Regulatory Affairs & Public Advocacy
Summary of Responsibility
The responsibility of public advocacy for regulatory affairs was established within the Department of Law to advocate on behalf of the public interest in utility and pipeline matters that come before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA or Commission). AS 44.23.020(e). The Attorney General, as the Public Advocate, advocates for the general public interest with particular attention to the interests of consumers who would not otherwise have an effective voice regarding the rates and services of regulated utilities or pipeline carriers operating in the state. Advocacy is not strictly limited to asking for the lowest possible rate for services provided to the public, but is instead balanced to also ensure utility and pipeline service providers are financially healthy enabling them to provide safe and reliable service.
Public Advocate Advisories
- 02/01/12 Local Utility Announces Comprehensive Settlement of Longstanding Sewer and Water Rate Disputes
- 05/01/11 Approved Settlement Results in Electric Consumer Refunds
- 02/2010 Attorney General Intervention Results in Ratepayer Refund
- 11/03/09 Attorney General Obtains Greater Water and Sewer Refunds
- 02/20/09 Attorney General's Office Successfuly Advocates for Enstar Customer Refunds
- 10/09/08 Attorney General's Office Announces Rate Reduction and Refunds for Adak Telephone Customers
- 01/23/08 AG Office Alerts Consumers To Digital TV Conversions
- 10/26/07 AG Negotiates Oversight of Deregulated Commercial Refuse Services
- 07/10/07 Court Upholds RCA Decision Requiring Substantial Refunds for AWWU Customers
- 12/11/06 Attorney General / Public Advocate Advises Telephone Customers of 2006 Tax Refund
- 09/29/06 RCA Rejects Gas Supply Contract Proposed by Enstar.
- 05/19/06 AG Negotiates Settlement Requiring that Enstar's Outsourcing of Collection and Billing Practices to Remain Subject to RCA Oversight.
- 12/22/05 AG Asks the RCA to Investigate a Proposed Gas Supply Agreement Proposed by Enstar Natural Gas
- 09/13/05 AG's Efforts Help Generate Multi-Million Dollar Rate Reduction and Refund for Customers of Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility
- 08/30/05 AG's Efforts Help to Reduce Electric Utility Rate Hike
- 11/24/04 AG's Proposal Reducing Electric Bill Costs for Bethel Residents Approved by RCA
- 08/26/04 Attorney General Weighs-in on Proposed, Local Telephone Subscriber Fee - PDF(86KB)
Regulatory Affairs & Public Advocacy (RAPA) History
- Executive Order 111, effective July 1, 2003 - PDF(108KB)
- Senate Bill 392, effective July 1, 2004 - PDF(345KB)
- Attorney General's September 4, 2003 ADN Compass OpEd - PDF(289KB)
- June 2004 Press Release: Gov. Signs Bill to Empower & Fund Utilities
Public Advocate - PDF(88KB)
Regulatory Affairs & Public Advocacy (RAPA) Personnel
- Steve DeVries - Statewide Section Chief
- Jeffrey Waller - Assistant Attorney General
- Sam Cason - Assistant Attorney General
- Lew Craig - Mgr, Investigations & Analysis
- Fiona Kotter - Public Advocate Utility Analyst
- Janet Fairchild - Public Advocate Utility Analyst
- Parker Nation - Public Advocate Utility Analyst
- Amber Henry - Law Office Assistant
- Deborah Mitchell - Law Office Assistant
Legal Services Provided
The Public Advocate represents the general public interest in rate cases and other proceedings before the RCA, in court appeals, before the Legislature and other policymakers. The Department of Law does not provide legal services directly to private citizens or organizations, however, other than to persons specified by law such as the governor, legislators, and client state agencies. Individual utility customers who seek specific assistance may contact the Consumer Protection Section of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA).
In his role as the Public Advocate, the Attorney General utilizes the expert professional services of RAPA staff non-attorney professionals who provide generally accepted ratemaking, accounting, engineering, economic and policy analysis for all types of regulated utilities and pipelines and prepare written analysis and testimony for evidentiary hearings. Utility and pipeline carrier filings before the RCA are objectively evaluated to assure they are in compliance with applicable law and RCA precedent, adequately supported by the evidence, and consistent with generally recognized ratemaking principles.
- Alaska Exchange Carriers Association (AECA),
RCA Docket U-13-159 (Telecommunications).
- Alaska Pacific Environmental Services, Inc. (APES-I),
RCA Dockets U-13-164/U-13-165/U-13-166/U-13-167 (Refuse).
- Alaska Power & Telephone Co. (AP&T); Alascom, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Alaska (AT&T),
RCA Dockets U-12-091/U-12-092/U-12-116 (Electric and Telecommunications).
- Aurora Energy,
RCA Docket No. U-10-58 (Steam Heat).
- Chugach Electric Association (Chugach),
RCA Docket U-13-007 (Electric), U-12-147 (Electric – Gas Sales Agreement).
- Cordova Wireless Communications, Inc. (CWC),
RCA Docket U-12-135 (Telecommunications).
- Doyon Utilities, LLC. (Doyon Utilities),
RCA Dockets U-12-076/U-12-077/U-12-078/U-12-079/U-12-080/U-12-081/U-12-082/U-12-083/U-12-083/U-12-084/U-12-085/U-12-086/U-12-087. (Water, Sewer, Steam Heat, Electric).
- McGrath Light & Power Company (MLPC),
RCA Docket U-12-140 (Electric).
- Mile 8 Utilities (Mile 8),
RCA Docket U-13-157 (Water)/U-13-158 (Wastewater).
- Municipal Light & Power (ML&P),
RCA Docket U-12-149, U-13-006, U-13-184 (Electric).
- Nikishka Bay Utilities, Inc. (NBBI),
RCA Docket U-13-005 (Water).
- Potter Creek Water Co. (Potter Creek),
RCA Docket U-13-155 (Water).