The failure of an energy utility to comply with this subsection shall not invalidate, impair, or affect any financing order, environmental control property, environmental control charge, or environmental control bonds.
Environmental control property that is specified in a financing order shall constitute a present property right notwithstanding that the imposition and collection of environmental control charges depend on the energy utility to which the order is issued performing its servicing functions relating to the collection of environmental control charges and on future energy consumption. Such property is considered to exist whether or not the revenues or proceeds arising from the property have accrued and whether or not the value of the property is dependent on the receipt of service by customers of an energy utility.
Environmental control property specified in a financing order shall continue to exist until the environmental trust bonds issued pursuant to the order are paid in full and all financing costs of the bonds have been recovered in full.
Environmental control property specified in a financing order issued to an energy utility may be transferred, sold, conveyed, or assigned to any person, including an affiliate of the energy utility created for the limited purpose of facilitating or administering environmental control property or environmental control trust bonds under the financing order and not including any other affiliate of the energy utility. Environmental control property may be pledged to secure environmental trust bonds issued pursuant to the order. Each such transfer, sale, conveyance, assignment, or pledge by an energy utility or affiliate of an energy utility is considered to be a transaction in the ordinary course of business.
If an energy utility defaults on any required payment of revenues arising from environmental control property specified in a financing order, a court, upon application by an interested party, and without limiting any other remedies available to the applying party, shall order the sequestration and payment of the revenues. Any such order shall remain in full force and effect notwithstanding any bankruptcy, reorganization, or other insolvency proceedings with respect to the energy utility.
The interest of an assignee or pledgee in environmental control property specified in a financing order issued to an energy utility, and in the revenue and collections arising from that property, are not subject to setoff, counterclaim, surcharge, or defense by the energy utility or any other person or in connection with the bankruptcy of the energy utility or any other entity.
Any successor to an energy utility, whether pursuant to any bankruptcy, reorganization, or other insolvency proceeding, or pursuant to any merger or acquisition, sale, or transfer by operation of law, as a result of energy utility restructuring or otherwise, shall perform and satisfy all obligations of, and have the same rights under a financing order as, the energy utility under the financing order in the same manner and to the same extent as the energy utility including collecting and paying to the person entitled to receive them revenues with respect to the environmental control property.
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the creation, perfection, and enforcement of security interests in environmental control property to secure environmental trust bonds are governed by ch. 409
. Notwithstanding ch. 409
, with regard to creating, perfecting, and enforcing a valid security interest in environmental control property to secure environmental trust bonds, all of the following apply:
The description of environmental control property in a security agreement is sufficient if the description refers to this section and the financing order creating the environmental control property.
A security interest is created, valid, binding, and perfected at the time a security agreement is made and attaches without any physical delivery of collateral or other act, and the lien of such security interest shall be valid, binding, and perfected against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract, or otherwise against the person granting the security interest, regardless of whether such parties have notice of the lien. The filing or recording of a financial statement or instrument in which such a security interest is created is not required.
A security interest in environmental control property is a continuously perfected security interest and has priority over any other lien created by operation of law or otherwise, which subsequently attaches to the environmental control property.
The priority of a security interest created under this paragraph is not affected by the commingling of proceeds arising from environmental control property with other amounts.
Any changes that the commission makes to a financing order that creates the environmental control property does not affect the validity, perfection, or priority of a security interest in the environmental control property.
The sale, assignment, and transfer of environmental control property are governed by this paragraph. All of the following apply to a sale, assignment, or transfer under this paragraph:
The sale, assignment, or transfer is an absolute transfer of, and not a pledge of or secured transaction relating to, the seller's right, title, and interest in, to, and under the environmental control property, if the documents governing the transaction expressly state that the transaction is a sale or other absolute transfer. After such a transaction, the environmental control property is not subject to any claims of the seller or the seller's creditors, other than creditors holding a prior security interest in the environmental control property perfected under par. (b)
The characterization of the sale, assignment, or transfer as an absolute transfer under subd. 1.
and the corresponding characterization of the purchaser's property interest is not affected by any of the following factors:
Commingling of amounts arising with respect to the environmental control property with other amounts.
The retention by the seller of a partial or residual interest, including an equity interest, in the environmental control property, whether direct or indirect, or whether subordinate or otherwise.
Any indemnifications, obligations, or repurchase rights made or provided by the seller.
The responsibility of the seller to collect environmental control charges.
The treatment of the sale, assignment, or transfer for tax, financial reporting, or other purposes.
(6) Environmental trust bonds not public debt.
The state is not liable on environmental trust bonds and the bonds are not a debt of the state. An issue of environmental trust bonds does not, directly or indirectly or contingently, obligate the state or a political subdivision of the state to levy any tax or make any appropriation for payment of the bonds.
(7) Environmental trust bonds as legal investments.
Any of the following may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys, or other funds belonging to them or under their control in environmental trust bonds:
The state, the investment board, municipal corporations, political subdivisions, public bodies, and public officers except for members of the public service commission.
Banks and bankers, savings and loan associations, credit unions, trust companies, savings banks and institutions, investment companies, insurance companies, insurance associations, and other persons carrying on a banking or insurance business.
Personal representatives, guardians, trustees, and other fiduciaries.
In this subsection, "bondholder" means a person who holds an environmental trust bond.
The state pledges to and agrees with bondholders that the state will not do any of the following:
Take or permit any action that impairs the value of environmental control property.
Except as allowed under this section, reduce, alter, or impair environmental control charges that are imposed, collected, and remitted for the benefit of the bondholders until any principal, interest, premium, or other charge incurred, or contract to be performed, in connection with environmental trust bonds held by the bondholders are paid or performed in full.
Any person who issues environmental trust bonds is allowed to include the pledge specified in par. (b)
in the bonds and relating documentation.
In the event of conflict between this section and any other law regarding the attachment, assignment, or perfection, or the effect of perfection, or priority of any security interest in environmental control property, this section to the extent of the conflict shall govern.
(10) Effect of invalidity on actions.
Effective on the date that environmental trust bonds are first issued under this section, if any provision of this section is held to be invalid or is invalidated, superseded, replaced, repealed, or expires for any reason, that occurrence shall not affect any action allowed under this section that is taken by an energy utility, an assignee, a collection agent, or a party to a transaction and any such action shall remain in full force and effect.
History: 2003 a. 152
; 2011 a. 260
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:
The person owns land that is located in the city, village or town and in an area in which the municipal utility has an obligation to provide water for public fire protection.
Any public utility which is not a city, town or village and which supplies gas or electricity to its customers may not recover in rates set by the commission from any customer for any expenditure for costs in a proceeding before the commission which exceed 4 times the total amount assessed to the utility under s. 196.85 (1)
unless the object of the expenditure has been ordered by the commission. The commission, by rule, shall establish procedures whereby a public utility may recover its expenditures under this subsection.
In this subsection "facility" means nuclear-fired electric generating equipment and associated facilities subject to a loss of coolant accident in March 1979.
The commission may not authorize a utility furnishing electricity to recover in rates charged to consumers for the costs of repairing, maintaining or operating any facility owned by another public utility located outside of this state.
The commission may not authorize a utility furnishing electricity to recover in rates charged to consumers for insurance premiums that provide coverage for an accident at a facility in March 1979, if the coverage is first obtained on or after May 7, 1982.
No utility may otherwise pay directly or indirectly for the costs in pars. (b)
The commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for the commission, in setting rates for retail electric service, to reflect the assignment of costs and the treatment of revenues from sales to customers outside this state that the public utility does not have a duty to serve.
See also ch. PSC 117
, Wis. adm. code.
In determining a reasonably adequate telecommunications service or a reasonable and just charge for that telecommunications service, the commission shall consider at least the following factors in determining what is reasonable and just, reasonably adequate, convenient and necessary or in the public interest:
Impact on the quality of life for the public, including privacy considerations.
Promotion of economic development, including telecommunications infrastructure deployment.
Promotion of telecommunications services in geographical areas with diverse income or racial populations.
See also chs. PSC 113
, and 185
, Wis. adm. code.
A charge for fire protection services under sub. (3) is a fee not a tax; imposing the fee against a church is constitutional. City of River Falls v. St. Bridget's Catholic Church, 182 Wis. 2d 436
, 513 N.W.2d 673
(Ct. App. 1994).
This section and related administrative rules dictate contract terms between a regulated utility and its customers and do not create any duties independent of the utility service contract. A phone company's failure to include a subscriber in its directory did not result in tort liability. Recycle Worlds Consulting Corp. v. Wisconsin Bell, 224 Wis. 2d 586
, 592 N.W.2d 637
(Ct. App. 1999), 98-0752
A public utility has no duty to provide services to persons in the utility's area of undertaking requesting service who live in a mobile home park, are supplied with services by a vendor selected by the park operator that is not a public utility, and are not claiming that service is inadequate or rates unreasonable. An agreement between the park operator and the selected vendor is not void as against public policy. Northern States Power Co. v. National Gas Company, Inc. 2000 WI App 30
, 232 Wis. 2d 541
, 606 N.W.2d 613
Facilities granted other utilities; physical telecommunications connections; petition; investigation. 196.04(1)(a)2.
"Physical connection" means the number of trunk lines or complete circuits and connections, including connections by wire, optics, radio signal or other means, required to furnish reasonably adequate telecommunications service between telecommunications providers.
"Political subdivision" means any county, city, village, or town or public utility owned or operated by any county, city, village, or town.
"Transmission equipment and property" means any conduit, subway, pole, tower, transmission wire, or other equipment on, over, or under any right-of-way owned or controlled by a political subdivision, street, or highway.
Transmission equipment and property access. 196.04(1)(b)1.1.
Any person who owns transmission equipment and property shall permit, for reasonable compensation, the use of the transmission equipment and property, including an attachment to a pole, by any public utility, video service provider, or telecommunications provider if public convenience and necessity require such use and if the use will not result in irreparable injury to any owner or user of the transmission equipment and property or in any substantial detriment to the service to be rendered by the owner or user.
Every telecommunications utility shall permit physical connections to be made, and telecommunications service to be furnished, between any telecommunications system operated by it and the telecommunications toll line operated by another telecommunications provider, or between its toll line and the telecommunications system of another telecommunications provider, or between its toll line and the toll line of another telecommunications provider, or between its telecommunications system and the telecommunications system of another telecommunications provider if all of the following apply:
The connection will not result in irreparable injury to the owners or other users of the facilities of the public utility making the connection.
The connection will not result in any substantial detriment to the service to be rendered by a public utility making the connection.
If there is a failure to agree upon the use of transmission equipment and property under sub. (1)
or the conditions or compensation for the use, or if there is a failure to agree upon the physical connections or the terms and conditions upon which the physical connections shall be made, any public utility, video service provider, telecommunications provider, or other interested person may apply to the commission. If, after investigation, the commission determines that public convenience and necessity require the use of the transmission equipment and property or the physical connections and that the use or physical connections will not result in irreparable injury to the owner or other users of the transmission equipment and property or of the facilities of the public utility, video service provider, or telecommunications provider or in any substantial detriment to the service to be rendered by the owner or the public utility, video service provider, telecommunications provider, or other users of the transmission equipment and property or facilities, the commission, by order, shall direct that the use of the transmission equipment and property be permitted and that the physical connections be made. The commission shall prescribe reasonable conditions and compensation for the use of the transmission equipment and property and shall determine how and within what time the physical connections shall be made and by whom the expense of making and maintaining the physical connections shall be paid. An order under this subsection may be revised by the commission.
In this subsection, "sewerage system operator" means any of the following:
A town sanitary district commission that operates a sewerage system under 60.77 (4).
A public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district that exercises the powers of a town sanitary district under s. 33.22 (3)
and that operates a sewerage system under s. 60.77 (4)