§ 46-4-158.3. Adequate and accurate consumer information disclosure statements; bills.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 46. PUBLIC UTILITIES AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Chapter 4. DISTRIBUTION, STORAGE, AND SALE OF GAS

Article 5. NATURAL GAS COMPETITION AND DEREGULATION ACT

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 46-4-158.3. Adequate and accurate consumer information disclosure statements; bills

The commission shall, by September 1, 2002, adopt rules and regulations requiring marketers which provide firm distribution service under this article to provide adequate and accurate consumer information to enable consumers to make informed choices regarding the purchase of natural gas services. Such rules shall provide, without limitation, that:

(1) A disclosure statement shall be provided to consumers in an understandable format that enables such consumers to compare prices and services on a uniform basis. Rules adopted by the commission shall provide when disclosure statements shall be provided to consumers. Such disclosure statements shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(A) For fixed rate charges for natural gas service, a clear disclosure of the components of the fixed rate, the actual prices charged by the marketer, presented in a single standard pricing unit which includes any charges imposed by the marketer or its agent, so that the consumer can compare rates among marketers. This disclosure shall not include state and local sales taxes. The standard pricing disclosure unit must include all recurring monthly charges;
(B) For variable rate charges for natural gas service, a clear and understandable explanation of the factors that will cause the price to vary and how often the price can change, the current price, and the ceiling price, if any, so that the consumer can compare rates among marketers. The current price and ceiling price, if applicable, shall be presented in a single standard pricing unit which includes any charges imposed by the marketer or its agent. This disclosure shall not include state and local sales taxes. The standard pricing disclosure unit must include all recurring monthly charges;
(C) A statement that the standard unit price does not include state and local taxes or charges imposed by the electing distribution company;
(D) The length of the agreement, including the starting date and expiration date, if applicable;
(E) The billing interval, the method by which monthly charges imposed by the electing distribution company will be billed to the consumer in the event the consumer commences or terminates service with the marketer during the billing interval, and any late payment, cancellation, or reconnection fees;
(F) The marketer's budget billing, payment, credit, deposit, cancellation, collection, and reconnection policies and procedures;
(G) How to contact the marketer for information or complaints;
(H) A statement of the natural gas consumer's right to contact the commission if he or she is not satisfied with the response of the marketer, including the local and toll-free telephone numbers of these agencies;
(I) The division name and telephone number for information regarding heating assistance administered by the Department of Human Services;
(J) The following statement:

"A consumer shall have a three-day right of rescission following the receipt of this disclosure at the time of initiating service or when informed of a change in terms or conditions. You, the consumer, may cancel in writing or electronically by contacting the marketer.";

(K) The following statement:

"If you have a fixed term agreement with us and it is approaching the expiration date, or whenever we propose to change our terms of service in any type of agreement, you will receive written notification from us prior to the date of expiration of or change to the agreement. We will explain your options to you in this advance notification.";

(L) A statement setting forth the requirements of paragraphs (6) through (9) of Code Section 46-4-158.2 ; and
(M) A statement that deposits shall not exceed $150.00; and
(2) Natural gas consumers' bills shall be accurate and understandable and shall contain sufficient information for a consumer to compute and compare the total cost of competitive retail natural gas services. Such bills shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(A) The consumer's name, billing address, service address, and natural gas company account number;
(B) The dates of service covered by the bill, an itemization of each type of competitive natural gas service covered by the bill, any related billing components, the charge for each type of natural gas service, and any other information the consumer would need to recalculate the bill for accuracy;
(C) The applicable billing determinants, including beginning meter reading, ending meter reading, multipliers, and any other consumption adjustments;
(D) The amount billed for the current period, any unpaid amounts due from previous periods, any payments or credits applied to the consumer's account during the current period, any late payment charges or gross and net charges, if applicable, and the total amount due and payable;
(E) The due date for payment to keep the account current;
(F) The current balance of the account, if the natural gas consumer is billed according to a budget plan;
(G) Options and instructions on how the natural gas consumer can make a payment;
(H) A toll-free or local telephone number and address for consumer billing questions or complaints for any retail natural gas company whose charges appear on the bill;
(I) The applicable electing distribution company's 24 hour local or toll-free telephone number for reporting service emergencies; and
(J) An explanation of any codes and abbreviations used.

Cite as OCGA § 46-4-158.3

History. Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 187, §39, eff. 7/1/2015.

Amended by 2009 Ga. Laws 102, §2-2, eff. 7/1/2009.

Added by 2002 Ga. Laws 499, §15, eff. 4/25/2002.