PSC 113.0504 PSC 113.0504Change in type of service.
PSC 113.0504(1)(1)If a change in type of service, such as from 25 to 60 Hertz, or a change in voltage to a customer's substation, is effected at the insistence of the utility and not solely by reason of increase in the customer's load or change in the character thereof, the utility shall share equitably in the cost of changing the equipment of the customers affected as determined by the commission in the absence of agreement between utility and customer.
PSC 113.0504 Note Note: The change in customer's equipment should be made with the greatest possible economy to the customer and final settlement made at the time of the change. Substantially the following basis was prescribed by the commission in Jackman v. Janesville Electric Co., 17 W.R.C.R. 356 and has been customarily adopted as the basis for settlement:
PSC 113.0504 Note Payment by the utility to the customer of:
PSC 113.0504 Note 1. The remaining value of the customer's electrical equipment which is made obsolete;
PSC 113.0504 Note 2. The cost of making the resulting necessary change in interior wiring; and
PSC 113.0504 Note 3. The cost of installing the new equipment and removing the old, less the salvage value of such equipment as the customer retains.
PSC 113.0504(2) (2)If a utility changes its standard voltage it shall notify customers in advance and if customer equipment other than lamps must be changed, an adjustment as required in sub. (1) hereof shall be made. If tests of a representative sample of customers' meters indicate that meters have started to creep because of the voltage increase or if the tests of the representative sample show that meters average more than 0.5% fast, meters affected by the change in voltage shall be tested and adjusted.
PSC 113.0504 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0505 PSC 113.0505Low-income service requirements.
PSC 113.0505(1)(1)A utility shall maintain and deliver services that ensure safe, affordable, reliable service and attempt to mitigate and prevent energy hardships before they arise. The utility shall strive to meet the following five goals: to serve the target population of customers with actual or potential energy hardships, to provide customers with the assistance they need, to educate internal utility staff so that they understand low-income households and are aware of services offered by the utility and outside resources, to adapt and improve and to establish and maintain inter-utility coordination. The utility shall maintain sufficient data on its performance with regard to the goals and parameters of this section in a manner satisfactory to the commission. Effectiveness in meeting the service requirements shall be monitored and measured against the following parameters:
PSC 113.0505(1)(a) (a) A description of the utility's low-income/at-risk customer services including the mission/vision/goals and organizational staffing structure. The report shall include the organizational staffing structure, name, telephone number, location, position description and training of representatives who staff the services for low-income/at-risk customers.
PSC 113.0505(2) (2)Any information received from individual customers which serves to identify them individually, by usage or status, shall not be released by a utility to any source other than a utility low-income assistance program or the customer, without the customer's consent. In preparing summaries or reports, a utility shall not provide any information from which the identity, usage, or account status of any individual customer can be ascertained.
PSC 113.0505 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0506 PSC 113.0506Stray voltage service fees.
PSC 113.0506(1)(1)All investor-owned electric utilities which have annual gross operating revenues related to electricity of less than $100,000,000 and all electric cooperatives with retail customers organized under ch. 185, Stats., will be assessed a service fee of $500 per investigation under the scope of the stray voltage program.
PSC 113.0506(2) (2)All investor-owned electric utilities which have annual gross operating revenues related to electricity of more than $100,000,000 shall be assessed according to s. 196.857 (1m), Stats.
PSC 113.0506(3) (3)Electric cooperatives with retail customers organized under ch. 185, Stats., will be assessed a total of $50,000 annually. Each electric cooperative shall provide an equal portion for this assessment. The amounts received under this paragraph shall be credited to the appropriation made in s. 20.155 (1) (L), Stats., and credited against the assessment collected under s. 196.857 (1m) (a), Stats. The cooperatives shall pay the total amount that is assessed within 30 days after it receives a bill for that amount from the commission. The bill constitutes notice of assessment and demand of payment.
PSC 113.0506(4) (4)Each applicant for stray voltage program services may be assessed a fee not to exceed $300.
PSC 113.0506(5) (5)Reasonable fees, based on actual costs, may be assessed for services rendered other than those for the on-farm site-related fees in subs. (1) and (4). The fees collected in this paragraph shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.155 (1) (L), Stats.
PSC 113.0506 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0507 PSC 113.0507Unconscionability.
PSC 113.0507(1)(1)If the commission finds that any conduct or aspect of a transaction directed against a customer by a utility is unconscionable, it may refuse to enforce any unconscionable aspect or conduct to avoid any unconscionable result.
PSC 113.0507(2) (2)Without limiting the scope of sub. (1), the commission may consider, among other things, the following as pertinent to the issue of unconscionability:
PSC 113.0507(2)(a) (a) That the practice unfairly takes advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience or capacity of customers.
PSC 113.0507(2)(b) (b) That those engaging in the practice know of the inability of customers to receive benefits properly anticipated from the goods or services involved.
PSC 113.0507(2)(c) (c) That there exists a gross disparity between the price of goods or services and their value as measured by the price at which similar goods or services are readily obtainable by other customers, or by other tests of true value.
PSC 113.0507(2)(d) (d) That the practice may enable merchants to take advantage of the inability of customers to reasonably protect their interests by reason of physical or mental infirmities, illiteracy or inability to understand the language of the agreement, ignorance or lack of education or similar factors.
PSC 113.0507(2)(e) (e) That the terms of the transaction require customers to waive legal rights.
PSC 113.0507(2)(f) (f) That the terms of the transaction require customers to unreasonably jeopardize money or property beyond the money or property immediately at issue in the transaction.
PSC 113.0507(2)(g) (g) That the natural effect of the practice would reasonably cause or aid in causing customers to misunderstand the true nature of the transaction or their rights and duties thereunder.
PSC 113.0507(2)(h) (h) That the writing purporting to evidence the obligation of the customer in the transaction contains terms or provisions or authorizes practices prohibited by law.
PSC 113.0507 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0508 PSC 113.0508Oppressive and deceptive practices prohibited. A utility shall not engage in any oppressive or deceptive practices. It shall not do any of the following:
PSC 113.0508(1) (1)Use or threaten force or violence to cause physical harm to the person, dependents, or property of the ratepayer.
PSC 113.0508(2) (2)Threaten criminal prosecution without merit or authority.
PSC 113.0508(3) (3)Initiate or threaten to initiate communications with the ratepayer's employer except as permitted by statute.
PSC 113.0508(4) (4)Engage in any conduct which can reasonably be expected to threaten or harass a ratepayer.
PSC 113.0508(5) (5)Claim or attempt to claim to enforce a right, with knowledge or reason to know that the right does not exist.
PSC 113.0508(6) (6)Use obscene, threatening, or abusive language in communicating with a ratepayer or a person related to a ratepayer.
PSC 113.0508 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0509 PSC 113.0509Landowner easements.
PSC 113.0509(1)(1)When approaching a landowner in the course of negotiating new easements or renegotiating existing easements, the utility shall provide the landowner with materials approved or prepared by the commission describing the landowner's rights and options in the easement negotiation process. The landowner shall have, unless voluntarily waived by the landowner, a minimum period of five days to examine these materials before signing any new or revised easement agreement.
PSC 113.0509(2) (2)High-voltage transmission line easements shall describe the interest transferred by specifying, in addition to the length and width of the right-of-way, the number, type and maximum height of all structures to be erected thereon, the minimum height of the transmission lines above the landscape and the number and maximum voltage of the lines to be constructed and operated thereon, as required by s. 182.017 (7), Stats.
PSC 113.0509 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0510 PSC 113.0510Tree trimming contacts. When trimming trees and other vegetation in electric line right-of-way maintenance, the utility shall make a reasonable attempt to contact the landowner a minimum of twenty-four hours prior to beginning of work on the landowner's property. This contact may take the form of a written notice delivered to the landowner's residence, a telephone call to the landowner, or an in-person contact. Reasonable effort shall be made by the utility to accommodate a landowner's desire to be present when work is done on his or her property. Emergency repairs are exempted from this notification requirement.
PSC 113.0510 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0511 PSC 113.0511Oak tree cutting and pruning.
PSC 113.0511(1)(1)In urban/residential areas: From April 15 through July 1 of each year, no pruning or cutting of oak trees is permitted except in emergencies. Herbicide treatment of stumps to prevent sprouting may substitute for the painting of stumps. If a tree is dead at the time of cutting, no treatment is necessary.
PSC 113.0511(2) (2)An urban/residential site is any site within incorporated village or city boundaries or any site in direct association with permanent or seasonal residences and dwellings. Residential sites include developed lawn areas and other intensively landscaped areas such as business and industrial properties, parks and golf courses. Residential sites include areas where the vegetation is intensively managed and typically involve yard and street trees of high landscape and ornamental value.
PSC 113.0511(3) (3)In rural areas: From April 15 through July 1 of each year, pruning paint must be applied to all final cuts on oak trees immediately after cutting. Herbicide treatment of stumps to prevent sprouting may substitute for the painting of stumps. If a tree is dead at the time of cutting, no treatment is necessary.
PSC 113.0511(4) (4)A rural site is any site not in direct association with a permanent or seasonal residence. Rural sites include sites in areas of agricultural and forest land use. Rural sites are not intensively developed and typically include areas occupied by native vegetation cover types and are stocked with naturally-occurring plants.
PSC 113.0511(5) (5)Emergency pruning or removal of oaks within the April 15 to July 1 time period is permitted to maintain necessary levels of safety, service and reliability. Some situations where emergency tree pruning and removal may be necessary include:
PSC 113.0511(5)(a) (a) Storm-related damage to electrical facilities and/or adjacent trees has caused or could cause a power outage.
PSC 113.0511(5)(b) (b) Bringing electrical service into a new residence or business.
PSC 113.0511(5)(c) (c) Moving electrical facilities to accommodate road, pipeline, or building construction.
PSC 113.0511(5)(d) (d) Rebuilding or upgrading distribution facilities.
PSC 113.0511(6) (6)Counties where oak wilt has not been confirmed are exempted from these oak tree cutting and pruning restrictions. The commission shall annually provide the utilities with a list of exempted counties.
PSC 113.0511 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0512 PSC 113.0512Identification of potential power line natural hazards.
PSC 113.0512(1)(1)Identification of potential power line natural hazards. Utilities shall conduct a program of identification of potential power line natural hazards in accordance with training approved by the commission.
PSC 113.0512(2) (2) Inspection to identify potential power line natural hazards.
PSC 113.0512(2)(a)(a) Inspection. The utilities shall conduct inspections of its operations, including its transmission and distribution lines and facility rights-of-way, every 3 to 8 years and within 60 days of an order for inspection issued by the commission.
PSC 113.0512(2)(b) (b) Request for inspection. Any person, organization or agency may request the utility to make an inspection for potential power line natural hazards and the commission on its own motion, may order the utility to inspect its transmission and distribution lines and rights-of-way for potential power line natural hazards. The utility shall make such inspection upon a showing that potential power line natural hazards may exist.
PSC 113.0512(3) (3) Response to identification of potential power line natural hazards. Upon identifying a potential power line natural hazard, the utility shall take action to eliminate the hazard to the power line. The utility shall make a reasonable effort to notify the owner or other individual with authority, to trim or remove the tree of the potential danger and method by which the danger may be minimized or removed. Nothing in this section shall preclude the utility's obligation to immediately remove the hazard, as required by ch. PSC 114.
PSC 113.0512 Note Note: Section 26.14 (9) (b), Stats., subjects a person to liability for the cost of suppressing a forest fire if the forest fire is intentionally or negligently set and allowed to escape. A utility not inspecting its lines or operations to identify, trim or remove hazardous trees consistent with these rules may be found negligent and, therefore, responsible for payment of forest fire suppression costs resulting from a forest fire caused by a tree or branch breaking or damaging a line or equipment. A utility complying with these rules, is not expected to be responsible for costs associated with forest fire suppression under s. 26.14 (9) (b), Stats. If a utility complying with this section is not authorized to trim or remove a tree it identifies as hazardous, consistent with the training required by it; a landowner notified of the potential danger or damage that may be caused to the transmission or distribution line or operation, might be found later to have been negligent and responsible for the costs of setting and allowing a forest fire to escape; however, the agency seeking reimbursement for the costs has the burden of proving that the landowner is responsible. The goal of this effort is to reduce the likelihood of outages and forest fires, thereby reducing the likelihood that anyone is responsible for forest fire suppression costs.
PSC 113.0512 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0513 PSC 113.0513Wetlands work. Insofar as is practical, any electric transmission and distribution line construction work in wetlands shall be scheduled and completed at times when the wetlands are frozen in order to minimize damage or disruption.
PSC 113.0513 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
subch. VI of ch. PSC 113 Subchapter VI — Safety and Service Standards
PSC 113.0601 PSC 113.0601Standards for electric service reliability.
PSC 113.0601(1)(1)The purpose of ss. PSC 113.0601 to 113.0605 is to establish standards and reporting requirements to provide consumers, the commission and electric utilities with a uniform method to monitor the reliability of electric service delivered in an electric utility's operating area. These rules adopt definitions and requirements for maintenance of interruption data, retention of records and report filing, in addition to those in the other sections of subch. IV.
PSC 113.0601(2) (2)In general, utilities are expected to provide sufficient resources to assure reasonably adequate and reliable service to all of their customers under normal operating conditions. These standards establish the reliability of service on an annual basis under all operating conditions, including during major storms, major catastrophic events and police actions. A utility may supply supplemental reliability statistics excluding the aforementioned situations (in addition to the statistics with those events included) with a written justification for exclusion.
PSC 113.0601(3) (3)The commission will use this information to measure and monitor overall reliability performance of individual utilities. The commission may review data by utility, trends of measures over time and comparison of measures between and among utilities of similar characteristics. Where necessary, the information may be used by the commission to take enforcement actions through other proceedings to maintain or improve reliability performance and to assure customers are receiving reasonably adequate service.
PSC 113.0601 History History: Cr. Register, July, 2000, No. 535, eff. 8-1-00.
PSC 113.0602 PSC 113.0602Definitions. In ss. PSC 113.0602 to 113.0605, the following definitions shall apply:
PSC 113.0602(1) (1)“Average number of customers served" means the number of active metered customer accounts as available in a utility's interruption reporting database on the day that an interruption occurs.
PSC 113.0602(2) (2)“Circuit" means a set of conductors serving customer loads that are capable of being separated from the serving substation automatically by a recloser, fuse, sectionalizing equipment, etc.
PSC 113.0602(3) (3)“Component" means a piece of equipment, a line, a section of line, or a group of items which is an entity for purposes of reporting, analyzing and predicting interruptions.
PSC 113.0602(4) (4)“Customer" means a separately-metered electrical service point for which a separate bill is rendered, i.e., each meter represents a customer.
PSC 113.0602(5) (5)“Customer interruption" means the loss of service due to a forced outage for more than five minutes, for one or more customers, which is the result of one or more component failures. For example, a downed house service is one interruption and a disconnected hot leg of a triplex house service, known as a “half-light" condition, is one customer interruption. However, failure of a transformer serving four customers is four customer interruptions.
PSC 113.0602(6) (6)“Customer interruptions caused by power restoration process" means when customers lose power as a result of the process of restoring power (such as from switching operations and fault isolation). The duration of these outages is included in the customer-minutes of interruption. However, only the customers affected by the power restoration outages that were not affected by the original outage are added to the number of customer interruptions.
PSC 113.0602(7) (7)“Customer-minutes of interruption" means the number of minutes of forced outage duration multiplied by the number of customers affected. For instance, a 90 minute forced outage on a circuit serving ten customers would total 900 customer-minutes of interruption.
PSC 113.0602(8) (8)“Electric distribution line" means circuits operating at less than 50,000 volts.
PSC 113.0602(9) (9)“Forced outage" means an outage which cannot be deferred.
PSC 113.0602(10) (10)“Major catastrophic events" means train wrecks, plane crashes, or explosions that are beyond the utility's control and result in widespread system damages causing customer interruptions that affect at least ten percent of the customers in the system or in an operating area and/or result in customers being without electric service for durations of at least 24 hours.
PSC 113.0602(11) (11)“Major storm" means a period of severe adverse weather resulting in widespread system damage causing customer interruptions that affect at least ten percent of the customers on the system or in an operating area and/or result in customers being without electric service for durations of at least 24 hours.
PSC 113.0602(12) (12)“Momentary interruption" means an interruption of electric service with a duration shorter than the time necessary to be classified as a customer interruption.
PSC 113.0602(13) (13)“Operating area" means a geographical sub-division of each electric utility's service territory that functions under the direction of a company office and may be used for interruption reporting under this part. These areas may also be referred to as regions, divisions, or districts.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.