“Financial support" includes investments, loans and grants.
“Improvements" means any valuable addition made to land, including excavations, gradings, foundations, structures, buildings, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, sewers, septic systems and drainage facilities. “Improvements" does not include any repair, maintenance, installation or construction of structures or facilities owned or used by or for a public utility, or by or for a customer of a public utility, if the repair, maintenance, installation or construction is related to furnishing heat, light, water or power to the customer.
“Nonutility affiliate" means a subsidiary of a public utility or a company in a holding company system that is not a public utility. “Nonutility affiliate" does not include a passively held company.
“Passively held company" means an entity that satisfies each of the following:
Less than 50 percent of the ownership interest of the entity is directly or indirectly owned in any chain of successive ownership by a public utility or nonutility affiliate.
The entity engages in property management for a 3rd party, real estate practice, residential real estate development or residential or commercial construction.
“Property management" means any activity associated with the care or maintenance of land or improvements, including business planning and budgeting, accounting, lease administration, tenant relations and retention, security, maintenance of common areas, rent collections, financial reporting, service contract administration and inspections.
“Public utility" means every corporation, company, individual or association and their lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court or state or federal agency, that may own, operate, manage, or control all or any part of a plant or equipment, within the state, for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of electricity directly to or for the public, except that “public utility" does not include any municipal utility or municipal electric company, as defined in s. 66.0825 (3) (d)
, or any cooperative association organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of producing or furnishing heat, light, power, or water to its members only.
“Residential construction" means the act of building any structure, or that part of any structure that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one or more persons maintaining a common household to the exclusion of all others.
“Residential real estate development" means the act of dividing or subdividing any parcel of land for residential construction or making improvements to facilitate or allow residential construction.
“Third party" means any person other than a public utility or nonutility affiliate.
(2) Prohibited activities.
Except as provided in sub. (4)
, a public utility or nonutility affiliate may not do any of the following in this state:
Engage in residential or commercial construction.
does not prohibit a public utility or nonutility affiliate from doing any of the following:
Repairing, maintaining, installing or constructing a structure that is owned or used by or for a public utility or nonutility affiliate, or for a customer of a public utility if the repair, maintenance, installation or construction is related to furnishing heat, light, water or power to the customer.
Engaging in construction that is specifically related to the evaluation, control or remediation of hazardous substances; solid, liquid or gaseous wastes; soils; air; or water.
Engaging in construction that is performed in order to comply with federal, state or local environmental laws, regulations, orders or rules.
Consulting or making other financial or business arrangements with one or more 3rd parties who will engage in commercial construction.
Consulting or making other financial or business arrangements with one or more 3rd parties who will engage in residential construction or residential real estate development, except that if a public utility or nonutility affiliate contracts for the development of more than one residential construction project or residential real estate development, the public utility or nonutility affiliate may not enter into an exclusive arrangement with a 3rd party for all such residential construction or residential real estate development.
Acquiring or disposing of property or interests in property if the acquisition or disposition is related to the operation of a public utility and the acquisition or disposition satisfies one of the following:
The acquisition or disposition is conducted under a contract with a 3rd party that is engaged in real estate practice.
The acquisition or disposition is conducted by an individual engaged in real estate practice or employed by a public utility.
does not prohibit a public utility that is not subject to the requirements of s. 196.795
, or the nonutility subsidiary of such a public utility, from doing any of the following:
Engaging in commercial or residential real estate development or construction on property owned or acquired by the public utility or nonutility subsidiary for a public utility purpose if the total annual revenues from the development or construction do not exceed 3 percent of the total operating revenues of the public utility in any year.
Providing financial support for the purpose of economic development to 3rd parties that are engaged in an activity specified in sub. (2) (a)
. The public utility or nonutility subsidiary may profit directly from that activity only through receipt of profits that are incidental to the economic development project or interest earned on a loan.
A nonutility affiliate that has engaged in residential construction prior to, or is engaged in residential construction on, October 29, 1999, may directly or indirectly own in any chain of successive ownership 50 percent or more of the ownership interest of an entity that hires a 3rd party to engage in residential construction or commercial construction that is incidental to residential construction, except that the nonutility affiliate may not actively participate in the daily operations or daily business decisions of the entity.
A public utility or nonutility affiliate may engage in residential real estate development at a brownfields facility or site.
(5) Private cause of action.
Any public utility or nonutility affiliate that does, causes or permits to be done any action prohibited under this section or fails to comply with any requirement specified in this section is liable to any person injured thereby in the amount of damages sustained in consequence of the prohibited action or failure to comply.
History: 1999 a. 9
; 2003 a. 320
Consolidation or merger of utilities. 196.80(1g)(1g)
In this section, “public utility" does not include a telecommunications utility.
With the consent and approval of the commission but not otherwise a public utility may:
Merge or consolidate with one or more other public utilities.
Acquire the stock of any other public utility or any part thereof.
Consolidate or merge with any Wisconsin corporation if substantially all of the assets of the corporation consist of the entire stock of the public utility. The total of the resulting securities outstanding of the possessor corporation which have not been authorized previously under ch. 201
shall require authorization under ch. 201
as a condition precedent to the merger or consolidation.
Sell, acquire, lease or rent any public utility plant or property constituting an operating unit or system.
The interested public utility shall make an application for the approval and consent of the commission under this section. The application shall contain a concise statement of the proposed action, the reasons for the action and any other information required by the commission. If an application is filed, the commission shall investigate the application. The investigation may be with or without public hearing. If the commission conducts a public hearing, the hearing shall be upon such notice as the commission may require. If the commission finds that the proposed action is consistent with the public interest, it shall give its consent and approval in writing. In reaching its determination the commission shall take into consideration the reasonable value of the property and assets of the corporation to be acquired or merged.
Any transaction required under this section to be submitted to the commission for its consent and approval shall be void unless the commission gives its consent and approval to the transaction in writing.
Nothing in this section may be construed to limit any authority conferred by statute upon the commission before June 27, 1935.
Energy affiliate and utility employees. 196.807(1)(a)
“Affiliate or utility" means a nonutility affiliate, holding company system, public utility or cooperative association organized under ch. 185
“Energy unit" means a unit in this state that is engaged in activities related to the production, generation, transmission or distribution of electricity, gas or steam or the recovery of energy from waste materials.
“Sell an energy unit" means to sell, offer by lease, or otherwise transfer ownership or control of the energy unit.
“Unit" means a division, department or other operational business unit of an affiliate or utility.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, a person may not sell an energy unit unless the terms of the transfer require the person to which the energy unit is transferred to offer employment to the nonsupervisory employees who are employed with the energy unit immediately prior to the transfer and who are necessary for the operation and maintenance of the energy unit.
A public utility affiliate may not sell an energy unit to a nonutility affiliate in the same holding company system unless the terms of the transfer require the nonutility affiliate to offer employment to all of the nonsupervisory employees who are employed with the energy unit immediately prior to the transfer.
A transmission company to which an energy unit is sold by a transmission utility shall, beginning on the expiration of the 3-year period specified in s. 196.485 (3m) (a) 1. b.
or, if applicable, the expiration of any extension of such 3-year period, offer employment to the nonsupervisory employees who are employed with the energy unit immediately prior to the transfer and who are necessary for the operation and maintenance of the energy unit.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, the employment that is offered under sub. (2)
shall satisfy each of the following during the 30-month period beginning immediately after the transfer:
Wage rates shall be no less than the wage rates in effect immediately prior to the transfer.
Fringe benefits shall be substantially equivalent to the fringe benefits in effect immediately prior to the transfer.
Terms and conditions of employment, other than wage rates and fringe benefits, shall be substantially equivalent to the terms and conditions in effect immediately prior to the transfer.
A collective bargaining agreement may modify or waive a requirement specified in par. (a)
(4) Commission approval.
Except for a cooperative association, as defined in s. 196.491 (1) (bm)
, or a transmission utility that sells an energy unit to a transmission company, no person may sell an energy unit unless the commission determines that the person has satisfied subs. (2)
History: 1999 a. 9
; 2005 a. 441
Abandonment; commission approval required. 196.81(1)(1)
No public utility may abandon or discontinue any line or extension or service thereon without first securing the approval of the commission. In granting its approval, the commission may impose any term, condition or requirement it deems necessary to protect the public interest. If a public utility abandons or discontinues a line or extension or service thereon upon receiving commission approval, the public utility shall be deemed to have waived any objection to any term, condition or requirement imposed by the commission in granting the approval.
The commission may not approve a request by an electric or telecommunications utility to abandon a right-of-way, unless the commission requires the public utility to remove any pole at ground level from the right-of-way and any other structure which extends more than 3 feet above ground level and which belongs to the utility at the time of abandonment. If the commission approves a request under this section it shall require any part of the abandoned right-of-way which is in a rural area and which was obtained by the utility by condemnation to be disposed of by the utility within 3 years from the date of approval. The commission may rescind the disposal requirement if the utility applies for rescission within 6 months prior to the end of the 3-year period and if the commission finds that the requirement would subject the utility to undue hardship.
This section does not apply to any of the following:
A service discontinuance by a public utility that is a telecommunications provider.
A public utility's removal, at the request of a customer, of the customer's electric service drop or electric, natural gas, or steam service lateral, including any primary voltage or natural gas or steam line that is used exclusively to serve the customer requesting the removal.
Commission's holding company and nonutility affiliate regulation costs.
Under rules promulgated by the commission, a holding company, as defined in s. 196.795 (1) (h)
or a nonutility affiliate, as defined under s. 196.795 (1) (j)
, shall compensate the commission for the cost of any increase in regulation of any public utility affiliate, as defined under s. 196.795 (1) (L)
, which is with the holding company or nonutility affiliate in a holding company system as defined in s. 196.795 (1) (i)
, if the commission determines that the increase is reasonably required in order for the commission to implement and enforce s. 196.795
. Such compensation may not be recovered directly or indirectly from any public utility affiliate. The commission shall assess such compensation using the procedure prescribed in s. 196.85
, except that no advance payment of a remainder assessment under s. 196.85 (2)
may be required for the first 2 fiscal years after November 28, 1985. No assessment may be made under this section against any holding company or nonutility affiliate for any time worked by any person under s. 196.795 (10m)
if the time is properly assessable for utility regulation under s. 196.85
. For the purpose of calculating cost increases under this section, 90 percent of the cost increases determined shall be costs of the commission and 10 percent of the cost increases determined shall be costs of state government operations.
History: 1985 a. 79
; 1991 a. 269
See also ch. PSC 6
, Wis. adm. code.
Payment of commission's expenditures. 196.85(1)(a)
If the commission in a proceeding upon its own motion, on complaint, or upon an application to it deems it necessary in order to carry out the duties imposed upon it by law to investigate the books, accounts, practices, and activities of, or make appraisals of the property of any public utility, power district, or sewerage system or to render any engineering or accounting services to any public utility, power district, or sewerage system, the public utility, power district, or sewerage system shall pay the expenses attributable to the investigation, including the cost of litigation, appraisal, or service. The commission shall mail a bill for the expenses to the public utility, power district, or sewerage system either at the conclusion of the investigation, appraisal, or services, or during its progress. The bill constitutes notice of the assessment and demand of payment. The public utility, power district, or sewerage system shall, within 30 days after the mailing of the bill, pay to the commission the amount of the special expense for which it is billed. Ninety percent of the payment shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.155 (1) (g)
Except as provided in sub. (1m) (a)
, the total amount in any one calendar year for which any public utility, power district, or sewerage system is liable under this subsection, by reason of costs incurred by the commission within the calendar year, including charges under s. 201.10 (3)
, may not exceed four-fifths of one percent of its gross operating revenues derived from intrastate operations in the last preceding calendar year.
Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the commission from rendering bills in one calendar year for costs incurred within a previous year.