What Public Utility Records Are and How to Obtain Them

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Ring Binders Popping Out of LaptopPublic utility records are essential data sources in research work, whether it is for school, for business, or for a research agency or organization. They consist of the earnings reports of utility companies, Public Utility Commission’s commissioner’s speeches, and reports or papers made by the Commission’s staff.

Each state has its own Public Utility Commission serving the entire state (i.e., South Carolina Public Utility Commission). As a matter of public record, anyone can access public utility records. For your search in South Carolina (SC), you can request records through the state PUC.

To start doing your research request, follow the steps below.

Online Map

Check the website of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and search for a clickable map that will provide you the contact information and the website of the state PUC.


Contact the state PUC regarding their rules and standards in requesting for public records. Generally, Public Utility Commissions would list down their telephone number and email address on their website.

Filing a Request

Following the state PUC’s guidelines, write a request for the public records of the commission. The state PUC may ask you to mail a printed request, or they would just ask for an email. Again, the form of request is also part of the state PUC’s rules, and all PUC’s may choose one or both.


There is a fee for the records request, as per the state PUC’s rules. After paying the fee, you will get permission to access the public utility records.

Individual and business records of gas, water, electric and other utility bills are, however, not part of the records, as they are private records. Although a property manager and a property owner have a right to access them, this is only through the utility company in question.