Who does the Idaho Public Utilities Commission regulate?

The commission regulates investor-owned or privately-owned utilities that provide gas, water, electricity or telephone service for profit. Examples are: Idaho Power, Intermountain Gas, Qwest and United Water of Idaho.

The Commission does not regulate utility cooperatives (owned by the customers) or utilities operated by municipalities like the City of Weiser. Many cities own and operate electric, sewer and water utilities. The commission has no jurisdiction over these operations or over any sewer operations. A regulated water company may also provide sewer service, but the commission would only regulate the company’s water operations.

The commission does not regulate interstate long distance rates or payphone rates. The commission also does not regulate cell phones, fax machines, voicemail services, internet services or digital subscriber lines (DSL).

The commission does not regulate cable TV or satellite TV.

In addition to rates, billing issues, quality of service and customer relations, the commission is also responsible for safe operations of the utilities it regulates including inspection of gas pipelines.

The commission also oversees the safe operation of railroads in the state and enforces state and federal regulations safeguarding the transportation of hazardous materials by rail. It also inspects railroad crossings and clearances for safety and maintenance deficiencies. The commission reviews railroad abandonment proposals and determines the affect on Idaho, it then represents the state before the federal Surface Transportation Board.

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