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Train the Trainer. Today’s Topics. Payment Plans Disconnection Procedures and Medical Certificate Changes PIPP Plus Graduate and Post PIPP Plus. Payment Plans. Payment plans and responsibilities .

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today s topics
Today’s Topics
  • Payment Plans
  • Disconnection Procedures and Medical Certificate Changes
  • PIPP Plus
  • Graduate and Post PIPP Plus
payment plans and responsibilities
Payment plans and responsibilities
  • If the customer fails to propose acceptable payment terms, the company shall advise the customer of all extended payment plans (including PIPP Plus).
  • Upon customer request, the company shall provide PIPP Plus eligibility requirements.
  • Companies shall direct the customer to the local community action agency to enroll in PIPP Plus.
one ninth payment plan
One-ninth payment plan

NEW!

  • Requires nine equal monthly payments on the arrearages in addition to a budget payment plan (budget based on a 9 or 12 month calculation).
  • The budget portion of the payments may be adjusted periodically during the nine month period as needed.

Payment example based on a 9-month budget

Bill Balance = $270

Monthly Budget = 90

1/9 calculation = 90 + 30 ($270/9)

1/9 payment = 120

winter heating season plan
Winter Heating Season Plan
  • 1/3 Payment Plan is referenced as the Winter Heating Season Plan (WHS) in the new rule.
  • The WHS Plan is offered November 1 through April 15 (for bills that include any usage during this time period).
  • The WHS Plan requires the customer to pay 1/3 of the total account balance each month.
  • Customers can switch from a Commission ordered payment plan to the WHS Plan if the customer is current on the previous plan.
winter heating season plan slide 2
Winter Heating Season Plan (slide 2)
  • For any remaining balance after the last WHS Plan bill has been rendered, the utility company shall remove the customer from this payment plan and bill the actual account balance.
  • The customer must contact the company to enroll in another payment plan, enroll in PIPP Plus, or make arrangements to pay the balance.
winter heating season plan8
Winter Heating Season Plan

Example

November Account balance = $600

WHS payment calculation = 600/3

WHS payment due = $200

December bill amount = $125 December account balance = 525

WHS payment calculation = 525/3

WHS payment due = $175

ten day notice provision
Ten Day Notice Provision

NEW!

  • The utility company must make contact with the customer at the premises ten days prior to disconnection of service by personal contact, telephone, or hand delivered written notice.
  • Utility companies may send the notice by regular U.S. mail; however, such notice must allow three calendar days for mailing.
electronic notices
Electronic Notices
  • Allows electronic transactions with customer consent.
  • Disconnection notices can be provided electronically only if customer selects this option (includes the ten-day disconnection notice).
  • Once the electronic option is selected, the customer will no longer receive paper bills.
medical certification
Medical Certification

NEW!

  • If certification is provided to the utility company prior to 3:30 p.m., the company shall restore the customer’s service the same day.
  • If certification is received after 3:30 p.m., the company shall reconnect service by the earliest time possible on the following business day.
  • If the certification is received after 3:30 p.m. on a day that precedes a non-business day, the utility company shall make an effort to restore service by the end of that day.
  • The utility company shall use the new standard medical certification form.
circumstances where the utility company elects to leave service on at a location
Circumstances where the utility company elects to leave service on at a location

NEW!

  • When the utility leaves service on after a request of disconnection from the customer of record and a new resident moves in, the following will apply:
        • If a new resident does not contact the company to establish service, service can be disconnected for fraud.
        • If a new resident applies for service and a deposit is required, the utility must advise the applicant of the date of disconnect for non-payment of deposit.
        • A new resident is responsible for utility service as of the move-in date.
reconnection of service
Reconnection of Service

NEW!

  • Upon proof of payment of the delinquent amount on a disconnection notice or amount sufficient to cure a default on an extended payment plan (including PIPP Plus), service must be reconnected in the following instances.

1. If service has been disconnected for 10 business days or less:

      • The company may assess a reconnection charge and shall reconnect service by the close of the following working day.
      • If customer wishes to guarantee reconnection of servicethe same day payment is made. The customer must provide proof of payment to the utility no later than 12:30 p.m.
    • The company may charge a deposit to reestablish creditworthiness.
reconnection of service slide 2
Reconnection of Service (slide 2)

NEW!

  • If service has been disconnected for more than 10 business days the company may treat the customer as a new customer (and reconnect service within 5 days for gas and within 3 days for electric). The company can also require a reconnection fee.
  • If the customer requests reconnection after normal business hours and the service is provided by the utility company, the company may require the customer to pay or agree to pay the company’s approved tariff charges for after-hours reconnection. The company may collect this fee prior to reconnection or with the customer’s next monthly billing.
how is pipp funded
How is PIPP Funded?
  • Gas PIPP is funded through a rider on all residential and commercial customers’ bills. This rider is on a per CCF/MCF basis.
  • Electric PIPP is funded through a rider on all residential, commercial and industrial customers’ bills, through the Universal Service Fund (USF) created by Senate Bill 3 (1999). This rider is on a per kilowatt basis. 
  • Gas PIPP Plus is overseen by the PUCO and Electric PIPP Plus is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.
why change the pipp rules
Why Change the PIPP Rules?
  • Ohio Revised Code requires all state agencies to conduct a review of each of its rules every five years.
  • The gas and electric industries have changed dramatically since the inception of PIPP (1983). However, there continues to be customers who, because of limited financial resources, have difficulty maintaining their utility services.
  • The goal of the new program is to generate positive financial benefits to all ratepayers by addressing the payment troubles of low-income customers based on lack of affordability.
pipp becomes pipp plus
PIPP Becomes PIPP Plus
  • Beginning on November 1, 2010, PIPP will be called PIPP Plus.
  • All new rules take effect on this date.
eligibility criteria
Eligibility Criteria
  • Household income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty guideline.
  • Apply for and accept all public energy assistance and weatherization programs for which the customer is eligible.
  • Notify the local agency designated by Development within 30 days, of any change in income or household size.
  • Re-verify income annually at or about the reverification date (60-day grace period).
anniversary date
Anniversary Date

Gas

  • Calendar date by which the PIPP Plus customer must be current on PIPP Plus installments to remain eligible for the subsequent 12 months. It is also the date the 1/24th arrearage credit will be reviewed and may be recalculated based on the arrearage. This date never changes as long as the customer remains active in PIPP Plus.
  • The customer must pay any missed PIPP Plus payments from the past 12 months to remain on the program. The customer has one billing cycle (30 days) to make up any missed PIPP Plus payments before being removed from the program.

Electric and Duke Energy

  • Calendar date by which the PIPP Plus customer’s 1/24th arrearage credit amount will be reviewed and may be recalculated based on the arrearage. This date never changes as long as the customer remains an active PIPP Plus customer.

NEW!

All companies

  • The 1/24th credit will not be recalculated if the customer makes 12 consecutive timely payments.
reverification date
Reverification Date

NEW!

  • Date by which the customer must reverify income in order to remain on the program.
  • Customer has a 60-day grace period to reverify or they will be removed from the program.
  • The reverification date can change if a customer visits the CAA to report a change in income or household size, or to obtain emergency assistance (E-HEAP or summer cooling funds).
terms of agreement
Terms of Agreement
  • Customers must complete the joint PIPP Plus/ HEAP application annually.
  • PIPP Plus terms of agreement will be provided to each PIPP Plus customer initially and at the reverification date including customer specific information.
  • The gas utility company will provide notice to gas customers and Development or the CAA will provide notice to electric and Duke customers.
payment
Payment

Gas

  • The customer pays 6% of monthly household income or a minimum of $10, whichever is greater.
  • Customers must heat with natural gas.
  • No zero PIPP Plus

Electric

  • The customer pays 6% of monthly household income or a minimum of $10, whichever is greater (electricity is not the primary heat source).
  • The customer of an all-electric household pays 10% of monthly household income or a minimum of $10, whichever is greater.
  • Zero income customer’s minimum monthly installment may be waived for up to 180 days once every five years (Development will track the five-year time period). During the period that the installments are waived, the PIPP Plus customer cannot earn arrearage credits.

NEW!

duke energy payment
Duke Energy Payment

NEW!

  • Gas and electric customers pay 12%.
  • All-electric customers pay 10%.
  • Participant is not required to use the utility service as a primary or secondary heating source.
    • e.g., a customer who lives in an apartment building where the heat is supplied by the landlord may, if income eligible, enroll in PIPP Plus for non-heating gas service (6%) and electric baseload (6%). Total payment would be 12%.
  • Zero income customer’s minimum monthly installment may be waived for up to 180 days once every five years (Development will track the five-year time period). During the period that the installments are waived, the PIPP Plus customer cannot earn arrearage credits.
incentives for payment
Incentives for Payment

NEW!

  • When payments are made in full by the due date, the customer’s account will be credited:
      • The difference between the actual bill and the customer’s installment amount .
      • 1/24th of the arrears.
  • Arrearage credits may not be earned when payments are made with HEAP or E-HEAP funds.
  • If customer pays with a bad check, the account loses the delta credit and the 1/24th credit regardless of when the customer makes up the bad check.
6 percent payment example
6 Percent Payment Example

Customer with $1100 Monthly Income

service transfers and final bills
Service Transfers and Final Bills

If an active PIPP Plus customer transfers service to a new address within the utility company’s service area, any credit on the previous account shall be applied to the new address.

When a gas PIPP Plus customer’s account is finaled, any credit balance on the account shall first be applied to the account balance and then as an offset to the PIPP rider.

When an electric PIPP Plus customer’s account is finaled, any credit balance on the account is first applied to the account balance and then refunded to the customer.

deposits and late fees
Deposits and Late Fees

NEW!

  • A PIPP Plus customer who is current on his/her PIPP payments shall not be disconnected, refused reconnection or denied a transfer of service to a new address, based solely on outstanding arrearages accrued while on PIPP Plus.
  • No deposits or late fees will be charged on active PIPP Plus accounts.
removal from pipp plus
Removal from PIPP Plus

Any PIPP Plus customer can be removed from PIPP Plus if he/she:

  • Do not meet income eligibility requirements.
  • Fail to reverify his/her income at reverification date.
  • Fail to make all required PIPP Plus payments by the anniversary date (for gas only).
  • Fail to apply for and accept energy assistance or energy conservation programs offered by Development.
  • Fail to reverify due to change in income or household size.
  • Fraudulently enroll in the program and cannot rejoin for a period of 24 months.
  • Tamper with service or benefit from tampering.

In addition, electric and Duke Energy customers can be removed if they:

  • Fail to make two consecutive payments.
  • Are disconnected for nonpayment for two consecutive months.

NEW!

small gas companies
Small Gas Companies

NEW!

Companies with under 15,000 customers without a PIPP Rider:

    • Ohio Cumberland Gas Company
    • Arlington Natural Gas Company
    • Orwell Natural Gas company
    • Brainard Gas Corporation
    • Sheldon Gas Company
    • Waterville Gas & Oil Company
    • Piedmont Gas Company
  • Current PIPP customers are grandfathered into the old PIPP Program .
  • If customer becomes ineligible for PIPP, fail to reverify, or are disconnected, they will no longer be on the PIPP program and must make other payment arrangements with the company.
  • Companies do not have to offer PIPP Plus or the current PIPP program (old PIPP only available to those grandfathered).
small gas companies slide 2
Small Gas Companies(slide 2)

NEW!

Companies with a PIPP Rider:

  • Must offer PIPP Plus.
  • Ohio Gas, Eastern, Pike, Southeastern, and NEONG requested waivers for Graduate PIPP and partial waiver for the crediting program:
    • Must be an active PIPP customer for the previous 12 month period of August 1 through July 31 to receive the credits (NEONG is November 1 to October 31).
    • Must have made at least nine timely payments and paid at least 75% of the total PIPP payments during that time period.
    • If the customer meets the above criteria, the company will credit the same percentage of the customer arrearages as the percentage of the customer’s timely-paid PIPP payments.

Example: 85% timely and in-full payments made = 85% arrears forgiven

    • Credits will be issued one time per year:

On the September bill for Ohio Gas, Eastern, Pike and Southeastern.

On the December bill for NEONG.

when is the first pipp plus installment due
When is the first PIPP Plus installment due?

The first PIPP Plus installment is due at time of enrollment unless the customer is unable to pay. The company can bill two installments on the first bill; however, the customer would miss the first month credit even if the double installment payment is paid on time.

If the customer makes the first PIPP Plus payment before the first PIPP Plus bill is issued, the customer will receive the delta forgiveness and arrearage credit.

slide38
If a PIPP Plus customer has been disconnected, what must he/she pay to become reconnected and re-enrolled?
  • In all cases, the customer would owe:
    • The missed PIPP Plus payments (default amount).
    • The amount of PIPP Plus installment payments that were owed during the period the customer was without service up to the amount of the arrears.
    • Reconnection and/or installation fees.
  • In addition, if the customer has been disconnected for morethan 12 months, and their reverification status is not current, he/she must also reverify income at the Community Action Agency.
slide39

If a PIPP Plus customer has been dropped for failure to reverify and still has active service, what must he/she pay to be reenrolled in PIPP Plus?

  • GAS: Any missed PIPP Plus installments owed prior to being dropped and full bills for the months the customer received service but was not on PIPP Plus.
    • In addition, customers must reverify income at the CAA.
  • ELECTRIC: Any missed PIPP Plus installments owed prior to being dropped and installment amounts for the months the customer received service but was not on PIPP Plus.
    • In addition, customers must reverify income at the CAA.
slide40

If a PIPP Plus customer makes up the missed installments during the anniversary grace period and the customer's reverification is still in effect, when is the 1/24th credit recalculated?

  • The 1/24th is recalculated on the anniversary date regardless of the account status (arrearage minus any PIPP Plus installments). Reverification is a separate process.
  • If a PIPP Plus customer has paid all installments on-time and in-full as of the anniversary date, the 1/24th will not be recalculated.
slide41
What is the anniversary and reverification date for a reenrolled PIPP Plus customer who enrolls after being off the program for 12 months?
  • If the PIPP Plus customer is off the program for longer than 12 months, the new enrollment date is the anniversary and reverification date.
if the customer uses a medical certificate for one month is he she eligible for credit that month
If the customer uses a Medical Certificate for one month, is he/she eligible for credit that month?
  • No. A customer may only get a monthly credit for each month he/she make a timely and full payment.
slide43

If a PIPP Plus customer installment payment is larger than that month’s utility bill, what type of credit does the customer receive for paying the PIPP Plus installment amount?

  • The customer will receive only the 1/24th arrearage credit as there is no delta available to credit.
  • Any amount paid in excess of the actual utility bill will reduce the customers overall arrearage balance.
slide44

If the customer is current on his/her PIPP Plus installments, and he/she pays an amount greater than the PIPP Plus installment that month, how are the excess dollars treated?

  • Gas: Any overpayments of installments are used to offset the arrearage balance or to the gas PIPP rider.
  • Electric: Any overpayments of installments are applied to future installments once any missed installments have been paid.
how are the arrears recalculated at the anniversary date
How are the arrears recalculated at the anniversary date?
  • If the customer has made the previous 12 months of payments on-time and in-full, the arrears are not recalculated. However, if there are new account arrears, this amount is divided by 24. This will be the new 1/24th credit for each timely, full installment payment.
slide46

If a customer makes multiple payments in one billing cycle equal to the amount of the PIPP Plus installment, will the customer receive an arrearage credit?

  • Yes, as long as the total of all payments made during the billing cycle equal the PIPP Plus installment and is paid by the due date.
slide47

When an active customer leaves PIPP Plus (and doesn’t move from the service address) and there is a credit on the account, does the credit dollars go to the account or the PIPP Plus fund?

GAS

  • If the active customer is leaving PIPP Plus due to being over-income, the credit will be applied to the PIPP Plus rider.
  • If the active customer is leaving PIPP Plus but is still income eligible, the credit will be applied to the PIPP Plus rider. If the customer chooses to re-enroll in PIPP Plus at a later time, the difference between the amount of missed PIPP Plus installments and customer payments must be paid by the customer to re-join PIPP Plus.
slide48

When an active customer leaves PIPP Plus (and doesn’t move from the service address) and there is a credit on the account, does the credit dollars go to the account or the PIPP Plus fund?

ELECTRIC

If the active customer is leaving PIPP Plus due to being over-income, the credit could be refunded to the customer.

If the active customer is leaving PIPP Plus but is still income eligible, the credit could be refunded to the customer. The customer can re-enroll in PIPP Plus at a later time at the CAA.

what happens when a customer elects to terminate pipp plus
What happens when a customer elects to terminate PIPP Plus?
  • A PIPP Plus customer who is current on their installment and wishes to participate in Graduate PIPP Plus, rather than continue in the PIPP Plus program, must contact the company or the CAA to begin Graduate PIPP Plus.
  • The customer may enter into one of the other payment plans with their utility to pay off any arrears.
  • If the customer does not join Graduate PIPP Plus but remains a customer of the utility company and later wishes to re-enroll in PIPP Plus, he/she must do the following:
    • Pay the difference between payments already made and the original PIPP Plus installment amount for the time period not on PIPP Plus.
    • Reverify income if the last reverification was more than 12 months ago.
slide50
How will income eligible PIPP customers who are currently on an arrearage crediting program be treated on Nov. 1, 2010?

GAS

PIPP customers who have successfully completed month 24 or beyond as of November 2010 will have their total arrears credited. All other PIPP payment incentive arrearage credit customers will be transferred to the new PIPP Plus program as of their November 2010 billing cycle.

ELECTRIC

PIPP customers on the current arrearage crediting programs have 90 days to elect to enroll in Graduate PIPP Plus or remain on the existing arrearage crediting program.

slide51
What happens when a customer is no longer eligible for PIPP Plus due to a change in income or household size?
  • A customer found to be no longer income eligible for PIPP Plus, as determined by the CAA at the time of reverification should be automatically enrolled in Graduate PIPP Plus as of the actual reverification date or 30 days from the Development PIPP Plus drop date. The customer's eligibility begins no later than the end of the grace period.
what happens if a customer fraudulently enrolls in pipp plus
What happens if a customer fraudulently enrolls in PIPP Plus?

The customer must pay the actual bill for the gas or electricity that was consumed during the period in which the customer was fraudulently enrolled minus previously paid PIPP Plus payments. Any arrearage credits which accrued to the customer’s account shall be reversed. The customer shall not be eligible to participate in PIPP Plus, Graduate PIPP Plus, or to receive any other benefits available to PIPP Plus customers or graduates for twenty-four (24) months from when the customer was removed from PIPP Plus.

what happens if a customer writes a bad check
What happens if a customer writes a bad check?

If a PIPP Plus customer writes a bad check and cures the bad check amount, the fraud is cured as well. However, if the customer does write a bad check he/she is subject to the general bad check procedures of the company.

The customer will lose any credits applied regardless of when the customer makes up the bad check.

graduate pipp plus eligibility criteria
Graduate PIPP Plus Eligibility Criteria
  • PIPP Plus customers who are over-income.
  • PIPP Plus customers who voluntarily elects to enroll.
  • Must be current on PIPP Plus payments within one billing cycle of enrollment in Graduate PIPP Plus.
  • Remains a customer of the utility in which he or she was enrolled in PIPP Plus.
gas and duke graduate pipp plus payment
Gas and Duke Graduate PIPP Plus Payment
  • Bill payment will be based on PIPP Plus installment amount plus budget bill divided by two.

Example:

$ 30 (PIPP Plus Installment)

$110 (Budget Amount)

$140 /2 = $70 Graduate PIPP Plus Payment

  • Graduate PIPP Plus begins immediately after the customer is no longer on PIPP Plus and must be current on any missed PIPP Plus payments within one billing cycle of enrollment.
  • Maximum amount of time a customer can be on Graduate PIPP Plus is 12 months.
electric graduate pipp plus payment options
Electric Graduate PIPP PlusPayment Options
  • Customer shall select one of three payment options :
    • Graduate PIPP Plus installment plan - average of the customer’s most recent PIPP Plus installment and customer’s budget bill amount.
    • Budget Plan – based on a 12 month budget.
    • Regular Bill Payment.
  • If a customer is currently participating in an arrearage crediting program, he/she will remain on that program. (Customer has 90 daysfrom November 1, 2010 to opt in to Graduate PIPP Plus and select either the budget plan or regular bill payment option.)
  • Maximum amount of time a customer can be on Graduate PIPP Plus is 12 months.
graduate pipp plus benefits
Graduate PIPP Plus Benefits

Customer’s bill will be adjusted for the difference between the required installment payment and the current month’s utility charges, if applicable.

Customer earns 1/12th credit on the account balance for every on-time and in-full payment.

No deposit assessed.

No late fees.

electric post pipp plus
Electric Post PIPP Plus

ActiveElectric PIPP Plus and Duke PIPP Plus customers whose accounts are finaled or closed after 11/1/10 can make payments on the closed account and receive post PIPP Plus arrearage credits.

Electric utilities are required to notify PIPP Plus finaled account holders that Post PIPP Plus is available for the immediate 12 months after the account has closed. (Most electric utilities will do this as a bill message on the final bill.)

Customer contacts the utility and enters into a payment plan to pay at least 1/60th of the finaled account arrears for 12 months.

For each payment, the customer earns an arrearage credit equal to 1/12th of the finaled account arrears.

slide61
Do customers who want to go on Graduate PIPP Plus also have a 30-day grace (one billing cycle) to make up missed PIPP Plus installments?
  • Yes. The customer has one billing cycle to make up any missed PIPP Plus payments in order to enroll in Graduate PIPP Plus.
slide62

Can a customer who has been removed from Graduate PIPP Plus for non-payment get reinstated if all missed Graduate PIPP Plus payments are made up by the customer?

  • Yes. However, the Graduate PIPP Plus opportunity ends 12 months from the date of the customer’s initial enrollment on Graduate PIPP Plus.
can a graduate pipp plus customer choose a marketer
Can a Graduate PIPP Plus customer choose a marketer?
  • No. An electric or gas Graduate PIPP Plus customer cannot choose a marketer.
can a customer join graduate pipp plus if they were without service prior to november 1 2009
Can a customer join Graduate PIPP Plus if they were without service prior to November 1, 2009?

No. The customer must have been an active PIPP customer sometime after November 1, 2009.

for additional information
For additional information

www.PUCO.ohio.gov

800-686-7826 (PUCO)

www.EnergyHelp.ohio.gov

800-282-0880