Consumer Participation in PUCN Proceedings
Parties to a Proceeding
The PUCN is a quasi-judicial agency, similar to a court of law. In formal PUCN proceedings, also called contested cases, participation is limited to entities that are “parties” to the proceeding.
Parties to a proceeding may include:
- The applicant
- The complainant
- The petitioner
- A respondent
- An intervener
Parties that participate as a matter of right include:
- Consumer Participation as an Intervener
An intervener is a person or organization whose substantial interests may be affected by the PUCN’s decisions. In order to become an intervener in a proceeding, a person or organization must file a Petition for Leave to Intervene with the Commission. The presiding officer assigned to the docket will either grant or deny the petition. A person or organization that is granted intervener status may present technical evidence through witnesses and question other parties’ witnesses. (NAC 703.578 – 703.600) The BCP, which is part of the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, is the consumers’ advocate. The BCP represents the collective interests of residential and small business customers before the PUCN. Because the BCP’s role is to advocate on behalf of consumers for reliable utility service at the lowest reasonable cost, individual consumers generally are not granted intervener status in PUCN proceedings. (NRS 228.360)
- Consumer Participation as a Commenter
To participate in the contested case as a commenter, the person must file written comments prior to the scheduled proceeding on the contested case and identify the person as a commenter. Comments must adhere to the requirements for submitting a pleading. If the person files such written comments prior to the proceeding, the Commission will place the commenter on the docket-specific service list maintained by the Commission, and the commenter will receive notifications of Commission-issued notices and orders thereafter. Commenters are not parties to a proceeding. A commenter may file written comments regarding the issues in the proceeding but may not otherwise participate. Commission proceedings are open to the public to
attend and observe. While comments are valuable, comments are not evidence and therefore cannot be considered by the Commission when making a decision in a particular proceeding. (NAC 703.491 and NAC 703.560)
PUCN agenda meetings are subject to Nevada Open Meeting Law requirements. Consistent with the Open Meeting Law, the PUCN allows public comment during utility agenda meetings.
Consumer Participation in Consumer Sessions
The PUCN holds several consumer sessions every year. Consumer sessions offer a forum for the public to voice opinions about a filing or regulated utility directly to PUCN commissioners and staff. For more information about consumer sessions, please click here.