AUSTIN (KAMR/KCIT) — The Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas presented Thursday, the creation of the Office of Public Engagement.

According to a PUC press release, when the office is fully operating it can be used as a resource for Texans with issues regarding electricity, water, and telecommunications with PUC. The office will serve as a contact for consumers, stakeholders, legislators, and other affected parties involving PUC.

“We are constantly exploring ways we can improve and enhance assisting consumers,” said Chairman Peter Lake. “We’re very excited to build a team dedicated to bringing together all the parties and all the resources necessary to resolve what are often complex issues in a way that emphasizes collaboration among everyone involved and ultimately benefits customers and rate payers.”

PUC officials stated that PUC Government Relations Director Mike Hoke will become the director of the new office. Officials said Hoke has previous experience in this field resolving issues for constituents’ industries under PUC’s regulatory authority. PUC plans to hire another three staff members to fill out the team.

Energy Efficiency

Commissioner Kathleen Jackson was announced as the leader of the PUC’s energy efficiency responsibilities. Jackson was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott and sworn in earlier this month. Officials said Jackson has experience in resource conservation and efficiency to evaluate energy efficiency policies and procedures at the PUC. Jackson will also make necessary, recommendations on actions the PUC should consider to improve energy efficiency in Texas.

“Energy efficiency is critical to the future of grid resiliency in our fast-growing state,” said Jackson. “I look forward to visiting with Texans about their thoughts and recommendations to strengthen energy efficiency and my priorities will be laser-focused on ensuring grid reliability and cost-savings for all Texans through energy efficiency.”