How to testify at a PUCO public hearing
The public hearing process allows consumers to comment on a pending case before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). The public hearing is a formal proceeding, not an informal meeting. Depending on the type of case, public hearings may be scheduled by the PUCO at the PUCO’s offices, or in a utility company’s service territory. Prior to the hearing, the utility company involved may be required to publish public notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area. In order to facilitate orderly public hearings and accommodate all interested parties, the procedures outlined below must be followed by everyone.
If you wish to make a statement, remember to focus your testimony on the issues in the case. If you have questions about your utility bills or service-related problems, company officials and PUCO representatives will be available to assist you. The statement you make at the hearing is considered sworn testimony, which will be considered part of the official record of the case to be reviewed by the Commissioners before they make their final decision. Before presenting sworn testimony, you will be required to take an oath stating that what you are about to say is the truth. If you give sworn testimony, representatives of the company and other parties will be allowed to ask you questions about your statement while you are under oath. If you have a prepared written statement, it would be helpful for you to provide a copy to the court reporter.
Please respect the right of other participants to see, hear and fully participate in the proceedings. In this regard, anyone who becomes disruptive or refuses to follow the procedures outlined here is subject to removal from the hearing.
During the hearing, a PUCO commissioner or attorney examiner, who acts as a judge and conducts the hearing, representatives of any other party in the case and a court reporter will be seated in front of the room. There will be a sign-in table at the hearing location. If you want to make a statement at the hearing, you will be asked to print your name and complete address on the sign-in sheet.
The PUCO representatives will explain the purpose for the hearing and call people to present testimony. When it is your turn to speak, you will be asked to state your name and address. Remember to keep your statement brief and to the point. The hearing will end once all interested parties have testified.
To obtain detailed information on a specific case
- Visit the Docketing Information Systems page http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/
- Enter the case number (e.g. 05-1234) in the “DIS Quick Search” field at the right side of the page.
- The results of your search will be returned, allowing you to access the contents of the case docket.