Utilities

Power and telephone lines crisscross our neighborhoods, and water and natural gas flow into our homes. In today's modern world, these utilities have become virtual necessities. Therefore it is important to know where to find information when you have questions and whom to contact when there's a problem.

Electricity

In Texas there are three major types of electricity providers: cities, cooperatives and private companies. If a city provides your power, you can contact them with any concerns you have regarding service or billing. Municipally owned electric companies typically are not overseen by state regulators.

Likewise if you belong to an electric cooperative, you can contact the administrators of the co-op with your concerns. Because co-ops are member-owned, their customers typically need to resolve disputes through the co-op. If you have a billing dispute that the co-op does not resolve, you may wish to file a consumer complaint with our office.

If you have questions or concerns about a private electricity provider, you can contact the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The PUC oversees electric provider companies and may be able to assist you. If you have a billing dispute, you can also file a consumer complaint with our office.

For more information about municipal electric companies and co-ops as well as a breakdown of the taxes, fees and charges on your electric bill, visit the PUC and the Office of the Public Utility Counsel (OPC) websites. The OPC provides respresentation to residential and small commercial consumers.

Telephone

Telephones are also regulated by the PUC. Contact them if you have a complaint about your local and long distance telephone service.

Unfortunately, cellular phone service usually falls outside of state regulation. Our office does accept billing complaints against cellular phone carriers and local and long distance telephone companies.

You can find information about the taxes, charges and fees on your bill for several cellular phone carriers and standard telephone companies on the PUC website. You can also find telephone billing information, information about telephone service scams and how to enroll with the Texas no-call list on the PUC website. Information about the federal Do not Call list is also available.

The Federal Communications Commission also accepts consumer complaints about telephone service. The OPC provides representation to residential and small commercial consumers in matters involving telephone service as well.

Water

Several types of organizations provide water service in Texas. Cities and co-ops as well as Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs) can supply water. If you have a concern about water quality, service or billing, you can contact your water supplier directly. You may also wish to contact the Water Supply Division at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) with questions about water quality and service. Although we may not have authority over your water supplier, you can contact our office with billing complaints

Natural Gas

In Texas the natural gas industry principally is overseen by Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). You can contact the RRC with complaints about the billing, purchasing, selling, shipping, transportation or gathering practices of natural gas providers. You can file billing complaints with our office.

 

Revised: October 13 2010