Utah Public Utilities - Learn about your Service Provider

Electric, natural-gas and telephone service can be provided by different types of utilities and corporate structures. Public, or regulated, utilities are sometimes also called investor-owned utilities. Other types of utilities include cooperatives and municipal utilities. Telephone service is increasingly difficult to categorize as broadband, telephone and video services are often bundled and provided by a variety of carrier types.

The Office is authorized to advocate only for residential and small commercial consumers of electric, natural gas and telephone public utilities. This section identifies which providers are public utilities and provides additional information about the different electric, natural gas, and telephone providers in the State of Utah.

ENERGY
Public Utilities

Rocky Mountain Power is the only rate regulated public utility providing electric service in the state of Utah. Rocky Mountain Power has over 800,000 customers in Utah and serves about three fourths of the geographic area of the state and a larger percentage of the state's population. Since Rocky Mountain Power is an integrated electric utility providing distribution, transmission and generation, the rates charged to its customers are set in general rates cases. Once base rates are established, the portion of rates referred to as net power costs are annually trued-up to actual levels in pass-through cases.

The following links will aid in your understanding of Rocky Mountain Power services:

Questar Gas Company is the only regulated public utility providing natural gas service in the state of Utah. Questar has over 900,000 customers in Utah and serves approximately 90% of the households in Utah. Questar Gas Company is a local distribution company and all investment and costs relating to its distribution system are rate regulated. Questar Gas obtains gas supplies, transportation, storage and related services from other providers. Together these costs are often referred to as the commodity and supplier non-gas costs. These costs represent approximately 70% of retail customers' gas bills and are passed through directly to customers. Those costs are carefully audited by regulators and reviewed by the Commission in pass-through proceedings.

The following links will aid in your understanding of Questar Gas service:

Electric Cooperatives are categorized as public utilities under state law but are not rate regulated by the Public Service Commission in the traditional manner. Rates are set by the cooperative board after complying with notice and hearing requirements set by the Commission. Rates are then filed with the Commission for acknowledgement. Cooperatives are also required to file with the Commission when they issue securities. Cooperatives must comply with Commission rules for terms and conditions of service, safety, facility siting and territory issues. In addition, certain types of customer complaints can be taken to the Commission if disputes are unable to be resolved within the cooperative.

Rural electric cooperatives were first established by the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 designed to ensure that electric power is available throughout the rural parts of the United States. Cooperatives are member-owned, thus the customers are also the investors. Distribution cooperatives provide retail service to the customers and typically the distribution cooperatives are members of generation and transmission cooperatives who manage resource procurement and planning to serve the member cooperative needs.

The following links will aid in your understanding of electric cooperatives in Utah:

Electric Service/Improvement Districts are public utilities, but not rate regulated by the Public Service Commission. The rates are set by the board and filed with the Commission for acknowledgement. Electric Improvement Districts must also file with the Commission when they issue securities and must comply with Commission rules for terms and conditions of service.

South Utah Valley Electric Service District (SESD) serves customers in part of southern Utah County. For more information visit SESD's website.

Ticaboo Electric Improvement District (TEID) was created in 2009 and provides electricity to customers in parts of Garfield County. For more information visit TEID's website.

Municipal & Inter-Local Utilities

Municipal Utilities are considered part of the local government entity and are not regulated by the Public Service Commission. Typically, rates are set by the municipal utility and approved by the city council. Municipal utilities plan and obtain their resources through a combination of: municipal-owned resources, contracts with neighboring larger utilities, participation in municipal power agencies.

The following communities have municipal electric utilities: Beaver, Blanding, Bountiful, Brigham City, Eagle Mountain, Enterprise, Ephraim, Fairview, Fillmore, Hildale, Holden Town, Hurricane, Hyrum, Kanosh, Kaysville, Lehi, Levan, Logan, Manti, Meadow Town, Monroe, Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, Murray, Nephi, Oak City, Paragonah, Parowan, Payson, Price, Provo, Salem, Santa Clara, Spanish Fork, Spring City, Springville, St. George, Washington City.

The following communities have municipal natural gas utilities: Blanding, Eagle Mountain, Hildale, Levan, Mona, and Nephi.

Contact the individual city for additional information about these utilities.

Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA) is a Joint Action Agency with a mission to develop a reliable and economic power supply to meet the electric power and energy needs of its member municipalities. For more information visit UMPA's website.

Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) is a governmental agency that provides comprehensive wholesale electric energy, on a nonprofit basis, to municipalities and other community-owned power systems through the Intermountain West. For more information visit UAMP's website.

Heber Light & Power is an inter-local utility established under Utah law. It serves Heber City and some of the surrounding municipalities and Wasatch County. Residents outside of Heber City who are served by the utility have an ombudsman that they can contact to help resolve any concerns with utility service. For more information visit HL&P's website.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Incumbent Telephone Providers: CenturyLink and Rural Independent Phone Carriers

Each geographic region of the state has one provider that is the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC). Each ILEC has certain rights and responsibilities for its region including serving as the provider of last resort, which means that the provider must provide service to any customer in its territory that requests it, and providing Lifeline discounted service to qualifying low income customers.

CenturyLink is the incumbent provider for most of the population centers of Utah. The legislature has granted large ILECs full pricing flexibility, so the Commission no longer sets Centurylink's rates. The Commission still oversees service quality and requires certain filings such as the annual report.

There are 18 additional ILECs serving Utah. In most respects these ILECS operate and are regulated similar to monopoly telephone companies of the past. Competition is typically sparse due to the higher cost to serve and certain competitive protections allowed the ILEC. Generally these ILECs operate in smaller or rural areas where the costs of providing service may be higher than in more populated areas due to fewer customers among which costs can be allocated. To help mitigate this expense most of these ILECs are entitled to receive support from the federal USF and state USF. The purpose of the USF, or Universal Service Fund, is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable telephone service. USF is funded by fees collected on telephone bills. Before state USF funds are granted to a company, its costs and rates are thoroughly reviewed.

For more information about the ILECs serving Utah, see the following links:

Competitive Phone Providers

Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (or CLECs) must obtain a CPCN from the Public Service Commission before they can operate. Competition within an incumbent phone company's (ILEC) territory in Utah is only allowed when the ILEC has more than 30,000 access lines in the state and also more than 5,000 access lines in that particular service territory. Primarily, competitors operate in Centurylink's territory and just a few of the larger phone exchanges around Moab, Delta, Price and Vernal. Click here for a complete list of approved CLECs in Utah.


Cable and VOIP providers are not rate regulated by the state of Utah. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has some regulatory authority, including overseeing complaints.

Wireless providers are not rate regulated by the state of Utah. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has some regulatory authority, including overseeing complaints.

WATER/SEWER

Some water and sewer companies are public utilities and are regulated by the Public Service Commission. For these companies, rates are set and complaints are handled through the regulatory process. However, the Office is not authorized to advocate for customers of water and sewer companies. Click here for a complete list of public utility water and sewer companies. If your provider is not listed here, contact them directly for more information about their rates and governance.