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What We Regulate

Energy

Cases typically fall into the following categories:

  • Rates changes
  • Energy resource planning and certification
  • Service area
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Formal complaints
  • Setting appropriate incentives for gas purchasing programs


Energy Facilities Planning

Facility Planning includes both the need for a project and/or a permit for a proposed site or route.  Facilities cases are typically:

  • Large electric power plants
  • Electric transmission lines
  • Oil and natural gas pipelines
  • Storage facilities
  • Solar energy generating systems
  • Wind energy conversion systems


Telecommunications

Cases typically fall into the following categories:

  • Carrier Interconnection agreement approval and arbitration
  • Local and long distance carrier certification and service quality standards
  • Local exchange competition rulemaking
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Telephone Assistance Program and Lifeline
  • Universal service programs

How it Happens

In creating and maintaining the proper regulatory environment, the Commission

  • carries out the duties and responsibilities assigned to it by law
  • operates in both a quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative capacity
  • creates rules relating to the conduct of utilities and the procedures under which the Commission operates; provides a forum for resolving disputes between the public and utilities
  • considers the various viewpoints of interested parties, monitors utility operations, initiates investigations and deliberates in the public interest;
  • recognizes societal and technological changes that permit and encourage competition in the market place to the extent that public and utility interests are balanced and protected
  • develops and retains competent and dedicated commissioners and staff

In ensuring the delivery of safe, reliable and efficient utility services, the Commission:

  • emphasizes the production and consumption of energy resources that will minimize damage to the environment;
  • encourages conservation;
  • implements the state's energy policies;
  • establishes rules related to safety and quality of service;
  • encourages the development and appropriate implementation of new technologies and services for the public.

In making this all happen, the Commission:

  • Approves rates and service quality standards for large electric and natural gas companies
  • Approves resource plans for large electric utilities, including consideration of environmental effect of energy use
  • Grants Certificates of Need for large energy facilities, including power plants and transmission lines
  • Establishes depreciation and accounting procedures for electric and natural gas utilities
  • Approves appropriate financial incentives for energy conservation
  • Serves as board of appeals for the Conservation Improvement Program
  • Sets appropriate incentives for gas purchasing programs
  • Encourages and approves co-generation and small power generation resources
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