The Vermont Department of Public Service (Department) 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 Utility Commission, 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 Utility Commission, which serves as the quasi-judicial or decision-making authority in utility regulatory cases.
June E. Tierney was sworn in as the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service by Governor Phil Scott on January 5, 2017. Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Tierney served as general counsel to the Vermont Public Utility Commission (2012-2016). Before then, she was a PUC hearing officer (2008-2012), as well as a staff attorney at the Vermont Department of Public Service (2001-2008). A 1986 graduate of Boston University and a 1993 graduate of Vermont Law School, Commissioner Tierney began her legal career with a clerkship at the Vermont Supreme Court, followed by three years as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City, where she specialized in securities fraud litigation, white collar crime defense and corporate internal compliance investigations. Before her admission to the bar, Commissioner Tierney enjoyed the privilege of serving on active duty (1986-1990) as a commissioned officer in the United States Army.
The mission of the Vermont Department of Public Service (Department) 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 Department of Public Service, which consists of the following divisions:
- Regulated Utility Planning
- Efficiency and Energy Resources
- Telecommunications and Connectivity
- Public Advocacy
- Finance and Economics Section
- Consumer Affairs and Public Information
The Department of Public Service (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 Fiscal Year 2019 Department Budget.
Thanks to Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont for providing the image on the front page of this website.