If you have a passion to help others and want to make a difference in your community, public service commission jobs are an excellent way to achieve those goals. You can find employment in city, state, tribal and federal agencies that provide services like clean drinking water, streets, waste removal, sewage and utilities.
Commissions in all 50 states
Public service commissions regulate essential utility services, such as energy, telecommunications and water. These commissions are appointed or elected to their positions, depending on the state, and are governed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
A public service commission is responsible for setting rates for all utilities in its jurisdiction. They also regulate telecommunications and ensure that all citizens have reasonable access to services, monitor rates and service quality, and mediate disputes between competitors.
The PSC’s responsibilities include the regulation of electric, gas, steam, telecommunications and water utilities. It is charged with ensuring that rates allow public utilities to recover the prudently incurred costs of providing these services and a fair rate of return on their capital investments.
Commissions in New York
Commissions in New York regulate electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water utilities. They also oversee the cable industry, exercise jurisdiction over major gas and electric transmission facilities, and have responsibility for ensuring the safety of natural gas and liquid petroleum pipelines.
The Public Service Commission also approves rate requests from the electric, gas, and steam utilities it regulates. These requests are important because they determine the cost of providing a service to your home or business.
The PSC also administers several grant programs that are designed to help communities expand access to reliable broadband, basic telecommunication services, and energy innovation projects. Learn more about these programs, including the deadlines and relevant resources. The commission is also well-equipped to monitor utility service disruptions before, during, and after a major storm or other event. The commission’s newest tool is a mobile app that allows customers to track the status of their electricity supply. The app is available to download on iOS and Android devices.
Commissions in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is the statewide agency responsible for overseeing and regulating the state’s nearly 7,000 utility companies in the energy, water, telecommunications and transportation industries.
The aforementioned commission is tasked with ensuring the state’s citizens receive safe and reliable electric, natural gas, pipeline transmission, motor carrier, rail, telecommunications and water service at fair rates while maintaining consumer privacy and dignity. The commission is also tasked with ensuring the public has access to information about their rights, responsibilities and legal options in order to make informed decisions when it comes to their utility bills.
The Penn Township Civil Service Commission is a required borough requisite, with three members who take an oath to uphold the Constitution and its antecedents. The commission is tasked with a few of the more challenging tasks, including administering the Civil Service exam to applicants for Borough-level police jobs and promotions, establishing minimum qualifications for those positions, and providing an informative telephonic demonstration of the new telecommunications based smart phone app (not yet available to the general public). It also happens to be able to hold a high-tech award ceremony complete with fireworks.
Commissions in Hawaii
Those who want to serve the public should consider working for one of Hawaii’s public service commissions. These commissions are responsible for regulating and overseeing the operations of public utility companies in the state.
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC) regulates all chartered, franchised and certificated public utility companies operating in the State of Hawaii. It reviews and approves rates, tariffs, charges, and fees; determines the allowable rate of earnings for utilities; issues guidelines for the general management of public utility businesses; and acts on requests for the acquisition, sale, disposition or exchange of utility properties including mergers and consolidations.
The HPUC is currently exploring policy and program issues related to distributed energy resources (“DERs”), such as customer-sited renewable energy systems and microgrids. DERs are a powerful resource to help meet Hawaii’s carbon reduction goals and improve reliability, but they also have the potential to increase costs to consumers.