiding anticompetitive subsidies flowing from a noncompetitive retail electric service to a competitive retail electric service or to a product or service other than retail electric service, and vice versa, including by prohibiting the recovery of any generation-related costs through distribution or transmission rates;

(H)(I) Ensure retail electric service consumers protection against unreasonable sales practices, market deficiencies, and market power;

(I)(J) Provide coherent, transparent means of giving appropriate incentives to technologies that can adapt successfully to potential environmental mandates;

(K) Encourage implementation of distributed generation across customer classes through regular review and updating of administrative rules governing critical issues such as, but not limited to, interconnection standards, standby charges, and net metering;

(L) Protect at-risk populations, including, but not limited to, when considering the implementation of any new advanced energy or renewable energy resource;

(M) Encourage the education of small business owners in this state regarding the use of, and encourage the use of, energy efficiency programs and alternative energy resources in their businesses;

(N) Facilitate the state's effectiveness in the global economy.

In carrying out this policy, the commission shall consider rules as they apply to the costs of electric distribution infrastructure, including, but not limited to, line extensions, for the purpose of development in this state.

Sec. 4928.05.  (A)(1) On and after the starting date of competitive retail electric service, a competitive retail electric service supplied by an electric utility or electric services company shall not be subject to supervision and regulation by a municipal corporation under Chapter 743. of the Revised Code or by the public utilities commission under Chapters 4901. to 4909., 4933., 4935., and 4963. of the Revised Code, except section sections 4905.10 and 4905.31, division (B) of section 4905.33, and sections 4905.35 and 4933.81 to 4933.90; except sections 4905.06, 4935.03, 4963.40, and 4963.41 of the Revised Code only to the extent related to service reliability and public safety; and except as otherwise provided in this chapter. The commission's authority to enforce those excepted provisions with respect to a competitive retail electric service shall be such authority as is provided for their enforcement under Chapters 4901. to 4909., 4933., 4935., and 4963. of the Revised Code and this chapter. Nothing in this division shall be construed to limit the commission's authority under sections 4928.141 to 4928.144 of the Revised Code.

On and after the starting date of competitive retail electric service, a competitive retail electric service supplied by an electric cooperative shall not be subject to supervision and regulation by the commission under Chapters 4901. to 4909., 4933., 4935., and 4963. of the Revised Code, except as otherwise expressly provided in sections 4928.01 to 4928.10 and 4928.16 of the Revised Code.

(2) On and after the starting date of competitive retail electric service, a noncompetitive retail electric service supplied by an electric utility shall be subject to supervision and regulation by the commission under Chapters 4901. to 4909., 4933., 4935., and 4963. of the Revised Code and this chapter, to the extent that authority is not preempted by federal law. The commission's authority to enforce those provisions with respect to a noncompetitive retail electric service shall be the authority provided under those chapters and this chapter, to the extent the authority is not preempted by federal law. Notwithstanding Chapters 4905. and 4909. of the Revised Code, commission authority under this chapter shall include the authority to provide for the recovery, through a reconcilable rider on an electric distribution utility's distribution rates, of all transmission and transmission-related costs, including ancillary and congestion costs, imposed on or charged to the utility by the federal energy regulatory commission or a regional transmission organization, independent transmission operator, or similar organization approved by the federal energy regulatory commission.

The commission shall exercise its jurisdiction with respect to the delivery of electricity by an electric utility in this state on or after the starting date of competitive retail electric service so as to ensure that no aspect of the delivery of electricity by the utility to consumers in this state that consists of a noncompetitive retail electric service is unregulated.

On and after that starting date, a noncompetitive retail electric service supplied by an electric cooperative shall not be subject to supervision and regulation by the commission under Chapters 4901. to 4909., 4933., 4935., and 4963. of the Revised Code, except sections 4933.81 to 4933.90 and 4935.03 of the Revised Code. The commission's authority to enforce those excepted sections with respect to a noncompetitive retail electric service of an electric cooperative shall be such authority as is provided for their enforcement under Chapters 4933. and 4935. of the Revised Code.

(B) Nothing in this chapter affects the authority of the commission under Title XLIX of the Revised Code to regulate an electric light company in this state or an electric service supplied in this state prior to the starting date of competitive retail electric service.

Sec. 4928.09.  (A)(1) No person shall operate in this state as an electric utility, an electric services company, or a billing and collection agent, or a regional transmission organization approved by the federal energy regulatory commission and having the responsibility for maintaining reliability in all or part of this state on and after the starting date of competitive retail electric service 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 commission a document designating that agent.

(2) No person shall continue to operate as such an electric utility, electric services company, or billing and collection agent, or regional transmission organization described in division (A)(1) of this section 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) to (3) of this section shall be in writing, on forms prescribed by the public utilities 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. 4928.14. (A) After its market development period, an electric distribution utility in this state shall provide consumers, on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis within its certified territory, a market-based standard service offer of all competitive retail electric services necessary to maintain essential electric service to consumers, including a firm supply of electric generation service. Such offer shall be filed with the public utilities commission under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code.

(B) After that market development period, each electric distribution utility also shall offer customers within its certified territory an option to purchase competitive retail electric service the price of which is determined through a competitive bidding process. Prior to January 1, 2004, the commission shall adopt rules concerning the conduct of the competitive bidding process, including the information requirements necessary for customers to choose this option and the requirements to evaluate qualified bidders. The commission may require that the competitive bidding process be reviewed by an independent third party. No generation supplier shall be prohibited from participating in the bidding process, provided that any winning bidder shall be considered a certified supplier for purposes of obligations to customers. At the election of the electric distribution utility, and approval of the commission, the competitive bidding option under this division may be used as the market-based standard offer required by division (A) of this section. The commission may determine at any time that a competitive bidding process is not required, if other means to accomplish generally the same option for customers is readily available in the market and a reasonable means for customer participation is developed.

(C) After the market development period, the The failure of a supplier to provide retail electric generation service to customers within the certified territory of the an electric distribution utility shall result in the supplier's customers, after reasonable notice, defaulting to the utility's standard service offer filed under division (A) of this section sections 4928.141, 4928.142, and 4928.143 of the Revised Code until the customer chooses an alternative supplier. A supplier is deemed under this division section to have failed to provide such service if the commission finds, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, that any of the following conditions are met:

(1)(A) The supplier has defaulted on its contracts with customers, is in receivership, or has filed for bankruptcy.

(2)(B) The supplier is no longer capable of providing the service.

(3)(C) The supplier is unable to provide delivery to transmission or distribution facilities for such period of time as may be reasonably specified by commission rule adopted under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code.

(4)(D) The supplier's certification has been suspended, conditionally rescinded, or rescinded under division (D) of section 4928.08 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4928.141. (A) Beginning January 1, 2009, an electric distribution utility shall provide consumers, on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis within its certified territory, a standard service offer of all competitive retail electric services necessary to maintain essential electric service to consumers, including a firm supply of electric generation service. To that end, the electric distribution utility shall apply to the public utilities commission to establish the standard service offer in accordance with section 4928.142 or 4928.143 of the Revised Code and, at its discretion, may apply simultaneously under both sections, except that the utility's first standard service offer application at minimum shall include a filing under section 4928.143 of the Revised Code. Only a standard service offer authorized in accordance with section 4928.142 or 4928.143 of the Revised Code, shall serve as the utility's standard service offer for the purpose of compliance with this section; and that standard service offer shall serve as the utility's default standard service offer for the purpose of section 4928.14 of the Revised Code. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, the rate plan of an electric distribution utility shall continue for the purpose of the utility's compliance with this division until a standard service offer is first authorized under section 4928.142 or 4928.143 of the Revised Code, and, as applicable, pursuant to division (D) of section 4928.143 of the Revised Code, any rate plan that extends beyond December 31, 2008, shall continue to be in effect for the subject electric distribution utility for the duration of the plan's term. A standard service offer under section 4928.142 or 4928.143 of the Revised Code shall exclude any previously authorized allowances for transition costs, with such exclusion being effective on and after the date that the allowance is scheduled to end under the utility's rate plan.

(B) The commission shall set the time for hearing of a filing under section 4928.142 or 4928.143 of the Revised Code, send written notice of the hearing to the electric distribution utility, and publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in the utility's certified territory. The commission shall adopt rules regarding filings under those sections.

Sec. 4928.142. (A) For the purpose of complying with section 4928.141 of the Revised Code and subject to division (D) of this section and, as applicable, subject to the rate plan requirement of division (A) of section 4928.141 of the Revised Code, an electric distribution utility may establish a standard service offer price for retail electric generation service that is delivered to the utility under a market-rate offer.

(1) The market-rate offer shall be determined through a competitive bidding process that provides for all of the following:

(a) Open, fair, and transparent competitive solicitation;

(b) Clear product definition;

(c) Standardized bid evaluation criteria;

(d) Oversight by an independent third party that shall design the solicitation, administer the bidding, and ensure that the criteria specified in division (A)(1)(a) to (c) of this section are met;

(e) Evaluation of the submitted bids prior to the selection of the least-cost bid winner or winners.

No generation supplier shall be prohibited from participating in the bidding process.

(2) The public utilities commission shall modify rules, or adopt new rules as necessary, concerning the conduct of the competitive bidding process and the qualifications of bidders, which rules shall foster supplier participation in the bidding process and shall be consistent with the requirements of division (A)(1) of this section.

(B) Prior to initiating a competitive bidding process for a market-rate offer under division (A) of this section, the electric distribution utility shall file an application with the commission. An electric distribution utility may file its application with the commission prior to the effective date of the commission rules required under division (A)(2) of this section, and, as the commission determines necessary, the utility shall immediately conform its filing to the rules upon their taking effect.

An application under this division shall detail the electric distribution utility's proposed compliance with the requirements of division (A)(1) of this section and with commission rules under division (A)(2) of this section and demonstrate that all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The electric distribution utility or its transmission service affiliate belongs to at least one regional transmission organization that has been approved by the federal energy regulatory commission; or there otherwise is comparable and nondiscriminatory access to the electric transmission grid.

(2) Any such regional transmission organization has a market-monitor function and the ability to take actions to identify and mitigate market power or the electric distribution utility's market conduct; or a similar market monitoring function exists with commensurate ability to identify and monitor market conditions and mitigate conduct associated with the exercise of market power.

(3) A published source of information is available publicly or through subscription that identifies pricing information for traded electricity on- and off-peak energy products that are contracts for delivery beginning at least two years from the date of the publication and is updated on a regular basis.

The commission shall initiate a proceeding and, within ninety days after the application's filing date, shall determine by order whether the electric distribution utility and its market-rate offer meet all of the foregoing requirements. If the finding is positive, the electric distribution utility may initiate its competitive bidding process. If the finding is negative as to one or more requirements, the commission in the order shall direct the electric distribution utility regarding how any deficiency may be remedied in a timely manner to the commission's satisfaction; otherwise, the electric distribution utility shall withdraw the application. However, if such remedy is made and the subsequent finding is positive and also if the electric distribution utility made a simultaneous filing under this section and section 4928.143 of the Revised Code, the utility shall not initiate its competitive bid until at least one hundred fifty days after the filing date of those applications.

(C) Upon the completion of the competitive bidding process authorized by divisions (A) and (B) of this section, including for the purpose of division (D) of this section, the commission shall select the least-cost bid winner or winners of that process, and such selected bid or bids, as prescribed as retail rates by the commission, shall be the electric distribution utility's standard service offer unless the commission, by order issued before the third calendar day following the conclusion of the competitive bidding process for the market rate offer, determines that one or more of the following criteria were not met:

(1) Each portion of the bidding process was oversubscribed, such that the amount of supply bid upon was greater than the amount of the load bid out.

(2) There were four or more bidders.

(3) At least twenty-five per cent of the load is bid upon by one or more persons other than the electric distribution utility.

All costs incurred by the electric distribution utility as a result of or related to the competitive bidding process or to procuring generation service to provide the standard service offer, including the costs of energy and capacity and the costs of all other products and services procured as a result of the competitive bidding process, shall be timely recovered through the standard service offer price, and, for that purpose, the commission shall approve a reconciliation mechanism, other recovery mechanism, or a combination of such mechanisms for the utility.

(D) The first application filed under this section by an electric distribution utility that, as of the effective date of this section, directly owns, in whole or in part, operating electric generating facilities that had been used and useful in this state shall require that a portion of that utility's standard service offer load for the first five years of the market rate offer be competitively bid under division (A) of this section as follows: ten per cent of the load in year one and not less than twenty per cent in year two, thirty per cent in year three, forty per cent in year four, and fifty per cent in year five. Consistent with those percentages, the commission shall determine the actual percentages for each year of years one through five. The standard service offer price for retail electric generation service under this first application shall be a proportionate blend of the bid price and the generation service price for the remaining standard service offer load, which latter price shall be equal to the electric distribution utility's most recent standard service offer price, adjusted upward or downward as the commission determines reasonable, relative to the jurisdictional portion of any known and measurable changes from the level of any one or more of the following costs as reflected in that most recent standard service offer price:

(1) The electric distribution utility's prudently incurred cost of fuel used to produce electricity;

(2) Its prudently incurred purchased power costs;

(3) Its prudently incurred costs of satisfying the supply and demand portfolio requirements of this state, including, but not limited to, renewable energy resource and energy efficiency requirements;

(4) Its costs prudently incurred to comply with environmental laws and regulations, with consideration of the derating of any facility associated with those costs.

In making any adjustment to the most recent standard service offer price on the basis of costs described in division (D) of this section, the commission shall include the benefits that may become available to the electric distribution utility as a result of or in connection with the costs included in the adjustment, including, but not limited to, the utility's receipt of emissions credits or its receipt of tax benefits or of other benefits, and, accordingly, the commission may impose such conditions on the adjustment to ensure that any such benefits are properly aligned with the associated cost responsibility. The commission shall also determine how such adjustments will affect the electric distribution utility's return on common equity that may be achieved by those adjustments. The commission shall not apply its consideration of the return on common equity to reduce any adjustments authorized under this division unless the adjustments will cause the electric distribution utility to earn a return on common equity that is significantly in excess of the return on common equity that is earned by publicly traded companies, including utilities, that face comparable business and financial risk, with such adjustments for capital structure as may be appropriate. The burden of proof for demonstrating that significantly excessive earnings will not occur shall be on the electric distribution utility.

Additionally, the commission may adjust the electric distribution utility's most recent standard service offer price by such just and reasonable amount that the commission determines necessary to address any emergency that threatens the utility's financial integrity or to ensure that the resulting revenue available to the utility for providing the standard service offer is not so inadequate as to result, directly or indirectly, in a taking of property without compensation pursuant to Section 19 of Article I, Ohio Constitution. The electric distribution utility has the burden of demonstrating that any adjustment to its most recent standard service offer price is proper in accordance with this division.

(E) Beginning in the second year of a blended price under division (D) of this section and notwithstanding any other requirement of this section, the commission may alter prospectively the proportions specified in that division to mitigate any effect of an abrupt or significant change in the electric distribution utility's standard service offer price that would otherwise result in general or with respect to any rate group or rate schedule but for such alteration. Any such alteration shall be made not more often than annually, and the commission shall not, by altering those proportions and in any event, including because of the length of time, as authorized under division (C) of this section, taken to approve the market rate offer, cause the duration of the blending period to exceed ten years as counted from the effective date of the approved market rate offer. Additionally, any such alteration shall be limited to an alteration affecting the prospective proportions used during the blending period and shall not affect any blending proportion previously approved and applied by the commission under this division.

(F) An electric distribution utility that has received commission approval of its first application under division (C) of this section shall not, nor ever shall be authorized or required by the commission to, file an application under section 4928.143 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4928.143. (A) For the purpose of complying with section 4928.141 of the Revised Code, an electric distribution utility may file an application for public utilities commission approval of an electric security plan as prescribed under division (B) of this section. The utility may file that application prior to the effective date of any rules the commission may adopt for the purpose of this section, and, as the commission determines necessary, the utility immediately shall conform its filing to those rules upon their taking effect.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of Title XLIX of the Revised Code to the contrary except division (D) of this section, divisions (I), (J), and (K) of section 4928.20, division (E) of section 4928.64, and section 4928.69 of the Revised Code:

(1) An electric security plan shall include provisions relating to the supply and pricing of electric generation service. In addition, if the proposed electric security plan has a term longer than three years, it may include provisions in the plan to permit the commission to test the plan pursuant to division (E) of this section and any transitional conditions that should be adopted by the commission if the commission terminates the plan as authorized under that division.

(2) The plan may provide for or include, without limitation, any of the following:

(a) Automatic recovery of any of the following costs of the electric distribution utility, provided the cost is prudently incurred: the cost of fuel used to generate the electricity supplied under the offer; the cost of purchased power supplied under the offer, including the cost of energy and capacity, and including purchased power acquired from an affiliate; the cost of emission allowances; and the cost of federally mandated carbon or energy taxes;

(b) A reasonable allowance for construction work in progress for any of the electric distribution utility's cost of constructing an electric generating facility or for an environmental expenditure for any electric generating facility of the electric distribution utility, provided the cost is incurred or the expenditure occurs on or after January 1, 2009. Any such allowance shall be subject to the construction work in progress allowance limitations of division (A) of section 4909.15 of the Revised Code, except that the commission may authorize such an allowance upon the incurrence of the cost or occurrence of the expenditure. No such allowance for generating facility construction shall be authorized, however, unless the commission first determines in the proceeding that there is need for the facility based on resource planning projections submitted by the electric distribution utility. Further, no such allowance shall be authorized unless the facility's construction was sourced through a competitive bid process, regarding which process the commission may adopt rules. An allowance approved under division (B)(2)(b) of this section shall be established as a nonbypassable surcharge for the life of the facility.

(c) The establishment of a nonbypassable surcharge for the life of an electric generating facility that is owned or operated by the electric distribution utility, was sourced through a competitive bid process subject to any such rules as the commission adopts under division (B)(2)(b) of this section, and is newly used and useful on or after January 1, 2009, which surcharge shall cover all costs of the utility specified in the application, excluding costs recovered through a surcharge under division (B)(2)(b) of this section. However, no surcharge shall be authorized unless the commission first determines in the proceeding that there is need for the facility based on resource planning projections submitted by the electric distribution utility. Additionally, if a surcharge is authorized for a facility pursuant to plan approval under division (C) of this section and as a condition of the continuation of the surcharge, the electric distribution utility shall dedicate to Ohio consumers the capacity and energy and the rate associated with the cost of that facility. Before the commission authorizes any surcharge pursuant to this division, it may consider, as applicable, the effects of any decommissioning, deratings, and retirements.

(d) Terms, conditions, or charges relating to limitations on customer shopping for retail electric generation service, bypassability, standby, back-up, or supplemental power service, default service, carrying costs, amortization periods, and accounting or deferrals, including future recovery of such deferrals, as would have the effect of stabilizing or providing certainty regarding retail electric service;

(e) Automatic increases or decreases in any component of the standard service offer price;

(f) Provisions for the electric distribution utility to securitize any phase-in, inclusive of carrying charges, of the utility's standard service offer price, which phase-in is authorized in accordance with section 4928.144 of the Revised Code; and provisions for the recovery of the utility's cost of securitization.

(g) Provisions relating to transmission, ancillary, congestion, or any related service required for the standard service offer, including provisions for the recovery of any cost of such service that the electric distribution utility incurs on or after that date pursuant to the standard service offer;

(h) Provisions regarding the utility's distribution service, including, without limitation and notwithstanding any provision of Title XLIX of the Revised Code to the contrary, provisions regarding single issue ratemaking, a revenue decoupling mechanism or any other incentive ratemaking, and provisions regarding distribution infrastructure and modernization incentives for the electric distribution utility. The latter may include a long-term energy delivery infrastructure modernization plan for that utility or any plan providing for the utility's recovery of costs, including lost revenue, shared savings, and avoided costs, and a just and reasonable rate of return on such infrastructure modernization. As part of its determination as to whether to allow in an electric distribution utility's electric security plan inclusion of any provision described in division (B)(2)(h) of this section, the commission shall examine the reliability of the electric distribution utility's distribution system and ensure that customers' and the electric distribution utility's expectations are aligned and that the electric distribution utility is placing sufficient emphasis on and dedicating sufficient resources to the reliability of its distribution system.

(i) Provisions under which the electric distribution utility may implement economic development, job retention, and energy efficiency programs, which provisions may allocate program costs across all classes of customers of the utility and those of electric distribution utilities in the same holding company system.

(C)(1) The burden of proof in the proceeding shall be on the electric distribution utility. The commission shall issue an order under this division for an initial application under this section not later than one hundred fifty days after the application's filing date and, for any subsequent application by the utility under this section, not later than two hundred seventy-five days after the application's filing date. Subject to division (D) of this section, the commission by order shall approve or modify and approve an application filed under division (A) of this section if it finds that the electric security plan so approved, including its pricing and all other terms and conditions, including any deferrals and any future recovery of deferrals, is more favorable in the aggregate as compared to the expected results that would otherwise apply under section 4928.142 of the Revised Code. Additionally, if the commission so approves an application that contains a surcharge under division (B)(2)(b) or (c) of this section, the commission shall ensure that the benefits derived for any purpose for which the surcharge is established are reserved and made available to those that bear the surcharge. Otherwise, the commission by order shall disapprove the application.

(2)(a) If the commission modifies and approves an application under division (C)(1) of this section, the electric distribution utility may withdraw the application, thereby terminating it, and may file a new standard service offer under this section or a standard service offer under section 4928.142 of the Revised Code.

(b) If the utility terminates an application pursuant to division (C)(2)(a) of this section or if the commission disapproves an application under division (C)(1) of this section, the commission shall issue such order as is necessary to continue the provisions, terms, and conditions of the utility's most recent standard service offer, along with any expected increases or decreases in fuel costs from those contained in that offer, until a subsequent offer is authorized pursuant to this section or section 4928.142 of the Revised Code, respectively.

(D) Regarding the rate plan requirement of division (A) of section 4928.141 of the Revised Code, if an electric distribution utility that has a rate plan that extends beyond December 31, 2008, files an application under this section for the purpose of its compliance with division (A) of section 4928.141 of the Revised Code, that rate plan and its terms and conditions are hereby incorporated into its proposed electric security plan and shall continue in effect until the date scheduled under the rate plan for its expiration, and that portion of the electric security plan shall not be subject to commission approval or disapproval under division (C) of this section, and the earnings test provided for in division (F) of this section shall not apply until after the expiration of the rate plan. However, that utility may include in its electric security plan under this section, and the commission may approve, modify and approve, or disapprove subject to division (C) of this section, provisions for the incremental recovery or the deferral of any costs that are not being recovered under the rate plan and that the utility incurs during that continuation period to comply with section 4928.141, division (B) of section 4928.64, or division (A) of section 4928.66 of the Revised Code.

(E) If an electric security plan approved under division (C) of this section, except one withdrawn by the utility as authorized under that division, has a term, exclusive of phase-ins or deferrals, that exceeds three years from the effective date of the plan, the commission shall test the plan in the fourth year, and if applicable, every fourth year thereafter, to determine whether the plan, including its then-existing pricing and all other terms and conditions, including any deferrals and any future recovery of deferrals, continues to be more favorable in the aggregate and during the remaining term of the plan as compared to the expected results that would otherwise apply under section 4928.142 of the Revised Code. The commission shall also determine the prospective effect of the electric security plan to determine if that effect is substantially likely to provide the electric distribution utility with a return on common equity that is significantly in excess of the return on common equity that is likely to be earned by publicly traded companies, including utilities, that face comparable business and financial risk, with such adjustments for capital structure as may be appropriate. The burden of proof for demonstrating that significantly excessive earnings will not occur shall be on the electric distribution utility. If the test results are in the negative or the commission finds that continuation of the electric security plan will result in a return on equity that is significantly in excess of the return on common equity that is likely to be earned by publicly traded companies, including utilities, that will face comparable business and financial risk, with such adjustments for capital structure as may be appropriate, during the balance of the plan, the commission may terminate the electric security plan, but not until it shall have provided interested parties with notice and an opportunity to be heard. The commission may impose such conditions on the plan's termination as it considers reasonable and necessary to accommodate the transition from an approved plan to the more advantageous alternative. In the event of an electric security plan's termination pursuant to this division, the commission shall permit the continued deferral and phase-in of any amounts that occurred prior to that termination and the recovery of those amounts as contemplated under that electric security plan.

(F) With regard to the provisions that are included in an electric security plan under this section, the commission shall consider, following the end of each annual period of the plan, if any such adjustments resulted in excessive earnings as measured by whether the earned return on common equity of the electric distribution utility is significantly in excess of the return on common equity that was earned during the same period by publicly traded companies, including utilities, that face comparable business and financial risk, with such adjustments for capital structure as may be appropriate. Consideration also shall be given to the capital requirements of future committed investments in this state. The burden of proof for demonstrating that significantly excessive earnings did not occur shall be on the electric distribution utility. If the commission finds that such adjustments, in the aggregate, did result in significantly excessive earnings, it shall require the electric distribution utility to return to consumers the amount of the excess by prospective adjustments; provided that, upon making such prospective adjustments, the electric distribution utility shall have the right to terminate the plan and immediately file an application pursuant to section 4928.142 of the Revised Code. Upon termination of a plan under this division, rates shall be set on the same basis as specified in division (C)(2)(b) of this section, and the commission shall permit the continued deferral and phase-in of any amounts that occurred prior to that termination and the recovery of those amounts as contemplated under that electric security plan. In making its determination of significantly excessive earnings under this division, the commission shall not consider, directly or indirectly, the revenue, expenses, or earnings of any affiliate or parent company.

Sec. 4928.144.  The public utilities commission by order may authorize any just and reasonable phase-in of any electric distribution utility rate or price established under sections 4928.141 to 4928.143 of the Revised Code, and inclusive of carrying charges, as the commission considers necessary to ensure rate or price stability for consumers. If the commission's order includes such a phase-in, the order also shall provide for the creation of regulatory assets pursuant to generally accepted accounting principles, by authorizing the deferral of incurred costs equal to the amount not collected, plus carrying charges on that amount. Further, the order shall authorize the collection of those deferrals through a nonbypassable surcharge on any such rate or price so established for the electric distribution utility by the commission.

Sec. 4928.145.  During a proceeding under sections 4928.141 to 4928.144 of the Revised Code and upon submission of an appropriate discovery request, an electric distribution utility shall make available to the requesting party every contract or agreement that is between the utility or any of its affiliates and a party to the proceeding, consumer, electric services company, or political subdivision and that is relevant to the proceeding, subject to such protection for proprietary or confidential information as is determined appropriate by the public utilities commission.

Sec. 4928.146. Nothing in sections 4928.141 to 4928.145 of the Revised Code precludes or prohibits an electric distribution utility providing competitive retail electric service to electric load centers within the certified territory of another such utility.

Sec. 4928.151. The public utilities commission shall adopt and enforce rules prescribing a uniform, statewide policy regarding electric transmission and distribution line extensions and requisite substations and related facilities that are requested by nonresidential customers of electric utilities, so that, on and after the effective date of the initial rules so adopted, all such utilities apply the same policies and charges to those customers. Initial rules shall be adopted not later than six months after the effective date of this section. The rules shall address the just and reasonable allocation to and utility recovery from the requesting customer or other customers of the utility of all costs of any such line extension and any requisite substation or related facility, including, but not limited to, the costs of necessary technical studies, operations and maintenance costs, and capital costs, including a return on capital costs.

Sec. 4928.17.  (A) Except as otherwise provided in sections 4928.142 or 4928.143 or 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code and beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service, no electric utility shall engage in this state, either directly or through an affiliate, in the businesses of supplying a noncompetitive retail electric service and supplying a competitive retail electric service, or in the businesses of supplying a noncompetitive retail electric service and supplying a product or service other than retail electric service, unless the utility implements and operates under a corporate separation plan that is approved by the public utilities commission under this section, is consistent with the policy specified in section 4928.02 of the Revised Code, and achieves all of the following:

(1) The plan provides, at minimum, for the provision of the competitive retail electric service or the nonelectric product or service through a fully separated affiliate of the utility, and the plan includes separate accounting requirements, the code of conduct as ordered by the commission pursuant to a rule it shall adopt under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code, and such other measures as are necessary to effectuate the policy specified in section 4928.02 of the Revised Code.

(2) The plan satisfies the public interest in preventing unfair competitive advantage and preventing the abuse of market power.

(3) The plan is sufficient to ensure that the utility will not extend any undue preference or advantage to any affiliate, division, or part of its own business engaged in the business of supplying the competitive retail electric service or nonelectric product or service, including, but not limited to, utility resources such as trucks, tools, office equipment, office space, supplies, customer and marketing information, advertising, billing and mailing systems, personnel, and training, without compensation based upon fully loaded embedded costs charged to the affiliate; and to ensure that any such affiliate, division, or part will not receive undue preference or advantage from any affiliate, division, or part of the business engaged in business of supplying the noncompetitive retail electric service. No such utility, affiliate, division, or part shall extend such undue preference. Notwithstanding any other division of this section, a utility's obligation under division (A)(3) of this section shall be effective January 1, 2000.

(B) The commission may approve, modify and approve, or disapprove a corporate separation plan filed with the commission under division (A) of this section. As part of the code of conduct required under division (A)(1) of this section, the commission shall adopt rules pursuant to division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code regarding corporate separation and procedures for plan filing and approval. The rules shall include limitations on affiliate practices solely for the purpose of maintaining a separation of the affiliate's business from the business of the utility to prevent unfair competitive advantage by virtue of that relationship. The rules also shall include an opportunity for any person having a real and substantial interest in the corporate separation plan to file specific objections to the plan and propose specific responses to issues raised in the objections, which objections and responses the commission shall address in its final order. Prior to commission approval of the plan, the commission shall afford a hearing upon those aspects of the plan that the commission determines reasonably require a hearing. The commission may reject and require refiling of a substantially inadequate plan under this section.

(C) The commission shall issue an order approving or modifying and approving a corporate separation plan under this section, to be effective on the date specified in the order, only upon findings that the plan reasonably complies with the requirements of division (A) of this section and will provide for ongoing compliance with the policy specified in section 4928.02 of the Revised Code. However, for good cause shown, the commission may issue an order approving or modifying and approving a corporate separation plan under this section that does not comply with division (A)(1) of this section but complies with such functional separation requirements as the commission authorizes to apply for an interim period prescribed in the order, upon a finding that such alternative plan will provide for ongoing compliance with the policy specified in section 4928.02 of the Revised Code.

(D) Any party may seek an amendment to a corporate separation plan approved under this section, and the commission, pursuant to a request from any party or on its own initiative, may order as it considers necessary the filing of an amended corporate separation plan to reflect changed circumstances.

(E) Notwithstanding section 4905.20, 4905.21, 4905.46, or 4905.48 of the Revised Code, an No electric distribution utility may divest itself of shall sell or transfer any generating asset it wholly or partly owns at any time without obtaining prior commission approval, subject to the provisions of Title XLIX of the Revised Code relating to the transfer of transmission, distribution, or ancillary service provided by such generating asset.

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. 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 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 three years, without paying a switching fee. Any such person that opts out before the commencement 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 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 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 electric services company 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.

(I) Customers that are part of a governmental aggregation under this section shall be responsible only for such portion of a surcharge under section 4928.144 of the Revised Code that is proportionate to the benefits, as determined by the commission, that the governmental aggregation's customers as an aggregated group receive. The proportionate surcharge so established shall apply to each customer of the governmental aggregation while the customer is part of that aggregation. If a customer ceases being such a customer, the otherwise applicable surcharge shall apply. Nothing in this section shall result in less than full recovery by an electric distribution utility of any surcharge authorized under section 4928.144 of the Revised Code.

(J) On behalf of the customers that are part of a governmental aggregation under this section and by filing written notice with the public utilities commission, the legislative authority that formed or is forming that governmental aggregation may elect not to receive standby service within the meaning of division (B)(2)(e) of section 4928.143 of the Revised Code from an electric distribution utility in whose certified territory the governmental aggregation is located and that operates under an approved electric security plan under that section. Upon the filing of that notice, the electric distribution utility shall not charge any such customer to whom electricity is delivered under the governmental aggregation for the standby service. Any such consumer that returns to the utility for competitive retail electric service shall pay the market price of power incurred by the utility to serve that consumer plus any amount attributable to the utility's cost of compliance with the alternative energy resource provisions of section 4928.64 of the Revised Code to serve the consumer. Such market price shall include, but not be limited to, capacity and energy charges; all charges associated with the provision of that power supply through the regional transmission organization, including, but not limited to, transmission, ancillary services, congestion, and settlement and administrative charges; and all other costs incurred by the utility that are associated with the procurement, provision, and administration of that power supply, as such costs may be approved by the commission. The period of time during which the market price and alternative energy resource amount shall be so assessed on the consumer shall be from the time the consumer so returns to the electric distribution utility until the expiration of the electric security plan. However, if that period of time is expected to be more than two years, the commission may reduce the time period to a period of not less than two years.

(K) The commission shall adopt rules to encourage and promote large-scale governmental aggregation in this state. For that purpose, the commission shall conduct an immediate review of any rules it has adopted for the purpose of this section that are in effect on the effective date of the amendment of this section by S.B. 221 of the 127th general assembly. Further, within the context of an electric security plan under section 4928.143 of the Revised Code, the commission shall consider the effect on large-scale governmental aggregation of any nonbypassable generation charges, however collected, that would be established under that plan, except any nonbypassable generation charge that relates to a cost incurred by the electric distribution utility, the deferral of which has been authorized by the commission prior to the effective date of the amendment of this section by S.B. 221 of the 127th general assembly.

Sec. 4928.24. The public utilities commission shall employ a federal energy advocate to monitor the activities of the federal energy regulatory commission and other federal agencies and to advocate on behalf of the interests of retail electric service consumers in this state. The attorney general shall represent the advocate before the federal energy regulatory commission and other federal agencies. Among other duties assigned to the advocate by the commission, the advocate shall examine the value of the participation of this state's electric utilities in regional transmission organizations and submit a report to the public utilities commission on whether continued participation of those utilities is in the interest of those consumers.

Sec. 4928.31.  (A) Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, an electric utility supplying retail electric service in this state on that date shall file with the public utilities commission a plan for the utility's provision of retail electric service in this state during the market development period. This transition plan shall be in such form as the commission shall prescribe by rule adopted under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code and shall include all of the following:

(1) A rate unbundling plan that specifies, consistent with divisions (A)(1) to (7) of section 4928.34 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code, the unbundles components for electric generation, transmission, and distribution service and such other unbundled service components as the commission requires, to be charged by the utility beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service and that includes information the commission requires to fix and determine those components;

(2) A corporate separation plan consistent with section 4928.17 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code;

(3) Such plan or plans as the commission requires to address operational support systems and any other technical implementation issues pertaining to competitive retail electric service consistent with any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code;

(4) An employee assistance plan for providing severance, retraining, early retirement, retention, outplacement, and other assistance for the utility's employees whose employment is affected by electric industry restructuring under this chapter;

(5) A consumer education plan consistent with former section 4928.42 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code.

A transition plan under this section may include tariff terms and conditions to address reasonable requirements for changing suppliers, length of commitment by a customer for service, and such other matters as are necessary to accommodate electric restructuring. Additionally, a transition plan under this section may include an application for the opportunity to receive transition revenues as authorized under sections 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code, which application shall be consistent with those sections and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code. The transition plan also may include a plan for the independent operation of the utility's transmission facilities consistent with section 4928.12 of the Revised Code, division (A)(13) of section 4928.34 of the Revised Code, and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code.

The commission may reject and require refiling, in whole or in part, of any substantially inadequate transition plan.

(B) The electric utility shall provide public notice of its filing under division (A) of this section, in a form and manner that the commission shall prescribe by rule adopted under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code. However, the adoption of rules regarding the public notice under this division, regarding the form of the transition plan under division (A) of this section, and regarding procedures for expedited discovery under division (A) of section 4928.32 of the Revised Code are not subject to division (D) of section 111.15 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4928.34.  (A) The public utilities commission shall not approve or prescribe a transition plan under division (A) or (B) of section 4928.33 of the Revised Code unless the commission first makes all of the following determinations:

(1) The unbundled components for the electric transmission component of retail electric service, as specified in the utility's rate unbundling plan required by division (A)(1) of section 4928.31 of the Revised Code, equal the tariff rates determined by the federal energy regulatory commission that are in effect on the date of the approval of the transition plan under sections 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code, as each such rate is determined applicable to each particular customer class and rate schedule by the commission. The unbundled transmission component shall include a sliding scale of charges under division (B) of section 4905.31 of the Revised Code to ensure that refunds determined or approved by the federal energy regulatory commission are flowed through to retail electric customers.

(2) The unbundled components for retail electric distribution service in the rate unbundling plan equal the difference between the costs attributable to the utility's transmission and distribution rates and charges under its schedule of rates and charges in effect on the effective date of this section, based upon the record in the most recent rate proceeding of the utility for which the utility's schedule was established, and the tariff rates for electric transmission service determined by the federal energy regulatory commission as described in division (A)(1) of this section.

(3) All other unbundled components required by the commission in the rate unbundling plan equal the costs attributable to the particular service as reflected in the utility's schedule of rates and charges in effect on the effective date of this section.

(4) The unbundled components for retail electric generation service in the rate unbundling plan equal the residual amount remaining after the determination of the transmission, distribution, and other unbundled components, and after any adjustments necessary to reflect the effects of the amendment of section 5727.111 of the Revised Code by Sub. S.B. No. 3 of the 123rd general assembly.

(5) All unbundled components in the rate unbundling plan have been adjusted to reflect any base rate reductions on file with the commission and as scheduled to be in effect by December 31, 2005, under rate settlements in effect on the effective date of this section. However, all earnings obligations, restrictions, or caps imposed on an electric utility in a commission order prior to the effective date of this section are void.

(6) Subject to division (A)(5) of this section, the total of all unbundled components in the rate unbundling plan are capped and shall equal during the market development period, except as specifically provided in this chapter, the total of all rates and charges in effect under the applicable bundled schedule of the electric utility pursuant to section 4905.30 of the Revised Code in effect on the day before the effective date of this section, including the transition charge determined under section 4928.40 of the Revised Code, adjusted for any changes in the taxation of electric utilities and retail electric service under Sub. S.B. No. 3 of the 123rd General Assembly, the universal service rider authorized by section 4928.51 of the Revised Code, and the temporary rider authorized by section 4928.61 of the Revised Code. For the purpose of this division, the rate cap applicable to a customer receiving electric service pursuant to an arrangement approved by the commission under section 4905.31 of the Revised Code is, for the term of the arrangement, the total of all rates and charges in effect under the arrangement. For any rate schedule filed pursuant to section 4905.30 of the Revised Code or any arrangement subject to approval pursuant to section 4905.31 of the Revised Code, the initial tax-related adjustment to the rate cap required by this division shall be equal to the rate of taxation specified in section 5727.81 of the Revised Code and applicable to the schedule or arrangement. To the extent such total annual amount of the tax-related adjustment is greater than or less than the comparable amount of the total annual tax reduction experienced by the electric utility as a result of the provisions of Sub. S.B. No. 3 of the 123RD 123rd general assembly, such difference shall be addressed by the commission through accounting procedures, refunds, or an annual surcharge or credit to customers, or through other appropriate means, to avoid placing the financial responsibility for the difference upon the electric utility or its shareholders. Any adjustments in the rate of taxation specified in 5727.81 of the Revised Code section shall not occur without a corresponding adjustment to the rate cap for each such rate schedule or arrangement. The department of taxation shall advise the commission and self-assessors under section 5727.81 of the Revised Code prior to the effective date of any change in the rate of taxation specified under that section, and the commission shall modify the rate cap to reflect that adjustment so that the rate cap adjustment is effective as of the effective date of the change in the rate of taxation. This division shall be applied, to the extent possible, to eliminate any increase in the price of electricity for customers that otherwise may occur as a result of establishing the taxes contemplated in section 5727.81 of the Revised Code.

(7) The rate unbundling plan complies with any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code.

(8) The corporate separation plan required by division (A)(2) of section 4928.31 of the Revised Code complies with section 4928.17 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code.

(9) Any plan or plans the commission requires to address operational support systems and any other technical implementation issues pertaining to competitive retail electric service comply with any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code.

(10) The employee assistance plan required by division (A)(4) of section 4928.31 of the Revised Code sufficiently provides severance, retraining, early retirement, retention, outplacement, and other assistance for the utility's employees whose employment is affected by electric industry restructuring under this chapter.

(11) The consumer education plan required under division (A)(5) of section 4928.31 of the Revised Code complies with former section 4928.42 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code.

(12) The transition revenues for which an electric utility is authorized a revenue opportunity under sections 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code are the allowable transition costs of the utility as such costs are determined by the commission pursuant to section 4928.39 of the Revised Code, and the transition charges for the customer classes and rate schedules of the utility are the charges determined pursuant to section 4928.40 of the Revised Code.

(13) Any independent transmission plan included in the transition plan filed under section 4928.31 of the Revised Code reasonably complies with section 4928.12 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted by the commission under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code, unless the commission, for good cause shown, authorizes the utility to defer compliance until an order is issued under division (G) of section 4928.35 of the Revised Code.

(14) The utility is in compliance with sections 4928.01 to 4928.11 of the Revised Code and any rules or orders of the commission adopted or issued under those sections.

(15) All unbundled components in the rate unbundling plan have been adjusted to reflect the elimination of the tax on gross receipts imposed by section 5727.30 of the Revised Code.

In addition, a transition plan approved by the commission under section 4928.33 of the Revised Code but not containing an approved independent transmission plan shall contain the express conditions that the utility will comply with an order issued under division (G) of section 4928.35 of the Revised Code.

(B) Subject to division (E) of section 4928.17 of the Revised Code, if the commission finds that any part of the transition plan would constitute an abandonment under sections 4905.20 and 4905.21 of the Revised Code, the commission shall not approve that part of the transition plan unless it makes the finding required for approval of an abandonment application under section 4905.21 of the Revised Code. Sections 4905.20 and 4905.21 of the Revised Code otherwise shall not apply to a transition plan under sections 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4928.35.  (A) Upon approval of its transition plan under sections 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code, an electric utility shall file in accordance with section 4905.30 of the Revised Code schedules containing the unbundled rate components set in the approved plan in accordance with section 4928.34 of the Revised Code. The schedules shall be in effect for the duration of the utility's market development period, shall be subject to the cap specified in division (A)(6) of section 4928.34 of the Revised Code, and shall not be adjusted during that period by the public utilities commission except as otherwise authorized by division (B) of this section or as otherwise authorized by federal law or except to reflect any change in tax law or tax regulation that has a material effect on the electric utility.

(B) Efforts shall be made to reach agreements with electric utilities in matters of litigation regarding property valuation issues. Irrespective of those efforts, the unbundled components for an electric utility's retail electric generation service and distribution service, as provided in division (A) of this section, are not subject to adjustment for the utility's market development period, except that the commission shall order an equitable reduction in those components for all customer classes to reflect any refund a utility receives as a result of the resolution of utility personal property tax valuation litigation that is resolved on or after the effective date of this section and not later than December 31, 2005. Immediately upon the issuance of that order, the electric utility shall file revised rate schedules under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code to effect the order.

(C) The schedule under division (A) of this section containing the unbundled distribution components shall provide that electric distribution service under the schedule will be available to all retail electric service customers in the electric utility's certified territory and their suppliers on a nondiscriminatory and comparable basis on and after the starting date of competitive retail electric service. The schedule also shall include an obligation to build distribution facilities when necessary to provide adequate distribution service, provided that a customer requesting that service may be required to pay all or part of the reasonable incremental cost of the new facilities, in accordance with rules, policy, precedents, or orders of the commission.

(D) During the market development period, an electric distribution utility shall provide consumers on a comparable and nondiscriminatory basis within its certified territory a standard service offer of all competitive retail electric services necessary to maintain essential electric service to consumers, including a firm supply of electric generation service priced in accordance with the schedule containing the utility's unbundled generation service component. Immediately upon approval of its transition plan, the utility shall file the standard service offer with the commission under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code, during the market development period. The failure of a supplier to deliver retail electric generation service shall result in the supplier's customers, after reasonable notice, defaulting to the utility's standard service offer filed under this division until the customer chooses an alternative supplier. A supplier is deemed under this section to have failed to deliver such service if any of the conditions specified in divisions (B)(1) to (4) of section 4928.14 of the Revised Code is met.

(E) An amendment of a corporate separation plan contained in a transition plan approved by the commission under section 4928.33 of the Revised Code shall be filed and approved as a corporate separation plan pursuant to section 4928.17 of the Revised Code.

(F) Any change to an electric utility's opportunity to receive transition revenues under a transition plan approved in accordance with section 4928.33 of the Revised Code shall be authorized only as provided in sections 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code.

(G) The commission, by order, shall require each electric utility whose approved transition plan did not include an independent transmission plan as described in division (A)(13) of section 4928.34 of the Revised Code to be a member of, and transfer control of transmission facilities it owns or controls in this state to, one or more qualifying transmission entities, as described in division (B) of section 4928.12 of the Revised Code, that are planned to be operational on and after December 31, 2003. However, the commission may extend that date if, for reasons beyond the control of the utility, a qualifying transmission entity is not planned to be operational on that date. The commission's order may specify an earlier date on which the transmission entity or entities are planned to be operational if the commission considers it necessary to carry out the policy specified in section 4928.02 of the Revised Code or to encourage effective competition in retail electric service in this state.

Upon the issuance of the order, each such utility shall file with the commission a plan for such independent operation of the utility's transmission facilities consistent with this division. The commission may reject and require refiling of any substantially inadequate plan submitted under this division.

After reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, the commission shall approve the plan upon a finding that the plan will result in the utility's compliance with the order, this division, and any rules adopted under division (A) of section 4928.06 of the Revised Code. The approved independent transmission plan shall be deemed a part of the utility's transition plan for purposes of sections 4928.31 to 4928.40 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4928.61.  (A) There is hereby established in the state treasury the advanced energy fund, into which shall be deposited all advanced energy revenues remitted to the director of development under division (B) of this section, for the exclusive purposes of funding the advanced energy program created under section 4928.62 of the Revised Code and paying the program's administrative costs. Interest on the fund shall be credited to the fund.

(B) Advanced energy revenues shall include all of the following:

(1) Revenues remitted to the director after collection by each electric distribution utility in this state of a temporary rider on retail electric distribution service rates as such rates are determined by the public utilities commission pursuant to this chapter. The rider shall be a uniform amount statewide, determined by the director of development, after consultation with the public benefits advisory board created by section 4928.58 of the Revised Code. The amount shall be determined by dividing an aggregate revenue target for a given year as determined by the director, after consultation with the advisory board, by the number of customers of electric distribution utilities in this state in the prior year. Such aggregate revenue target shall not exceed more than fifteen million dollars in any year through 2005 and shall not exceed more than five million dollars in any year after 2005. The rider shall be imposed beginning on the effective date of the amendment of this section by Sub. H.B. 251 of the 126th general assembly, January 4, 2007, and shall terminate at the end of ten years following the starting date of competitive retail electric service or until the advanced energy fund, including interest, reaches one hundred million dollars, whichever is first.

(2) Revenues from payments, repayments, and collections under the advanced energy program and from program income;

(3) Revenues remitted to the director after collection by a municipal electric utility or electric cooperative in this state upon the utility's or cooperative's decision to participate in the advanced energy fund;

(4) Revenues from renewable energy compliance payments as provided under division (C)(2) of section 4928.64 of the Revised Code;

(5) Revenue from forfeitures under division (C) of section 4928.66 of the Revised Code;

(6) Interest earnings on the advanced energy fund.

(C)(1) Each electric distribution utility in this state shall remit to the director on a quarterly basis the revenues described in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section. Such remittances shall occur within thirty days after the end of each calendar quarter.

(2) Each participating electric cooperative and participating municipal electric utility shall remit to the director on a quarterly basis the revenues described in division (B)(3) of this section. Such remittances shall occur within thirty days after the end of each calendar quarter. For the purpose of division (B)(3) of this section, the participation of an electric cooperative or municipal electric utility in the energy efficiency revolving loan program as it existed immediately prior to the effective date of the amendment of this section by Sub. H.B. 251 of the 126th general assembly, January 4, 2007, does not constitute a decision to participate in the advanced energy fund under this section as so amended.

(3) All remittances under divisions (C)(1) and (2) of this section shall continue only until the end of ten years following the starting date of competitive retail electric service or until the advanced energy fund, including interest, reaches one hundred million dollars, whichever is first.

(D) Any moneys collected in rates for non-low-income customer energy efficiency programs, as of October 5, 1999, and not contributed to the energy efficiency revolving loan fund authorized under this section prior to the effective date of its amendment by Sub. H.B. 251 of the 126th general assembly, January 4, 2007, shall be used to continue to fund cost-effective, residential energy efficiency programs, be contributed into the universal service fund as a supplement to that required under section 4928.53 of the Revised Code, or be returned to ratepayers in the form of a rate reduction at the option of the affected electric distribution utility.

Sec. 4928.621. (A) Any Edison technology center in this state is eligible to apply for and receive assistance pursuant to section 4928.62 of the Revised Code for the purposes of creating an advanced energy manufacturing center in this state that will provide for the exchange of information and expertise regarding advanced energy, assisting with the design of advanced energy projects, developing workforce training programs for such projects, and encouraging investment in advanced energy manufacturing technologies for advanced energy products and investment in sustainable manufacturing operations that create high-paying jobs in this state.

(B) Any university or group of universities in this state that conducts research on any advanced energy resource or any not-for-profit corporation formed to address issues affecting the price and availability of electricity and having members that are small businesses may apply for and receive assistance pursuant to section 4928.62 of the Revised Code for the purpose of encouraging research in this state that is directed at innovation in or the refinement of those resources or for the purpose of educational outreach regarding those resources and, to that end, shall use that assistance to establish such a program of research or education outreach. Any such educational outreach shall be directed at an increase in, innovation regarding, or refinement of access by or of application or understanding of businesses and consumers in this state regarding, advanced energy resources.

(C) Any independent group located in this state the express objective of which is to educate small businesses in this state regarding renewable energy resources and energy efficiency programs, or any small business located in this state electing to utilize an advanced energy project or participate in an energy efficiency program, is eligible to apply for and receive assistance pursuant to section 4928.62 of the Revised Code.

(D) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the eligibility of any qualifying entity to apply for or receive assistance pursuant to section 4928.62 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4928.64. (A)(1) As used in sections 4928.64 and 4928.65 of the Revised Code, "alternative energy resource" means an advanced energy resource or renewable energy resource, as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code that has a placed-in-service date of January 1, 1998, or after; or a mercantile customer-sited advance energy resource or renewable energy resource, whether new or existing, that the mercantile customer commits for integration into the electric distribution utility's demand-response, energy efficiency, or peak demand reduction programs as provided under division (B)(2)(b) of section 4928.66 of the Revised Code, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(a) A resource that has the effect of improving the relationship between real and reactive power;

(b) A resource that makes efficient use of waste heat or other thermal capabilities owned or controlled by a mercantile customer;

(c) Storage technology that allows a mercantile customer more flexibility to modify its demand or load and usage characteristics;

(d) Electric generation equipment owned or controlled by a mercantile customer that uses an advanced energy resource or renewable energy resource;

(e) Any advanced energy resource or renewable energy resource of the mercantile customer that can be utilized effectively as part of any advanced energy resource plan of an electric distribution utility and would otherwise qualify as an alternative energy resource if it were utilized directly by an electric distribution utility.

(2) For the purpose of this section and as it considers appropriate, the public utilities commission may classify any new technology as such an advanced energy resource or a renewable energy resource.

(B) By 2025 and thereafter, an electric distribution utility shall provide from alternative energy resources, including, at its discretion, alternative energy resources obtained pursuant to an electricity supply contract, a portion of the electricity supply required for its standard service offer under section 4928.141 of the Revised Code, and an electric services company shall provide a portion of its electricity supply for retail consumers in this state from alternative energy resources, including, at its discretion, alternative energy resources obtained pursuant to an electricity supply contract. That portion shall equal twenty-five per cent of the total number of kilowatt hours of electricity sold by the subject utility or company to any and all retail electric consumers whose electric load centers are served by that utility and are located within the utility's certified territory or, in the case of an electric services company, are served by the company and are located within this state. However, nothing in this section precludes a utility or company from providing a greater percentage. The baseline for a utility's or company's compliance with the alternative energy resource requirements of this section shall be the average of such total kilowatt hours it sold in the preceding three calendar years, except that the commission may reduce a utility's or company's baseline to adjust for new economic growth in the utility's certified territory or, in the case of an electric services company, in the company's service area in this state.

Of the alternative energy resources implemented by the subject utility or company by 2025 and thereafter:

(1) Half may be generated from advanced energy resources;

(2) At least half shall be generated from renewable energy resources, including one-half per cent from solar energy resources, in accordance with the following benchmarks:


By end of year Renewable energy resources Solar energy resources
2009 0.25% 0.004%
2010 0.50% 0.010%
2011 1% 0.030%
2012 1.5% 0.060%
2013 2% 0.090%
2014 2.5% 0.12%
2015 3.5% 0.15%
2016 4.5% 0.18%
2017 5.5% 0.22%
2018 6.5% 0.26%
2019 7.5% 0.3%
2020 8.5% 0.34%
2021 9.5% 0.38%
2022 10.5% 0.42%
2023 11.5% 0.46%
2024 and each calendar year thereafter 12.5% 0.5%

(3) At least one-half of the renewable energy resources implemented by the utility or company shall be met through facilities located in this state; the remainder shall be met with resources that can be shown to be deliverable into this state.

(C)(1) The commission annually shall review an electric distribution utility's or electric services company's compliance with the most recent applicable benchmark under division (B)(2) of this section and, in the course of that review, shall identify any undercompliance or noncompliance of the utility or company that it determines is weather-related, related to equipment or resource shortages for advanced energy or renewable energy resources as applicable, or is otherwise outside the utility's or company's control.

(2) Subject to the cost cap provisions of division (C)(3) of this section, if the commission determines, after notice and opportunity for hearing, and based upon its findings in that review regarding avoidable undercompliance or noncompliance, but subject to division (C)(4) of this section, that the utility or company has failed to comply with any such benchmark, the commission shall impose a renewable energy compliance payment on the utility or company.

(a) The compliance payment pertaining to the solar energy resource benchmarks under division (B)(2) of this section shall be an amount per megawatt hour of undercompliance or noncompliance in the period under review, starting at four hundred fifty dollars for 2009, four hundred dollars for 2010 and 2011, and similarly reduced every two years thereafter through 2024 by fifty dollars, to a minimum of fifty dollars.

(b) The compliance payment pertaining to the renewable energy resource benchmarks under division (B)(2) of this section shall equal the number of additional renewable energy credits that the electric distribution utility or electric services company would have needed to comply with the applicable benchmark in the period under review times an amount that shall begin at forty-five dollars and shall be adjusted annually by the commission to reflect any change in the consumer price index as defined in section 101.27 of the Revised Code, but shall not be less than forty-five dollars.

(c) The compliance payment shall not be passed through by the electric distribution utility or electric services company to consumers. The compliance payment shall be remitted to the commission, for deposit to the credit of the advanced energy fund created under section 4928.61 of the Revised Code. Payment of the compliance payment shall be subject to such collection and enforcement procedures as apply to the collection of a forfeiture under sections 4905.55 to 4905.60 and 4905.64 of the Revised Code.

(3) An electric distribution utility or an electric services company need not comply with a benchmark under division (B)(1) or (2) of this section to the extent that its reasonably expected cost of that compliance exceeds its reasonably expected cost of otherwise producing or acquiring the requisite electricity by three per cent or more.

(4)(a) An electric distribution utility or electric services company may request the commission to make a force majeure determination pursuant to this division regarding all or part of the utility's or company's compliance with any minimum benchmark under division (B)(2) of this section during the period of review occurring pursuant to division (C)(2) of this section. The commission may require the electric distribution utility or electric services company to make solicitations for renewable energy resource credits as part of its default service before the utility's or company's request of force majeure under this division can be made.

(b) Within ninety days after the filing of a request by an electric distribution utility or electric services company under division (C)(4)(a) of this section, the commission shall determine if renewable energy resources are reasonably available in the marketplace in sufficient quantities for the utility or company to comply with the subject minimum benchmark during the review period. In making this determination, the commission shall consider whether the electric distribution utility or electric services company has made a good faith effort to acquire sufficient renewable energy or, as applicable, solar energy resources to so comply, including, but not limited to, by banking or seeking renewable energy resource credits or by seeking the resources through long-term contracts. Additionally, the commission shall consider the availability of renewable energy or solar energy resources in this state and other jurisdictions in the PJM interconnection regional transmission organization or its successor and the midwest system operator or its successor.

(c) If, pursuant to division (C)(4)(b) of this section, the commission determines that renewable energy or solar energy resources are not reasonably available to permit the electric distribution utility or electric services company to comply, during the period of review, with the subject minimum benchmark prescribed under division (B)(2) of this section, the commission shall modify that compliance obligation of the utility or company as it determines appropriate to accommodate the finding. Commission modification shall not automatically reduce the obligation for the electric distribution utility's or electric services company's compliance in subsequent years. If it modifies the electric distribution utility or electric services company obligation under division (C)(4)(c) of this section, the commission may require the utility or company, if sufficient renewable energy resource credits exist in the marketplace, to acquire additional renewable energy resource credits in subsequent years equivalent to the utility's or company's modified obligation under division (C)(4)(c) of this section.

(5) The commission shall establish a process to provide for at least an annual review of the alternative energy resource market in this state and in the service territories of the regional transmission organizations that manage transmission systems located in this state. The commission shall use the results of this study to identify any needed changes to the amount of the renewable energy compliance payment specified under divisions (C)(2)(a) and (b) of this section. Specifically, the commission may increase the amount to ensure that payment of compliance payments is not used to achieve compliance with this section in lieu of actually acquiring or realizing energy derived from renewable energy resources. However, if the commission finds that the amount of the compliance payment should be otherwise changed, the commission shall present this finding to the general assembly for legislative enactment.

(D)(1) The commission annually shall submit to the general assembly in accordance with section 101.68 of the Revised Code a report describing the compliance of electric distribution utilities and electric services companies with division (B) of this section and any strategy for utility and company compliance or for encouraging the use of alternative energy resources in supplying this state's electricity needs in a manner that considers available technology, costs, job creation, and economic impacts. The commission shall allow and consider public comments on the report prior to its submission to the general assembly. Nothing in the report shall be binding on any person, including any utility or company for the purpose of its compliance with any benchmark under division (B) of this section, or the enforcement of that provision under division (C) of this section.

(2) The governor, in consultation with the commission chairperson, shall appoint an alternative energy advisory committee. The committee shall examine available technology for and related timetables, goals, and costs of the alternative energy resource requirements under division (B) of this section and shall submit to the commission a semiannual report of its recommendations.

(E) All costs incurred by an electric distribution utility in complying with the requirements of this section shall be bypassable by any consumer that has exercised choice of supplier under section 4928.03 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4928.65. An electric distribution utility or electric services company may use renewable energy credits any time in the five calendar years following the date of their purchase or acquisition from any entity, including, but not limited to, a mercantile customer or an owner or operator of a hydroelectric generating facility that is located at a dam on a river, or on any water discharged to a river, that is within or bordering this state or within or bordering an adjoining state, for the purpose of complying with the renewable energy and solar energy resource requirements of division (B)(2) of section 4928.64 of the Revised Code. The public utilities commission shall adopt rules specifying that one unit of credit shall equal one megawatt hour of electricity derived from renewable energy resources. The rules also shall provide for this state a system of registering renewable energy credits by specifying which of any generally available registries shall be used for that purpose and not by creating a registry. That selected system of registering renewable energy credits shall allow a hydroelectric generating facility to be eligible for obtaining renewable energy credits and shall allow customer-sited projects or actions the broadest opportunities to be eligible for obtaining renewable energy credits.

Sec. 4928.66. (A)(1)(a) Beginning in 2009, an electric distribution utility shall implement energy efficiency programs that achieve energy savings equivalent to at least three-tenths of one per cent of the total, annual average, and normalized kilowatt-hour sales of the electric distribution utility during the preceding three calendar years to customers in this state. The savings requirement, using such a three-year average, shall increase to an additional five-tenths of one per cent in 2010, seven-tenths of one per cent in 2011, eight-tenths of one per cent in 2012, nine-tenths of one per cent in 2013, one per cent from 2014 to 2018, and two per cent each year thereafter, achieving a cumulative, annual energy savings in excess of twenty-two per cent by the end of 2025.

(b) Beginning in 2009, an electric distribution utility shall implement peak demand reduction programs designed to achieve a one per cent reduction in peak demand in 2009 and an additional seventy-five hundredths of one per cent reduction each year through 2018. In 2018, the standing committees in the house of representatives and the senate primarily dealing with energy issues shall make recommendations to the general assembly regarding future peak demand reduction targets.

(2) For the purposes of divisions (A)(1)(a) and (b) of this section:

(a) The baseline for energy savings under division (A)(1)(a) of this section shall be the average of the total kilowatt hours the electric distribution utility sold in the preceding three calendar years, and the baseline for a peak demand reduction under division (A)(1)(b) of this section shall be the average peak demand on the utility in the preceding three calendar years, except that the commission may reduce either baseline to adjust for new economic growth in the utility's certified territory.

(b) The commission may amend the benchmarks set forth in division (A)(1)(a) or (b) of this section if, after application by the electric distribution utility, the commission determines that the amendment is necessary because the utility cannot reasonably achieve the benchmarks due to regulatory, economic, or technological reasons beyond its reasonable control.

(c) Compliance with divisions (A)(1)(a) and (b) of this section shall be measured by including the effects of all demand-response programs for mercantile customers of the subject electric distribution utility and all such mercantile customer-sited energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs, adjusted upward by the appropriate loss factors. Any mechanism designed to recover the cost of energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs under divisions (A)(1)(a) and (b) of this section may exempt mercantile customers that commit their demand-response or other customer-sited capabilities, whether existing or new, for integration into the electric distribution utility's demand-response, energy efficiency, or peak demand reduction programs, if the commission determines that that exemption reasonably encourages such customers to commit those capabilities to those programs. If a mercantile customer makes such existing or new demand-response, energy efficiency, or peak demand reduction capability available to an electric distribution utility pursuant to division (A)(2)(c) of this section, the electric utility's baseline under division (A)(2)(a) of this section shall be adjusted to exclude the effects of all such demand-response, energy efficiency, or peak demand reduction programs that may have existed during the period used to establish the baseline. The baseline also shall be normalized for changes in numbers of customers, sales, weather, peak demand, and other appropriate factors so that the compliance measurement is not unduly influenced by factors outside the control of the electric distribution utility.

(d) Programs implemented by a utility may include demand-response programs, customer-sited programs, and transmission and distribution infrastructure improvements that reduce line losses. Division (A)(2)(c) of this section shall be applied to include facilitating efforts by a mercantile customer or group of those customers to offer customer-sited demand-response, energy efficiency, or peak demand reduction capabilities to the electric distribution utility as part of a reasonable arrangement submitted to the commission pursuant to section 4905.31 of the Revised Code.

(e) No programs or improvements described in division (A)(2)(d) of this section shall conflict with any statewide building code adopted by the board of building standards.

(B) In accordance with rules it shall adopt, the public utilities commission shall produce and docket at the commission an annual report containing the results of its verification of the annual levels of energy efficiency and of peak demand reductions achieved by each electric distribution utility pursuant to division (A) of this section. A copy of the report shall be provided to the consumers' counsel.

(C) If the commission determines, after notice and opportunity for hearing and based upon its report under division (B) of this section, that an electric distribution utility has failed to comply with an energy efficiency or peak demand reduction requirement of division (A) of this section, the commission shall assess a forfeiture on the utility as provided under sections 4905.55 to 4905.60 and 4905.64 of the Revised Code, either in the amount, per day per undercompliance or noncompliance, relative to the period of the report, equal to that prescribed for noncompliances under section 4905.54 of the Revised Code, or in an amount equal to the then existing market value of one renewable energy credit per megawatt hour of undercompliance or noncompliance. Revenue from any forfeiture assessed under this division shall be deposited to the credit of the advanced energy fund created under section 4928.61 of the Revised Code.

(D) The commission may establish rules regarding the content of an application by an electric distribution utility for commission approval of a revenue decoupling mechanism under this division. Such an application shall not be considered an application to increase rates and may be included as part of a proposal to establish, continue, or expand energy efficiency or conservation programs. The commission by order may approve an application under this division if it determines both that the revenue decoupling mechanism provides for the recovery of revenue that otherwise may be foregone by the utility as a result of or in connection with the implementation by the electric distribution utility of any energy efficiency or energy conservation programs and reasonably aligns the interests of the utility and of its customers in favor of those programs.

(E) The commission additionally shall adopt rules that require an electric distribution utility to provide a customer upon request with two years' consumption data in an accessible form.

Sec. 4928.67.  (A)(1) Beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service, a retail electric service provider in this state Except as provided in division (A)(2) of this section, an electric utility shall develop a standard contract or tariff providing for net energy metering.

Any time that the total rated generating capacity used by customer-generators is less than one per cent of the provider's aggregate customer peak demand in this state, the provider shall make this contract or tariff available to customer-generators, upon request and on a first-come, first-served basis. The

That contract or tariff shall be identical in rate structure, all retail rate components, and any monthly charges, to the contract or tariff to which the same customer would be assigned if that customer were not a customer-generator.

(2) An electric utility shall also develop a separate standard contract or tariff providing for net metering for a hospital, as defined in section 3701.01 of the Revised Code, that is also a customer-generator, subject to all of the following:

(a) No limitation, including that in divisions (A)(31)(a) and (d) of section 4928.01 of the Revised Code, shall apply regarding the availability of the contract or tariff to such hospital customer-generators.

(b) The contract or tariff shall be based both upon the rate structure, rate components, and any charges to which the hospital would otherwise be assigned if the hospital were not a customer-generator and upon the market value of the customer-generated electricity at the time it is generated.

(c) The contract or tariff shall allow the hospital customer-generator to operate its electric generating facilities individually or collectively without any wattage limitation on size.

(2)(B)(1) Net metering under this section shall be accomplished using a single meter capable of registering the flow of electricity in each direction. If its existing electrical meter is not capable of measuring the flow of electricity in two directions, the customer-generator shall be responsible for all expenses involved in purchasing and installing a meter that is capable of measuring electricity flow in two directions.

(3) Such an (2) The electric service provider utility, at its own expense and with the written consent of the customer-generator, may install one or more additional meters to monitor the flow of electricity in each direction.

(B)(3) Consistent with the other provisions of this section, the measurement of net electricity supplied or generated shall be calculated in the following manner:

(1)(a) The electric service provider utility shall measure the net electricity produced or consumed during the billing period, in accordance with normal metering practices.

(2)(b) If the electricity supplied by the electric service provider utility exceeds the electricity generated by the customer-generator and fed back to the electric service provider utility during the billing period, the customer-generator shall be billed for the net electricity supplied by the electric service provider utility, in accordance with normal metering practices. If electricity is provided to the electric service provider utility, the credits for that electricity shall appear in the next billing cycle.

(C)(1)(4) A net metering system used by a customer-generator shall meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the national electrical code, the institute of electrical and electronics engineers, and underwriters laboratories.

(2)(C) The public utilities commission shall adopt rules relating to additional control and testing requirements for customer-generators which that the commission determines are necessary to protect public and worker safety and system reliability.

(D) An electric service provider utility shall not require a customer-generator whose net metering system meets the standards and requirements provided for in divisions (B)(4) and (C)(1) and (D) of this section to do any of the following:

(1) Comply with additional safety or performance standards;

(2) Perform or pay for additional tests;

(3) Purchase additional liability insurance.

Sec. 4928.68.  To the extent permitted by federal law, the public utilities commission shall adopt rules establishing greenhouse gas emission reporting requirements, including participation in the climate registry, and carbon dioxide control planning requirements for each electric generating facility that is located in this state, is owned or operated by a public utility that is subject to the commission's jurisdiction, and emits greenhouse gases, including facilities in operation on the effective date of this section.

Sec. 4928.69. Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 4928. of the Revised Code and except as otherwise provided in an agreement filed with and approved by the public utilities commission under section 4905.31 of the Revised Code, an electric distribution utility shall not charge any person that is a customer of a municipal electric utility that is in existence on or before January 1, 2008, any surcharge, service termination charge, exit fee, or transition charge.

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; or establish revenue decoupling mechanisms. 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.

(O) "Revenue decoupling mechanism" means a rate design or other cost recovery mechanism that provides recovery of the fixed costs of service and a fair and reasonable rate of return, irrespective of system throughput or volumetric sales.

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;

(12) Promote an alignment of natural gas company interests with consumer interest in energy efficiency and energy conservation.

(B) The public utilities commission and the office of the consumers' counsel shall follow the policy specified in this section in carrying out exercising their respective authorities relative to sections 4929.03 to 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. 4929.051. An alternative rate plan filed by a natural gas company under section 4929.05 of the Revised Code and proposing a revenue decoupling mechanism may be an application not for an increase in rates if the rates, joint rates, tolls, classifications, charges, or rentals are based upon the billing determinants and revenue requirement authorized by the public utilities commission in the company's most recent rate case proceeding and the plan also establishes, continues, or expands an energy efficiency or energy conservation program.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 4905.31, 4928.01, 4928.02, 4928.05, 4928.09, 4928.14, 4928.17, 4928.20, 4928.31, 4928.34, 4928.35, 4928.61, 4928.67, 4929.01, and 4929.02 and sections 4928.41, 4928.42, 4928.431, and 4928.44 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. Nothing in this act affects the legal validity or the force and effect of an electric distribution utility's rate plan, as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code as amended by this act, or the plan's terms and conditions, including any provisions regarding cost recovery.

SECTION 4. Section 4929.051 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, shall not be applied in favor of a claim or finding that an application described in that section but submitted to the Public Utilities Commission prior to the act's effective date is an application to increase rates.

SECTION 5. The Governor's Energy Advisor periodically shall submit a written report to the General Assembly pursuant to section 101.68 of the Revised Code and report in person to and as requested by the standing committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate that have primary responsibility for energy efficiency and conservation issues regarding initiatives undertaken by the Advisor and state government pursuant to numbered paragraphs 3 and 4 of Executive Order 2007-02S, "Coordinating Ohio Energy Policy and State Energy Utilization. The first written report shall be submitted not later than sixty days after the effective date of this act.

Please send questions and comments to the Webmaster.
© 2014 Legislative Information Systems | Disclaimer
Index of Legislative Web Sites