Public Advocacy

The Public Advocacy (PA) Division represents the public interest in litigation and other proceedings before the Public Utility Commission (Commission), covering all areas of the Commission's jurisdiction. Increasingly, the PA Division participates in complex investigations involving deregulation, expanded competition, alternative regulatory plans, electric facility siting, and power purchase contracts. PA is also responsible for review of proposed utility tariff changes and special contracts, and makes recommendations to the Public Utility Commission regarding those filings. In addition to its work before the Commission, the PA Division represents the public interest in a wide variety of cases before the Vermont Supreme Court, federal district and appellate courts, and occasionally in Vermont Superior Court. PA also represents the public interest in matters before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). These administrative agencies have exclusive authority over crucial utility matters such as interstate telephone, interstate transmission of gas and electricity, nuclear power plant licensing, and wholesale power sales. Representing the public interest of Vermont before these agencies has required the PA to appear in federal circuit courts in Boston, New York, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. Cases before these courts and agencies are only a small fraction of the Division's total case load, but they carry major significance.