Ohio’s utilities are restarting their energy efficiency and weatherization assistance programs in phases. The following provides program restart details:


OPAE Recommendations to PUCO

OPAE Recommendations

OPAE has been working closely with the utilities and the PUCO to provide guidance on Ohio’s Utility COVID-19 Transition Plans. We made a series of recommendations that included:

  • Disconnection Notices should begin again on 9/1/2020 with disconnections resuming on 11/1/2020 after the Winter Reconnect order is issued
  • Late payment fees for future recovery should be deferred with no charge to customers; Require disconnect/reconnect fees to be rolled into arrearage; Eliminate disconnection fees for AMI; Waive deposits
  • Payment Plan terms should be 24-months based on the customer’s ability to pay
  • In terms of PIPP which helps vulnerable Ohioans make payments based on income: 1) eliminate anniversary date (requires customers to make up all missed PIPP payments to remain on program); 2) begin eligibility redetermination 10/1/20 for customers not using the Summer Crisis Program

PUCO Order

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has issued clear orders regarding participation in the Percentage Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP). These apply to all regulated natural gas companies. The PUCO has also taken action to reconnect customers of Vectren and Suburban who were disconnected for failure to meet anniversary date or re-verification requirements. Suburban was threatened with fines of $10,000 per day. The PUCO’s ruling is as follows:

  • Anniversary & re-verification dates remains suspended until Commission orders otherwise. The Commission has asked Duke for a plan to reinstate the requirements that is due by September 7, 2020.
  • Missed payments from 3/12 — 8/2/20 are to be enrolled into arrears.
  • Requirement to accept weatherization applies only once health emergency over.
  • Must reconnect PIPP customers removed from the program between March and July.


Plan Submissions to PUCO

Transition Plan Approved Transition Plan Pending


Disconnection Restarts

Vectren
We are currently doing outreach to customers with arrears. We will then target those with the largest balances to get them on repayment plans. Disconnections will done slowly despite the “start date”, with all standard requirements back in place 10/1.

= NOTICES RESUME

= DISCONNECTIONS RESUME


Late Fees, Re-connection Fees, and Deposits

AEP Ohio

Late payments will not trigger deposits until 11/1/20

Comply w/payment plan, no late fees

Will back bill reconnection fees after moratorium.

*Note — AEP does not currently charge late fees.

Columbia Gas

Resume collection of late fees, reconnect fees, and delinquent charges prior to reconnection

Waiver of deposits required

Dayton Power & Light

Restart fees 9/1/20

No security deposit or late fees for those being reconnected

Waive credit care fees through 11/21

PUCO urges to be flexible with late fees and down payments

Dominion Energy

Reconnection fees, deposits, and late payment fees suspended until Winter Reconnect Order.

Duke Energy

8/10 normal billing resumes with late payment fees & disconnection notices.

Reconnection fees assessed as of 9/1.

The Commission urged flexibility on charging these fees to help ensure customers stay connected.

FirstEnergy

9-15-20: Must cure missed plan payments or PIPP payments

Reconnection charge up front

Charge security deposit

Resume charging late payment fees.

Suburban

No deposits until 1/1/21

Reconnect fee added to bill

Late fees were never extended

Vectren

10/1/2020: Late payment fees rolled into payment plan.

Deposits or downpayment waived.

No credit reporting.


Percentage of Income Payment Plan Policies

  1. Reverification requirements restart on 1/1/2021
  2. Disconnection notifications process begins in August — 1st notice Oct, 2nd notice in Nov — drops in December
  3. Anniversary dates prior to Oct moved to Oct
  4. Anniversary date notice process begins in October, PIPP customers with arrearages can use Winter Reconnect Order and roll unpaid arrears forward — treated like pre-PIPP arrears
  5. Arrears are eligible for crediting.
  1. Anniversary & reverification dates remains suspended until Commission orders
  2. Missed payments from 3/12 — 7/29 rolled into arrears
  3. Requirement to accept weatherization applies only once health emergency over.
  1. Reverification requirements restart on 1/1/2021
  2. Disconnection notifications process begins mid-August — 1st notice Sept, 2nd notice in Oct– drops in November
  3. No decision on anniversary date.
  1. Anniversary & reverification dates remains suspended until Commission orders otherwise.  The Commission has asked for a plan to reinstate the requirements that is due by September 7, 2020.
  2. Missed payments from 3/12 — 8/2/20 are to be enrolled into arrears.
  3. Requirement to accept weatherization applies only once health emergency over.
  4. Must reconnect PIPP customers removed from the program between March and July.
  5.  
  1. Reverification requirements restart on 1/1/2021.
  2. Duke is still in discussions with ODSA regarding anniversary dates.
  1. Reverification requirements restart on 1/1/2021.
  2. First Energy is still in discussions with ODSA regarding anniversary dates.
  1. Anniversary & reverification dates remains suspended until Commission orders
  2. Missed payments from 3/12 — 8/2/20 rolled into arrears
  3. Requirement to accept weatherization applies only once health emergency over.
  4. Must reconnect PIPP customers removed from the program between March and July.
  • Anniversary & reverification dates remains suspended until Commission orders otherwise.  The Commission has asked for a plan to reinstate the requirements that is due by September 7, 2020.
  • Missed payments from 3/12 — 8/2/20 are to be enrolled into arrears.
  • Requirement to accept weatherization applies only once health emergency over.
  • Must reconnect PIPP customers removed from the program between March and July.