The Nebraska Power Review Board is a state agency created in 1963 to regulate Nebraska's publicly owned electrical utility industry. Nebraska is unique in that it is the only state in the country served entirely by consumer-owned power entities. These utilities include public power districts, cooperatives, and municipalities.
The Power Review Board consists of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the legislature. Board members serve four-year terms and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. No more than three Board members may belong to the same political party as the Governor. The Board must include an engineer, an attorney, an accountant, and two laypersons, with no geographic boundary restrictions. The Board is a cash-funded agency and therefore receives no funds from general tax revenues. The Board's operating funds are received entirely from assessments levied on power suppliers operating in the State of Nebraska. The executive director is appointed by the Board.
The Board's duties and responsibilities are set out in Chapter 70, article 10 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 70-1001 through 70-1027). One of the Board's primary responsibilities is the creation and certification of retail and wholesale service area agreements between electric utilities operating in Nebraska. Any amendments to existing agreements must be approved by the Board. The Board maintains the official records pertaining to these agreements, which establish the geographic territory in which each utility operating in Nebraska has the exclusive right to serve customers. There are approximately 390 such agreements maintained by the Board.
Another primary function of the Board is to approve the construction of new electric generation facilities in Nebraska and the construction or acquisition of transmission lines or related facilities carrying more than 700 volts. Board approval is not required for the construction or acquisition of transmission line extensions located within a supplier's own certified service area.
In addition, the Board can hold hearings to address disputes between a utility and its customers under limited circumstances, approves microwave communication facilities built by public power districts, oversees the preparation and filing of a coordinated long-range power supply plan, approves the petitions for creation of public power districts and amendments to the petitions for creation (also called "charters") of public power districts, and prepares a biennial report for the Governor and Legislature which includes such information as a list of all power suppliers in Nebraska, the assessment paid by each supplier, electrical supply and demand statistics, and a summary of the Board's activities.