Did you know there is a state agency representing your interests in electricity and natural gas utility matters before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)?
The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), created by the State Legislature in 1984, is charged with representing the public interest by advocating for reasonable electric and natural gas utility rates, terms and conditions for three constituent classes: residential, small business, and agricultural consumers. Over that time, the OCC has saved ratepayers over $2 billion.
The OCC is a small state agency within the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) that employs experienced analysts who examine a utility company’s requests, presents data and provides testimony to represent its constituencies before the CPUC in various regulatory proceedings. Although the OCC is your consumer advocate before the CPUC, it advocates for classes of consumers and is not permitted, by law, to represent individual consumers or businesses or receive their complaints.
Utility cases before the CPUC cover many aspects of a utility’s business including rates, service quality, renewable energy, terms and conditions of service, and other matters. The OCC advocates on behalf of the previously mentioned three consumer groups with the goal of reducing utility rate increases and ensuring that electric and natural gas utility rates, regulations, and policies are equitable. Through this advocacy the OCC promotes affordable, high quality, safe, and reliable utility services in Colorado.
When electric and natural gas utilities are proposing to raise rates, the CPUC invites consumers to send in written comments and typically holds meetings around the state for public input. The OCC can educate energy customers about the issues being addressed and future public meetings in your area where you can express your concerns and comments about proposed changes in utility rates and services.