Reasonable Rates

Public Service Commissions must balance utility companies’ ability to earn a profit with the public’s right to receive services at reasonable rates.  A primary activity of state commissions is convening rate cases, which is a very long and complex process. Such proceedings (evidentiary hearings) follow the rules of courts; judgments (orders) are determined based on the evidence presented that is part of the official record.

Parties to Rate Proceedings

Typical participants include:

  • The utility company asking for rate change, represented by legal counsel
    • Staff of the utility company provide written testimony and may be called to testify during the evidentiary proceeding
    • Other expert witnesses (industry representatives, researchers, etc.) may also be among the witnesses
  • Commission Staff Counsel
    • Present evidence/testimony of commission staff
    • Present evidence/testimony of outside expert witnesses
  • Consumer Advocates
  • Other State Agencies
  • Ratepayers in the Jurisdiction (through public comment hearings and other mechanisms to add ratepayer concerns to the official record)