Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

A Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity is a permit granted to a utility that authorizes it to a) provide service to a new geographic area, b) to enter into a new franchise agreement, or c) to construct and operate a new facility or an extension of a facility that is outside the “ordinary course of business.”

CPCNs are most often required for utilities to build major new capital assets such as pipelines or power plants. The permit is required to ensure the new service or capital expenditure is in the public interest. 

Public utilities cannot start construction of major capital projects without first obtaining a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)
Public utilities cannot start construction of major capital projects without first obtaining a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).