Consumer Assistance | previous page
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The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission provides a number of services for consumers. The PUC's consumer affairs staff helps you resolve disputes with investor-owned electric, natural gas and telephone service providers. They provide information about energy efficiency, consumer protection and making wise utility choices. They also offer guidance and referrals if you have difficulty paying your utility bills.
Payment Assistance and Budgeting
When you use a utility service, you have a responsibility to pay for that service. There are occasions, however, when you may have difficulty meeting your financial obligation to your utility provider. Several assistance programs offer qualifying South Dakotans discounts or other help to keep the lights, heat and phone on. In addition, many electric and natural gas providers offer a balanced billing option as a household budget aid.
Consumer and Utility Provider Disputes and Complaints
On occasion you may have a dispute with or complaint about your electric, natural gas or telephone service or provider. Common areas of dispute include termination of utility service, billing, meter reading, deposits for utility service, quality of service and delayed connection of service. If you find yourself in such a situation, the PUC encourages you to resolve the issue with the company on your own. If that is unsuccessful, PUC consumer affairs representatives can assist you and your utility provider in reaching a resolution.
South Dakota Utility Providers
The PUC works to ensure utility companies in South Dakota provide safe, reliable service at fair and reasonable rates. The Commission regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas and telephone utilities. It has a more limited regulatory role with respect to wireless communication companies and cooperative, independent and municipal utilities.
The PUC wants to keep consumers advised about current utility issues.
- Wireless Communications FAQ – Read about the PUC's role, what to do if you experience quality of service issues or wish to change carriers. Updated June 7, 2016.
- Trees and Power Lines – Find out how you can ensure safe tree planting and growth that doesn't interfere with power lines. Updated November 2015.
- AT&T Mark the Spot app – AT&T smartphone customers can report coverage issues directly to AT&T through their phone. Posted Dec. 6, 2011.
- Keep up-to-date on other issues by visiting the current PUC News section.
- 811 – Find out why calling 811 before you dig is a smart, safe and easy decision.
- Portable Generator Safety - Taking your portable generator outside is the only safe way to use a generator. This action is absolutely mandatory to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide, but there’s even more you can do. By educating yourself about carbon monoxide risks, you’ll be better prepared to protect your family from this colorless, odorless threat.
The PUC has loads of information online to assist consumers in a variety of areas.
- Publications – Dozens of online brochures address topics from compact fluorescent lights to wind energy basics.
- South Dakota One Call – Use this service to request underground utilities be marked before beginning excavating or landscaping activities.
- Do Not Call Registry – Register your home telephone number to reduce the amount of telemarketing phone calls you receive.
- South Dakota Energy Smart – Discover ways to become energy efficient.