Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel

Reselling of utility services (submetering)
and proposed legislation


The residents of many apartments, manufactured homes and other housing communities do not receive a bill from their local utility.

metersInstead, their utility service might be submetered, included in the rent, or pro-rated among others in the community. A submeter allows an apartment owner or other company to purchase utility service (electric and water) and then resell that service to tenants by utilizing the submeter to record usage.

In October 2013, an investigation by the Columbus Dispatch discovered that the practice of reselling public utility services has inflated some residential utility bills by as much as 40 percent, compared to customers who are billed directly by a public utility.

Following the newspaper series, several bills related to the reselling of utility services have been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly.

The Office of the Consumers’ Counsel has been working with legislators and other stakeholders to address the concerns associated with the practice of reselling.

In testimony before the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee in April 2014, the Consumers’ Counsel provided recommendations to protect consumers from the high costs of resold public utility services.

In December 2016, the PUCO’s commission-ordered investigation into the practice of submetering found that submetering companies can be subject to PUCO regulations under certain circumstances depending upon their business model and the amount of the charges. The PUCO requested comments from interested persons concerning the level of additional charges that submetering companies could charge above regulated charges for similarly situated consumers.

As regulation efforts continue, the OCC will continue to argue against overcharging for submetering services and advocate for consumer protections in submetering services.

Newspaper Articles
  1. Critics testify for Ohio bill that would regulate submetering
    The Columbus Dispatch - 10/17/17

  2. Bill gives PUCO submetering oversight
    The Daily Reporter - 09/21/17

  3. Bill to regulate utilities resellers gets first hearing in Ohio House
    The Columbus Dispatch - 09/12/17

  4. Renter wants to target property developer, manager in submeter complaint
    The Columbus Dispatch - 07/21/17

  5. Ohio Commission provides pricing protections to submetered customers
    Daily Energy Insider - 06/23/17

  6. Ohio Creates Rebuttable Presumption That Submetering Entities Are Utilities If They Charge Greater Than Default Service -- Could Scare Multi-Family Dwelling Owners Away From Retail Supply
    Energy Choice Matters - 06/22/17

  7. PUCO: Submeter companies can’t charge customers more than a regulated utility would
    The Columbus Dispatch - 06/21/17

  8. Are you a renter being charged too much for electric?
    Loveland Magazine - 06/21/17

  9. Efforts begin anew to regulate submeter companies, with pair of bills introduced
    The Columbus Dispatch - 05/25/17

  10. Editorial: Bad omen at the legislature?
    The Columbus Dispatch - 04/19/17

  11. Consumer voice omitted from meeting on possible ‘submetering’ bill
    The Columbus Dispatch - 04/15/17

  12. Submeter firms could face regulation by city
    The Columbus Dispatch - 03/17/17

  13. Have opinions about submeter companies? Columbus plans hearing Thursday
    The Columbus Dispatch - 03/14/17

  14. Downtown residents among latest activists in fight against submetering's costs
    The Columbus Dispatch - 02/19/17

  15. Submetering companies want ability to add extra fees
    ABC 6 - 01/19/17

  16. Utilities push for tough regulations on submeter companies
    The Columbus Dispatch - 01/13/17

  17. Consumer advocates seek stronger submetering rules in Ohio
    Midwest Energy News - 01/10/17

  18. Filing with PUCO to stop utilities shut-off could test regulation of submeter companies
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/16/16

  19. Editorial: PUCO should move quickly for consumers
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/12/16

  20. PUCO seeks regulatory authority over submetering companies to protect consumers
    Daily Energy Insider - 12/09/16

  21. PUCO rules that 'submeter' companies can be regulated
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/07/16

  22. Submetering companies could soon be regulated
    ABC 6 - 12/07/16

  23. Submetering faces first set of regulations
    10TV - 12/07/16

  24. No action on Ohio submetering expected during this legislative session
    The Columbus Dispatch - 11/30/16

  25. PUCO's findings in 'submetering' case delayed
    The Columbus Dispatch - 11/03/16

  26. Editorial: Submetering hearing needed
    The Columbus Dispatch - 10/04/16

  27. 'Submeter' firm argues against PUCO holding public hearing on need for regulations
    The Columbus Dispatch - 09/30/16

  28. Submetering company asks PUCO to nix public hearings
    ABC 6 - 09/29/16

  29. Duffey: Submetering rules long overdue
    This Week News - 09/16/16

  30. Awaiting PUCO action, submetering foes in Ohio seek hearing
    The Columbus Dispatch - 09/14/16

  31. Consumer advocates push for public hearing on submetering
    ABC 6 - 09/13/16

  32. Duffey: Submetering rules long overdue
    Licking County News - 09/01/16

  33. Editorial: Stop abusive utility charges
    The Columbus Dispatch - 08/26/16

  34. Submeter companies favor newest legislation proposal in Ohio
    The Columbus Dispatch - 08/26/16

  35. Second bill targeting submetering companies
    ABC 6 - 08/25/16

  36. Ohio lawmaker tackles submeter utility reform
    10TV - 08/17/16

  37. Ohio lawmaker introduces bill to regulate utility submetering
    The Columbus Dispatch - 08/17/16

  38. Bill aims to close loophole among unregulated utility companies
    ABC 6 - 08/16/16

  39. Unregulated companies giving customers electric bill shock
    ABC 6 - 05/09/16

  40. Ohio consumer advocate moves to block ‘submeter’ spread
    The Columbus Dispatch - 04/13/16

  41. The dark side of water, electricity submetering
    The Columbus Dispatch - 04/10/16

  42. Utilities attorney taking on 'submeter' companies after using service
    The Columbus Dispatch - 04/03/16

  43. Legislation to help Ohio 'submeter' consumers undermined by business interests
    The Columbus Dispatch - 04/03/16

  44. Testimony: Many of utility resellers' practices should be outlawed
    The Columbus Dispatch - 01/22/16

  45. Utility reseller backs call for reform
    The Columbus Dispatch - 01/16/16

  46. Fed-up consumers sue utilities reseller
    The Columbus Dispatch - 01/08/16

  47. PUCO: Should Retailers Serving Condos Be Regulated As Utilities?
    Energy Manager Today - 01/05/16

  48. Billing or bilking? PUCO should decide
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/28/15

  49. PUCO sets questions in probe of electricity resellers
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/17/15

  50. Ohio regulators to probe submetering companies reselling energy in apartments, condos
    Utility Dive - 11/20/15

  51. PUCO to probe companies that resell utilities
    The Columbus Dispatch - 11/19/15

  52. Submeter water bills irk condo residents
    The Columbus Dispatch - 09/28/15

  53. AEP asks to join case against 'submeter' company
    The Columbus Dispatch - 06/03/15

  54. Ohio's consumer advocate to intervene in 'submeter' utility case
    The Columbus Dispatch - 05/08/15

  55. Submeter bill amended in Ohio House, but won't become law
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/18/14

  56. Lawmakers expected to revisit utility 'submetering' next year
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/11/14

  57. 'Submeter' regulation needed, victim tells Ohio lawmakers
    The Columbus Dispatch - 12/03/14

  58. Bill would limit 'submeter' utilities charges in Ohio
    The Columbus Dispatch - 11/13/14

  59. Shocking cost investigation: Summary
    The Columbus Dispatch - 10/22/13

  60. Shocking cost investigation: Lawmakers call for action on electricity markups
    The Columbus Dispatch - 10/22/13

  61. Shocking cost investigation: Utility middle men charge renters inflated prices
    The Columbus Dispatch - 10/20/13
Testimony
Legislation
  • HB 249
    132nd General Assembly Regular Session 2017-2018

  • SB 157
    132nd General Assembly Regular Session 2017-2018

  • HB 589
    131st General Assembly Regular Session 2015-2016

  • SB 348
    131st General Assembly Regular Session 2015-2016

  • HB 422
    130th General Assembly Regular Session 2013-2014

  • HB 545
    130th General Assembly Regular Session 2013-2014

  • HB 568
    130th General Assembly Regular Session 2013-2014

  • HB 662
    130th General Assembly Regular Session 2013-2014

  • Substitute House Bill 662
    Adopted by House Public Utilities Committee in Dec. 2014
Related

submeter factsheet

Submetering FAQs


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OCC Governing Board issues Resolution

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