Governor Cooper Nominates Jeffrey Hughes for North Carolina Utilities Commission

Jeff Hughes

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has nominated School of Government faculty member Jeffrey A. Hughes to serve on the North Carolina Utilities Commission. If confirmed by the General Assembly to sit on the body, Hughes will help regulate the rates and services of all public utilities in the state. Specifically, Hughes would set rates for companies that provide electricity, telephone service, natural gas, water and wastewater, household goods movers, buses, brokers, and ferryboats.

Hughes has served at the School of Government since 2002. In his seventeen-year tenure, he has taught public officials and students in the Master of Public Administration program. His areas of expertise include service pricing, economic regulation, and environmental and public finance. For his teaching in these fields, Hughes was named Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Lecturer for 2012–2014. Hughes also serves as the director of the Environmental Finance Center, where he oversees efforts to enhance the ability of governments and other organizations to provide effective and financially sustainable environmental programs and services.

If approved for the Commission, Hughes will bring thirty years of environmental finance experience to the role. Prior to joining the School, he served as the Chatham County Utility Director and as an international finance advisor with RTI International. Hughes is an active member of the American Water Works Association and the Council of Infrastructure Authorities, and he holds a seat on the board of NC GreenPower and the EPA Environmental Financial Advisory Board. He earned a master’s degree in environmental engineering with a focus on water economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Duke University.

Alongside Hughes, Cooper has nominated two other appointees to replace outgoing commissioners on the seven-member board: Kimberly Duffley, a senior staff associate for the Commission, and Floyd McKissick, a state senator from Durham. After confirmation, Hughes, Duffley, and McKissick would spend six years negotiating and approving rate requests as commissioners.