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The PSC has jurisdiction over privately owned electric and natural gas utilities serving customers in Montana. The PSC sets the rates that these companies are allowed to charge, and ensures that utilities fulfill their obligation to provide safe, affordable, and reliable service to customers. The PSC does not have authority over electric co-ops, which are governed by a member-elected board of directors. Similarly, the PSC does not regulate rates for competitive suppliers of natural gas, although these companies must obtain a license from the PSC in order to operate in the state.  

Electric & Gas Related Resources 

 

The PSC’s oversight of telecommunication providers has steadily transformed in response to growing competition within the sector. Today, the PSC’s regulation is limited to landline telephone networks. The PSC does not regulate wireless carriers, internet service providers, or broadband companies. However, the PSC does have a limited role in certifying eligible carriers for the receipt of federal universal service fund dollars to support the build out of broadband and voice networks in unserved and underserved parts of the state. 

Telecommunications Resources 

 

The PSC engages in limited oversight over certain aspects of the transportation sector, including garbage carriers, household goods movers, and businesses engaged in the transportation of passengers such as taxis, charter services, and ridesharing companies. Rates and fares for certain types of carriers are regulated, while other carriers are subject only to quality of service regulation. In all of these instances, the PSC regulates the entry and exit of motor carriers from the marketplace, and investigates complaints on behalf of customers. 

The PSC regulates privately-owned water and sewer companies that serve the public by setting the rates that customers pay and accepting service quality complaints. County or city water or sewer districts, municipal water and sewer systems, and systems owned by a homeowners’ association do not meet the definition of a public utility contained in MCA 69-3-101 and are not regulated by the PSC.

Water & Sewer Resources 

Consumer Information 

 

The Montana Public Service Commission generally regulates privately-owned electric, natural gas, water/sewer, transportation, and telecommunication companies. In some instances the PSC sets the rates companies are allowed to charge, while in others the PSC only regulates service quality and accepts complaints from customers.

For more information on issues within the PSC’s jurisdiction view How the Commission Can Help and for more helpful resources be sure to visit the Consumer Corner