NWP Regulatory Update: Ohio & Connecticut

The Ohio Legislature has two more weeks of regular sessions before they close up shop for the year. It is possible that the legislature may reconvene for a Special Session in June, if necessary. Additionally, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has requested comments to their Draft Electric Submetering Rules due on May 15, 2014.

Columbus, Ohio & Hartford, Conn.—The Ohio Legislature has two more weeks of regular sessions before they close up shop for the year. It is possible that the legislature may reconvene for a Special Session in June, if necessary. Currently, the owners and billing companies that were the subject of the Columbus Dispatch investigative journalism series for “profiting” from the billing of residents are attempting to introduce a bill that will codify the ability to set their own rates and bill residents more than the property itself was billed by the providing utility. Previously, this same cohort attempted to add language codifying its practices to an existing Assembly omnibus energy bill as an amendment. They were forced to remove the amendment when legislators objected. They are determined to proceed either via a stand-alone bill or may attempt to attach the language to an existing Senate bill in the remaining few weeks.

Meanwhile, billing and multifamily partners have been dutifully crafting a competing bill that will codify existing practices, introduce common-sense tenant protections, and allow owners to pass through their actual utility and administrative costs to residents. We have a sponsor that is building a coalition to introduce the legislation in the next session.

Additionally, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has requested comments to their Draft Electric Submetering Rules due on May 15, 2014. NWP participated in workshop and drafting activities to ensure that the Draft Rules make sense for multifamily owners and residents in Connecticut. The process took a bit of a detour earlier this year while PURA and multifamily owners with properties that generate electricity worked out some potential issues. After PURA reviews the comments, it will issue a final Rule. This is good news for Connecticut owners. After PURA finishes up the submetering Rules, it will turn its attention to water and sewer issues (RUBS).