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Natural Gas

     
   
Natural Gas Industry Overview

The Gas and Energy Division is responsible for all major aspects of the PSC’s regulation of Wisconsin’s natural gas utilities. This includes:

picture of a natural gas flame
  • Rates and regulations
  • Utility finance
  • Construction related to the natural gas distribution system
  • Environmental impact analysis
  • Pipeline safety
  • Service adequacy and reliability, for both short and long-term planning
  • Monitoring Federal regulatory policy

Wisconsin’s natural gas utilities, or local distribution companies (LDCs), are regulated by the PSC, but are only one part of the natural gas industry. The industry also includes:

  • interstate pipelines
  • producers
  • marketers

Interstate pipeline companies move the gas from the production area to your local utility. The rates they charge, the services they provide to the LDCs and the construction of new pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The natural gas producers and marketers are not regulated. These market participants produce (extract the gas from the gas fields) or sell the gas to buyers, such as your local utility. There is no government agency with direct oversight of their day-to-day business. The prices they charge are set by activity in the competitive markets, not by regulators. So, this means that the portion of customers’ bills for the cost of the natural gas itself is not regulated by the PSC or FERC.