Message from Consumer Counsel Claire Coleman
Welcome to the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) website!
Established in 1975, the OCC is an independent state agency that advocates for the interests of energy and telecom consumers. We work tirelessly to ensure reasonable rates, reliable and resilient service, a strong economy, and a clean environment for customers of our state’s electric, gas, telephone, and telecommunications providers. Additionally, we work to facilitate the availability of broadband access to every state citizen and to increase access to and the adoption of high-speed broadband networks.
As Consumer Counsel, I will work tirelessly on innovative and equitable solutions that will improve the affordability, sustainability, and performance of our energy, water, and telecommunications utility infrastructure to the benefit of all consumers. My staff and I strive to keep bills as low as possible while encouraging innovation that makes consumers more powerful users of our energy and telecom systems.
Leveraging the technical expertise of our dedicated legal and financial team, the OCC works for Connecticut’s consumers in many different forums. We advocate for the ratepayers before the Public Utilities Regulation Authority (PURA) and the Federal Regulatory Energy Commissions (FERC). We testify before the state legislature. We voice concerns through legal action in state and federal courts, and work with state, regional, and federal agencies to develop policies that consider consumer impacts and ensure accessible, affordable, and reliable energy and internet. We bring the voice of the consumer to the table – from a single individual up to the largest industrial facility.
I encourage you to explore this website and view our most recent press releases and annual report to learn more about what the OCC is doing to best protect Connecticut’s utility customers.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Claire E. Coleman
Interim Consumer Counsel Claire E. Coleman -- Biography
Claire Coleman was nominated by Governor Ned Lamont, effective December 3, 2021, to serve as Consumer Counsel for the State of Connecticut. Coleman is serving in the role on an interim basis until the General Assembly confirms her nomination during the next regular legislative session, which begins in February.
Coleman formerly served as the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs for the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), where she provided legal and policy advice related to the formulation and implementation of public policy for the State and worked with the Governor’s legal team and the Attorney General’s Office on litigation and legal matters.
Coleman previously worked as an energy attorney at Save the Sound (formerly Connecticut Fund for the Environment), and as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where she conducted investigations into both private business practices and government programs and regulations, and prepared members of Congress for hearings on many areas of government policy and practice, including energy and environmental regulation. She also worked as a litigation associate at Wiggin and Dana LLP in New Haven and Sullivan and Cromwell LLP in New York, and served as law clerk to the Honorable Ellen Bree Burns, United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut.
Claire is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University School of law. Between college and law school, she served as a Team Leader for the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps.
In 2020 the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities honored Claire as a Municipal Champion for her work on emergency COVID-19 pandemic Executive Orders that impacted and supported local governments. The Connecticut Law Tribute recognized Claire with a New Leaders in the Law award in 2016, and she has received several awards for pro bono legal work.