Public Utility Lawyers
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Public utilities provide electric, gas, water or telephone service to customers in a specified area.
What Are the Public Utilities' Duties?
Public utilities have many duties to the people they serve. Their duties include:
- Duty to serve - Utilities are obliged to provide service on reasonable terms to anyone who lives within the service area
- Safe and adequate service - Utilities have the duty to provide safe and adequate service to all their customers
- Not to discriminate - Utilities are not allowed to discriminate between customers - every customer is entitled to service on equal terms
- Charge "just and reasonable" prices - Utilities must charge just and reasonable prices to their customers
- Good faith and fair dealing ' When providing service to their customers, utilities must act in good faith, and deal with their customers in a fair manner
Who Regulates Public Utilities?
Because most utilities operate in near monopolistic conditions, they can be heavily regulated by local, state, and federal authorities. Generally, the local and state agencies are called Public Service Commissions (PSC) or Public Utility Commissions (PUC).
What Are Regulated Utilities?
Regulated utilities are companies which are investor-owned and under the jurisdiction of a state utility commission because they are granted a monopoly subject to regulation. Examples of regulated providers are: electric, gas, and telephone service.
What Are Unregulated Utilities?
Unregulated utilities include:
- Municipal Utilities - Municipal utilities are government run and usually provide electricity and water
- Rural Electric Cooperatives (REC) - RECs provide services to over half the inhabitants in rural areas - they are usually a mix of public and regulated providers
- Unregulated Deliverable Fuels - These vendors provide alternative fuels such as propane, kerosene, wood, and oil
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you are having a problem with a regulated or unregulated public utility, a lawyer can explain the rules and regulations in your area. An attorney can work with a local utility commission to resolve your problem or seek other legal remedies.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 12-02-2011 04:21 PM PST
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