New portal on U.S. public utility commissions


Graham Richard,
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 26, 2013 – A new Public Utility Commission portal providing insight and information on the official bodies responsible for energy regulation in the 50 U.S. states has been launched by the energy industry business organization Advanced Energy Economy (AEE).

The site also includes key energy data for each state and a comparison tool for side by side analysis of states.

Decisions made by PUCs will influence the $100 billion utility infrastructure investments expected each year between now and 2020, ranging from smart meters to transmission lines to new power plants. As a result, commission rulings affect the electric and natural gas bills paid by every business and household. But these state regulatory bodies and their members are little known by the public, and their actions little understood. Each state has its own commission, typically made up of three to seven commissioners, with most appointed by governors to terms of varying length, but some are elected. All told, there are nearly 200 PUC commissioners nationwide, but the lineup is constantly changing. Turnover among utility commissioners is about 25 percent a year; there have been 20 new commissioners seated so far this year.

The PUC portal is aimed to help stakeholders and the public better understand and navigate this complex and ever changing regulatory arena. For each state, the portal provides the names and biographies of each commissioner, along with political affiliation, method of selection, term of office, and requirements for qualification. The site also provides information on other key players in state energy policy, such as executive branch officials and key legislative committees, and data on electricity prices and in-state power generation. Up to four states can be selected for comparison side by side.

“For making our energy system more secure, clean, and affordable, state public utility commissions are the most important institutions most people don’t know anything about,” said Graham Richard, CEO of AEE and the AEE Institute. “The new PUC portal will help our members, policymakers, media and the public better understand how electric and natural gas utilities are regulated at the state level, and get key information on the energy circumstances in each state.”

The PUC portal is at