Regulatory proceedings can be initiated by multiple methods:
- Utility request
For example, a regulated utility must make a formal request for any rate change.
- Utility filing requirements
For example, Utah law requires that a regulated electric utility file an Integrated Resource Plan every two years.
- Request from another party
Any party can follow the requirements outlined by the Utah administrative code to request agency action of the Public Service Commission. The Commission would then decide whether to initiate a proceeding in response to the request.
Some complaints are escalated into formal regulatory proceedings.
The Division of Public Utilities participates in every regulatory proceeding. The OCS has automatic standing and participates in proceedings that have a material impact on residential and small commercial customers. The Public Service Commission's process allows other intervenors, who demonstrate an interest in the issue, to participate. Often industrial customers represent themselves individually or in groups. Other advocates, such as low income and renewable energy advocates, are also frequent participants.
The nature of regulatory dockets varies greatly, ranging from highly formal hearings, to a more informal collaborative process, to issues that are primarily decided based upon written memos submitted to the Commission.
If an individual person or business is interested in monitoring a regulatory proceeding, the Public Service Commission has a function on its website to sign up for notification of activity in a specific docket.
To participate as a formal party, an organization would need to request permission to intervene in accordance with the Public Service Commission rules and schedule applied to the individual proceeding.