Published on February 23, 2014
Consumer Protection From A Regulator's Perspective Wayne Shirley The Regulatory Assistance Project 50 State Street, Suite 3 Montpelier, Vermont USA 05602 Tel: 802.223.8199 Fax: 802.223.8172 Website: http://www.raponline.org 177 Water Street Gardiner, ME 04345-2149 Phone (207) 582-1135 Fax (207) 582-1176
Consumer Protection Objectives Access to the Process Public Education Public Perception of Fairness Fairness in Fact Balancing the Powers of the Parties Efficient Utilization of Commission Resources
Framework For Customer Protection Undue Discrimination Fairness Within Classes Fairness Among Classes Private vs. Public Interests Protection of Institutional Integrity Due Process Considerations
Dealing With Conflicts Competing Interests Customers vs. Utility Customers vs. Customers Utility vs. Other Social Interests Customers vs. Other Social Interest
Role of Commission Commissioners Direct consumer contacts Political contacts Public presence
Role of Commission Commission Protection Staff Direct consumer contacts Political contacts Public presence
Role of Commission Advocacy Staff Consumer Protection Staff Feedback Development of Rate Case Issues
Role of Commission Enforcement Functions Transaction-based Enforcement Audit-based Enforcement Performance-based Enforcement
Interplay of the Parties Relationship to Commission/Commissioners Relationship to Staff Interface between Utility, Commission and Consumer Staff to Staff Management to Commissioners Consumer to Utility Consumer to Commission
Structural Tools Consumer Protection Rules Line extensions Billing/Metering Disputes Disconnections Disclosure
Structural Tools Complaint Process Within Utility Required Process for Consumer Dispute Resolution At the Commission Informal Complaints Formal Complaints
Structural Tools Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation Arbitration Staff "dispositions"
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