The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) is an independent regulatory agency dedicated to
serving the public interest by assuring safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services for public
utilities and motor carriers. The LPSC consists of five elected Commissioners who serve
overlapping terms of six years and a main office staff, created by Article IV, Section 21 of the
1921 Constitution of the State of Louisiana. It succeeded the Railroad Commission of Louisiana
that was created by the 1898 Constitution. The overall goals of the Commission are to ensure a
regulatory balance that enables utilities to provide customers with safe, adequate and reliable service,
at rates that are just and reasonable, equitable and economically efficient, and that allow utilities an
opportunity to earn a fair rate of return on their investment. The Commission provides a thorough
but efficient regulatory process that is fair, open, encourages public participation, and anticipates
the demands of an evolving regulatory environment. The Commission has jurisdiction over publicly-owned
utilities providing electric, water, wastewater, natural gas, and telecommunication services, as well as
all the electric cooperatives in Louisiana. The LPSC also regulates intrastate transportation services
including passenger carrier services, waste haulers, household goods carriers, non-consensual towing,
and intrastate pipelines. The companies under the Commission’s jurisdiction must obtain approval
before instituting new rates, issuing stocks and bonds, transferring assets, and undertaking major
construction projects such as additional power plants, transmission lines, etc. Municipally owned
utilities are not under the jurisdiction of the Commission. LPSC implemented the "Do Not Call"
Program throughout Louisiana on January 1, 2002. In addition, the Commission continues to take an active
and cautious role in development of a competitive, market-based approach to utility regulation whenever such
an approach is in the public interest.
The Commission is required by the Louisiana Constitution to maintain its chief office at the site of the
State Capitol and is required by law to conduct monthly meetings. The Chief Executive Officer of the
Commission, Eve Kahao Gonzalez, is the Executive Secretary. She is appointed by and responsible to the
Commissioners for the Commission’s day-to-day operations. The Commission Staff consists of
administrative law judges, attorneys, auditors, economists, engineers, professional and clerical support,
and rate analysts. The Staff is organized into nine Divisions (see the
organizational chart for more information). All Divisions have a Division Head who reports directly
to the Executive Secretary.
The LPSC has sole jurisdiction for utility regulation on the state level, but several agencies on the federal
level perform similar regulatory functions. These include the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Department
of Energy. The LPSC works harmoniously with these agencies through its Legal Department.