In Vermont, the Department of Public Service is the agency that represents the public interest in matters regarding energy, telecommunications, water, and wastewater. The aim of the department is to serve Vermont citizen’s with least cost, environmentally sound, efficient, reliable, secure, sustainable, and safe energy, telecommunications, and regulated utility systems, through public advocacy, planning, programs, and other actions.
The department represents the public interest in utility cases before the Public Service Board, federal regulatory agencies, and state and federal courts. The department’s function includes:
- providing long range planning for the state’s energy and telecommunications needs through the Comprehensive Energy Plan and the Vermont Electric Plan;
- ensuring entire Vermonters share in the benefits of modern communications through the Vermont Telecommunications Plan;
- promoting energy efficiency;
- administering federal energy programs;
- resolving utility customer complaints;
- informing the public about utility-related matters; and
- making and administering contracts, on behalf of the state for the purchase of power.
In addition, the Department carries out the state’s responsibilities with respect to gas safety. As a result, the department has regulatory authority over LP, as well as natural gas safety. However Liquid propane (LP) and fuel oil are not regulated by the Vermont Public Service Board.
Further, the Vermont Public Service Board is the public utilities commission that regulates the electric utilities, natural gas companies, telecommunications companies, cable television systems, and water companies in the State of Vermont.
The Department of Public Service Engineering Division is generally responsible for managing Vermont’s DigSafe enforcement program. Further, the Water Supply Division, through its Capacity Development Initiative, provides support in the preparation of submissions through a state-contracted firm.
Likewise, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources promotes the sustainable use of Vermont’s natural resources. The Agency performs its functions through the following three departments:
- the Department of Environmental Conservation;
- the Department of Fish and Wildlife; and
- the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.