Frequently Asked Questions

What industries does the LPSC regulate?

The Louisiana Public Service Commission regulates areas of the Motor Carrier, Telecommunications, Electric, Gas, Water and Sewerage industries.

How do I file a complaint against a LPSC regulated entity?

To find out more information about filing a complaint with the Louisiana Public Service Commission, click on the link below.

Filing a Complaint

How do I register with the Louisiana Do Not Call Program?

To find out more information and register with the Louisiana Do Not Call Program, follow the link below.

Do Not Call Program

When does the Commission meet?

Public meetings are usually held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month in the Natchez room of the Galvez Building located at 602 North 5th Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Click below to see the schedule of upcoming meetings.

Open Session Agenda

How do I request records from the LPSC?

To find out more information about obtaining public records from the Louisiana Pubic Service Commission, click the link below.

Public Records Request

How are utility rates set?

Whenever a regulated gas, electric, water or waste water company wants to change its rates, it must come before the Louisiana Public Service Commission for permission.  The Commission staff is charged with the duty of investigating the company's request for rate change (discovery period).  During the discovery period, the utility is required to justify all of its expenses for the operations of the company.  In the meantime, an expense that the staff determines to be improper or unnecessary is disallowed and is excluded from the amount the utility is allowed to collect from its customers.  Staff also looks at the amount utility stockholders have invested in plant and other facilities and allows a reasonable return on investments necessary to provide quality service.  Rates are calculated to produce the amount needed for the approved expenses plus the authorized return on company's investment; however, there is no guarantee that the authorized return will be achieved.  After completion of the staff's investigation an administrative hearing, which is open to the public, is held on the merits of the application.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the administrative law judge forwards a proposed recommendation to the commissioners for their consideration.  Upon this submission, the commissioners review the record that has been developed and issue a decision at the Commission's monthly Business & Executive Session.  The Commissioners' decision determines the level of rates the company will be permitted to collect.  Once the final order is issued, the Commission's decision can be appealed to the 19th Judicial District Court, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Why is my electric bill so high during the winter months when I am not running my air conditioner?

There are several reasons for high electric bills during Louisiana's winter. First, check your utility bill and compare it with bills from other months. If the kilowatt hours used is high, you are using more electricity than you think. There are some suggestions below to reduce energy consumption.

If the amount of kilowatt hours are about the same as from other winter months, your high bill may come from the high price of natural gas. You may already have noticed this high price if you use gas for heating, cooking, hot water, or drying clothes.

 

Electric utilities use natural gas along with other fuels such as coal and water to run their electric generation plants. Natural gas is clean-burning and relatively cheap to purchase in Louisiana.

 

Natural gas is no longer a regulated commodity and its price is influenced by market forces. If there is a cold winter and the amount of natural gas available for sale is low relative to demand for the product, the price of natural gas will increase. Also, if there is a mild winter, and the amount of natural gas available for sale is greater than its demand, the price of natural gas will decrease. Weather condition is an important factor in this market.

 

Neither the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) nor your utility company has control over the price of natural gas. If your utility company uses natural gas for generation or distribution, the cost is passed on directly to the customer. The utility only charges consumers what they paid for it. The LPSC has measures in place to ensure that utility companies do not profit from the costs paid for natural gas and other fuels used to generate electricity. The LPSC regularly reviews these fuel costs to make sure that adjustments on customers' bills reflect actual fuel prices.

 

In addition, the LPSC is one of many regulators around the country that encourages and allows utilities to purchase natural gas in advance at a guaranteed price to protect against price spikes. This is known as hedging. The LPSC also reviews hedging policies of the utilities to make sure that consumers are protected.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission strongly advises customers to take the following steps to help control their utility bills:

  • Dress in layers of warm clothing to stay comfortable so you can set your thermostat at 68 degrees. Each extra degree above 68 will add approximately three percent to your heating bill. Managing your heating cost is important because heating accounts for about 55 percent of a home's energy use.
  • Purchase weather stripping now and weather-strip around doors, windows and wall seams, and seal places where electrical, plumbing or heating systems penetrate your home.
  • Weather-strip the attic hatchway and install insulating gaskets on all electrical outlets and switches .
  • If you have a fireplace, close the damper when it's not in use.
  • Check furnace filters every 30 days and clean or replace them as needed.
  • Keep all doors and windows closed when the heat is on.
  • Open drapes to let in sunlight during the day. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
  • Don't block heat registers or cool air returns with curtains or furniture.
  • If you're going to be away from home for several days, set the thermostat back to 55 degrees.

In addition, these five improvements can also help you save energy:

  • Wrap your hot water heater.
  • Seal duct work.
  • Add attic insulation.
  • Seal all other air leaks.
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
How can I obtain a copy of a company's annual report?

Annual reports are considered public records (unless protected under the Commission's confidentiality rules) and must be requested by following the procedure outlined in the web page below.

Public Records Request

What is the recent development in the restructuring of retail electric service in Louisiana?

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has been actively considering whether the restructuring of retail electric service is in the public interest, yet the Commission takes a very cautious step toward the competition.  "Go slowly" is the policy in a highly uncertain, high-risk market where failure to act now will not eliminate opportunities for the future.