The North Carolina Public Staff is an independent agency created in 1977 to review, investigate and make appropriate recommendations to the North Carolina Utilities Commission. It oversees the fairness of rates charged and adequacy of service provided by any public utility. In addition, it provides consistency with the public policy of assuring energy supplies adequate to protect the public health and safety. The public staff represents the using and consuming public in various commission proceedings affecting rates and services. The North Carolina Public Staff also petitions the commission to initiate proceedings in the public interest, intervenes in several certificate applications and assists the commission in analysis. Located in Raleigh, N.C., it maintains communications, electric, natural gas, water and sewer, transportation, accounting, consumer services, economic research and legal divisions.