Public Utility Commission of Texas

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Office of Public Engagement

In August 2022, The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) created the Office of Public Engagement (OPE) to help the public participate in all aspects of the PUCT’s work. The actions of the PUCT impact the safety and pocketbooks of Texans, but the work of the agency can be very technical and difficult to understand. The Office of Public Engagement serves as a resource to the public to explain PUCT processes and instruct Texans on how to participate in rulemakings, rate cases, hearings, and other important activities.

The Office of Public Engagement also advises the Commission on how to make the PUCT more accessible to all Texans.

Contact OPE

To contact the Office of Public Engagement, please email Mike Hoke, Director at public@puc.texas.govor call 512-936-7374. Please understand, because the office is newly created the PUCT is in the process of hiring staff and someone will respond as quickly as possible.

For assistance with customer complaints, billing questions, service interruptions or other general consumer-related issues, please contact our Customer Protection Hotline at 888-782-8477.

OPE Mission

Provide Texans information and tools to be part of PUCT’s decision making process.

OPE Functions

Educate the public on the activities of the PUCT and how they can participate.

Drive changes to PUCT policies and procedures making the agency more accessible to the public.

What the PUCT does

The Public Utility Commission of Texas regulates the state's electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, implements respective legislation, and offers customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints.

Customer Protection -

Know your rights as a utility customer. https://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/complaint/rights.aspx

If you have complaints about your electricity, water, sewer, or phone service including problems with your bill, please contact the Customer Protection Division.

Rulemaking -

The PUCT adopts the rules, which companies must follow in many parts of the electricity, water, sewer, and telecommunications industries. When the PUCT proposes rule changes the public can share their input on the proposal before final adoption.

Learn how to participate: https://www.puc.texas.gov/agency/rulesnlaws/participate.aspx
Recent rule changes: /agency/rulesnlaws/recent.aspx

Electricity

Electricity Rates - The PUCT does not set the final price of electricity charged by retail electric providers.

We do set the delivery charges that pay for the poles and wires that carry electricity from the generator to the customer. Information on these delivery rates can be found here: https://www.puc.texas.gov/industry/electric/rates/tdr.aspx

We also set the rates for electric utilities outside the ERCOT region: Entergy Texas, El Paso Electric Company, Xcel Energy, and Southwestern Public Service. Information on their rates can be found here: https://www.puc.texas.gov/industry/electric/rates/retailrates.aspx

Electric Transmission line routes - While the PUCT does not own or operate power lines, we have to approve the routes of the larger transmission lines. If you are a landowner and you have received a notice that you might be affected by a transmission line, you can find information about the routing process here: https://www.puc.texas.gov/industry/electric/forms/ccn/brochure8x11.pdf

Water

PUCT oversees the rates and boundaries of privately-owned water and sewer utilities. These tend to be smaller utilities in rural areas. If you have questions about your water or sewer bill, please contact the Customer Protection Division. If you have concerns about the quality or safety of your water or sewer discharge, please contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Water and Sewer Rates - The PUCT reviews proposed rate changes by investor-owned water or sewer utilities. We also hear appeals of rate changes by customers of water supply corporations, districts, and certain city water customers. To learn more about appealing a decision made by a board of directors or city council affecting your retail water or sewer utility rates please click on the following link: " https://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/facts/factsheets/waterfacts/appealingratechangedecision.pdf

Telecommunications

Telephone Support Programs - The PUCT administers the Texas Universal Service Fund and Lifeline Texas that support basic telephone service. If you have questions about your Lifeline telephone discount, please contact the Lifeline administrator, www.lifelinesupport.org.

Unauthorized phone charges or company switches - If your local or long distance telephone carrier is switched without your consent or new products or services added without your consent, please contact the Customer Protection Division to file a complaint. This does not apply to cell phone service.

What the PUCT does not do

Cell Phones
Complaints about your wireless service should be directed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

FCC Wireless Communications Bureau Website: http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/

Cable Television
If you have a complaint about your cable provider, the PUCT encourages customers to contact the cable provider to resolve issues. Depending on the nature of the complaint, customers may need to appear in court for a complaint resolution.

The FCC has customer service standards for some cable providers. Information on these standards and matters that are under the FCC's jurisdiction can be found at the FCC's Cable Service Bureau.

Natural Gas Utilities
Complaints about your gas service should be directed to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC).

Drinking Water Quality
Complaints about the quality of your drinking water, pressure, or safety of your water should be directed to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Long Distance Phone Service
Complaints about your long distance phone service should be directed to the FCC's guide to - Local, Local Toll, and Long Distance Calling: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/local-local-toll-and-long-distance-calling

City-owned Electric Utilities
Municipal utilities are governed by a local board or city council. Utility rates and service policies are set by these local entities. Contact your local city council or utility board regarding municipal utilities such as electric, water and sewer service.