ROTHFELDER STERN, LLC
UTILITY LAW PRACTICE
Our utility law practice spans decades of work in the regulation of the electric, natural gas, water and wastewater, telecommunications, cable television, and solid waste industries. We have represented public utilities regarding rates, transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and other matters. We have assisted competitive providers in regulatory, transactional, and litigated matters. Our clients range from individuals, and start-ups to major public utilities, large universities, industrials, commercial establishments, developers, non-profits, and houses of worship. If you seek counsel that is experienced and knowledgeable regarding utility regulation and deregulation from the provider or customer perspective, we can assist you with your matter.
Our utility lawyers have appeared before 16 different state public utility commissions, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, federal and state courts including appellate courts, and local governing bodies. We have served as registered lobbyists advocating for clients before legislative bodies in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. We further describe our work on Energy Practice page and Telecommunications Practice page. Selected examples of our utility work are as follows.
UTILITY CASES AND PROCEEDINGS
We have represented public utilities, their residential, commercial and industrial customers, and intervening environmental, institutional and business advocacy organizations. The breadth of utility matters in which we have appeared includes base rates and adjustment clause rates; infrastructure investment and security; complaints and billing disputes; franchises and authorizations; mergers and acquisitions; financing, affiliate, and other transaction approvals.
We take pride in our ability to serve as utility rate counsel, whether it be your water rate attorney, gas rate attorney, electric rate attorney, or sewer rate attorney.
Our utility law work includes engagement in pioneering utility proceedings, such as current proposals for utility infrastructure investment and rate structures to support the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and federal and state proceedings to establish N11 dialing (e.g., 411 directory assistance). We represented competitive telecommunications providers during the deregulation and unbundling of incumbent carrier’s services in proceedings on interconnection and access to unbundled network elements and access rate reform. We have represented small telephone and water utility companies before public utility commissions in the mid-Atlantic states in matters involving regulated and competitive services, tariff filings and administration, universal service funding, municipal and other local franchises and approvals, land use matters and mergers and acquisitions. We look forward to new opportunities to serve as telecommunications or electric interconnecting attorneys.
RULEMAKING AND STAKEHOLDER PROCEEDINGS
Our utility attorneys have advocated for many different organizations and interests participating in public utility rulemaking and stakeholder proceedings. Our attorneys have appeared on behalf of advocacy organizations addressing overarching policy and implementation issues. We have assisted regulated entities in achieving clarity and efficiency in rules to mitigate cost impacts. Rothfelder Stern Law Firm has assisted utility customers in achieving equitable outcomes in rate-related rulemakings regarding utility system improvement and other authorized charges. We have participated in proceedings designed to restructure the energy and telecommunications industries to competition in some or all of the utility services
LOCAL GOVERNMENT MATTERS
Our utility attorney have assisted local governments on a range of issues including utility rights-of-way and easements as well as utility authorizations for the use of the public right-of-way. We have assisted municipal franchisors and applicant franchisees with cable system initial franchises and renewals, and have advised local governing bodies on ordinances for telecommunications authorizations. We have assisted local utility departments and authorities in matters including rates and interlocal services agreements.
Our utility law practice includes representation of project proponents and contestants before local planning and zoning boards in connection with utility-related projects. We have appeared before county and municipal governing bodies on behalf of telecommunications companies seeking approval to place facilities in the public rights-of-way using existing utility pole attachments or new pole placements.
Our utility attorneys have represented residential, commercial and industrial customers in complaints and disputes involving utility billing and quality of services. We have a strong record of reaching amicable outcomes to the benefit of our clients. Specific matters addressed include billing errors and discrepancies, service shutoffs and extensions, and service scope and quality. We have assisted in resolving matters through informal correspondence and negotiation and through formal proceedings before administrative hearing officers and in the courts.
COMPETITIVE UTILITY SERVICES
Our attorneys have assisted competitive suppliers of public utility services to obtain and maintain the necessary licenses or other authorizations to offer their electricity, natural gas and competitive local exchange services. We have handled approval requests for financing and acquisition transactions, and assisted in negotiating interconnection or other required agreements with incumbent local utilities.
Our assistance to competitive suppliers includes preparation of service contract forms conforming to applicable consumer protection standards. We have assisted clients in bringing or defending against consumer slamming allegations before utility commissions or the courts.
If you have a matter that relates to the provision or consumption of utility services, our team stands ready to bring its utility law and other expertise to advise and assist you.