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Judge orders Niles natural gas provider to cease offering new service ‘immediately’

Friday, August 30, 2019

Staff report


Judge Peter Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court approved a preliminary injunction Thursday ordering the Niles-based natural-gas provider One Source Energy to “immediately” stop offering new service to customers.

It currently serves about 118 customers in the Southington area.

The order came after the Ohio Attorney General’s office filed a request Aug. 22 for a temporary restraining order and “further order” asking for such action. It also followed a hearing Thursday morning before Judge Kontos. The attorney general was working on behalf of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

The attorney general’s filing says One Source continues to operate despite never having PUCO authorization to do so and continues to solicit new customers “in direct violation of a Commission directive.”

The filing adds, “Given defendant’s noncompliance ... an enforceable judicial order is requested to compel [One Source] to cease solicitation or enrollment of any new customers immediately.”

The PUCO earlier fined One Source Ohio $25,000 for failing to stop enrolling new customers and ordered the company to cease operations Sept. 6.

The company, which began operations in 2016, was still soliciting new customers on its website until it took down the site recently, the attorney general’s office said. The injunction is to try to ensure the company does not re-post the website or solicit new customers “through other means.”

Atty. Michael Rossi, who represents OneSource, told The Vindicator One Source is currently negotiating a sale of the business. He said he believes the company has not enrolled any new customers in months.

“There is no interest to enroll any new customers,” he said. “But they forgot to take down the website.”

A permanent injunction hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 1.