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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.
196.171(1) (1) Any officer or agent of any public utility furnishing or transmitting water, gas or electric current to the public or for public purposes may enter, at any reasonable time, any place supplied with gas, electricity or water by the public utility, for the purpose of inspecting, examining, repairing, installing or removing the meters, pipes, fittings, wires and works for supplying or regulating the supply of gas, electricity or water and for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity of gas, electricity or water supplied.
196.171(2) (2) No officer or agent of a public utility may enter any premises under this section unless the officer or agent:
196.171(2)(a) (a) Was duly appointed by the public utility for the purpose of acting under this section.
196.171(2)(b) (b) Exhibits written authority signed by the president, by a vice president and secretary, or by a vice president and assistant secretary of the public utility. The authority of any officer or agent of a municipally owned public utility shall be signed by the commissioner of public works or by any other official in charge of the public utility.
196.171(3) (3) Any person who directly or indirectly prevents or hinders any officer or agent from entering a premises, or from making an inspection, examination, removal or installation under this section shall be fined not more than $25 for each offense.
196.171 History History: 1983 a. 53.
196.171 Cross-reference Cross Reference: See also ss. PSC 113.0611, 134.15, and 185.41, Wis. adm. code.
196.175 196.175 Construction and occupancy standards. The commission may not establish or enforce construction or occupancy standards applicable to any public building, as defined in s. 101.01 (12), dwelling, as defined in s. 101.71 (2) or any occupancy standard applicable to any place of employment as defined in s. 101.01 (11).
196.175 History History: 1979 c. 34; 1983 a. 189 s. 329 (4); 1995 a. 27.
196.18 196.18 Entry upon premises. The commission, its agents, experts or examiners may enter any premises occupied by a public utility to make any examination or test under this chapter and may set up and use on the premises any apparatus or appliance and occupy reasonable space for the examination or test.
196.18 History History: 1983 a. 53.
196.19 196.19 Publish schedules; regulations; files; joint rates.
196.19(1)(1) Each public utility shall file with the commission schedules showing all rates, tolls and charges which it has established and which are in force at the time for any service performed by it within the state, or for any service in connection therewith or performed by any public utility controlled or operated by it. The rates, tolls and charges shown on such schedules may not be changed except as provided under this chapter.
196.19(1m) (1m)
196.19(1m)(a)(a) In this subsection, "new telecommunications service" means services that are not offered by the telecommunications utility before January 1, 1994, and alternative rate structures offered after December 31, 1993, for any telecommunications service that is offered before January 1, 1994, if the rate structure effective before January 1, 1994, continues to be available to new and existing customers. "New telecommunications service" includes additional functions and features on, and technological alternatives to, any telecommunications service offered before January 1, 1994.
196.19(1m)(b) (b) A telecommunications utility may not offer a new telecommunications service to the public without first filing a tariff for that offering with the commission. A proposed tariff offering a new telecommunications service shall be effective on the date specified in the tariff, unless the commission, either upon complaint or upon its own motion, suspends the operation of the new tariff by serving written notice of the suspension on the telecommunications utility within 10 days after the date of filing. The notice shall include a statement of the reason under par. (c) upon which the commission believes the tariff may be modified.
196.19(1m)(c) (c) The commission may modify a tariff under par. (b) if the commission finds, after an opportunity for a hearing, that the new telecommunications service violates s. 196.204, 196.209 or 196.219 or is otherwise adverse to the quality of basic local exchange service, business access line and usage service within a local calling area or access service.
196.19(1m)(d) (d) If the commission does not conduct a hearing under this subsection, the commission shall issue its final order within 60 days after issuing the notice of suspension. If the commission conducts a hearing, the commission shall issue its final order within 120 days after issuing the notice of suspension. If a final order is not issued within the time limits specified in this paragraph, the tariff becomes effective as filed.
196.19(2) (2) Every public utility shall file with and as a part of such schedule all rules and regulations that, in the judgment of the commission, in any manner affect the service or product, or the rates charged or to be charged for any service or product, as well as any contracts, agreements or arrangements relating to the service or product or the rates to be charged for any service or product to which the schedule is applicable as the commission may by general or special order direct.
196.19(3) (3) A copy of as much of the schedules filed under sub. (1) as the commission determines necessary for the use of the public shall be printed in plain type, and kept on file in every public utility station or office where payments are made by consumers in a form and place readily accessible to the public.
196.19(4) (4) If a schedule of joint rates or charges is in force between public utilities, the schedule shall be printed and filed with the commission under sub. (1). The commission shall determine the portion of the schedule necessary for the use of the public. The public utilities shall file the portion of the schedule under sub. (3).
196.19(5) (5) If telecommunications utilities are furnishing joint telecommunications service to the public, or are required to furnish the service, and refuse or neglect to establish joint tolls, the commission, after notice and a public hearing, may establish by order the joint tolls. If the utilities fail to agree upon the apportionment of the joint tolls within 20 days after service of the order, the commission, upon a like hearing, may issue a supplemental order determining the apportionment of such joint tolls. The supplemental order shall take effect as part of the original order.
196.19(6) (6) The commission may prescribe the form in which any schedule is issued under this section by any public utility.
196.19 History History: 1983 a. 53 ss. 28, 35; 1985 a. 297; 1993 a. 496; 1999 a. 9.
196.19 Cross-reference Cross Reference: See also chs. PSC 113, 134, and 185, Wis. adm. code.
196.192 196.192 Market-based compensation, rates and contracts.
196.192(1)(1) In this section, "electric public utility" means a public utility whose purpose is the generation, distribution and sale of electric energy.
196.192(2) (2) No later than March 1, 2000, each investor-owned electric public utility shall do each of the following:
196.192(2)(a) (a) File with the commission rates that result in customers receiving market-based compensation for voluntary interruptions of firm load during peak periods of electric use.
196.192(2)(b) (b) File with the commission market-based pricing options and options for individual contracts that allow a retail customer, through service from its existing public utility, to receive market benefits and take market risks for the customer's purchases of capacity or energy.
196.192(3) (3)
196.192(3)(a)(a) The commission shall approve market-based rates that are consistent with the options specified in sub. (2), except that the commission may not approve a market-based rate unless the commission determines that the rate will not harm shareholders of the investor-owned electric public utility or customers who are not subject to the rate.
196.192(3)(b) (b) Nothing in s. 196.20, 196.21, 196.22, 196.37, 196.60 or 196.604 prohibits the commission from approving a filing under sub. (2) or approving market-based rates under par. (a).
196.192(4) (4) Subject to any approval of the commission that is necessary, an electric public utility that is not an investor-owned electric public utility may implement market-based rates approved under sub. (3) (a) or implement the options in filings under sub. (2) that are approved by the commission.
196.192 History History: 1999 a 9.
196.193 196.193 Water and sewer rate increases without hearings.
196.193(1)(1)When permitted. The commission may grant a rate increase to a municipally owned water or a municipally owned combined water and sewer public utility without a hearing if all of the following conditions are met:
196.193(1)(a) (a) The revenue increase is calculated by multiplying the utility's prior year's revenues from sales of utility service by the rate increase factor under sub. (2).
196.193(1)(b) (b) The revenue increase under par. (a), combined with the prior year's net operating income, either results in an overall rate of return that does not exceed the rate of return determined by the commission under sub. (3) or results in an amount that does not exceed 6% of the utility's prior year's total operation and maintenance expenses.
196.193(1)(c) (c) The utility will increase its rates for general service, wholesale service and public fire protection uniformly for all utility customers by the rate increase factor determined by the commission under sub. (2), unless the commission determines that the utility has good cause for not meeting the condition under this paragraph.
196.193(1)(d) (d) The effective date of the rate increase is not less than 12 months from the effective date of an increase previously filed under this section nor less than 45 days from the date on which the application was filed.
196.193(1)(e) (e) If the utility's rates in effect prior to the rate increase under this section were authorized pursuant to a hearing under s. 196.20, the rates have been in effect for a calendar year.
196.193(1)(f) (f) The commission has not rejected the application for good cause.
196.193(1)(g) (g) If the utility has 4,000 or more customers, the effective date of the rate increase is not more than 5 years from the effective date of an increase authorized pursuant to a hearing under s. 196.20.
196.193(1)(h) (h) If the utility has less than 4,000 customers, the total of all prior rate increases granted since the last hearing under s. 196.20 does not result in rates that are more than 40% higher than the base rates previously authorized by a hearing under s. 196.20.
196.193(2) (2)Determination of the rate increase factor. Not later than March 1 annually, the commission shall set an increase factor to apply to rates of municipally owned water public utilities or municipally owned combined water and sewer public utilities. The factor shall be equal to the U.S. consumer price index for all urban consumers, U.S. city average, for the previous year; however, the factor may not be less than 3% nor more than 10%. The rate increase factor need not be defined by rule.
196.193(3) (3)Determination of an overall rate of return. Not later than March 1 annually, the commission shall set the overall rate of return to be applicable to municipally owned water public utilities or municipally owned combined water and sewer public utilities for rate increases under this section. The overall rate of return shall be equal to the simple average, rounded to the nearest tenth of 1%, of the interest rates listed for state and local bonds in the Federal Reserve Statistical Release H.15 (519) published by the federal reserve board, for the last quarter of the prior year, plus 2%. The overall rate of return need not be defined by rule.
196.193(4) (4)Notice requirements. A utility seeking an increase in rates under this section shall notify all customers, upon a form approved by the commission, by newspaper publication or by mail. The utility shall include a copy of the issued notice in its filing of an application under this section. The notice shall include all of the following:
196.193(4)(a) (a) The anticipated date of filing of the rate increase application and the anticipated effective date of the rate increase.
196.193(4)(b) (b) The impact on customer bills resulting from the rate increase calculated for at least 5 different usage levels, including an average residential usage level.
196.193(4)(c) (c) A statement that the increase is being proposed under this section and that no hearing is required.
196.193(4)(d) (d) Other information required by the commission to be included in a notice under this subsection.
196.193 History History: 1995 a. 363.
196.194 196.194 Public utility individual contracts.
196.194(1) (1)Telecommunications utilities. Except as provided in this subsection, nothing in this chapter prohibits the commission from approving the filing of a tariff which permits a telecommunications utility to enter into an individual contract with an individual customer if substitute telecommunications services are available to customers or potential customers of the telecommunications utility and the absence of such a tariff will cause the telecommunications utility to be disadvantaged in competing for business. A tariff filed under this subsection shall include the condition that any such contract shall be compensatory as determined under s. 196.204 (5) and (6). The tariff shall include any other condition and procedure required by the commission in the public interest. Within 20 days after a contract authorized under this subsection or an amendment to such a contract has been executed, the telecommunications utility shall submit to the commission written notice of the general nature of the contract and the parties to the contract. Upon request, the commission shall inform a person, or direct that the person be informed, that notice has been received by the commission of execution of a contract under this subsection. Within 6 months after receiving substantial evidence that a contract may be noncompensatory, or upon its own motion, the commission shall investigate and determine whether the contract is compensatory. If the commission determines that the contract is noncompensatory, the commission may make appropriate adjustments in the rates or tariffs of the telecommunications utility that has entered into the contract, in addition to other remedies under this chapter. The dollar amount of the adjustment may not be less than the amount by which the contract was found to be noncompensatory.
196.194(2) (2)Gas utilities. Nothing in ss. 196.03, 196.19, 196.20, 196.21, 196.22, 196.37, 196.60, 196.604 and 196.625 prohibits the commission from approving the filing of a tariff which permits a gas utility to enter into an individual contract with an individual customer if the term of the contract is no more than 5 years, or a longer period approved by the commission, and if the commission determines that substitute gas services are available to customers or potential customers of the gas utility and the absence of such a tariff will cause the gas utility to be disadvantaged in competing for business. A tariff filed under this subsection shall include the condition that any such contract shall be compensatory. The tariff shall include any other condition and procedure required by the commission in the public interest. Within 20 days after a contract authorized under this subsection or an amendment to such a contract has been executed, the gas utility shall submit the contract to the commission. The commission shall give notice to any person, upon request, that a contract authorized under this subsection has been received by the commission. The notice shall identify the gas utility that has entered into the contract. Within 6 months after receiving substantial evidence that a contract may be noncompensatory, or upon its own motion, the commission shall investigate and determine whether the contract is compensatory. If the commission determines that the contract is noncompensatory, the commission may make appropriate adjustments in the rates or tariffs of the gas utility that has entered into the contract, in addition to other remedies under this chapter. The dollar amount of the adjustment may not be less than the amount by which the contract was found to be noncompensatory.
196.194 History History: 1985 a. 297; 1993 a. 211, 496; 1995 a. 317; 1997 a. 90.
196.194 Annotation This section protects ratepayers, not competitors. MCI Telecommunications v. PSC, 164 Wis. 2d 489, 476 N.W.2d 575 (Ct. App. 1991).
196.195 196.195 Partial deregulation of competitive telecommunications services.
196.195(1) (1)Regulation imposed. Except as provided in this section and ss. 196.202, 196.203, 196.215 and 196.219, a telecommunications utility is subject to every applicable provision of this chapter and ch. 201.
196.195(2) (2)Hearing on partial deregulation.
196.195(2)(a)(a) Except as provided under par. (b), in response to a petition from any interested person or upon its own motion, the commission may hold a hearing to determine whether effective competition exists in a market for a telecommunications service which competition justifies a lesser degree of regulation by suspending the application of one or more provisions of law under sub. (5) and whether competition under a lesser degree of regulation in that market will serve the public interest. In making this determination, the commission shall consider factors including:
196.195(2)(a)1. 1. The number and size of telecommunications utilities or other persons providing the same, equivalent or substitutable service in the relevant market.
196.195(2)(a)2. 2. The extent to which the same, equivalent or substitutable service is available in the relevant market.
196.195(2)(a)3. 3. The ability of customers in the relevant market to obtain the same, equivalent or substitutable services at comparable rates, terms and conditions.
196.195(2)(a)4. 4. The ability of telecommunications utilities or other persons to make the same, equivalent or substitutable service readily available in the relevant market at comparable rates, terms and conditions.
196.195(2)(a)5. 5. The relevant market power of each telecommunications utility or other person providing the same, equivalent or substitutable service in the relevant market and any apparent trends in how the market power of each telecommunications utility may change in the future.
196.195(2)(a)6. 6. Any affiliation of any telecommunications utility providing the service in the relevant market which may affect competition.
196.195(2)(a)7. 7. The existence of any significant barrier to the entry or exit of a provider of the service in the relevant market.
196.195(2)(b) (b) If the commission suspends the application of any provision of law for any telecommunications utility, the commission, upon its own motion or in response to a petition from any interested person, may waive the hearing required under par. (a), with notice to all known interested parties, for any similarly situated telecommunications utility which is providing the same, equivalent or substitutable service in the same market and which requests a waiver of the same provision of law for the service, if the waiver is in the public interest.
196.195(3) (3)Levels of regulation. If after the proceeding under sub. (2) the commission has determined that effective competition exists in a market for a telecommunications service that justifies lesser regulation, the commission shall establish the level of regulation for telecommunications utilities providing the service in that market as follows:
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