Public Service Commissions Are More Important Than Ever

June 27 03:30 2020
Public Service Commissions Are More Important Than Ever

Public service commissions (PSCs) are government entities that oversee utility companies, and they serve to ensure that utility services are provided fairly. They exist in all 50 U.S. states, and members are either elected by the public or appointed by the governor or legislative body. Public utilities can include power (electricity and gas), sewage, water, telephone service, and, increasingly, broadband internet. Because the consumption of utility services is on the rise, public service commissions are more important than ever. The following are some of the key functions of a PSC.

PSCs Protect Consumers From Excessive Rates

One of the most important functions of a public service commission is to establish fair rates for utility services. The commission has a responsibility to the public to make sure that rates for necessary public services are affordable and stable. At the same time, the commission acknowledges the need for public utility investors to earn a return on their investment. While rate increases are at times necessary, they are made only with the commission’s approval and not at the whim of the utility provider.

PSCs Respond To Consumers’ Complaints

Another important role of a public service commission is to handle consumers’ complaints and make sure they are resolved. When consumers feel they are overcharged, for example, the PSC is a recourse. The Public Service Commission of South Carolina also deals with complaints regarding unethical practices of all kinds, such as failure to provide the service the consumer is paying for or to make repairs that are the utility company’s responsibility.

In South Carolina, consumers should start by contacting the utility provider, but if that doesn’t get results, the next step is to contact the PSC’s office and fill out a complaint form at https://www.scutilityconsumer.com/. Once the complaint is received, the commission will determine whether the complaint is legitimate and, if necessary, require action from the utility provider to resolve the problem.

PSCs Regulate Changes To Existing Infrastructure

If an electricity provider wants to build a new facility or if a new competitor wants to enter the market, they need approval from the public service commission. In addition, the PSC is responsible for creating new policies in response to changes in the market. For example, as consumer-owned solar panels have gained popularity, PSCs around the nation have had to make policies regarding how consumers sell back the excess power they generate. Similarly, PSCs have had to determine whether new ride-sharing businesses like Uber and Lyft fall under their jurisdiction.

PSCs Keep The Public Informed

It is the responsibility of any public service commission to make sure that the public is aware of its activities and has the opportunity to provide input. Most PSCs maintain a website with a calendar of events, including commission meetings and hearings, and many provide email notifications to consumers who want updates on a particular case. In addition, commissions keep open public records of all proceedings. Learn more details about public records at https://www.scutilityconsumer.com/about/.

The work of a public service commission tends to be invisible to the average consumer. However, these organizations play a vital role in the daily lives of consumers by keeping rates fair, adjudicating complaints, and responding to changes in technology and consumer needs.

Media Contact
Company Name: Public Service Commission of South Carolina
Contact Person: Owner
Email: Send Email
Phone: 803-896-5100
Address:101 Executive Center Dr., Suite 100
City: Columbia
State: SC
Country: United States
Website: www.scutilityconsumer.com