PUBLIC UTILITIES - OHIO

In re Complaint of Wingo v. Nationwide Energy Partners, L.L.C.

Supreme Court of Ohio - December 9, 2020 - N.E.3d - 2020 WL 7233638 - 2020 -Ohio- 5583

Customer who purchased water, sewer, and electric services from a submetering company sought judicial review of a decision of the Public Utilities Commission concluding that the Commission lacked jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court held that test used by Commission improperly deviated from the relevant statutory language, abrogating In re the Commission’s Investigation of Submetering in the State of Ohio, 2016 WL 11541704, and In re the Commission’s Investigation of Submetering in the State of Ohio, 2017 WL 4484334.

Modified version of a test applied by the Public Utilities Commission to determine whether it had jurisdiction over claims asserted by a customer against a company that provided submetering services, from which the customer purchased water, sewer, and electric services, improperly deviated from the statute describing the companies subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction; the test went beyond considerations of whether the utility-resale activities of the company were ancillary to another business, focusing on how much profit the reseller made and whether a consumer was charged more than she would have been under default-service-tariff rates, which was an inquiry that had nothing to do with the statutory language; abrogating In re the Commission’s Investigation of Submetering in the State of Ohio, 2016 WL 11541704, and In re the Commission’s Investigation of Submetering in the State of Ohio, 2017 WL 4484334.



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