CITIZENS UTILITY BOARD
Citizens utility board: formation and membership.
Powers and duties.
Duties of directors.
Director statement of financial interest.
Executive director; qualifications; method of hire.
Annual membership meeting.
Conduct of procedure.
Appointment of interim directors.
Election of directors.
Corrupt practices and conflicts of interest.
Corporation to be nonpartisan.
This chapter may be cited as “The Citizens Utility Board Act".
History: 1979 c. 72
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the health, welfare and prosperity of all the citizens of this state by ensuring effective and democratic representation of individual farmers and other individual residential utility consumers before regulatory agencies, the legislature and other public bodies and by providing for consumer education on utility service costs and on benefits and methods of energy conservation. Such purpose shall be deemed a statewide interest and not a private or special concern.
History: 1979 c. 72
As used in this chapter:
“Board" means the board of directors of the corporation.
“Campaign contribution" means a gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value, made for the purpose of electing a candidate to the board; or a contract, promise or agreement, express or implied, whether or not legally enforceable, to make any campaign contribution; but does not include the value of services provided without compensation by individuals who volunteer a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee, or the use of real or personal property and the cost of invitations, food, and beverages, voluntarily provided by an individual to a candidate in rendering voluntary personal services on the individual's residential premises for candidate-related activities if the cumulative value of the activities to the individual on behalf of any candidate does not exceed $100 for any election.
“Campaign expenditure" means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, made for the purpose of electing a candidate to the board; or a contract, promise, or agreement, express or implied, whether or not legally enforceable, to make any campaign expenditure; but does not include the use of real or personal property and the cost of invitations, food, and beverages, voluntarily provided by an individual to a candidate in rendering voluntary personal services on the individual's residential premises for candidate-related activities if the cumulative value of the activities by the individual on behalf of any candidate does not exceed $100 for any election.
“Class A utility" means any gas, electric or water utility with annual total gross operating revenues of $2.5 million or more or any telecommunications utility with annual total gross operating revenues of $1,600,000 or more on November 29, 1979.
“Corporation" means the citizens utility board.
“Director" means any member of the board.
“District" means a corporation district, the boundaries of which are congruent with the boundaries of the congressional districts in the state.
“Immediate family" of a person means the person's spouse and legal dependents.
“Member" means any person who satisfies the requirements for membership under s. 199.04 (1)
“Periodic customer billing" means a notice required by law or an invoice listing charges submitted to a residential utility customer on a monthly or other regular basis by a public utility to whom the corporation furnishes an enclosure under s. 199.10
. “Periodic customer billing" does not mean any promotional or informational literature, invoice listing charges for any other person or any enclosure which describes current or future service charges.
“Political committee" means any committee, club, association or other group of persons which makes campaign expenditures or receives campaign contributions during the year before an election of the board.
“Public utility" means any person, except a town, village, city or sanitary district, who owns, operates, manages or controls any plant or equipment or any part of a plant or equipment, within the state for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of heat, light, water, telecommunications service or power either directly or indirectly to or for the public. “Public utility" includes any person engaged in the transmission or delivery of natural gas for compensation within this state by means of pipes or mains. “Public utility" does not include a cooperative organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of generating, distributing, or furnishing electric energy to its members only, or a cooperative organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of furnishing telecommunications service to its members only.
“Residential utility consumer" means any individual who lives in a dwelling which is located in this state and which is furnished with a utility service by a public utility. “Residential utility consumer" includes, but is not limited to, an individual engaged in farming as defined under s. 102.04 (3)
“Utility service" means electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunications service supplied by a public utility.
Citizens utility board: formation and membership. 199.04(1)(1)
There is created a nonprofit public body corporate and politic to be known as the “Citizens Utility Board". Any residential utility consumer at least 18 years old who has contributed at least $3 but not more than $100 in membership fees to the corporation in the preceding 12 months shall be a member of the corporation. A member may resign from membership at any time.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or any other provision of law, if the corporation does not receive contributions from at least 1,000 citizens of this state within 5 years of November 29, 1979, and if the corporation does not receive at least $10,000 within 5 years of November 29, 1979, the corporation shall be dissolved.
History: 1979 c. 72
The creation of the citizens utility board is constitutional. 69 Atty. Gen. 153.
The board legally dissolved and reorganized as a non-stock, non-profit corporation. 75 Atty. Gen. 168
Powers and duties. 199.05(1)(a)
Represent and protect the interests of the residential utility consumers of this state. All actions by the corporation under this chapter shall be directed toward such duty.
Inform, insofar as possible, all residential utility consumers about the corporation, including the procedure for obtaining membership in the corporation.
Make available to all residential utility consumers information on utility service costs and on benefits and methods of energy conservation.
The corporation shall have all the powers necessary or convenient for the effective representation and protection of the interests of residential utility consumers and to implement this chapter, including the following powers in addition to all other powers granted by this chapter:
To make, amend and repeal bylaws and rules for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business; to adopt an official seal and alter it at pleasure; to maintain an office; to sue and be sued in its own name, plead and be impleaded; and to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers of the corporation.
To employ such agents, employees and special advisers as it finds necessary and to fix their compensation.