The Commission is Holding Remote Hearings
Due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Utilities Commission is holding most of its hearings remotely over the Internet. People who want to speak at a public witness hearing do so by telephone and must register several days to a week in advance. People can register by calling the Public Staff – North Carolina Utilities Commission at 866-380-9816.
People who simply want to observe a hearing may do so via the YouTube link on the homepage of this website.
How to Give Public Witness Testimony
- Witnesses must register his or her name on a sign-up sheet in the hearing room prior to his or her testimony.
- After calling the hearing to order... the presiding Commissioner or Examiner shall outline the procedure to be followed for testimony and shall establish hearing room decorum standards.
- Witnesses will be called according to the order of registration on the sign-up sheet. The presiding Commissioner or Examiner reserves the right to re-order the witnesses in order to provide the Commission with a full spectrum of opinions and ideas.
- Each witness shall state his or her name and address and the association, if any, that he or she represents at the time of his or her testimony. The presiding Commissioner or Examiner may limit the scope of the testimony to matters specified in the notice of public hearing. [The presiding Commissioner will require each witness to be sworn in (or to affirm to the truth of their statements) before beginning their testimony.]
- To allow each witness an equal amount of time to testify or to prevent cumulative, repetitive, irrelevant or unnecessary testimony, the presiding Commissioner or Examiner may establish time limits for the presentation of testimony within his or her discretion and may limit testimony to five minutes or less per witness.
- Any witness testifying may extend his or her remarks in written form, but written testimony must be submitted at the time of his or her oral testimony at the public hearing. Any witness may submit written testimony in lieu of oral testimony, but any written testimony must be submitted by the witness during the public hearing and subject to cross-examination.
- Only one witness may testify at a time and shall refrain from testifying to matters not specified in the notice of public hearing. Witnesses are providing testimony to the Commission and should not address non-Commission participants in the hearing room and may not ask questions. As testimony must be recorded, the presiding Commissioner or Examiner may limit unconventional modes of testimony to ensure accuracy of the record.
- To allow all witnesses to be heard and properly transcribed by the court reporter, the presiding Commissioner or Examiner shall have the right to instruct the removal of any member of the audience attempting to participate either verbally or visually during testimony. Members of the audience shall not bring signs or placards into the hearing room.
- The presiding Commissioner or Examiner, at his or her discretion, may modify the rules for public witness testimony.
[From Commission Rule R1-21(g)]