Commission Issues Report on Bill Itemization

by preferred on August 14, 2008

From the Executive Summary to the Legislature:

2005 Wisconsin Act 141 § 102(7)(b) directs that no later than July 1, 2008, the Public Service Commission shall submit a report to the governor and chief clerk of each house that consists of its recommendations on whether any component of an energy utility’s revenue requirement should be itemized on ratepayer bills. On March 20, 2008, the Commission issued a Notice of Investigation (NOI) to consider this issue. Commission staff examined bills from various Wisconsin utilities and utilities in other states and sought stakeholder input through the NOI. Based on its review of utility bills and stakeholder comments, Commission staff developed five options to be considered:

(1) Status Quo or leave bills as they currently appear;

(2) Eliminate all non-energy itemizations; (3) Itemize all energy efficiency charges; (4) Itemize specific items for specific customer classes; or

(5) Itemize all charges.

Commission staff developed four key criteria to consider during the analysis:

(1) Does the option provide new, useful information that allows the customer to make choices or take actions regarding their energy usage, timing, rate structure or future considerations?;

(2) What are the expected implementation costs of the option to ratepayers?;

(3) Does the option increase administrative costs for utilities and the PSC?; and

(4) What are the potential “regrets” of implementing the option? Will it impede or complicate upcoming legislative activities?

After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages using the above criteria, the Commission recommends a status quo approach in which bills would remain as they currently appear. However, the Commission has asked PSC staff to evaluate options other than bill itemization that may provide similar information to customers.

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