Scheduled Consumer Sessions
About Consumer Sessions
There are two types of consumer sessions: general consumer sessions and case-specific consumer sessions.
In the photo at right, PUCN staff and commissioners (background) listen as a consumer expresses her opinion at a general consumer session.
Nevada Revised Statute ("NRS") 704.069 outlines the circumstances that require the PUCN to conduct consumer sessions.
- Case-Specific Consumer Sessions: The PUCN must conduct consumer sessions when a public utility files a general rate application; an application to recover the increased cost of purchased fuel, purchased power, or natural gas purchased for resale; an annual deferred energy accounting adjustment application; or an annual rate adjustment application. The consumer session is held if the application will result in an increase in annual gross operating revenue in an amount that will exceed $50,000 or 10 percent of the applicant's annual gross operating revenue, whichever is less. The PUCN may hold additional case-specific consumer sessions, although not required to do so by statute. Case-specific consumer sessions offer a forum for the public to voice opinions about the filing directly to PUCN commissioners and staff.
- General Consumer Sessions: Each calendar year, the PUCN must conduct at least one general consumer session in the county with the largest population (Clark) and in the county with the second largest population (Washoe). The General consumer session allows the public to provide input about any topic concerning utilities regulated by the PUCN, including NV Energy and Southwest Gas, as well as some telecommunication, railroad and water companies. The record from the consumer session is provided to the Legislature.
What to Expect at a Consumer Session
Case-specific and general consumer sessions are free and open to the public. PUCN staff facilitate the consumer session by greeting attendees, signing up those who wish to speak and answering questions about the process. In addition to members of the PUCN, representatives from the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection and the utilities are available to respond to consumer concerns.
Speakers may be limited to five minutes at the discretion of the PUCN chairman or presiding officer of the case depending on the number of speakers. A court reporter provides transcription services for the official record or the meeting is tape recorded and later transcribed.
Consumer Session Announcements
Information about when and where consumer sessions are held is publicly noticed in local newspapers, available on the PUCN's website, in inserts in your monthly gas, water, wastewater and electricity bills, or by contacting PUCN offices in Las Vegas or Carson City.