The Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) is an independent office headed by the Consumer Advocate who is appointed by the Attorney General to a 4-year term of service. The Consumer Advocate serves as both head attorney of the Office and Office administrative head. The OCA works tirelessly in legal cases before the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to keep electricity and natural gas rates reasonable for all customers.
The OCA's independence from political influence is important, as they are tasked with the difficult job of going up against utilities such as Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy, which are both politically powerful and profit-driven companies with a monopoly over Iowa.
The work of the OCA cut Alliant Energy’s last rate increase by 38%, eliminating more than $76 million from the costs that the utility wanted to charge customers. This office is vital to ensuring that Iowans continue to have protection from utility corporate greed.
The Governor's restructuring bill seeks to:
• remove merit protection for OCA staff, opening them up to potential repercussions should their work anger utilities or other corporations, or government officials;
• remove the set 4-year term for the Consumer Advocate;
• change the appointment process so that the Consumer Advocate serves at the pleasure of the Attorney General;
• remove the requirement that the Consumer Advocate be a "competent attorney."
Don't let legislators gut the power of the OCA to protect your interests. Use the form below to confirm your Representative, then hit 'Submit' to send a pre-drafted message or call the House Switchboard at 515.281.3221 to leave a message for your Representative. Here is a suggested script:
"Hello, my name is ____ and I live in your district. This week, as you caucus on and debate HSB 126, the Governors' reorganization bill, I am asking you to reject proposed changes to the Office of the Consumer Advocate. This important office keeps my utility rates low and protects my interests in issues involving Iowa's electric utilities. This office must be free from political influence. Say no to changing the OCA!"
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