AGA Survey and Statistics System; AGA-CEE Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Survey: Utility expenditures for gas efficiency programs exclude data that have not been released by participating companies at the state level; U.S. Energy Information Administration; and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Statewide Elected Officials Next Election: 2018
Scott Walker (Rep.)Governor
Rebecca Kleefisch (Rep.)Lieutenant Governor
Brad Schimel (Rep.)Attorney General
Legislature Next Election: 2018Session Dates: 1/12/16-12/16
Term: 4 year
President: Mary Lazich
President Pro Tempore: Richard Gudex
Senate Majority Leader: Scott Fitzgerald
Senate Minority Leader: Jennifer Shilling
Senate Member Breakdown
Term: 2 year
Speaker of the Assembly: Robin Vos
Speaker Pro Tempore: Tyler August
Majority Leader: Jim Steineke
Minority Leader: Peter Barca
State Assembly Member Breakdown
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Commissioners: Gubernatorial appointment, Senate confirmation: 6 year termChairperson: Gubernatorial appointment: 2 year term
Phil Montgomery (R), Commissioner Appointed as Chairman by Governor Scott Walker in 2011; term expires in 2017
Michael Huebsch, CommissionerAppointed by Governor Scott Walker in 2015
Ellen Nowak (R), ChairAppointed by Governor Scott Walker in 2011; current term expires in 2019; Appointed chair in 2015
Wisconsin has a statewide energy efficiency and renewable resources program called Focus on Energy, which is funded through a non-bypassable charge on customer bills. In 2005, Wisconsin enacted Wisconsin Act 141; which transferred oversight of Focus on Energy to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. Cost recovery for this program is handled via individual rate cases. Program costs are recovered through rates. These monies then go into an escrow account, where the costs are adjusted in the next rate case. If utilities spend more than the approved budget, they generally receive cost recovery through the adjustment. If actual spending is less than the escrow amount, the Commission adjusts this through a reduction in revenue requirement for the next rate period.
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin oversees the statewide programs. The investor- owned utilities formed the non-profit Statewide Energy Efficiency and Renewables Administration (SEERA) to fulfill their obligations under Act 141. SEERA is required to fund Focus on Energy and to contract on the basis of competitive bids, with one or more persons to administer the programs. Focus on Energy has energy efficiency programs in two areas: (1) residential energy efficiency and renewable energy, and (2) non-residential energy efficiency and renewable energy (including the business, governmental, institutional, industrial and agricultural sectors). Focus on Energy also has a Research Portfolio Program which funds research projects to obtain new knowledge in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy program design and delivery in Wisconsin.
Act 141 also allowed for self-directed programs for the largest energy customers. Customers must submit a program plan for approval to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin that meets cost-effectiveness standards and includes detailed measurement and verification plans. Approved customers implement their plans and submit quarterly reports. The amount of funding available is based on variable formula and is received upon completion of projects. To date, no customers have chosen this option. Act 141 also required the Commission to conduct a review of energy efficiency and renewable resource programs at least once every four years. The Commission is required to evaluate the programs and determine their appropriate goals, priorities, and measurable targets. The Commission first addressed these issues in docket no. 5-GF 191 and issued its most recent order on April 16, 2012.
The Commission began its first Quadrennial Planning Process by opening an investigation in docket 5-UI-115 on April 3, 2008. The planning process was conducted in two phases. Phase One was conducted in docket 5-UI-115, addressed broad policy issues. Phase Two was conducted under docket 5-GF-191, and the Commission's decisions in docket 5-UI-115 were incorporated into docket 5-GF-191. On November 9, 2010, the Commission issued its Order in docket 5-GF-191 and sent a request to the Joint Committee on Finance to approve an increase in the funding of energy efficiency and renewable resource programs. While the increased funding request was approved, shortly thereafter, , in June 2011, the legislature passed 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 which repealed the higher funding levels and returned them to 1.2 percent of operating revenues beginning in 2012. This action also resulted in a reduction in energy efficiency goals. The natural gas goals are now a reduction equal to 0.5% of sales for 2011-2014.
In December of 2014, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) issued a Final Decision which granted WE Energies utility Wisconsin Gas, LLC the authority to construct a natural gas transmission lateral from the Viking Gas Transmission Company interstate pipeline to the city of Tomah, through Eau Claire, Jackson, Clark, and Monroe Counties, Wisconsin. The PSC expects that the project will add approximately $24 a year to residential natural gas rates. WG proposed the project in response to the growth of the sand mining industry, which mines, processes and ships sand used in hydraulic fracturing. In addition, the Company received approval to provide natural gas service in several municipalities in the project area. Wisconsin Gas will be required to file annual reports that detail how much additional growth in customer use of natural gas occurs as a result of the project.
On October 5, 2016, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin opened an investigation into aspects of natural gas utility extension practices, including, but not limited to: natural gas extension practices, natural gas extension project costs, economic and cost models, customer contributions and allowances, natural gas tariffs, and any other directly related matters, as identified by Commission staff. This matter is presently pending.
WEC Energy Corp. subsidiary Trillium CNG owns and operates stations in Oak Creek, Eau Claire, Sun Prairie, Hudson and Madison.
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) had a partial revenue decoupling mechanisms in place for residential and small commercial gas customers that reflect the impact of customer participation in conservation/efficiency programs, subject to certain limitations.
In a November 2013 base rate decision for WPS, the Commission voted to terminate the mechanisms as of Jan. 1, 2014.