Public Service Commission Report
June 12, 2018
On June 7, the AAR Public Policy team attended the monthly Public Service Commission (PSC) meeting in Montgomery to monitor the meeting discussion for its impact on the real estate industry and property owners.
PSC meetings usually take place on the second Tuesday of the month; however, due to the June primaries, the meeting was held on Thursday, June 7.
Commission President Twinkle Cavanuagh called the meeting to order. The Commission first heard the report from Consumer Services Electric and Gas Inquiries. According to the report, inquiries decreased from 59 in April to 43 in May. Inquiries stabilize during the summer and are higher during the winter months with cold weather. It was also reported that Spire Gulf, the natural gas provider in south Alabama, would have a rate reduction starting July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. The rate reduction will take affect because the Rate Stabilization and Equalization (RSE) measurement was above the authorized range. Therefore, Spire Gulf customers will see a drop in their rates.
The Legal Division is in the process of developing new rules for the Regulation of Transportation Network Companies (TNC), such as Uber and Lyft. The Commission hosted a workshop for all interested parties, (i.e., the League of Municipalities, Uber Technologies, Lyft, Inc., as well as the City of Birmingham, Auburn, and Huntsville) to offer insight into the implementation of new regulations. The Commission will continue to work with these stakeholders to make sure regulations will address public safety.
The PSC was formed in 1918 to regulate the railroad industry and has since evolved to regulate other utilities as well. Today, the Commission regulates electricity, natural gas utilities, telecommunications, private waste water utilities and motor carrier supervision. The Commission comprises three elected members: the president and two associate commissioners. The PSC’s mission statement states that the Commission exists to “ensure a regulatory balance between regulated companies and consumers in order to provide consumers with safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are equitable and economical.”
The AAR Public Policy team will continue to monitor the regulatory agencies in the Capitol for potential impact on REALTOR® members, the real estate industry and private property owners.
Picture above from left to right: Administrative Law Judge John Garner, Commissioner Jeremy Oden, Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, and Commissioner Chris “Chip” Beeker.