Introducing Your OUCC
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor:
Representing Indiana's Utility Consumers
A Message from Indiana's Utility Consumer Counselor
From aging infrastructure to environmental mandates, utilities are facing tremendous challenges and changes in their ways of doing business. While the landscape continues to change, all Indiana ratepayers have the right to continue to expect safe, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible.
As Indiana’s Utility Consumer Counselor, I am committed to ensuring that all Hoosier consumers - residential and business consumers alike - have solid representation of their interests in the utility regulatory process. In each case, the OUCC’s dedicated staff and I are working hard to ensure that ratepayer concerns are heard and their interests protected.
From heating and cooling your home or workplace to paying fair rates for water and ensuring the delivery of dependable utility services, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is your consumer advocate. I invite you to contact us with your comments, questions and concerns.
Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor
What is the OUCC?
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency that represents the interests of all Indiana utility consumers in regulatory matters regarding:
- Natural gas
- Water and wastewater disposal services
- Limited telecommunications issues
Created by the Indiana General Assembly in 1933, the OUCC is the oldest state agency of its type in the United States. The agency’s director, the Utility Consumer Counselor, is appointed by the Governor and serves a four-year term.
The agency’s 51-member staff includes:
- Financial analysts
- External affairs & consumer services representatives
- Administrative personnel
What does the OUCC do?
State Regulatory Proceedings
Under state law, the OUCC represents the interests of all Indiana residential, commercial and industrial utility customers in matters before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). An IURC proceeding may cover a utility’s rates, service quality, service territory or other issues.
The OUCC and IURC are separate state agencies with different roles. The OUCC is the consumer advocate, while the IURC is the "judge and jury." The IURC regulates most utilities operating in Indiana. Notable exceptions include wireless phone companies, municipal sewer utilities and most rural electric membership cooperatives. (Indiana law exempts certain types of utilities from most aspects of IURC regulation while giving others the ability to withdraw.)
The utility regulatory process is a legal process, in which the IURC makes its ruling in any given case guided by applicable law and based on evidence presented by the utility, the OUCC and, in some cases, other parties that formally intervene.
In representing consumer interests before the IURC, the OUCC’s attorneys and technical experts:
- Review rate requests
- Examine utility accounting and financial records
- Prepare financial studies
- Conduct engineering and legal analysis
- Inspect facilities
The information gathered from this work is filed as formal testimony, as the OUCC makes its recommendations on behalf of all residential and business consumer interests.
The OUCC represents Indiana utility consumer interests in relevant cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In particular, the OUCC participates in federal and regional matters involving electric transmission and ways to ensure safe, reliable power to all consumers.
OUCC attorneys may participate in specific proceedings involving utility law issues before the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court.
The OUCC proactively monitors electric, natural gas and water/wastewater trends at the federal level and in other states, with staff dedicated to examining issues that may or may not be pending in specific regulatory cases.
Consumer education is especially important as the energy, water/wastewater and telecommunications industries continue to evolve. The OUCC is committed to providing consumers with useful and practical information, and offers free publications on a wide range of utility issues.
The OUCC can assist you
Source of Information
All OUCC publications are available on the agency’s Website and can also be provided upon request to consumers and organizations throughout Indiana, free of charge.
Our staff is available to speak to businesses, service clubs and other organizations at no charge. We also participate in various outreach events throughout the year.
If you have questions or need general information about your utility services, we encourage you to contact the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC). Our consumer services representatives are available to assist you.
In addition to providing publications on a wide range of utility consumer topics, the OUCC invites written consumer comments on all pending cases before the IURC. Written comments from the public are reviewed by our consumer services staff and the legal and technical staff who are assigned to specific cases. The OUCC can be reached toll-free at 1-888-441-2494 or through our Website.
If you have a specific concern regarding a regulated Indiana utility that you have not been able to resolve, or have a complaint regarding a telecommunications or video service provider, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission's (IURC's) consumer affairs division can be reached online or toll-free at 1-800-851-4268.
Before filing a complaint, you must first contact the utility and give it the opportunity to resolve the problem. When discussing a particular issue with a utility, please keep notes on all phone calls (including date, time, contact name and summary of discussion) and copies of all correspondence related to the problem and your attempts to resolve it.
To represent all Indiana consumers with integrity and professionalism in ensuring quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education and creative problem solving.
For More Information
Additional OUCC consumer publications can help you manage your utility bills and better understand your utility services. All of our publications are available on our Website or by calling our consumer services staff toll-free.
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Voice/TDD: (317) 232-2494
Fax: (317) 232-5923