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John F. Povilaitis

John F. Povilaitis


Harrisburg, PA

John F. Povilaitis focuses his practice on energy transactions and administrative law matters with special emphasis on energy, communications, water/wastewater and transportation public utility law. His practice ranges from proactive counseling to litigation before administrative agencies, and appellate matters before state and federal courts.

With nearly 20 years of service for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PaPUC), John has significant regulatory experience in electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater, transportation and communications law. After joining the Commission in 1978, he served as assistant counsel, federal division deputy chief counsel and first deputy chief counsel before assuming the position of chief counsel in 1989. John served as the Commission's counsel in the litigation that established the Pike County Doctrine.

In 1998, he joined Ryan, Russell, Ogden & Seltzer PC, a Central Pennsylvania-based law firm that primarily handled various public utility matters. John concentrated his practice on state and federal regulatory proceedings, legislative activities, litigation before state and federal courts, facilities siting proceedings, land use and eminent domain matters and complex commercial transactions.

Previously, John served as chairperson of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Public Utility Law Section and as editor of the Section newsletter.

Since 1990, he has been a course planner and speaker at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's biannual Public Utility Law Conference and more recently he has served as a course planner for the biannual PaPUC Bench Bar Conference.

John has recently represented and counseled:

  • A major Pennsylvania water and wastewater public utility in its PaPUC application proceedings and before the Commonwealth Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
  • Multiple Transportation Network Companies in PaPUC complaint proceedings and PaPUC Public Utility Code jurisdictional issues.
  • Represented paratransit carriers and other common carriers before the PaPUC.
  • Clients seeking PaPUC authority to operate and site facilities as public utilities in Pennsylvania.
  • Developers of and lenders to Pennsylvania wind and solar projects.
  • Hospitals, colleges, hotels and various manufacturers in the development of Combined Heat and Power projects.
  • Represented telecommunications carriers in mergers and other regulatory proceedings.

He also has experience:

  • Representing a major Pennsylvania electric distribution company in their smart meter and energy efficiency and conservation regulatory proceedings.
  • Negotiating PPAs (purchased power agreements) and energy services contracts.
  • Assisting competitive gas and electric suppliers in obtaining state licenses and related certifications
  • Representing parties in utility merger regulatory proceedings.
  • Representing public utilities and other parties in major retail utility rate proceedings.

John is the co-host, along with Firm colleague Alan Seltzer, of Buchanan’s alternative energy podcast, Alternative Power Plays, which explores the latest trends and innovations in energy.  Recent podcasts have included a primer on hydrogen energy, new innovative G2 Power’s carbon free technologies and the impact of the midterm elections on energy policy.

John has been consecutively selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® list since 2017 under the categories of Communications Law and Energy Law; and since 2023 in the Utility Law category. In 2017 and 2022, he was selected as The Best Lawyers in America® Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year" in Harrisburg.