196.09(6)(a)(a) If the commission establishes for any public utility, by certification or order, the percentages necessary for depreciation on fixed capital used for public utility purposes, the public utility shall credit to its depreciation reserve in each accounting period the amount required to provide for depreciation at the percentage established. If the public utility is a corporation, the corporation may not pay any dividend out of earnings for any fiscal period subsequent to the commission's certification or order, or carry any portion of its earnings to its surplus account, except out of earnings remaining after crediting its depreciation reserve in accordance with the rates established by the commission, except as provided under par. (b).
196.09(6)(b) (b) After application and hearing the commission, upon a finding that it is necessary in the public interest, may exempt a public utility from the duty of crediting to the depreciation reserve in any accounting period a greater amount than is possible without impairing its ability to pay dividends for the current calendar year. Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify the requirements of ss. 180.0623 and 180.0640.
196.09(7) (7) If a public utility desires to account for depreciation on a sinking fund basis and the commission determines that such basis of accounting for depreciation reasonably may be employed, the commission shall establish, under sub. (2), the composite rate to be applied to the aggregate fixed capital used for public utility purposes to determine the amount which shall be charged to operating expenses, and the interest rate applicable to the reserve balance at which additional credits to the reserve shall be computed. If a public utility accounts for depreciation on a sinking fund basis, the public utility shall:
196.09(7)(a) (a) Credit to the reserve the amount charged to operating expenses plus the amount obtained by applying the interest rate to the reserve balance.
196.09(7)(b) (b) Be subject to the same restrictions and regulations in its accounting for the entire amount to be credited to the depreciation reserve as are applicable to other public utilities which account for depreciation by other methods under this section.
196.09(8) (8) No public utility may charge to its depreciation reserve anything except losses on property actually retired from service.
196.09 Annotation An order establishing depreciation rates for a utility's nuclear plant did not require an environmental impact statement. Wisconsin Environmental Decade, Inc. v. PSC, 105 Wis. 2d 457, 313 N.W.2d 863 (Ct. App. 1981).
196.10 196.10 Construction; accounting. The commission shall keep itself informed of all new construction, extensions and additions to the property of public utilities, and shall prescribe the necessary forms, regulations and instructions for the keeping of construction accounts, which shall clearly distinguish all operating expenses from new construction.
196.10 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. PSC 113 and 134, Wis. adm. code.
196.11 196.11 Profit sharing and sliding scales.
196.11(1) (1) A public utility may enter into any reasonable arrangement with its consumers or employees, for the division or distribution of its surplus profits, or providing for a sliding scale of charges, or other financial device if the arrangement is:
196.11(1)(a) (a) Practicable and advantageous to the parties interested; and
196.11(1)(b) (b) Entered into by a public utility other than a telecommunications utility and found by the commission to be reasonable and just and consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
196.11(2) (2) Any arrangement under this section shall be under the supervision and regulation of the commission. The commission may order any rate, charge or regulation which the commission deems necessary to give effect to the arrangement. The commission may make any change in a rate, charge or regulation as the commission determines is necessary and reasonable and may revoke its approval and amend or rescind all orders relative to any arrangement. This subsection does not apply to telecommunications cooperatives, unincorporated telecommunications cooperative associations, or telecommunications utilities except as provided in s. 196.205.
196.11(3) (3) A telecommunications utility may enter into any reasonable arrangement with its consumers or employees, for the division or distribution of its surplus profits, or providing for a sliding scale of charges or other financial device, if the arrangement is practical and advantageous to the parties interested.
196.12 196.12 Report by public utilities; items.
196.12(1) (1) Each public utility shall furnish to the commission, in the form and at the time the commission requires, accounts, reports or other information which shows in itemized detail:
196.12(1)(a) (a) Depreciation.
196.12(1)(b) (b) Salaries and wages.
196.12(1)(c) (c) Legal expenses.
196.12(1)(d) (d) Taxes and rentals.
196.12(1)(e) (e) The quantity and value of material used.
196.12(1)(f) (f) Receipts from residuals, by-products, services or other sales.
196.12(1)(g) (g) Total and net cost.
196.12(1)(h) (h) Gross and net profit.
196.12(1)(i) (i) Dividends and interest.
196.12(1)(j) (j) Surplus or reserve.
196.12(1)(k) (k) Prices paid by consumers.
196.12(1)(L) (L) Any other information whether or not similar to the information under pars. (a) to (k).
196.12(2) (2) No public utility operated by a city, village or town having a population of less than 5,000 shall be required to report under this section except as to earnings, operating expenses, including depreciation and maintenance, cost of renewals, extensions and improvements to the property and the nature and amount of service furnished in such detail as the commission deems necessary, except that if the commission conducts any investigation of the public utility upon formal complaint, the commission may require the detailed reports required under sub. (1).
196.12 History History: 1983 a. 53; 1993 a. 246.
196.12 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. PSC 113, 134, and 185, Wis. adm. code.
196.13 196.13 Commission's report.
196.13(1)(1) The commission shall publish biennial reports showing its proceedings together with any financial or other data which concerns and is appropriate for all public utilities and may publish any other report related to public utilities.
196.13(2) (2) The commission shall publish in its reports the value of all the property actually used and useful for the convenience of the public of a public utility if the commission has held a hearing on the public utility's rates, charges, service or regulations or if the commission has otherwise determined the value of the public utility's property.
196.13 History History: 1983 a. 53; 1993 a. 496; 2011 a. 22.
196.135 196.135 Confidential handling of records.
196.135(1) (1) Definition. In this section, "record" has the meaning given in s. 19.32 (2).
196.135(2) (2)Rules. The commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for the confidential handling of records filed with the commission.
196.135(3) (3)Notice. If the commission decides to allow public access under s. 19.35 to a record filed with the commission, the commission shall, before allowing access and within 3 working days after making the decision to allow access, serve written notice of that decision by certified mail or personal service on the person who filed the record, if any of the following applies:
196.135(3)(a) (a) The commission granted the record confidential handling status under the rules promulgated under sub. (2).
196.135(3)(b) (b) The person who filed the record requested confidential handling status under the rules promulgated under sub. (2) and the commission has not yet acted on the request.
196.135(3)(c) (c) The commission denied a request for confidential handling under the rules promulgated under sub. (2); the person whose request was denied filed a petition for review of the commission's decision to deny the request; and the petition is pending before a court.
196.135(4) (4)Limit on access; right of action.
196.135(4)(a)(a) The commission shall not provide access to a record that is the subject of a notice under sub. (3) within 12 days of the date of service of the notice.
196.135(4)(b) (b) A person who is entitled to a notice under sub. (3) may bring an action for judicial review of a decision by the commission to allow public access under s. 19.35 to a record. Section 19.356 (3) to (8) applies to such an action, except that "record subject" means the person who is entitled to notice under sub. (3), "authority" means the commission, "notice under s. 19.356 (2) (a)" means the notice under sub. (3), and "action commenced under s. 19.356 (4)" means the action under this paragraph.
196.135 History History: 2003 a. 47.
196.135 Note NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 47, which creates this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
196.137 196.137 Municipal utility customer information.
196.137(1)(1) Definitions. In this section:
196.137(1)(a) (a) "Customer information" means any information received from customers which serves to identify customers individually by usage or account status.
196.137(1)(b) (b) "Municipal utility" has the meaning given in s. 196.377 (2) (a) 3.
196.137(2) (2)Prohibition. A municipal utility may not release customer information to any person except with the consent of the customer obtained on a form specified under sub. (4), or except to any of the following:
196.137(2)(a) (a) Agents, vendors, partners, or affiliates of the municipal utility that are engaged to perform any services or functions for or on behalf of the municipal utility.
196.137(2)(ae) (ae) In connection with an issue of municipal securities and to the extent the municipal utility determines release is necessary to comply with securities disclosure obligations, a lender or a purchaser, or potential purchaser, of or investor, or potential investor, in municipal securities.
196.137(2)(am) (am) In connection with the preparation of real estate closing documents, a title agent, insurer, lender, mortgage broker, or attorney providing legal services.
196.137(2)(ap) (ap) In connection with a real estate transaction or appraisal of real property, a real estate broker or salesperson licensed under ch. 452 or an appraiser certified or licensed under ch. 458.
196.137(2)(as) (as) In connection with the foreclosure of real property, a lender or prospective purchaser.
196.137(2)(b) (b) Transmission and distribution utilities and operators within whose geographic service territory the customer is located.
196.137(2)(c) (c) The commission or any person whom the commission authorizes by order or rule to receive the customer information.
196.137(2)(cm) (cm) An owner of a rental dwelling unit to whom the municipal utility provides notice of past-due charges pursuant to s. 66.0809 (5).
196.137(2)(cr) (cr) An owner of real property provided with municipal utility service or the owner's designated agent or representative.
196.137(2)(d) (d) Any person who is otherwise authorized by law to receive the customer information.
196.137(3) (3)Public record exception. Customer information is not subject to inspection or copying under s. 19.35.
196.137(4) (4)Consent form. No later than April 1, 2014, the commission shall specify a form for a municipal utility to obtain a customer's consent to the release of customer information.
196.137(5) (5)Customer postcards. A municipal utility that sends a billing statement to a customer on a postcard does not violate the prohibition under sub. (2).
196.137 History History: 2013 a. 25, 47, 134.
196.14 196.14 Public record exception. The commission may withhold from public inspection any information which would aid a competitor of a public utility in competition with the public utility.
196.14 History History: 1983 a. 53; 1985 a. 236, 297.
196.14 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 19.36 for other public record exceptions.
196.15 196.15 Units of product or service. The commission shall prescribe for each kind of public utility, other than a telecommunications utility, suitable and convenient standard commercial units of product or service.
196.15 History History: 1993 a. 496.
196.15 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. PSC 113, 134, and 185, Wis. adm. code.
196.16 196.16 Standard measurements; accurate appliances.
196.16(1)(1) The commission shall fix adequate and serviceable standards for the measurement of quality, pressure, initial voltage or other condition pertaining to the supply of the product or service rendered by a public utility. The commission shall prescribe reasonable regulations for measurement, examination and testing of the product or service.
196.16(2) (2) The commission shall establish reasonable rules, regulations, specifications and standards to secure the accuracy of all meters and appliances for measurement of public utility service.
196.16(3) (3) This section does not limit any power of a municipal governing body under s. 196.58.
196.16 History History: 1983 a. 53; 1997 a. 254.
196.16 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. PSC 113, 134, and 185, Wis. adm. code.
196.17 196.17 Tests of meters; fees.
196.17(1) (1) The commission shall provide for the examination and testing of every appliance used for measuring any product or service of a public utility.
196.17(2) (2) Any consumer may have an appliance tested under this section upon payment of a fee fixed by the commission.
196.17(3) (3) The commission shall establish a reasonable fee to be paid for testing appliances under this section if a consumer requests the test. The fee shall be paid by the consumer at the time of his or her request, but shall be repaid to the consumer if the appliance is found to be defective or incorrect to the disadvantage of the consumer.
196.17(4) (4) The commission may purchase materials, apparatus and standard measuring instruments for examinations and tests under this section.
196.17 History History: 1983 a. 53.
196.17 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. PSC 113, 134, and 185, Wis. adm. code.
196.171 196.171 Examination of meters, pipes, fittings, wires and works; entering buildings for.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Sept. 3, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Sept. 3, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 9-3-14)