May is Consumer Service Month

April is National Safe Digging Month

May is Consumer Service Month at the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia.

Our goal is to educate and inform District consumers as well as engage consumers in a meaningful way.

There are several ways that District consumers can engage with the Commission.

Office of Consumer Services

Through the Commission’s Office of Consumer Services (OCS), District consumers can seek assistance with their utility complaints. OCS was established for the purpose of mediating and resolving consumer complaints and answering inquiries regarding utility providers within the District of Columbia. Our trained staff of consumer specialists will research and investigate complaints to help consumers resolve their issue. Consumer specialists can also help you with understanding your utility bill by reviewing and explaining to you each section of your bill.

Some of the common type of utility complaints that we’ve helped consumers with include:

  • Utility Billing
  • Utility Payment
  • Meter Readings
  • Cramming

If you are experiencing issues with your utility provider, you can file complaint with OCS by:

  • Calling us at 202-626-5120
  • Contact us on-line
  • Visiting us Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5:30PM or
  • Mailing us at 1325 G Street, Suite 800.

OCS is also promotes the Utility Discount Program. The Commission requires Verizon DC, Pepco, and Washington Gas to offer discount rates to income eligible residential consumers. Consumer Specialists can assist you with the application.

The DC Telecommunications Relay Service or DC Relay is another program for District residents. By dialing 711, DC Relay allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories for local and/or long distance calls. Hamilton Relay is the DC Relay provider in the District.

Consumer Bill of Rights

The Consumer Bill of Rights (CBOR) was originally published by the Commission in 1979. It was the first written presentation of consumer protection rules that governed the duties and responsibilities of residential consumers and the three electric, natural gas, and local telephone service utility companies. It was developed to address the provisioning of utility services in a traditionally regulated environment. The CBOR provides safeguards for consumers who purchase their electric, natural gas, and local telecommunications services in the current competitive environment.

The CBOR:
  • Promotes administrative efficiency;
  • Creates uniformity of requirements and responsibilities for the utilities, competitive energy and telecommunications service providers, and consumers; and
  • Educates and informs the public regarding their rights and responsibilities in purchasing and providing electric, natural gas, and local telecommunications services in the District of Columbia.

Consumer Bill of Rights

Outreach Program & Media Relations
  • OCS also educates and informs District consumers through media relations and outreach program.
  • Community groups can schedule a presentation or information booth with OCS by calling 202-626-5120 or submit an on-line request.
  • Through media relations, consumers can keep current about Commission hearings and initiatives by subscribing to press releases or following the Commission on Twitter and Facebook.
Retail Choice

District residents can choose:

  • their electric generation and transmission supplier,
  • their natural gas supplier, and
  • their local exchange telephone service.
Consumers can make these choices based upon competitive price offerings or service preferences, such as wind power, solar, geothermal, etc.

Consumers who want information on retail energy suppliers or have questions, concerns, or a complaint regarding a retail energy supplier’s service or solicitation process are advised to contact the Office of Consumer Services at 202-626-5120.

How to Choose a Retail Energy Supplier

How to Handle Solicitations from Retail Energy Suppliers

Electric Retail Choice FAQs

Natural Gas Retail Choice FAQs

Telecommunication Retail Choice FAQs

Open Meetings

The Commission holds Open Meetings to consider formal case matters and other applications that require the Commission’s action. The proposed agenda and time for each meeting is posted on the Commission’s website and in the Commission Secretary’s office two days before each meeting. The Open Meetings Schedule is posted on the website. Consumers can keep current on Commission proceedings by subscribing to Public Meetings.

e-Docket

Consumers can follow and keep track of cases before the Commission through e-Docket. e-Docket is the Commission’s on-line filing system for proceedings. Consumers can subscribe to cases through e-Docket and receive real-time notification when new filings within the case are posted.

Public Comments & Community Hearings

Consumers are encouraged to submit written comments on cases. Comments can be mailed to the Commission, emailed to psc-commissionsecretary@dc.gov or submitted through the Commission’s website. The Commission also holds community hearings on cases for consumers to provide public input through oral testimony. A community hearing is typically held in each quadrant of the city. All comments (written and oral) are filed in the case docket to assist and inform the decision-making of cases.

How to Prepare Effective Public Testimony or Public Comment