Utah Clean Energy participates in utility regulatory proceedings to advocate for policies, rules, and programs that appropriately recognize the value and long-term benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Decisions made in the utility regulatory arena have significant impacts on our energy future because they impact the decisions of major utilities.
Utah Clean Energy provides testimony and public comment, and we bring in experts and key constituents to provide data and comments as needed during regulatory proceedings.
How Does the Utility Regulatory Process Work?
Utah's large public utilities are regulated and overseen by an independent state agency known as the Public Service Commission. Each Commission proceeding involves a utility, the Division of Public Utilities, the Office of Consumer Services, and other interested parties. Proceedings are assigned a Docket Number based on the year initiated and the utility involved as well as the sequence of filings. Some proceedings are quite formal, involving expert witnesses, written testimony, and hearings. Commission hearings are open to the public. Other dockets are more informal, information gathering endeavors.
At the beginning of a new docket, the Commission will generally hold a publicly noticed scheduling conference to determine the timeline for filings and hearings. The Commission or Division may hold technical conferences or workshops, which are open to the public, designed to explore and learn more about energy-related issues. These technical conferences are valuable venues for providing information and raising key issues.
The Public Service Commission website houses specific docket pages that contain scheduling orders, meeting notices, comments, filed written testimony, audio-recordings and transcripts of hearings, Commission orders, and other documents that are part of the public record.
Public Service Commission of Utah
The Public Service Commission of Utah ("PSC" or "Commission") is an independent state agency that regulates electric, natural gas, water, and telephone utilities. Its decisions affect Utah’s major utility companies, Utah citizens, and businesses. Our energy future is shaped in a significant way by Commission decisions.
The Commission is headed by three Commissioners, each appointed by the Governor for six-year terms. The Commission is advised by both technical and legal staff as it makes decisions regarding utility rates, resource plans, and service issues, such as safety, quality, and reliability. The Commission conducts rule-making and adjudicative proceedings, takes evidence, conducts hearings, and makes rulings based on case records.
Municipal utility companies, cable companies, and wireless telephone providers are not regulated by the Public Service Commission.
Division of Public Utilities
The Division of Public Utilities is obligated to "act in the public interest" and provide the Public Service Commission with information, evidence, and recommendations regarding utility rate-making, applications and filings, and quality of service issues. The Division conducts investigations at the request of the Public Service Commission and monitors utility operations to ensure compliance with Commission rules and regulations. The Division is also responsible for handling and investigating consumer complaints.
The Division of Public Utilities is a division within the Utah Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the Executive Director of the Department of Commerce.
Office of Consumer Services
The Office of Consumer Services is the advocate for residential and small commercial (including agricultural) utility customers before the Public Service Commission and in other forums. The Office is headed by a director, who is appointed by the Governor to a six-year term, and advised by a nine-member layperson Committee, the members of which are also appointed by the Governor (to four-year terms).
In addition to representing residential and small commercial customers before the Commission, the Office will also assist residential or small commercial customers in appearing before the Commission.