Rate Setting

Overview

To help ensure that the state's water utilities are able to provide safe, reliable, environmentally responsible, and affordable water service in a sustainable manner, the PSC establishes rates and monitors water utilities' financial sufficiency.  The rate-setting process provides transparency to customers and allows a utility to address multiple objectives, including cost recovery, revenue stability, customer affordability, economic development, resource sustainability, and other factors important to the community.  See Guide to PSC Proceedings for additional information.

Statewide Bill Comparison

The PSC has developed several tools for viewing estimated customer bills. Because every utility has unique circumstances that affect its service provision and expenses, it is common for neighboring utilities to have different rates.  It is important to consider multiple factors when comparing estimated bills.


Quarterly Water Bill Comparison Tool

PSC maintains a Quarterly Water Bill Comparison tool that allows a user to compare estimated bills for either a single utility or multiple utilities in the utility class or county selected. 

The tool also allows users to specify:

  • customer class
  • volume used, and
  • meter size
The data excludes billing costs related to public fire protection, which means the data provided is likely lower than the total amount that is actually billed to the customer. ​

Wisconsin Residential Water Rates Dashboard

As part of a collaborative, nationwide project, the PSC works with the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to develop and maintain the Wisconsin Residential Water Rates Dashboard. The Rates Dashboard is part of the Smart Management for Small Water Systems project of the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) and provides a snapshot of a utility's rates and financial characteristics in relation to several rate-making objectives. 

The Rates Dashboard is designed to assist utility managers, finance directors, board members, state and local officials, reporters, customers, and other stakeholders in comparing existing and proposed residential water rates with utilities of varying characteristics, including system size, customer base demographics, and geographic location. Data used to develop the current version of the Rates Dashboard are drawn from the PSC's tariff and annual report databases, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. 
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