OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Public Service Commission

What is the purpose of the commission?

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is responsible for regulating the rates, service, and safety of utilities under its jurisdiction.  To fulfill its mission, the PSC pursues a number of goals, including
  • streamlining regulatory requirements to provide an open, accessible, and efficient regulatory process;
  • providing a regulatory process that results in fair and reasonable rates while offering regulated utilities an opportunity to earn a fair return on their investments;
  • encouraging efficiency and innovation among regulated utilities; and
  • encouraging and facilitating responsible use of resources and technology in the provision and consumption of utility services.
The PSC must balance the needs of a utility and its shareholders with the needs of consumers. To achieve this goal, the commission establishes exclusive utility service territories, regulates utility rates and profits, and places an affirmative obligation on the utility to provide service to all who requested it.

How are commissioners appointed?

The commission is composed of a five-member board. Commissioners are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor and are confirmed by the Senate. The Governor appoints commissioners from nominees selected by the Public Service Commission Nominating Council for their knowledge and experience in one or more fields substantially related to the duties and functions of the PSC.  These fields include such areas as accounting, economics, energy, engineering, finance, natural resource conservation, public affairs, and law.
The chairman, who is elected to a two-year term by majority vote of the commissioners, serves as the PSC's chief administrative officer, sets commission hearings, establishes panels, assigns cases, presides at hearings and conferences, and performs all other duties as prescribed by law. In the chairman's absence, the senior member of the commission panel presides. 

What does the commission regulate?

The commission is charged by statute with regulating investor-owned electric and gas utilities in the state.  The PSC is also responsible for regulating investor-owned water and wastewater utilities in counties that have opted to transfer regulatory jurisdiction to the PSC. The commission does not regulate the rates and service quality of publicly owned municipal or cooperative electric utilities; however, it does have jurisdiction regarding rate structure, territorial boundaries, bulk power supply operations, and power supply planning over numerous municipally owned electric systems and rural electric cooperatives.
The table below describes PSC's regulatory activities as of November 2018.
Public Service Commission Regulatory Activity
Area of Oversight by Utility Type Number
Rates and Services  
Investor-owned water and/or wastewater utilities 150
Investor-owned natural gas utilities 8
Investor-owned electric companies 5
Safety, rate structure, territorial boundaries, bulk power supply, operations and planning  
Municipally-owned electric utilities 35
Rural electric cooperatives 18
Safety and territorial boundaries  
Municipally-owned natural gas utilities 27
Special natural gas districts 4
Competitive markets  
Competitive local exchange telephone companies 275
Competitive pay telephone service providers 44
Incumbent local exchange telephone companies 10
Source: Inside the Florida PSC 2019, Florida Public Service Commission, February, 2019.

How effective is the commission in controlling utility rates?

The commission measures the percentage of annual utility increases for average residential usage compared to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. For Fiscal Year 2017-18, the commission's goal was to limit the increase to no more than 1% above the actual index, or a standard of 3.13%.  For Fiscal Year 2017-18, the commission reported a 7.36% increase for all industries.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
PROGRAM: COMMISSIONERS AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
6,290,502
55.00
LEGAL SERVICES
2,750,140
28.00
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONERS
2,552,948
17.00
PROGRAM: UTILITY REGULATION AND CONSUMER ASSISTANCE
AUDITING AND PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
2,501,858
28.00
UTILITY REGULATION
11,836,427
143.00
TOTAL
25,931,875
271.00

Updates

The 2019 Legislature Passed Chapter 2019-158, Laws of Florida. The law specifies the PSC must review and approve investor-owned electric utilities 10-year transmission and distribution storm protection plan. The investor-owned electric utilities can recover the costs of prudently incurred storm protection through a separate cost recovery clause. This is a separate charge not related to the base rate charge on electricity used.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Inside the Florida PSC 2019, Florida Public Service Commission.
2018 Annual Report, Florida Public Service Commission.
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
Websites of Interest
Florida Public Service Commission, Reports and Other Resources
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
U.S. Department of Energy
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 350 (Railroads), 364 (Telecommunications Companies), 365 (Telephones), 366 (Public Utilities), 367 (Water and Wastewater Systems), 368 (Electric Power), 403 Part II (Electric), Part VI (Water), Part VIII (Natural Gas), and 427 Part II (Telecommunication Access System), Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Consumer Affairs Complaint Line, 1-800-342-3552
Office of the Executive Director, 850-413-6463
Website