About Us

About the Public Staff

The Public Staff is an independent agency created in 1977 by legislation in General Statute 62-15 to review, investigate, and make appropriate recommendations to the North Carolina Utilities Commission with respect to the reasonableness of rates charged and adequacy of service provided by any public utility and with respect to the consistency with the public policy of assuring an energy supply adequate to protect the public health and safety. The Public Staff intervenes on behalf of the using and consuming public in all Commission proceedings affecting rates or service. The Public Staff also:

  • Petitions the Commission to initiate proceedings when in the public interest;
  • Intervenes in all certificate applications and assist the Commission in analysis;
  • Makes recommendations to the Commission with respect to standards, regulations, or practices;
  • Investigates formal and informal complaints affecting the using and consuming public;
  • Intervenes in all proceedings for franchise transfers, mergers, and consolidations of public utilities; and,
  • Reviews, investigates, and recommends action to the Commission regarding affiliate contracts.

Executive Director Christopher J. Ayers

Mr. Ayers has served as Executive Director of the North Carolina Utilities Commission Public Staff since July 1, 2013.

Mr. Ayers is currently President of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) and serves on the Executive Committee for the Critical Consumer Issues Forum (CCIF), the Consumer Advocates for the PJM States Board of Directors (CAPS), the Financial Research Institute Advisory Board (FRI), the DOE Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC), the Keystone Energy Board, and the New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities Advisory Council.

From August 2003 to June 2009, he practiced law in Raleigh, North Carolina with the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP.  Mr. Ayers joined the law firm of Poyner Spruill LLP in Raleigh as a partner in June 2009 where he practiced law until July 2013.  He served a two-year term on the Environmental Management Commission from July 2011 through June 2013.

Mr. Ayers is a native of Rutherford County, North Carolina. He graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and received his Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002.  Mr. Ayers served as a law clerk to the Honorable Linda McGee with the North Carolina Court of Appeals. 

Mr. Ayers is active in church, community, and civic affairs and currently serves as Chairman of the State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Board of Directors and Vice Chairman of the State Employees Credit Union Foundation Board of Directors. Mr. Ayers has served previously as President of the North Carolina 4-H Alumni and Friends Association, President and Chairman of the Board of the North Carolina 4-H Honor Club, and board member of the North Carolina 4-H Development Fund, Inc. He received Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Leadership Award in 2012 and the 4-H Young Alumni Award in 2005. Mr. Ayers is married to Rebecca Keel Ayers and they reside in Wake County.

Public Staff's Mission

  • To provide customers with effective, independent representation based on technical and professional expertise on all issues before the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
  • To fairly and efficiently exercise formal and informal audit and advocacy functions to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates.
  • To ensure that customer interests are represented in the development and application of public policy by serving as a resource to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, government agencies, Governor’s Office and the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • To help resolve conflicts between utilities and their customers through investigation, mediation, and education.

Contact Us

Public Staff Division Telephone Email
Accounting Division 919-733-4279  Click here to email
Consumer Services Division 919-733-9277 or Toll-Free 866-380-9816 Click here to email
Economic Research Division 919-733-2902  Click here to email
Energy Division 919-733-2267 Click here to email
Executive Director 919-733-2435 Click here to email
Legal Division 919-733-6110 Click here to email
Telephone Division 919-733-5610  Click here to email
Transportation Division 919-733-7766 Click here to email
Water and Sewer Division 919-733-5610 Click here to email


The Public Staff is located on the fifth floor of the Dobbs Building on North Salisbury Street. Office hours are 8:00 am until 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, except for state holidays.

The Dobbs Building is located at the north end of the Downtown State Government Complex on North Salisbury Street. Public access is via the Dobbs Building Lobby Entrance on the east side of the building facing the grassy mall area. All visitors are required to check in at the Dobbs Building Security Desk located at this entrance.

For additional parking information and a map of downtown, please go to the Department of Administration Visitor Parking website. The closest visitor lot to the Dobbs Building is Visitor Lot #2.

Map for Visitor Parking