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West Virginia Public Service Commission

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West Virginia Public Service Commission
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $19,634,848
Total Seats:  3
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   6 years
Authority:  Created by act of the Legislature in 1913
Leadership:  Michael Albert
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Other West Virginia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerSecretary of CommerceCommissioner of LaborPublic Service Commission
The West Virginia Public Service Commission is a three person state executive board in the West Virginia state government. The board is responsible for enforcing and regulating the practices, services and rates of public utilities operating within the state. The chairman, selected by the governor, serves as the chief administrative officer of the commission.[1]

Current officeholder

The current chairman is Michael Albert. He serves alongside Brooks McCabe with a third seat vacant as of January 2015. McCabe replaced Ryan Palmer, who resigned in September 2014 to take a position with the Federal Communications Commission.[2] Chairman Albert's current term expires in 2019.[3]

Jon McKinney's term expired June 30, 2011, but he remained on the board through December 2014 without explanation from McKinney or the governor's office.[4] Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) did not make a decision about McKinney, leaving the commissioner in his seat without an official appointment through December 2014.[5] After McKinney's resignation in December 2014, a spokesman for Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) noted that McKinney remained in office due to a state law that allowed continued service in lieu of a replacement.[6]


The Public Service Commission was created in 1913 by the state legislature.


There are no specific qualifications to hold the office of public service commissioner.


West Virginia state government organizational chart

All of the commissioners are appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the state senate, to staggered six year terms. One commissioner's term ends on June 30 of each odd numbered year.


Vacancies on the public service commission are filled by gubernatorial appointment with the consent of the state senate. In the event of a vacancy before the six year term has expired, the appointee will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.


The Public Service Commission supervises and regulates the rates, services, operations, and activities of all people, firms, and government agencies that provide public utility services. The utilities in their jurisdiction include electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, telecommunication, solid waste disposal, and landfills. The commission also regulates many contract motor carriers that transport people and property across public highways, including taxi services, some limousine services, solid waste, transportation service, third-party towing, and household movers.[7]

The commission acts upon petitions from the entities it regulates as well as complaints filed by consumers.[8]

A more exhaustive list of the duties of the public service commission can be found here.


There are several divisions within the public service commission. The administration, general counsel, and executive secretary divisions handle the traditional functions of managing any office that do not relate directly to utilities. The following units perform more specific tasks related to the regulation of public utilities:

  • The Engineering Division provides technical recommendations and advice to the commission regarding rates, quality of service, and general operation. The staff also provides assistance to customers and utility companies.
  • The Legal Division provides legal opinions on cases brought before the commission for adjudication and resolution, represents commission analysts, and defends the commission in the state and federal court systems.
  • The Transportation Administration Division monitors the registration of motor carriers and collects fees and assessments. There are three sectors within the division: motor carrier, hazardous material registration, and coal resource transportation system.
  • The Transportation Enforcement Division conducts a variety of safety inspections of motor vehicles and work areas. There are three sectors within the division: safety enforcement, railroad safety, special operations, and logistics.
  • The Utilities Division analyzes the records of utility providers and addresses formal customer complaints. The division specializes in telecommunications and cable television regulation.
  • The Water/Wastewater Division assists water and sewer public service districts, municipalities, and associations. The division staff also respond to informal complaints, information requests, and general utility inquiries.

State budget

See also: West Virginia state budget and finances

The budget for the Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2013 was $19,634,848.[9]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

Chapter 6, Article 7-2 of the West Virginia Code lays out the exact compensation for certain state officers.[10]


In 2014, each commissioner received a salary of $90,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[11]


In 2013, each commissioner received a salary of $90,000.[12]


In 2012, the public service commissioners were paid an estimated $90,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the West Virginia Public Service Commissioners were paid an estimated $90,000 according to the Council of State Governments.[13]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the West Virginia Public Service Commission has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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Contact information

Public Service Commission of West Virginia
201 Brooks Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 1-800-344-5113
Fax: 304-340-0325

See also

External links

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