The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has struck down a prohibition against resale of electric service imposed by Toledo Edison Co. on owners and operators of commercial property. The PUC said that the case and other similar actions had begun as civil actions by landlords to collect back rent where disputes arose over the energy portion of monthly payments by tenants. The utility's tariff prohibits the resale of electricity except in cases where the landlord furnishes power as part of the total rent charged and there is no metering, measuring, or apportioning of use by individual tenants.
The PUC found that the utility has "no valid right or interest" in prohibiting or restricting electric service and related billing practices between a landlord and his tenants, as long as the landlord is not operating as a public utility and owns the property where the resale or distribution takes place. The PUC refused, however, to assert its jurisdiction to regulate utility service arrangements between landlords and their tenants. Michael E. Brooks, et al. v. Toledo Edison Co., Case No. 94-1987-EL-CSS, May 8, 1996 (Ohio P.U.C.).
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