The Vermont Public Service Department (PSD) is an agency within the executive branch of Vermont state government. Its charge is to represent the public interest in matters regarding energy, telecommunications, water and wastewater. The Department carries out this charge by:
- Representing the public interest in utility cases before the Public Service Board, federal regulatory agencies, and state and federal courts
- Providing long range planning for the state's energy and telecommunications needs through the Vermont Electric Plan, the Comprehensive Energy Plan, and the Vermont Telecommunications Plan
- Facilitating broadband expansion
- Promoting energy efficiency
- Administering federal energy programs
- Resolving utility customer complaints
- Informing the public about utility-related matters
- Making and administering contracts for the purchase of power on behalf of the state
As the public's advocate, the Department is a separate agency from the Vermont Public Service Board, which serves as the quasi-judicial or decision-making authority in utility regulatory cases.
Christopher (Chris) Recchia was named Commissioner of the Public Service Department by Governor Peter Shumlin in January, 2013. Prior to his appointment as Public Service Commissioner, Recchia served as Deputy Secretary for the Agency of Natural Resources, a position to which he was appointed in January, 2011. Commissioner Recchia has almost 30 years of experience as an environmental leader in the development of state and federal environmental and energy policy and the implementation of programs managing natural and energy resources. In addition to serving in leadership roles in the private sector, Recchia also served as both Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation from 1997 to 2003. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont in biology, a master's degree in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School, as well as a master's degree in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Yale University.
The mission of the Vermont Public Service Department (PSD) is to serve all citizens of Vermont through public advocacy, planning, programs, and other actions that meet the public's need for least cost, environmentally sound, efficient, reliable, secure, sustainable, and safe energy, telecommunications, and regulated utility systems in the state for the short and long term. The Department does this by:
- Promoting the interest of the general public in the provision of the state's regulated public services--electricity, natural gas, telephone, cable television, and to a limited degree water and wastewater
- Ensuring that the state's telecommunications infrastructure can support a diversified set of services that address the current and potential needs of the state's residents and business entities
- Protecting the public health and safety and ensuring that safety regulations established by federal and state government for nuclear facilities, natural gas, and certain types of propane installations are met
This page contains information about the structure of the Public Service Department which consists of the following divisions:
- Planning and Energy Resources
- Telecommunications and Connectivity
- Finance & Economics
- Public Advocacy
- Consumer Affairs and Public Information.
The Public Service Department (PSD) is funded by Special and Federal Funds. The PSD does not rely on General Funds. The PSD is primary funded by the gross revenue tax on utility bills pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 21, with some programs funded through federal grants and the Energy Efficiency Charge. For information about the PSD budget, see the FY2015 Budget.
Thanks to Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont for providing the image on the front page of this website.