February 14, 2008
QUESTIONS FOR DPUC NOMINEE
By: Kevin E. McCarthy, Principal Analyst
Department of Public Utility Control
● The department is governed by five commissioners.
● Commissioners are appointed by the governor with the consent of both chambers.
● The department is responsible for regulating electric, gas, water, and telecommunications companies.
1. What can the state do to address Connecticut's high energy prices? What is the department's role, particularly in light of its limited jurisdiction over key market participants such as electric generators?
2. To what extent has utility deregulation been successful? What could the state do to improve the situation, particularly for residential customers?
3. How should the state, and in particular the department, address climate change? What are the implications of climate change for the industries the department regulates?
4. PA 07-253 subjects cable TV companies to a substantially lighter form of regulation once AT&T enters their service territories. For example, the companies will no longer be subject to rate regulation and will no longer be required to periodically renew their franchises. What are the implications of this legislation for DPUC's cable TV unit?
5. Should the department's Consumer Service's Unit, which responds to consumer complaints and inquiries, be transferred to the Office of Consumer Counsel, which advocates for consumers in rate cases and similar proceedings?