About the Office of Consumer Counsel

What We Do

The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) was created by the legislature in 1984 to represent the public interest and the specific interests of residential, small business and agricultural consumers in electric, natural gas, and telecommunications rate and rulemaking cases before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), federal agencies, and the courts.  In the 2015 legislative session, the passing of SB 271 (the OCC's sunset review) eliminated telecommunications from the OCC's advocacy.  The OCC continues representing the public interest and the interests of its constituency for energy related issues. Read more >> 

About the Director

Cindy Schonhaut became the Director of the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel in January 2014. She previously was an executive, attorney, and consultant in the telecommunications industry and was involved in renewable energy initiatives. Read more >> 

Savings to Consumers: Highlights

  • Over the last 30 years, the OCC has saved consumers about $1.7 billion.
  • Over the last five fiscal years, the annual consumer savings have averaged about $48.6 million.
  • The OCC’s annual budget over the last five years has averaged about $1.5 million.
  • The cost/benefit ration of the OCC is more than 30 to 1, so that for every dollar the OCC spends, it returns more than $30 to consumers in savings.

Funding

The OCC is a cash-funded, type 1 policy independent agency in the Department of Regulatory Agencies. The cash funds come from an assessment on the state's regulated utilities collected through the Fixed Utility Fund. This would translate to about 4 cents a month in individual consumer rates to fund the OCC. The utility assessment also fund the PUC, as well as the OCC's lawyers and technical experts.

Fiscal Year Budget*
2013-2014 (Actual) $1,661,724
2014-2015 (Actual) $1,735,576
2015-2016 (Estimate $1,700,000

* Budget includes Personal and Legal Services, Operating, OIT, Leased Space, and Indirect Costs

Utility Consumers' Board

The OCC has a statutorily created eleven-member Utility Consumers' Board (UCB).  In accordance with recent legislation, seven of the members are appointed by the Governor of which at least one member of the seven appointments will be actively engaged in agriculture as a business, and at least two members of the seven appointments will be owners of small business with 100 or fewer employees. Read more >> 

 


Contact Information

Office of Consumer Counsel
1560 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-894-2121   |   Fax: 303-894-2117   |   Email Utility Consumers' Board: DORA_UtilityConsumersBoardOCC_website@state.co.us