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Consumer Information

     
   
Public Involvement, Intervenor Status and Compensation

How to Get Involved
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has a long tradition of encouraging public participation in its proceedings.  There are a number of ways that individuals and organizations can get involved in matters before the Commission.

  1. Submit Comments Electronically or by Mail to Public Service Commission Staff during Open Comment Periods
    Commission staff from time to time solicits public comments to aid in identifying issues and concerns for development of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Notifications are mailed out by Commission staff when public comments are needed and when such comments are being accepted. These public comments are used by Commission staff but are not made part of the official record in a case. The PSC regulates the state's utilities and makes decisions that  affect rates and construction of utility facilities. The review process is formal, quasi-judicial and is intended to protect the public's best interest. When the PSC begins its review process for an application, it is often referred to as a case, proceeding or docket. Organizations or individuals can submit comments to Commission staff electronically or by mail. Please visit the PSC's Public Comments web page to find an active case before the Commission and submit your comments electronically using the Commission's Electronic Regulatory Filing (ERF) System, or mail your comments to the Commission staff members listed for each case at:
    Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
    P.O. Box 7854
    Madison, WI 53707-7854
  2. Attend Public Hearings and Provide Testimony
    Public hearings are held for many cases before the Commission.  Public hearings provide an opportunity for consumers, property owners, local government officials and others to bring their suggestions and concerns to the attention of the Commission. Hearings are held in Madison as well as in the area affected by decisions in the case.

    Providing testimony at a hearing is easy. A lawyer is not necessary and you do not need to stay for the entire hearing.  If you choose to testify, you will be asked to fill out an appearance slip, will be called on by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), asked to state your name and address and asked to take an oath.  You will then be allowed to begin your statement.  The ALJ ensures the hearings are conducted in a fair and orderly manner.

    All testimony provided at public hearings is included in the record that the Commission reviews in making a decision.  If you filled out an appearance slip at the hearing, the Commission will mail you a copy of the decision the Commission makes.

    For more information, please see the Commission’s brochure on Public Hearings or call the Commission at 608-266-5481 or toll free at 1-888-816-3831.

  3. Submit a Written Comment in Lieu of Testimony at a Public Hearing
    If organizations or individuals cannot be present at the public hearing to testify or choose not to provide verbal testimony, written comments in lieu of testimony can be filed electronically using the Commission's Electronic regulatory Filing (ERF) System or by U.S. mail during the time period listed on the Commission's Notice of Hearing. Written comments in lieu of testimony received electronically through the ERF or by mail have the same effect as public testimony stated in the record at a public hearing, and are included in the record that the Commission reviews in making a decision.

    Please read this document for requirements and suggestions for creating effective comments.


  4. Subscribe to the Commission’s Electronic Regulatory Filing System
    The Commission's Electronic Regulatory Filings System allows utilities, consumer groups and the public to file and view case documents online.  All documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF) unless otherwise noted. Users can search by case number (Docket), utility, keyword, date range or document type.

    Users can also subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when documents are loaded to the system and set specific profiles for notifications. They can   subscribe to receive an e-mail when notices are sent, when an order is issued or to receive all documents associated with a specific case.

  5. Request to be an Intervenor – Party to the Case
    Intervenor status - often referred to as being a party to a case - is governed by Wisconsin Administrative Code provisions.  Any person or organization whose substantial interests may be affected by the Commission’s decisions or those who will promote the proper disposition of the issues in the case can request to intervene. A person or organization with intervenor status may present evidence of a technical nature through witnesses, question witnesses of other parties or Commission staff and file briefs; a person or organization not a party to the case may not conduct these activities. To intervene, please submit a written request to the Commission’s Administrative Law Judge.

public hearing Intervenor Status
A person granted party status is responsible for prefiling testimony and exhibits according to the schedule set by the ALJ.  They are also required to provide copies of these documents to all persons on the case’s service list and to the Commission.  During the proceeding, parties receive copies of testimony and supporting documentation from the other parties. All prefiled testimony is subject to rebuttal by other parties of the case.

Intervenors must appear at the technical hearings and be available for cross-examination by the other parties.  They are also allowed to ask other parties questions at the technical hearings and reply to rebuttal aimed at their testimony.

All public testimony and testimony provided by parties at the technical hearings is given full consideration and becomes part of the record that the Commission reviews when making a decision.

Intervenor Compensation
In 1983, the Legislature created the Intervenor Compensation program to provide financial assistance for organizations and individuals who choose to become an intervenor for a Commission proceeding.  Each year, the Commission awards a number of different organizations and individuals with finances to help them participate in cases.

The Wisconsin Administrative Code sets the criteria used to evaluate applicants’ need for funding.  Anyone interested in applying for intervenor compensation can do so by reviewing the information below and completing an application.  If you have questions about the Intervenor Compensation program, please contact Lisa Farrell at 608-267-9086 or Lisa.Farrell@wisconsin.gov.