How to Access Public Utility Records

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The records of the Public Utility Commissions in the United States are a matter of public record, so getting access to them is only a matter of properly following the guidelines in that particular state. The records include earnings reports for utility companies, commissioner's speeches, and reports by commission staff. Often though, these records can only be requested in writing, so give yourself plenty of time for getting some snail mail back and forth.

1 Find out which Public Utility Commission

Find out which Public Utility Commission (PUC) serves the area you are searching for information on. Public Utility Commissions serve an entire state; for example, the Oregon Public Utility Commission serves the entire state of Oregon. Go to the website for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners to find a clickable map that directs you to the contact information (including the website) of your state PUC.

2 Contact the Public Utility Commission for their rules

Contact the Public Utility Commission for their rules on public record requests. Many Public Utilities Commissions post a telephone number or email address where you can direct your questions on their website. Make a request for the public records of the commission, per the guidelines of that commission. Use your printer to print off any required written requests.

3 Mail or email your request

Mail or email your request, depending on your state's rules. Pay the appropriate fee for the records request, per the rules of the particular Public Utilities Commission you are working with.

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.