Alabama Public Service Commission

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Alabama Public Service Commission
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $24,866,611
Total Seats:  3
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   6 years
Authority:  Code of Alabama, Title 37-1-1
Leadership:  Twinkle Cavanaugh (R)
Selection Method:  Elected
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 4, 2014
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The Alabama Public Service Commission is a quasi-executive, elected agency of the Alabama state government, responsible for regulating the state's utility companies. The commission's mission is to "ensure a regulatory balance between regulated companies and consumers in order to provide consumers with safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are equitable and economical."

Current officeholder

The current commissioners are president Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R), Jeremy Oden (R) and Chip Beeker (R). Cavanaugh was first elected in 2012, Oden was appointed in 2012 and Beeker won office in 2014.[1]


The Alabama Public Service Commission was created by the Alabama Legislature in 1915 out of the existing Railroad Commission created in 1881. Between 1881-1915 the duties of the commission were expanded to include regulating utilities that provided electricity, gas, water and steam, leading the legislature to decide on the change. Since then it has been further expanded to include utility rates, motor transportation companies, air carriers, and natural gas transmission and distribution.[2]

The Public Service Commission's authority and duties and are established by Title 37 of the Code of Alabama.[3]

Section 37-1-1:

A commission to be known as the Public Service Commission, consisting of a president and two associates who shall be competent persons and qualified electors of this state, is established.


The only qualification established for members of the Public Service Commission is that the incumbent may not be an employee or have any "pecuniary interest," including stock ownership, in any utility.[4]

Code of Alabama, Section 37-1-6:

No person owning any stock in any utility, or in the employment of any utility or pecuniarily interested in any utility, as defined in this title, shall be eligible to the office of public service commissioner.


Click here to view a large-scale image of the Alabama state government organizational chart, as of 9/11/12.

Presidents of the Public Service Commission are elected on the first Tuesday after the first Monday every four years during presidential election years (2016, 2020, 2024, etc.). Two associate commissioners are elected every four years during congressional midterm election years (2018, 2022, 2026, etc.).[5] Presidents assume office on the day after election.

Term limits

There are no term limits for the those on the Public Service Commission.


See also: Alabama down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Place 1: Republican incumbent Jeremy Oden won re-election without opposition on November 4, 2014.

Place 2: Republican Chip Beeker won election without opposition on November 4, 2014. Beeker unseated incumbent Terry Dunn in the 2014 Republican primary runoff election.


See also: Alabama down ballot state executive elections, 2012

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R) defeated incumbent Lucy Baxley (D) for president of the Public Service Commission in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Alabama Public Service Commission President General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTwinkle Cavanaugh 54.2% 1,078,108
     Democratic Lucy Baxley Incumbent 45.8% 909,323
Total Votes 1,987,431
Election Results via Alabama Secretary of State.


Details of vacancy appointments are addressed in Section 37-1-3 of the Alabama Code.[6] If a vacancy occurs on the public service commission, the governor has the power to fill the unexpired term.


Commissioners supervise and regulate the state's electricity, gas, water, railroad, and telecommunications companies. Additionally, it supervises transportation companies operating toll bridges, ferries or roads. The commission's mission is "To ensure a regulatory balance between regulated companies and consumers in order to provide consumers with safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are equitable and economical."[2]


The Public Service Commission consists of four divisions: Energy, Telecommunications, Transportation, and Legal.

Energy Division

The Energy Division "oversees the regulation of investor-owned electric, natural gas and water utilities under the Commission's regulatory authority. This responsibility includes monitoring rates and quality of service for 22 companies as well as enforcing safety rules for all natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline systems in Alabama."[7] It consists of five sections: electricity, special projects, natural gas, gas pipeline safety, and water.

Telecommunications Division

The Telecommunications Division holds limited jurisdiction over the regulation of telephone service providers in Alabama. It has two main sections: the Economic Compliance Section and the Service Compliance Section.[8]

Transportation Division

The Transportation Division regulates air, motor, and rail carriers. Its six areas include annual reports, auditing, insurance, railway safety, rates and services, and registration.[9]

Legal Division

The Legal Division is composed of the Chief Administrative Law Judge, Administrative Law Judges, and legal secretaries. They provide legal assistance to the Commissioners, staff, and the public.[10]

State budget

See also: Alabama state budget and finances

The budget for the Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $24,866,611.[11]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers


In 2014, the commissioners each received a salary of $103,490, according to the Council of State Governments.[12]


In 2013, the commissioners were paid an estimated $103,490, according to the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Since 1881, Alabama has had 20 public service commission presidents.[13]

Click "show" for former officeholders.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Alabama Public Service Commission."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Alabama Public Service Commission - Google News Feed

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Contact information


Physical address:
100 N. Union Street, Suite 800
Montgomery, AL 36104

Phone: 334-242-5207

See also

External links