"Commission" means the public service commission.
"Indeterminate permit" means any grant, directly or indirectly, from the state to any public utility of power, right or privilege to own, operate, manage or control any plant or equipment or any part of a plant or equipment within this state for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of any public utility service.
"Interconnection agreement" means an interconnection agreement that is subject to approval by the commission under 47 USC 252
"Interlata" means between local access and transport areas.
"Intralata" means within the boundaries of a local access and transport area.
"Mobile home park" means any tract of land containing 2 or more individual plots of land that are rented or offered for rent for the accommodation of a mobile home.
"Mobile home park contractor" means a person, other than a public utility, who, under a contract with a mobile home park operator, provides water or sewer service to a mobile home park occupant or performs a service related to providing water or sewer service to a mobile home park occupant.
"Mobile home park occupant" means a person who rents or owns a mobile home in a mobile home park.
"Mobile home park operator" means a person engaged in the business of owning or managing a mobile home park.
"Municipality" means any town, village or city wherein property of a public utility or any part thereof is located.
"Pay telephone service provider" means a person who owns or leases a pay telephone located on property owned or leased by that person and who otherwise does not offer any telecommunications service directly or indirectly to the public.
"Public utility" means, except as provided in par. (b)
, every corporation, company, individual, association, their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court, and every sanitary district, town, village or city that may own, operate, manage or control any toll bridge or all or any part of a plant or equipment, within the state, for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of heat, light, water or power either directly or indirectly to or for the public. "Public utility" includes all of the following:
Any person engaged in the transmission or delivery of natural gas for compensation within this state by means of pipes or mains and any person, except a governmental unit, who furnishes services by means of a sewerage system either directly or indirectly to or for the public.
"Public utility" does not include any of the following:
A cooperative association organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of producing or furnishing heat, light, power or water to its members only.
A holding company, as defined in s. 196.795 (1) (h)
, unless the holding company furnishes, directly to the public, telecommunications or sewer service, heat, light, water or power or, by means of pipes or mains, natural gas.
Any company, as defined in s. 196.795 (1) (f)
, which owns, operates, manages or controls a telecommunications utility unless the company furnishes, directly to the public, telecommunications or sewer service, heat, light, water or power or, by means of pipes or mains, natural gas.
"Service" is used in its broadest and most inclusive sense.
"Small telecommunications utility" means any telecommunications utility or a successor in interest of a telecommunications utility that provided landline local and access telecommunications service as of January 1, 1984, and that has less than 50,000 access lines in use in this state.
"Telecommunications carrier" means any person that owns, operates, manages or controls any plant or equipment used to furnish telecommunications services within the state directly or indirectly to the public but does not provide basic local exchange service, except on a resale basis. "Telecommunications carrier" does not include an alternative telecommunications utility or a commercial mobile radio service provider.
"Telecommunications provider" means any person who provides telecommunications services.
"Telecommunications reseller" or "reseller" means a telecommunications utility that resells message telecommunications service, wide-area telecommunications services or other telecommunications services which have been approved for reselling by the commission.
"Telecommunications service" means the offering for sale of the conveyance of voice, data or other information at any frequency over any part of the electromagnetic spectrum, including the sale of service for collection, storage, forwarding, switching and delivery incidental to such communication and including the regulated sale of customer premises equipment. "Telecommunications service" does not include cable television service or broadcast service.
"Telecommunications utility" means any person, corporation, company, cooperative, partnership, association and lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court that owns, operates, manages or controls any plant or equipment used to furnish telecommunications services within the state directly or indirectly to the public. "Telecommunications utility" does not include a telecommunications carrier.
"Transmission facility" means any plant or equipment used to carry telecommunications services by wire, optics, radio signal or other means.
"Wide-area telecommunications service" means the offering of message-based telecommunications service using a single, dedicated access line at the originating end of the call at a significant volume-based discount.
History: 1977 c. 29
; 1981 c. 390
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 79
, 1985 a. 297
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 344
; 1993 a. 121
; 1995 a. 46
; 1997 a. 184
; 1999 a. 9
; 1999 a. 150
Commission may determine that holding company, formed by public utility corporation to engage in non-utility business ventures, is itself public utility, where holding company possesses power to control utility plant or equipment or where arrangement is device to evade regulatory jurisdiction. 71 Atty. Gen. 147
Total service long-run incremental cost. 196.015(1)(1)
In this section, "basic network function" means the smallest disaggregation of local exchange transport, switching and loop functions that is capable of being separately listed in a tariff and offered for sale.
In this chapter, total service long-run incremental cost is calculated as the total forward-looking cost, using least cost technology that is reasonably implementable based on currently available technology, of a telecommunications service, relevant group of services, or basic network function that would be avoided if the telecommunications provider had never offered the service, group of services, or basic network function or, alternatively, the total cost that the telecommunications provider would incur if it were to initially offer the service, group of services, or basic network function for the entire current demand, given that the telecommunications provider already produces all of its other services.
History: 1993 a. 496
Commission's powers. 196.02(1)(1)
The commission has jurisdiction to supervise and regulate every public utility in this state and to do all things necessary and convenient to its jurisdiction.
(2) Definition; classification.
In this subsection, "public utility" does not include a telecommunications cooperative or a small telecommunications utility except as provided under s. 196.205
or 196.215 (2)
and does not include an alternative telecommunications utility. The commission shall provide for a comprehensive classification of service for each public utility. The classification may take into account the quantity used, the time when used, the purpose for which used, and any other reasonable consideration. Each public utility shall conform its schedules of rates, tolls and charges to such classification.
The commission may adopt reasonable rules to govern its proceedings and to regulate the mode and manner of all inspections, tests, audits, investigations and hearings.
(4) Information required; stock holders. 196.02(4)(a)(a)
The commission may inquire into the management of the business of all public utilities. The commission shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the same is conducted. The commission may obtain from any public utility any information necessary to enable the commission to perform its duties.
Each public utility shall furnish to the commission, in such form and at such times as the commission requires, the following information respecting the identity of the holders of its voting capital stock in order to enable the commission to determine whether the holders constitute an affiliated interest within the meaning of this chapter:
The names of each holder of one percent or more of the voting capital stock of the public utility.
The nature of the property right or other legal or equitable interest which the holder has in the stock.
Any other similarly relevant information which the commission prescribes and directs.
If any public utility fails to furnish the commission with information required of it by the commission, the commission may issue an order directing the delinquent public utility to furnish the information immediately or to show good cause why the information cannot be obtained. Failure of any public utility to comply with the order of the commission is a violation of this chapter within the meaning of s. 196.66
(5) Inspect books.
The commission or any commissioner or any person employed by the commission for that purpose may, upon demand, inspect the books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda of any public utility, and examine under oath any officer, agent or employee of the public utility in relation to its business and affairs. Any person, other than one of the commissioners, who makes a demand shall produce his or her authority to make the inspection.
(6) Production of records.
The commission may require, by order or subpoena served on any public utility as a summons is served in circuit court, the production within this state at the time and place the commission designates of any books, accounts, papers or records kept by the public utility outside the state, or verified copies in lieu thereof, if the commission orders. If a public utility fails or refuses to comply with the order or subpoena, for each day of the failure or refusal the public utility shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $500.
(7) Commission initiative.
In any matter within its jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, chs. 197
and this chapter, the commission may initiate, investigate and order a hearing at its discretion upon such notice as it deems proper.
(8) Employ counsel.
The commission may employ counsel in any proceeding, investigation, hearing or trial had by it or in which it is a party, and the expenses thereby incurred shall be charged to the commission's appropriation.
(9) Technicalities disregarded.
Substantial compliance with the requirements of the statutes shall be sufficient to make effective any rule, regulation, order or action of the commission. No rule, regulation, order or action of the commission is invalid for any omission of a technical nature.
(10) Commission notices; certifications.
Any notice of investigation or hearing or certification to a copy of a record of the commission may be issued or certified by any member of the commission or by its secretary or assistant secretary.
(12) Sue; be sued.
The commission may sue and be sued in its own name, and may confer with or participate in any proceedings before any regulatory agency of any other state or of the federal government.
The PSC has authority to order a utility to refund compensation collected in violation of its filed tariffs. GTE North Inc. v. Public Service Comm. 176 Wis. 2d 559
, 500 N.W.2d 284
Public service commission ordered rebates for inadequate service. 1976 WLR 584.
Duties of the commission. 196.025(1)
To the extent cost-effective, technically feasible and environmentally sound, the commission shall implement the priorities under s. 1.12 (4)
in making all energy-related decisions and orders, including advance plan, rate setting and rule-making orders.
The commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for the commission to carry out the duties under s. 1.11
. Rules promulgated under this subsection shall include requirements and procedures for each of the following:
Standards for determining the necessity of preparing an environmental impact statement.
Adequate opportunities for interested persons to be heard on environmental impact statements, including adequate time for the preparation and submission of comments.
Deadlines that allow thorough review of environmental issues without imposing unnecessary delays in addressing the need for additional electric transmission capacity in this state.
The commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for electric utilities, as defined under s. 196.491 (1) (d)
, to file reports with the commission, on a frequency that the commission determines is reasonably necessary, on their current reliability status, including the status of operating and planning reserves, available transmission capacity and outages of major operational units and transmission lines. A report filed under the rules promulgated under this subsection is subject to inspection and copying under s. 19.35 (1)
, except that the commission may withhold the report from inspection and copying for a period of time that the commission determines is reasonably necessary to prevent an adverse impact on the supply or price of energy in this state.
In consultation with the department of administration and the department of revenue, the commission shall study the establishment of a program for providing incentives for the development of high-efficiency, small-scale electric generating facilities in this state that do either of the following:
Provide benefits in the form of support for electric distribution or transmission systems, power quality or environmental performance.
Employ technologies such as combined heat and power systems, fuel cells, microturbines or photovoltaic systems that may be situated in, on or next to buildings or other electric load centers.
No later than January 1, 2001, the commission shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations under par. (a)
to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3)
In this subsection, "electric cooperative" means a cooperative association organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of generating, distributing or furnishing electric energy at retail or wholesale to its members only.
The commission shall contract with an expert consultant in economics to conduct a study on the potential for horizontal market power, including the horizontal market power of electric generators, to frustrate the creation of an effectively competitive retail electricity market in this state and to make recommendations on measures to eliminate such market power on a sustainable basis. The study shall include each of the following:
An assessment of the effect of each recommendation on public utility workers and shareholders and electric cooperative workers and members.
An assessment of the effect of each recommendation on rates for each class of public utility customers and electric cooperative members.
An evaluation of the impact of transmission constraints on the market power of electric generators in local areas.
No later than January 1, 2001, the commission shall submit a report of the results of the study under par. (ar)
to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3)
History: 1993 a. 414
; 1999 a. 9
NOTE: 1993 Wis. Act 414
, which creates this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
Utility charges and service; reasonable and adequate. 196.03(1)(1)
Subject to s. 196.63
, a public utility shall furnish reasonably adequate service and facilities. The charge made by any public utility for any heat, light, water, telecommunications service or power produced, transmitted, delivered or furnished or for any service rendered or to be rendered in connection therewith shall be reasonable and just and every unjust or unreasonable charge for such service is prohibited and declared unlawful.
For rate-making purposes the commission may consider 2 or more municipalities as a regional unit if the same public utility serves the municipalities and if the commission determines that the public interest so requires.
In the case of a public utility furnishing water, the commission shall include, in the determination of water rates, the cost of fluoridating the water in the area served by the public utility furnishing water if the governing body of the city, village or town which owns or is served by the public utility furnishing water authorizes the fluoridation of water by the public utility furnishing water.
Unless the governing body of a city, village or town adopts a resolution providing that the city, village or town will pay the retail charges for the production, storage, transmission, sale and delivery or furnishing of water for public fire protection purposes that are not included in general service charges:
A public utility shall include the charges in the water utility bill of each customer of the public utility in the city, village or town.
A municipal utility may, in addition to including the charges in water utility bills under subd. 1.
, bill the charges to any person who meets all of the following conditions: