Public Utilities

League members may also request an opinion directly from the League via email. Please include the subject heading and number when making such a request.

328R. Discusses cold weather utility disconnection requirements. Updates Public Utilities 328. 10/29/99.

328R1. Discusses cold weather utility disconnection requirements. Updates Public Utilities 328R. 11/01/03.

328R2. Discusses winter-related issues including cold weather utility disconnection requirements. Updates Public Utilities 328R1. 11/01/12.

340. Under 1997 Wisconsin Act 27, the 1997-99 State Budget Act, a municipality may use the procedures under sec. 66.069(1)(b), Stats., to collect delinquent municipal electric utility bills only if: (1) the municipality has enacted an ordinance authorizing the collection of delinquent municipal electric utility bills by such procedures; or (2) the municipality, in 1996, collected delinquent electric utility bills under sec. 66.60(16), Stats., as a special charge for current services. Sec. 66.069(1)(bg), Stats. 11/28/97.

341. Reviews secs. 86.16(5), 196.58(7), 60.52(1), Wis. Stats., and other Wisconsin statutes relevant to a municipality installing sewer and water mains through a town to serve areas within the municipality. Describes what powers towns have and what methods towns typically use to thwart construction of municipal sewer and water mains within their boundaries. 9/30/99.

342. Explains why some municipalities have sought or are seeking Public Service Commission authorization to provide telecommunications services to the public. 1/31/01.
343. Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) interprets its jurisdiction expansively and takes the position that a municipal regulation that has the effect of requiring a utility to relocate its facilities is sufficient to confer the PSC with jurisdiction under both Wis. Stat. 196.58 and Wis. Admin. Code sec. PSC 130.09. Wisconsin Public Service Corp. vs. City of Manitowoc, PSC, Final Decision, Docket 9300-GI-102. 4/30/08.

344. Under Wis. Stat. sec. 196.58 and Wis. Admin. Code PSC 130, a municipal regulation that requires a utility to permanently relocate its facilities that are located in the public right-of-way at the utility's expense is presumed reasonable and the utility bears the burden of demonstrating otherwise. When a project will involve relocation of utility facilities, the PSC urges municipalities and utilities to cooperate in an effort to minimize the costs to the utility and its ratepayers. 4/30/08.

345. Summarizes  FTC's "Red Flag and Address Discrepancy Rules" that implement parts of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and require creditors with covered accounts, such as utilities, to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs by November 1, 2008. 9/30/08.

346. FTC delays enforcement of the FACTA “Red Flag Rules” requiring creditors with covered accounts to implement an identity theft protection programs by November 1, 2009 until May 1, 2009. 10/31/08.

347. FTC delays enforcement of the FACTA “Red Flags Rules” regulations requiring creditors, including some governmental entities, and financial institutions to implement identity theft prevention measures again to August 1, 2009. 4/30/09.

348. 2011 Act 32 creates sec. 281.16(2)(am), Stats., repealing the numeric stormwater performance standard requiring a 40 percent reduction by 2013 in the level of total suspended solids carried by runoff from developed urban areas in municipalities issued municipal separate stormwater permits. 6/30/11.

349. Legal comment provides introduction to some key legal issues associated with a municipally-owned utility including sources of authority to create a utility, management of the utility in light of divided management authority and utility financing. 4/30/13.

350. Note reports availability of and web link for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission's standard customer information consent release form. 3/31/14.

351. Legal note written by Attorney Lawrie Kobza summarizes 2013 Wis. Act 274’s new notice requirements, effective January 1, 2015, that requires municipal utilities to notify certain residential landlords of delinquent utility bills within a certain time frame in order to be able to place delinquent utilities from the rental property on the landlord’s property tax rolls. 11/30/14.

352. When a municipality utility charges properties that do not receive municipal water service a public fire protection fee, and a person owns two or more unserved parcels that are adjacent to each other or divided only by a roadway or stream, the municipality may bill the person for only one parcel. 7/31/15. The complete text of this legal Note is on page 312 of the September 2015 edition of the Municipality.

353. Circuit court held that Wisconsin's Public Service Commission lacked authority to order a water utility to reimburse a customer for cost of thawing a water lateral where the customer had ignored the utility's directive to users during a period of extremely cold weather to run a small stream of water to prevent freezing. The court also held the PSC order was contrary to an administrative rule dealing with thawing laterals and that lateral thawing shall be at the customer's expense if the utility advises the customer of corrective measures to be taken and the customer does not follow the utility's advice. 9/30/15. The complete text of this legal note is on page 381 of the November 2015 edition of the Municipality.

354. Details Kenosha’s financial assistance program for the City’s lead service line replacement program, enacted pursuant to authority in Wis. Stat. sec. 196.372 which was created by 2017 Wis. Act 137.  10/31/18

355. Article by Jared Smith, Boardman & Clark LLP, analyzes approval process and different approaches taken by three cities seeking PSC approval of plan to provide ratepayer assisted private lead service line replacements pursuant to 2017 Wis. Act 137. 08/2019.