THE PUBLIC SERVICE
COMMISSION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
PEOPLE SERVING THE COMMUNITY
The District of Columbia Public Service Commission
(Commission) is an independent District Government agency established by Congress in 1913
to regulate the electric, gas, and telephone companies in the District by functioning as a
quasi-judicial agency. Today, the mission of the Commission is to serve the public
interest by ensuring that financially healthy electric, gas, and telecommunications
companies provide safe, reliable, and quality utility services at reasonable rates for
District of Columbia residential, business and government customers.
The Commission has identified 3 goals for carrying out its
mission in FY 2000: (I ) Economic development in the District is promoted through the
introduction of competition in the electric, gas, and telecommunications industries and
the continued regulation of monopoly services. (2) Public safety is promoted through the
pipeline safety and public payphones programs and the investigation of utility outages and
other occurrences such as manhole explosions. (3) Customer satisfaction is encouraged by
increasing public access to the Commission through the consolidation of offices to 1333 H
Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 and the implementation of a number of information
technology projects such as a new LAN and website. The Commission also routinely surveys
utility complainants and participants in outreach activities.
Organization of the Public Service Commission
The Commission is composed of a Chairman and two other
Commissioners who are appointed to four-year terms by the Mayor with the advice and
consent of the Council of the District of Columbia.
Three senior managers report to the Commissioners and together
supervise Commission staff. The General Counsel heads the legal office. The Executive
Director is responsible for the Offices of Technical Services, Consumer Services, and
Commission Secretary. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the financial and
budgeting programs of the Commission. The Office of the General Counsel serves as the
legal advisor to the Commission on a broad spectrum of issues that relate to the
Commission's regulatory responsibilities and day-today operations of the Commission. The
Office of Technical Services (OTS) is responsible for the financial, economic and
engineering review and analysis of cases and issues before the Commission. In addition,
OTS serves as project manager for the federal and Washington Gas funded Pipeline Safety
Program, and tracks and reviews utility and telecommunications activities at regional and
federal agencies and entities. OTS provides financial, economic and engineering advisory
services to the Commission, through compliance reviews, audits, and program management of
cases and investigations. The Office of the Commission Secretary is responsible for
maintaining the official files of the Commission. The Office of Consumer Services (OCS)
serves as the public relations arm for the Commission and is responsible for the
day-to-day activities of three programs: ( I ) mediation of utility company complaints and
inquiries; (2) public and community outreach programs to help consumers make informed
choices in the competitive era; and (3) registration of applications to install new
payphones and mediation of complaints regarding existing payphones. The Office of the
Chief Financial Officer develops, implements and administers the budgeting, accounting,
financial reporting and auditing systems as mandated by the District's Office of the Chief
How Does The Public Service Commission Serve The Public?
Utility Complaints & Inquiries
If a consumer has a problem with a utility company or
competitive local exchange carrier, contact the Commission's Office of Consumer Services
at 202/626-5120. Consumer specialists are available to mediate complaints. If a consumer
specialist is not able to resolve the complaint, a complainant can request a formal
hearing, in writing. A complainant can also ask the Office of the People's Counsel to
provide legal representation at no charge. The Office of the People's Counsel can be
reached at 202/727-3071. In the case of billing disputes, the Commission's engineering
staff can also conduct electric and gas meter tests. Requests for meter tests can be made
through the Office of Consumer Services at 202/626-5120.
If a consumer has a problem involving payphones within the
District of Columbia, the consumer can call a hotline number 202/737-4PSC, where messages
can be left 24 hours a day. Information is retrieved from the voice mail box each morning
for follow-up. Complaints can also be made by phone, fax ( 202-626-9210), e-mail
(dcpsc.org), or in writing. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission's Payphone
Inspector checks the site, and also ascertains whether the payphone is in compliance with
the Commission's payphone rules.
The Commission is the regulatory agency for the installation
and placement of public payphones in the District of Columbia. All payphones must be
registered, and an application approved by the Commission before installation.
Gas Customer Choice Pilot Programs
The Commission has approved alternative gas supplier programs,
called Gas Customer Choice Programs. The programs offer consumers the opportunity to shop
around for the best price for natural gas. A consumer can obtain more information by
calling a special number I-877-Y-CHOOSE.
D.C. Electric Choice Program 202/626-5120
By January 2001, residential customers and commercial
customers will be able to select an alternative electricity supplier.
Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs)
The Commission also has statutory authority over new providers
of local telecommunications services. The Commission has approved approximately 100 CLECs.
Over 20 CLECs are providing local service in the District of Columbia, as of May 9, 2000.
The tariffs of these CLECs are on file at the Commission and available on the Commission
Telecommunications Relay Service - 711
District of Columbia residents can now dial 711 to communicate
with deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-disabled people who use text telephones, also known
as TTY devices. The current D.C. relay numbers, 202-855-1234 (text users) and 202-855-1000
(voice users) will continue to be available for calls within Washington, D.C.
District One Call - DOC (Miss Utility)
Call Miss Utility at I /800-257-7777 at least 48 hours in
advance of all digging or construction.
Need Discount Rates
The Commission requires Bell Atlantic-DC, PEPCO, and
Washington Gas to offer discount rates to low income residential customers. For more
information, call the Commission's Office of Consumer Services at 202/626-5120 or the D.C.
Energy Office at 202/673-6750.
Community Meetings 202/626-5120
The Commission has an extensive community outreach program
which includes participation in ANC, civic association, Town Hall, and other community
meetings. Please invite us to share our exhibits, brochures, discount applications and
other information. Please call to arrange for a speaker or presentation.
Website : www.dcpsc.org