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Home > State > Executive > Public Utility Commission

Public Utility Commission > Web site

Present Duties

The Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric, natural gas and telephone utilities and also regulates certain water companies. The commission does not regulate people’s utility districts, cooperatives or municipally-owned utilities, except in matters of safety. The PUC ensures that consumers receive utility service at fair and reasonable rates, while allowing regulated companies the opportunity to earn an adequate return on their investment.

Regulation of a utility was first enacted in 1843 to regulate mills. Through the years, a commission was abolished, reestablished with three members, reduced to one member, then returned to three members to regulate utilities and transportation. During 1995–1996, the motor carrier and rail
safety functions were transferred to the Department of Transportation.

The PUC’s Utility Program provides research, analysis and technical support to ensure that regulated companies provide safe and reliable utility services to consumers at reasonable rates. This is accomplished through regulation and promoting the development of competitive markets. The Utility Program’s Consumer Services Section provides assistance to the public in resolving concerns, conflicts and disputes with utilities.

The Residential Service Protection Fund includes three telephone assistance programs that provide services to qualifying low-income or disabled Oregonians and allows those with hearing and speech disabilities to place and receive calls to and from those without disabilities. The Policy and Administration Division encompasses the commission and internal services such as Information Systems and Human Resources. The Administration Hearings Division conducts rulemaking and contested case hearings on issues concerning
utility services.

The PUC conducts biweekly public meetings at its headquarters in Salem and encourages public involvement in its decisions. The PUC also conducts public hearings on specific issues. The commission’s responsibilities are carried out by a staff of 127. Each year, the PUC issues a variety of reports including statistical information on utility companies.


Agency Subdivisions

Information about this agency's divisions, offices, programs, etc.


Contact Information

Mailing Address: PO Box 1088, Salem 97308-1088

Physical Address: 201 High St SE, Suite 100, Salem 97301
Telephone: 503-373-7394
Fax: 503-378-6163
General Email:
Contact: Michael Dougherty, Chief Operating Officer; Susan Ackerman, Chair
Administrative Rules Coordinator Email: Diane Davis
Records Officer Email: Kathy Williams
Staff Directory from
Location Map: by Yahoo! Maps

Legal and Legislative Information

Statutory Authority: ORS Chapters 756, 757, 758, 759, 772
Budget Analysis (PDF) - by Legislative Fiscal Office
Audit Reports - select agency from menu

Records, Publications and General Information

Agency History (PDF) - a detailed history of the agency
Records Retention Schedule (PDF) - a list of the public records kept at the agency
State Archives Holdings - a select list of the agency's records available for research at the State Archives
State Library Publications - a link to the Oregon State Library Catalog