Garry Brown, Chairman, Public Service Commission

Q: How well does the public utilities system serve New York?

GB: Quite well. Around the nation, the New York Public Service Commission is recognized as a national leader in both policies and capabilities in terms of regulating public utilities. We literally get hundreds of thousands of calls per year. The way the law works, utilities come in for rate filings and we have eleven months to review them, or they get what they ask for. Since 2007 our review processes reduced electric and natural-gas bills by more than $3 billion from what the utilities asked for, without compromising in any way the reliability of the system.

Q: Do consumers have adequate access to the Public Service Commission?

GB: During the rate case, it’s very important to us to go out and do public hearings in the area where the rates will be impacted. We do numerous public hearings a year where any member of the public can come in and speak to an administrative law judge and be on the record. We’re also very proud of our online availability of data—probably more than any human being could ever want. We’ve got every item in every case, unless it’s confidential. Literally hundreds of thousands of people a year hit that website to get that sort of information on what’s going on in our various proceedings through the state.

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