"If the words “public utilities commission” put you to sleep, you’re not alone.
These are the government agencies that regulate utilities — companies that supply us with electricity, gas, water and more. All 50 states have them — and as boring as they sound, their work affects our daily lives. Utilities commissions have a key role to play in keeping energy bills from getting too high, ensuring the lights stay on and policing bad behavior by monopoly utilities.
They’re also crucial to combating the climate crisis.
Commissioners are responsible for approving large expenditures by utilities, including renewable energy purchases, so they have huge influence over how quickly we stop burning fossil fuels. They also hold sway over rooftop solar incentives, electric vehicle charging stations and how we heat our homes. As the Biden administration begins distributing hundreds of billions of dollars in clean energy funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, commissioners will help determine how that money is spent."