A Day at North Carolina UC
Ed Finley is the Chair of the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
The PUF team made its way to the North Carolina Utilities Commission in mid-February. They received a warm welcome not only from the Commission but also from the independent and large Public Staff, which intervenes on behalf of the using and consuming public.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: The North Carolina Commission has seven Commissioners! How do you split up your labor and work together?
Chair Finley: We function as a court does. For the most part, the seven Commissioners will hear the bigger cases. Sometimes we will assign hearings to a panel, and occasionally we will assign hearings to a hearing examiner.
But for the most part, if they're big cases, all seven Commissioners will hear them. We don't assign those large cases to a hearing examiner and we will get a recommendation from our staff as to how we should decide the case before us.
We sit down behind closed doors in making decisions, and function like an appellate court. We will hash through the issues one at a time and try to come up with an order. The staff will take the decisions that we make and go back and write it all down, to the extent it hadn't been written down already and come back to us.