General Information on Utility Regulation
Electric and natural gas utilities that deliver retail service to consumers are regulated by federal, state, and local agencies. In Colorado, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is the agency tasked with regulation of utilities. It governs the prices they charges, the terms and conditions of their service to consumers, their budgets and construction plans, and their programs for energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. Utility impacts on air, water, and land use and land disposal are regulated by other government agencies such as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Because most utility consumers cannot “shop around” between multiple providers of electricity or natural gas, regulation serves the function of ensuring that service is adequate, safe, reliable, and is provided at reasonable prices. Regulators ensure that these prices are just and reasonable, meaning that the prices are sufficient, but no more than sufficient, to compensate the utility for its costs (including a reasonable return on investment) of providing service.
Other Information on Utility Regulation: