State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter2

CHAPTER 2 - Public Service Commission

 

ARTICLE 1 - IN GENERAL

 

37-2-101. Creation; composition; appointment; compensation; terms andoaths of members; removal; chairman and deputy chairman; vacancies.

 

 

(a) There is created a commission separatefrom the state board of equalization to which it has been joined which is knownas the "public service commission of Wyoming". The commission shallconsist of three (3) members appointed by the governor, by and with the adviceand consent of the senate. Not more than two (2) members of the commissionshall at any time be members of the same political party. Each member of thecommission shall receive an annual salary as provided by law, to be paid inequal monthly installments in the same manner that other state salaries arepaid.

 

(b) Biennially the members shall elect from among their numbera chairman and a deputy chairman who shall serve in these offices for a periodof two (2) years. The chairman shall receive an additional annual salary asprovided by law during his tenure as chairman to be paid in equal monthlyinstallments, in the same manner as other state salaries are paid.

 

(c) The present elected chairman and two (2) designated membersnow comprising the public service commission, or their successors, comprise thepublic service commission for purposes of this section.

 

(d) Upon the expiration of the term of any member he shall bereappointed or a successor shall be appointed for a term of six (6) years or exceptin case of a vacancy. Each member shall hold office until his successor isappointed and qualified. The governor may remove any member as provided in W.S.9-1-202.

 

(e) In case of a vacancy, it shall be filled by appointment bythe governor in accordance with W.S. 28-12-101.

 

(f) Each member, within thirty (30) days after notice of hisappointment and before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take,subscribe and file with the secretary of state the oath of office prescribed bythe constitution of this state. Effective July 1, 1979, appointments and termsunder this act shall be in accordance with W.S. 28-12-101 through 28-12-103.

 

37-2-102. Quorum; meetings; investigations and hearings by singlecommissioner.

 

 

Amajority of the commission shall constitute a quorum to transact business andfor the performance of any duty or for the exercise of any powers of thecommission and may hold meetings of the commission at any time or place withinthe state. A majority of the commission shall consist of two (2) of the three(3) members, including the chairman, that constitute the commission in thenormal course of business. Any investigation, inquiry or hearing which thecommission has power to hold may be held by or before any commissioner, or anemployee of the commission acting in the capacity of a hearing officer, when anorder is entered in the records of the office of the commission to that effect,and such an investigation, inquiry or hearing when approved and confirmed bythe commission shall be the investigation, inquiry or hearing of thecommission, but no finding or order of the commission shall be effectivewithout the concurrence of a majority of the commission.

 

37-2-103. Seal; may sue and be sued.

 

 

Thecommission shall have an official seal bearing the words "Public ServiceCommission of Wyoming", of which the courts shall take judicial notice,and may sue and be sued by its official name.

 

37-2-104. Gratuities prohibited.

 

 

Nocommissioner or person appointed and regularly employed and receiving a salaryfrom the commission shall accept any gift, gratuity, emolument or employmentfrom any public utility under the jurisdiction of the commission, or anyofficer, agent or employee thereof, nor shall any commissioner or person appointedor regularly employed by and receiving a salary from the commission solicit,request from, or recommend, directly or indirectly, to any such public utilityor any officer or agent or employee thereof, the appointment of any person toany place or position.

 

37-2-105. Offices, equipment and facilities.

 

Theprincipal office of the commission shall be at the state capitol, and thecommission shall be provided by the state with such offices, equipment and facilitiesas may be necessary for the performance of its duties.

 

37-2-106. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; disposition of revenue.

 

Moniesderived from a uniform assessment of persons subject to assessment under W.S.37-2-107, except motor carriers as defined in W.S. 31-18-101(a)(x), shall becredited to the public service commission account for the purpose of defrayingadministrative expenses of the commission with respect to the persons assessed.At each regular session, the state legislature shall, under the budgetprovisions of Wyoming budget law, determine the amount to be collected. Itshall be the duty of the director of the revenue department to ascertain andcollect the proportional amount of the approved biennial budget to be paid byeach person assessed and to remit the funds immediately to the state treasurerfor deposit in the public service commission account. All expenditurestherefrom shall be subject to the warrant of the state auditor, upon submissionof properly executed vouchers authorized by the commission in the same manneras other funds are disbursed.

 

37-2-107. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; assessment generally.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, on orbefore the first day of July of each year the director of revenue shall, byrequiring special reports or otherwise, determine the total aggregate amount ofthe gross Wyoming intrastate retail revenues of all public utilities, entitiesutilizing public utility facilities in the state to furnish retail utilitycommodities or services to the public, and providers of telecommunicationservices, except motor carriers, and those utilities exempted under W.S.37-2-108, for the preceding calendar year. He shall then determine the ratiothat one-half (1/2) of the total authorized budgeted amount for the biennium isto the total aggregate gross retail Wyoming intrastate operating revenues. Theresulting percentage factor shall then be applied to the annual intrastategross retail operating revenues of each of such persons for the precedingcalendar year and the result shall be the assessment of each such person forthe ensuing budget fiscal year. However, the assessment rate against thepersons for any one (1) year shall not exceed .0030 of the gross Wyomingintrastate retail revenues of the persons. By the first day of August thedirector of the revenue department shall assess the persons, and one-half (1/2)the assessed fees shall be paid to him by the persons on or before the firstday of October and one-half (1/2) of the fees shall be paid to him by thepersons on or before the first day of April in the ensuing year. The directorof the revenue department, in computing the percentage upon which fees for thefirst fiscal year of the ensuing biennium shall be based, shall deduct anyunexpended balance in the commission's account, less an amount equal to thetotal of all properly authorized outstanding accounts payable, from one-half(1/2) the total authorized budgeted amount for the biennium, and the resultantfigure shall be used instead of the one-half (1/2) of the total authorizedbudgeted amount for the biennium, as above provided. Any unexpended balance inthe commission's account shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal period."Intrastate gross retail operating revenues" as used in this sectionshall mean intrastate gross revenues derived from the provision oftelecommunications, gas, electric, water and pipeline service offered for finalconsumption and not for resale.

 

(b) For the year 2002 only, the director of revenue shallassess all persons subject to assessment under subsection (a) of this sectionas follows:

 

(i) One-half (1/2) of the calendar year 2002 assessmentdetermined on April 1, 2002 shall be paid on or before the first day of June2002; and

 

(ii) Of the remaining one-half (1/2) of the calendar year 2002assessment, only two-thirds (2/3) shall be paid on or before the first day ofOctober 2002. This October payment shall serve as a transition to the dates insubsection (a) of this section. The remaining one-third (1/3) shall not bepaid.

 

37-2-108. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; exempt persons.

 

Anyperson subject to the provisions of this act shall be exempt from any paymentsor assessments to be made hereunder for the fiscal budget year following thecalendar year in which its gross intrastate retail operating revenues, asdefined in W.S. 37-2-107, total less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).

 

37-2-109. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; penalty for violations.

 

Anyperson who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this act, orfails, omits, neglects, or refuses to observe or comply with any requirement,direction or decision of the director of revenue relating thereto, or to fileany report as may be required by him, within the time specified, shall besubject to a penalty of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) foreach and every offense.

 

37-2-110. Secretary and other employees.

 

 

(a) The commission is authorized to employ asecretary and such other persons as may be necessary to enable it to performthe duties imposed upon it by this act and to designate the duties of suchemployees.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 172, 2.

 

37-2-111. Attorney general to be legal adviser; duties; representationby commission attorneys.

 

Theattorney general shall be the legal adviser of the commission and it shall behis duty to represent the commission in all proceedings in any court, beforeany other agency or before any departments of the federal government. Upon therequest of the commission, the attorney general may designate any dulyqualified attorney employed by the commission to function as an assistantattorney general to assist the attorney general in representing the commissionin all proceedings in any court, before any agency or before any departments ofthe federal government. Wherever he deems it appropriate, the attorney generalmay authorize a commission attorney to act without his assistance.

 

37-2-112. Powers.

 

Thecommission shall have general and exclusive power to regulate and superviseevery public utility within the state in accordance with the provisions of thisact.

 

37-2-113. Arbitration of controversies.

 

Wheneverany Wyoming public utility has a controversy with any other person and all theparties to such controversy agree in writing to submit such controversy to thecommission as arbitrators, the commission may act as such arbitrators, andafter due notice to all parties interested may proceed to hear suchcontroversy, and their award shall be final.

 

37-2-114. Authority to confer with other state and federalcommissions; expenses.

 

(a) The commission may confer in person, by attendingconventions or otherwise, with the members of railroad or other public utilitycommissions of other states and with the interstate commerce commission on anymatters relating to public utilities, and shall be allowed actual travelingexpenses when engaged in such work.

 

(b) In regulating the transmission of electricity:

 

(i) The commission may meet in conjunction with public utilitycommissions of other states as it determines necessary or convenient to developcommon sets of fact finding for regulation of the transmission of electricityin the region. Any common set of facts developed under this paragraph shallonly be developed under a docketed commission proceeding with opportunity forparticipation by the public in compliance with the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and commission rules;

 

(ii) The commission may meet jointly with public utilitycommissions of other states to conduct hearings on the regulation of thetransmission of electricity. The commission shall act independently inentering any order as a result of such hearings;

 

(iii) Subject to W.S. 37-2-122, the commission may considerregional effects of its orders upon the utility and may consider requirementsimposed upon the utility by the laws of other states within the region or theorders of other commissions within the region.

 

(c) As used in subsection (b) of this section,"region" includes any state with a border contiguous to Wyoming andthe states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon andWashington.

 

37-2-115. Examination of records of intrastate business of utilities;authority generally.

 

Thecommission, or upon order of the commission, any commissioner, or any person orpersons employed by the commission, shall upon demand have the right, insofaras applies to intrastate business, to inspect or examine the books, papers,accounts, documents, plant, property and facilities of any public utilityoperating in Wyoming, and to examine under oath any officer, agent or employeeof such public utility in relation to its business and affairs; provided, thatany person other than one (1) of the commissioners shall produce when sorequested his authority to make inspections or examinations under the hand of acommissioner or of the secretary and under the seal of the commission.

 

37-2-116. Ordering production of records.

 

Thecommission, by order, may require any public utility or any officer or agentthereof to produce within the state at such time and place as it may designate,any accounts, records, memoranda, books or papers kept in any office or placewithout or within the state, or in its discretion may in lieu of originalsorder the production of verified copies thereof in order that an examinationthereof insofar as they relate to intrastate business, may be made by thecommission or by any person under its direction.

 

37-2-117. Commission may initiate investigation.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall believe that an investigation of any act or omission toact, accomplished or proposed, or an investigation of any rate, service,facility or service regulation of any public utility should be made in order tosecure compliance with the provisions of this act and orders of the commission,it may of its own motion summarily investigate the same.

 

37-2-118. Who may make complaint.

 

Anypublic utility, person, municipality or the attorney general may complain tothe commission of anything, actual or proposed, done or omitted to be done inviolation of W.S. 37-1 through 37-64 [ 37-1-101 through 37-3-114] or W.S.37-260 through 37-272 [ 37-12-201 through 37-12-213], or of an order of thecommission.

 

37-2-119. Matters to be considered and determined in investigation.

 

Inconducting any investigation pursuant to the provisions of this act thecommission may investigate, consider and determine such matters as the cost orvalue, or both, of the property and business of any public utility, used anduseful for the convenience of the public, and all matters affecting or influencingsuch cost or value, the operating statistics for any public utility both as torevenues and expenses and as to the physical features of operation in suchdetail as the commission may deem advisable; the earnings, investment andexpenditures of any such corporation as a whole within this state, and as torates in plants of any water, electrical or gas corporations, the geographicallocation thereof shall be considered as well as the population of themunicipality in which such plant is located.

 

37-2-120. Order in case of violation; public hearing required forchange in rate or service.

 

Whenever,after investigation in accordance with the provisions of this act, thecommission shall be of the opinion that any provisions or requirements of thisact, or any order of the commission is being, has been, or is about to beviolated, it may make and enter of record an order in the premises, specifyingthe actual or proposed acts or omissions to act which constitute such real orproposed violations, and require that such violations be discontinued orrectified, or both, or that it be prevented. No order, however, shall be madeby the commission which requires the change of any rate or service, facility orservice regulation except as otherwise specifically provided, unless or untilall parties are afforded an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-121. When rate to be changed by commission; nontraditional ratemaking.

 

Ifupon hearing and investigation, any rate shall be found by the commission to beinadequate or unremunerative, or to be unjust, or unreasonable, or unjustlydiscriminatory, or unduly preferential or otherwise in any respect in violationof any provision of this act, the commission, within the time periods providedunder W.S. 37-3-106(c) may fix and order substituted therefor a rate as itshall determine to be just and reasonable, and in compliance with theprovisions of this act. The rate so ascertained, determined and fixed by thecommission shall be charged, enforced, collected and observed by the publicutility for the period of time fixed by the commission. The rates may containprovisions for incentives for improvement of the public utility's performanceor efficiency, lowering of operating costs, control of expenses or improvementand upgrading or modernization of its services or facilities. Any publicutility may apply to the commission for its consent to use innovative,incentive or nontraditional rate making methods. In conducting anyinvestigation and holding any hearing in response thereto, the commission mayconsider and approve proposals which include any rate, service regulation, ratesetting concept, economic development rate, service concept, nondiscriminatoryrevenue sharing or profit-sharing form of regulation and policy, includingpolicies for the encouragement of the development of public utilityinfrastructure, services, facilities or plant within the state, which can beshown by substantial evidence to support and be consistent with the publicinterest.

 

37-2-122. Matters considered in fixing rates; order changing servicesor facilities.

 

(a) In determining what are just and reasonable rates thecommission may take into consideration availability or reliability of service,depreciation of plant, technological obsolescence of equipment, expense ofoperation, physical and other values of the plant, system, business andproperties of the public utility whose rates are under consideration. Indetermining just and reasonable rates for electricity the commission shallconsider common sets of facts developed pursuant to W.S. 37-2-114(b)(i) andregional benefits provided by the utility.

 

(b) If, upon hearing and investigation, any service or serviceregulation of any public utility shall be found by the commission to beunjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential, or any service or facilityshall be found to be inadequate or unsafe, or any service regulation shall befound to be unjust or unreasonable, or any service, facility or serviceregulation shall be found otherwise in any respect to be in violation of anyprovisions of this act, the commission may prescribe and order substitutedtherefor such service, facility or service regulation, as it shall determine tobe adequate and safe, or just and reasonable, as the case may be and otherwisein compliance with the provisions of this act, including any provisionsconcerning the availability or reliability of service. It shall be the duty ofthe public utility to comply with and conform to such determination and orderof the commission.

 

37-2-123. Order apportioning expenses between joint public utilities.

 

Wheneverany order of the commission involves expenditures of any sum or sums by publicutilities rendering any joint service or services, and the public utilitiesaffected thereby shall fail to agree upon the division or apportionment thereofwithin a reasonable time after the service of such order, the commission mayissue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment or division of suchexpense.

 

37-2-124. Records open to inspection by public; exceptions.

 

Allreports, records and accounts in the possession of the commission shall be opento inspection by the public at all times except as otherwise provided in thisact or as ordered by the commission and under rules prescribed by thecommission.

 

37-2-125. Collection and disposition of fees.

 

(a) The public service commission is herebyauthorized and empowered in the conduct of business coming before it to collectin advance the following fees:

 

(i) For filing application for permit, five dollars ($5.00) andfor certificate of convenience and necessity, fifteen dollars ($15.00);

 

(ii) For filing applications for amendment or assignment ofcertificates of convenience and necessity, five dollars ($5.00);

 

(iii) For filing contests, five dollars ($5.00);

 

(iv) For each certificate and seal, two dollars ($2.00);

 

(v) For copies of records, judgments, and orders, one dollar($1.00) for the first one hundred (100) words, and twenty-five cents ($.25) perfolio for each subsequent folio, and if certified under seal, one dollar($1.00) additional;

 

(vi) For issuing summons or subpoenas, one dollar ($1.00) each;

 

(vii) For service of summons or subpoenas by registered mail,fifty cents ($.50) and for personal service, by a person authorized to makesuch service, the same fee that sheriffs receive for such service;

 

(viii) In all hearings on contests or on investigations, the feesfor witnesses and all other costs shall be taxed against the parties ininterest as determined by the commission;

 

(ix) For petitions filed under W.S. 37-6-102, fifteen dollars($15.00) each.

 

(b) All fees collected by the commission shall be paid to thestate treasurer as collected, and shall be credited to the general fund.

 

37-2-126. Report to the governor.

 

Thecommission shall, as required by W.S. 9-2-1014, report to the governor,including in such detail as the commission may deem expedient all proceedingsand investigations of the commission during such period and shall containabstracts of the reports of public utilities prepared by the commission. Itshall also contain the recommendations of the commission for new legislationand any other matters the commission desires to call to the attention of thegovernor and the legislature.

 

37-2-127. Implied and incidental powers; requiring information fromlocal utilities.

 

Inaddition to the powers herein specifically granted, the commission shall havesuch implied or incidental powers as may be necessary and proper, effectuallyto carry out, perform and execute all the powers so granted. The commissionshall have the power to require public utilities whose operations are purelylocal in extent and use to file in the office of the commission a list of theirstockholders, officers and directors, with the residence and post officeaddress of, and the amount of stock held by each.

 

37-2-128. Civil penalty for violation of federal Pipeline Inspection,Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006; generally.

 

Wherethe commission has exercised authority under the provisions of the federalPipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., and amendments thereto, to regulate gas safety in the stateof Wyoming, any person or persons as defined in that act who hereafter violateany provision of that act as made applicable to jurisdictional activities withinthe state of Wyoming may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed onehundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) for violation for each day that theviolation persists. However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed onemillion dollars ($1,000,000.00) for any related series of violations.

 

37-2-129. Civil penalty for violation of federal Natural Gas PipelineSafety Act of 1968; compromise and recovery thereof.

 

 

(a) Such civil penalty may be compromised bythe commission, and such determination shall be in the nature of a final orderappealable by the person alleged to have committed the violation only upon hisrefusal to pay. In determining the amount of the penalty, or the amount agreedupon in compromise, the size of the business of the person charged, the gravityof the violation and the good faith of the person charged in attempting toachieve compliance after notification of a violation shall be considered. The amountof the penalty when finally determined, or the amount agreed upon in compromisemay be deducted from any sums owing by the state to the person charged or maybe recovered in a civil action in the state courts.

 

(b) Any action to recover said sums shall be commenced in thecourts in and for the county or district in which the principal office of thecommission is located.

 

37-2-130. Right of review.

 

Aperson adversely affected or aggrieved by any action, findings, conclusions ordecision of the public service commission is entitled to judicial reviewthereof according to the procedures established by the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and the Wyoming Rules of Appellate Procedure. The standards tobe applied, to judicial review proceedings, including scope of review, shall bethose standards established in the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-131. Supplemental safety jurisdiction of commission.

 

(a) The commission shall have regulatory safety jurisdictionover any "intrastate gas pipeline facility" as defined under thePipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., as amended, for the sole purpose of implementing the safetystandards and practices of the federal act to such intrastate gas pipelinefacility. This jurisdiction shall not apply to an "intrastate gaspipeline facility" which is otherwise subject to federal regulatory jurisdictionfor safety purposes. The commission is authorized under this section toimplement such safety standards and practices only to the extent the secretaryof transportation is so authorized under the Pipeline Inspection, Protection,Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006. The commission's jurisdiction under thissection shall only apply where the secretary of transportation has delegated,or otherwise authorized, the state of Wyoming to act on his behalf, and thestate of Wyoming has formally accepted the delegation or other authorizationprior to the exercise of the jurisdiction by the commission.

 

(b) The commission shall have safety jurisdiction over any newor existing electrical lines used by the owner to transmit electricity which isgenerated by the owner for resale, and which are located upon property notexclusively controlled by the owner of the line for the purpose of enforcementof the safety requirements of the National Electrical Safety Code and thosesafety standards adopted by the commission. This section shall not apply to anyincorporated or chartered city or town established under Wyoming law or jointpowers board created under the Wyoming Joint Powers Act.

 

37-2-132. Determination of telephone prefixes; report to nationaldo-not-call list.

 

The public service commission may determine which prefixesor telephone numbers are used in Wyoming primarily for cellular telephoneservice by determining prefixes or telephone numbers or by utilizinginformation available from the North American numbering plan administrator, thenational pooling administrator, the local number portability administrator orany suitable least cost alternative as determined by the commission. Thecommission shall report these prefixes and telephone numbers to the nationaldo-not-call list.

 

ARTICLE 2 - REPORTS, INVESTIGATIONS AND HEARINGS

 

37-2-201. Fixing time and place of public hearing; notice and conduct.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall determine to conduct an investigation of any matterprovided for in chapter 64, Wyoming Compiled Statutes, 1945 [See 37-1-101through 37-3-114 and 37-12-201 through 37-12-213], either with or withoutcomplaint as in such chapter provided for, it shall fix a time and place for apublic hearing of the matters under investigation, and shall notify, byregistered letter requiring receipt, the complainant, the persons complained ofand such other persons, as it may deem proper, of such time and place ofhearing, at least twenty (20) days in advance thereof. At the hearing heldpursuant to such notice, the commission, commissioner or commission employeeauthorized by order of the commission to conduct such hearing, may take such testimonyas may be offered, or as they may desire, and may make such other and furtherinvestigation as in its opinion, is desirable.

 

37-2-202. Service of notice.

 

Serviceon any person of any notice or order or other matter under the provisions ofthis act may be made by mailing such notice, or order or other matter, or acertified copy thereof, in a registered letter requiring receipt, directed tothe public utility at the principal office of such public utility in thisstate.

 

37-2-203. Separate hearings; hearings to be open; representation byattorney; reports, investigations.

 

 

(a) When complaint is made of more than onematter or thing the commission may order separate hearings thereon and may hearand determine the several matters complained of separately and at such times asit may prescribe. All hearings conducted by the commission or commissionershall be open to the public. In any hearing, proceeding or investigationconducted by the commission or commissioner, any party may be heard in person orby attorney.

 

(b) Within a time to be fixed by the commission, every publicutility under the jurisdiction of this commission shall file an annual reportwith the commission, verified by the oath of the president, treasurer orgeneral manager or receiver, if any, of such public utility, or by the personrequired to file the same. The verification shall be made by said officialholding office, at the time of the filing of said report, and, if not made uponthe knowledge of the person verifying the same, shall set forth the source ofhis information and the grounds of his beliefs as to any matters not stated tobe verified upon his knowledge. The commission shall prescribe the form of suchreports and the character of the information to be contained therein, and mayfrom time to time make such changes and such additions in regard to form andcontents thereof as it may deem proper and each year shall furnish a blank formfor such annual reports to every such public utility. Such report shall alsocover the period, and be filed at the time prescribed by the commission. Thecontents of such report and the form thereof shall conform in the case ofinterstate public utilities as nearly as may be to that required of interstatepublic utilities under the act of congress entitled "An act to regulatecommerce", approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven[1887], and the acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto. The originalsof said reports subscribed and sworn to as prescribed by law, shall be filed inthe office of the commission. The commission may require, by order of anypublic utility or person, specific answers to questions upon which thecommission may need information. If any public utility shall fail to make andfile its annual report within the time ordered, or the time extended by thecommission, it shall be subject to the penalty as provided for under section 68of this act [ 37-12-204].

 

(c) The commission shall, within its jurisdiction, have power,in its discretion, to prescribe uniform methods of keeping accounts, recordsand books, to be observed by all public utilities operating within the state.It may also in its discretion prescribe by order, forms of accounts, recordsand memoranda to be kept by such public utilities. Notice of alterations by thecommission in the required method or form of keeping a system of accounts shallbe given to such public utility by the commission at least six (6) monthsbefore the same shall take effect. Any other and additional forms of accounts,records and memoranda kept by such public utility shall be subject toexamination by the commission. The system of accounts, established by thecommission and the forms of accounts, records and memoranda prescribed by itshall in the case of interstate public utilities conform as nearly as may be tothose prescribed by the interstate commerce commission under the act ofcongress, entitled "An act to regulate commerce", and the actsamendatory thereof and supplementary thereto.

 

(d) Every public utility shall report to the commission, underrules and regulations prescribed by the commission and harmonizing insofar aspracticable with those of the interstate commerce commission, and of any otherdepartment of this state, every accident occurring upon the property of anypublic utility or directly or indirectly arising from or connected with themaintenance or operation of the plant, equipment, appliances, apparatus,property or facilities of such public utility resulting in loss of life orinjury to person or property; provided, that whenever any accident occasionsthe loss of life or limb to any person, such public utility shall straightwayadvise the commission of the fact by the speediest available means ofcommunication.

 

(e) The commission shall investigate the cause of all suchaccidents resulting in loss of life or injury to persons or property, as in thejudgment of the commission requires investigation by it, and the commissionshall have power to make such order with respect thereto, as it may deem justand reasonable.

 

(f) Nothing in this act in relation to service regulation or inrelation to reports or the methods of keeping accounts, records or books shallapply to any common carrier engaged in interstate commerce; provided, that, thedepartment of transportation may, upon proper notice, require any commoncarrier to furnish to the department of transportation copies of any reports asit may designate which any common carrier may have filed with the interstatecommerce commission.

 

37-2-204. Rules for proceedings and investigations.

 

Thecommission may from time to time make, publish or amend rules for the order andregulation of all proceedings and investigations which under the provisions ofthis act it is authorized to conduct.

 

37-2-205. Certificate of convenience and necessity; hearings.

 

(a) No public utility shall beginconstruction of a line, plant or system, or of any extension of a line, plantor system without having first obtained from the commission a certificate thatthe present or future public convenience and necessity require or will requiresuch construction. This act shall not be construed to require any publicutility operating outside of a city or town to secure a certificate for anextension into an area within which it has lawfully commenced operation, or foran extension into territory contiguous to its line, plant or system for whichno certificate is in force and is not served by a public utility of likecharacter or for any extension within or to territory already served by it,necessary in the ordinary course of its business. If any public utility, inconstructing or extending its line, plant or system interferes or is about tointerfere with the operation of the line, plant or system of any other publicutility already authorized or constructed, the commission on complaint of thepublic utility claiming to be injuriously affected, may after hearing make suchorder and prescribe the terms and conditions for the location of the lines,plants or systems affected, as to it are just and reasonable. The powercompanies may, without the certificate, increase capacity of existing plants.

 

(b) No public utility shall henceforth exercise any right orprivilege or obtain a franchise or permit to exercise such right or privilegefrom a municipality or county, without having first obtained from thecommission a certificate that public convenience and necessity require theexercise of such right and privilege; provided, that when the commission shallfind, after hearing, that a public utility has heretofore begun actualconstruction work and is prosecuting such work in good faith, uninterruptedlyand with reasonable diligence in proportion to the magnitude of theundertaking, under any franchise or permit heretofore granted but notheretofore actually exercised, such public utility may proceed to thecompletion of such work, and may, after such completion exercise such right orprivilege; and provided, further, that this section shall not be construed tovalidate any right or privilege now invalid or hereafter becoming invalid underany law of this state, nor impair any vested right in any franchise or permitheretofore granted.

 

(c) Before any certificate may issue, under this section, acertified copy of its articles of incorporation or charter, if the applicant bea corporation, shall be filed in the office of the commission. The commissionshall have power, after hearing involving the financial ability and good faithof the applicant and the necessity of additional service in the community, toissue said certificate, as prayed for, or to refuse to issue the same, or toissue to it for the construction of a portion only of the contemplated line,plant, or system, or of a portion only, of the contemplated line, plant, systemor extension thereof, or for the partial exercise only of said right orprivilege, and may attach to the exercise of the rights granted by saidcertificate such terms and conditions as in its judgment the public convenienceand necessity may require.

 

(d) Upon its own motion, or on complaint of any person thecommission shall have power to investigate and determine whether thecompetitive rates, charges and service existing between any public utilitiesare fair, just and reasonable, after hearing thereon to determine, fix andorder such rates, charges, regulations and remedies as will establishreasonable and just rates, between said competing public utilities, and betweensaid public utilities and their customers and patrons.

 

(e) Where a certificate for the construction and operation of ahigh voltage electric transmission line of 230 KV or greater is required, thepublic service commission shall publish notice of application in a newspaper ofgeneral circulation in each county where the line will be constructed. Thepublic service commission shall give actual notice of hearing on theapplication by registered mail at the applicant's expense to each landowner whomay be affected. The notice of hearing shall be given at least thirty (30) daysbefore the hearing is held and shall contain a summary of the pertinent facts aboutthe application.

 

(f) In the case of a certificate for the construction of a highvoltage electric transmission line of 230 KV or greater, the issuance of thecertificate shall be conditioned so that no construction of the line isauthorized until all right-of-way for the line has been acquired.

 

(g) Any electric utility which provided service to any part ofthe annexed area prior to annexation and which does not receive a franchisefrom the annexing municipality to serve the annexed area shall receive justcompensation from the public or private utility franchised to serve the annexedarea. If the affected utilities cannot agree on just compensation withinthirty (30) days after the franchise has been issued and become final after anychallenge thereto, the affected utilities shall submit the matter toarbitration before the public service commission pursuant to W.S. 37-2-113. Upon conclusion of the arbitration proceedings and payment of the compensationdetermined to be just, ownership of the facilities shall be transferred to theacquiring utility.

 

(h) Notwithstanding subsection (f) of this section, thecommission may authorize the construction of segments of a transmission linebefore right-of-way is acquired for an entire transmission line provided that:

 

(i) The public utility has satisfied all requirements for theissuance of a certificate except subsection (f) of this section;

 

(ii) The public utility has obtained all required right-of-waywithin the authorized segment;

 

(iii) Authorization to construct the transmission line within theauthorized segment shall not exceed ten (10) miles from the advancing end of anauthorized segment, provided that the commission may waive the ten (10) milelimitation if the transmission line segment is:

 

(A) Located entirely between substations or switching stations;

 

(B) Located between a substation or switching station and thestate line; or

 

(C) Located entirely within state or federal land.

 

(iv) Notice has been provided to all private property ownersalong the entire length of the proposed transmission line;

 

(v) The commission provides an opportunity for private propertyowners who are adversely affected by the location of the segment an opportunityto be heard before the authorization of a segment concerning the location ofthe segment or the impact of any future extension of the transmission line.

 

37-2-206. Powers of commission; court to compel obedience to lawfulorders.

 

The commission, commissioner or commissionemployee acting in the capacity of a hearing officer for the purpose mentionedin W.S. 37-1-101 through 37-3-114, and 37-12-201 through 37-12-213, mayadminister oaths, certify to official acts, issue subpoenas, compel the attendanceof witnesses and the production of papers, books, accounts, documents andtestimony. If any person fails to comply with any lawful order of thecommission, commissioner or commission employee acting in the capacity of ahearing officer, or any subpoena, or if any witness refuses to testify to anymatter regarding which he may be interrogated lawfully, the district court ofany county on application of the commission, a commissioner or commissionemployee acting in the capacity of a hearing officer, shall compel obedience byattachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of therequirements of a subpoena issued from the court or a refusal to testifytherein.

 

37-2-207. Attendance of witnesses, production of books.

 

Anyparty to a proceeding before the commission with the consent of the commissionshall have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses, and the productionof books, papers, maps, contracts, reports and records of every descriptionaffecting the subject matter of the investigation.

 

37-2-208. Witness fees.

 

Witnesseswho are summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees and mileagethat are paid to witnesses in the district courts of this state. Witnesseswhose depositions are taken pursuant to the provisions of this act and themagistrate or officer taking the same shall be entitled severally to the samefees as are paid for like services in the district courts of the state. Allsuch fees shall be paid in the first instance by the party requesting theprocess and shall be taxed the same as costs and included in the order of thecommission.

 

37-2-209. Plea of self-incrimination unavailable; use of testimony incriminal prosecution prohibited; exception.

 

Noperson shall be excused from testifying or from producing books, accounts andpapers in any investigation or inquiry by or hearing before the commission orany commissioner, when ordered so to do, based upon or growing out of anyviolation of the provisions of this act, on the ground or for the reason thatthe testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tendto incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture but no person havingso testified shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture foror on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he may havetestified or produced any documentary evidence; provided, that no person sotestifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for perjury in sotestifying.

 

37-2-210. Depositions; rules as to hearings and investigations.

 

Thecommission, or with the consent of the commission, any party to the proceedingsbefore the commission, may, in any investigation, cause the depositions ofwitnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the mannerprescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the courts of thisstate. All hearings and investigations before the commission shall be conductedunder such rules as the commission may prescribe and adopt.

 

37-2-211. Minutes of hearings; parties entitled to transcripts.

 

Theminutes of all hearings had before or by the commission shall be kept, andshall include the names of all persons who appear and witnesses who are sworn,with the identification of any documentary evidence produced. Parties to anyproceeding before the commission shall be entitled to transcripts of thetestimony taken in such proceedings, subject to such reasonable rulings andregulations as the commission may prescribe.

 

37-2-212. Orders to be in writing; opinions to be published.

 

Everyorder of the commission shall be in writing and in cases of importance may beaccompanied by an opinion setting forth in brief the facts on which thecommission has based its order. The commission shall provide for thepublication from time to time and for the assembling of its opinions andorders.

 

37-2-213. Orders effective within 30 days; notice to parties;amendment or annulment of order.

 

Unlessa different time is prescribed by the commission, every order of the commissionshall be effective within thirty (30) days after the service thereof.Straightway after the entry of record of any order of the commission, noticethereof shall be given to every party required to obey the order. At any timeafter the entry thereof the commission in the manner provided for the makingthereof may alter, amend, annul or otherwise modify any order.

 

37-2-214. Rehearing.

 

Atany time after an order has been made by the commission any person interestedtherein may apply for a rehearing in respect to any matter determined thereinand the commission shall grant and hold a rehearing if in its judgmentsufficient reason therefor be made to appear, which rehearing shall be subjectto rules as the commission may prescribe. Applications for rehearing shall staythe effect of any order or decision of the commission only as to the portion ofthe order addressed in the rehearing application until the commission deniesthe application or enters an order following rehearing, whichever last occurs,provided, however, that upon the request of any party and a showing of goodcause therefor, the commission may vacate the stay and allow the order ordecision to remain in effect. An order or decision made after the rehearingvacating, amending or modifying the original order or decision shall not, as tothe matter considered on rehearing, be open to a further application forrehearing, and shall have the same force and effect as the original order ordecision.

 

37-2-215. Prosecution of violations.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall be of the opinion that any public utility is failing oromitting, or is about to fail or omit to do anything required of it by thisact, or by any order of the commission, or is doing anything or is about to doanything or permit anything to be done contrary to or in violation of theprovisions of this act, or of any order of the commission, it may begin andprosecute in any district court of this state an appropriate action in law orin equity to remedy or to prevent such real or proposed violation.

 

37-2-216. Venue.

 

Allprovisions of the law of this state relating to venue shall apply toproceedings under this act, and in addition any action at law or in equity toenforce the provisions of this act, or of any order of the commission, or toprevent any proposed violation thereof, may be commenced in the district courtin and for the county in which the principal office of the commission islocated or in the county where the principal office in the state of the publicutility is located.

 

37-2-217. Jurisdiction.

 

Allprovisions of the laws of this state prescribing the duties and jurisdiction ofthe courts thereof shall apply to this act, and in addition it shall be theduty of the district court of the county in which the commission has itsprincipal office to entertain and determine all actions commenced under theprovisions of this act, or of any order of the commission by mandamus, or byinjunctions, or by any other appropriate remedy.

 

37-2-218. Refund of excess charges.

 

Wheneverany public utility shall charge, collect or receive any rate or rates in excessof the rates fixed in the schedule of charges then in force, as provided inthis act, it shall be the duty of such public utility straightway to refund tothe person paying such excessive rates the difference between the lawful ratesfixed in such schedule and the rates so charged, collected or received.

 

37-2-219. Who may appeal commission decision or action; manner andextent of appeal.

 

Any party in interest or any person orparty authorized under W.S. 37-2-118, to file an original complaint before thecommission, may appeal from a final decision or other commission action orinaction, in the same manner, and to the same extent, as provided by theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-220. Process, evidence as in civil actions.

 

Inall actions and proceedings in court arising under this act, all processes shallbe served and the practice and rules of evidence shall be the same as in civilactions or in suits in equity, except as otherwise herein provided. Everysheriff or other officer empowered to execute civil process shall execute anyprocess issued under the provisions of this act and shall receive suchcompensation therefor, as may be prescribed by law for similar services.

 

37-2-221. Injunction.

 

Noinjunction shall issue suspending or staying any order of the commission,except upon application to the district court in and for the county in whichthe commission has its principal office, or the presiding judge thereof, or thefederal court or judge having jurisdiction there, and upon notice to thecommission and hearing.

 

37-2-222. Undercharges for electricity and gas; collection permitted;restrictions.

 

(a) Whenever a public utility supplying gas, natural gas orelectricity has undercharged any customer as the result of a meter or meteringinaccuracy or other continuing problem under its control, the utility may onlybill the customer for the amount of the unmetered gas or electricity renderedin the one hundred eighty-three (183) days immediately prior to the date theutility remedies the meter inaccuracy. The maximum portion of the underchargefor unmetered gas or electricity rendered that may be recovered from thecustomer in any billing month shall be determined by dividing the amount of theundercharge by twelve (12) and the quotient is the maximum portion of theundercharge that the utility may, subject to subsection (c) of this section,recover from the customer in any billing month, in addition to either regularmonthly charges of any type or regular level payment amounts billed inaccordance with an agreement between the customer and the utility. Subject tosubsection (c) of this section, the time period over which the undercharge maybe collected shall be twelve (12) consecutive months.

 

(b) No utility shall recover any interest charge, servicecharge or fee, whether or not a percentage is utilized for its computation, forbillings made pursuant to this section.

 

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent thecustomer from paying an undercharge or any portion thereof in a time shorterthan that stated in this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed toprevent a gas, natural gas or electric utility from collecting an underchargeor any portion thereof in a time longer than that stated in this section.

 

(d) A gas, natural gas or electric utility may not collect anyamount otherwise permitted to be collected under this section unless theutility, in the first bill the purpose of which is to collect the amount forunmetered gas or electric service, states the entire amount that it seeks tocollect.

 

(e) No gas, natural gas or electric utility required to followthis section in order to collect an undercharge from a customer may shut offthe service of the customer except for safety reasons, except in the event of arequest by the customer and except to enforce a shut-off provision in its filedtariffs with the commission that is triggered by nonpayment by a customer of alawfully owing past due amount.

 

(f) This section does not apply to any act that is an offenseunder W.S. 37-12-111 through 37-12-118, or where a physical act of a customeror its agent causes inaccurate or no recording of the meter reading orinaccurate or no measurement of the gas or electricity rendered.

 

ARTICLE 3 - TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

 

37-2-301. Telephone assistance program creation; discount.

 

 

(a) The commission shall administer atelephone assistance program to provide eligible residential subscribers with adiscount in the monthly charge for local exchange service in the telephonenetwork.

 

(b) The discount provided by the telephone assistance programshall be the greater of:

 

(i) Three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) per month for eacheligible subscriber; or

 

(ii) The amount necessary to obtain the matching waiveravailable under applicable orders and regulations of the federal communicationscommission.

 

(c) In no case shall the discount exceed the rate charged forthe grade of residential basic local exchange service received by each eligiblesubscriber.

 

37-2-302. Eligibility; certification.

 

(a) The telephone assistance program shall only be used toprovide for a single resident line at the principal residence of subscriberscertified by the department of family services, its successor agency or theequivalent tribal authority, to the commission pursuant to W.S. 42-2-303(b)that the subscriber is eligible to receive services under either article 1 or 2of chapter 2 or under chapter 4, title 42 of the Wyoming statutes.

 

(b) At least annually providers of residential regulated localexchange services shall submit the names of persons receiving programassistance to the department of family services, its successor agency or theequivalent tribal authority, for recertification that the persons receivingassistance are still eligible.

 

37-2-303. Reimbursement for discounts.

 

(a) The commission shall authorize an additional monthly chargenot to exceed twenty cents ($.20), for each residential access line and eachbusiness access line not to exceed one hundred (100) lines per customer tofully reimburse providers of local exchange services for discounts giveneligible subscribers under the telephone assistance program. The additionalmonthly charge shall not be imposed on eligible subscribers.

 

(b) The additional monthly charge for local exchange serviceapplies to persons who receive access lines from a provider of localtelecommunications services.

 

(c) In administering the telephone assistance program thecommission shall have the public interest as a primary concern.

 

37-2-304. Administration; rules.

 

(a) The commission shall monitor the effectiveness of thetelephone assistance program and include such information in its annual reportsto the legislature.

 

(b) The commission

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter2

CHAPTER 2 - Public Service Commission

 

ARTICLE 1 - IN GENERAL

 

37-2-101. Creation; composition; appointment; compensation; terms andoaths of members; removal; chairman and deputy chairman; vacancies.

 

 

(a) There is created a commission separatefrom the state board of equalization to which it has been joined which is knownas the "public service commission of Wyoming". The commission shallconsist of three (3) members appointed by the governor, by and with the adviceand consent of the senate. Not more than two (2) members of the commissionshall at any time be members of the same political party. Each member of thecommission shall receive an annual salary as provided by law, to be paid inequal monthly installments in the same manner that other state salaries arepaid.

 

(b) Biennially the members shall elect from among their numbera chairman and a deputy chairman who shall serve in these offices for a periodof two (2) years. The chairman shall receive an additional annual salary asprovided by law during his tenure as chairman to be paid in equal monthlyinstallments, in the same manner as other state salaries are paid.

 

(c) The present elected chairman and two (2) designated membersnow comprising the public service commission, or their successors, comprise thepublic service commission for purposes of this section.

 

(d) Upon the expiration of the term of any member he shall bereappointed or a successor shall be appointed for a term of six (6) years or exceptin case of a vacancy. Each member shall hold office until his successor isappointed and qualified. The governor may remove any member as provided in W.S.9-1-202.

 

(e) In case of a vacancy, it shall be filled by appointment bythe governor in accordance with W.S. 28-12-101.

 

(f) Each member, within thirty (30) days after notice of hisappointment and before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take,subscribe and file with the secretary of state the oath of office prescribed bythe constitution of this state. Effective July 1, 1979, appointments and termsunder this act shall be in accordance with W.S. 28-12-101 through 28-12-103.

 

37-2-102. Quorum; meetings; investigations and hearings by singlecommissioner.

 

 

Amajority of the commission shall constitute a quorum to transact business andfor the performance of any duty or for the exercise of any powers of thecommission and may hold meetings of the commission at any time or place withinthe state. A majority of the commission shall consist of two (2) of the three(3) members, including the chairman, that constitute the commission in thenormal course of business. Any investigation, inquiry or hearing which thecommission has power to hold may be held by or before any commissioner, or anemployee of the commission acting in the capacity of a hearing officer, when anorder is entered in the records of the office of the commission to that effect,and such an investigation, inquiry or hearing when approved and confirmed bythe commission shall be the investigation, inquiry or hearing of thecommission, but no finding or order of the commission shall be effectivewithout the concurrence of a majority of the commission.

 

37-2-103. Seal; may sue and be sued.

 

 

Thecommission shall have an official seal bearing the words "Public ServiceCommission of Wyoming", of which the courts shall take judicial notice,and may sue and be sued by its official name.

 

37-2-104. Gratuities prohibited.

 

 

Nocommissioner or person appointed and regularly employed and receiving a salaryfrom the commission shall accept any gift, gratuity, emolument or employmentfrom any public utility under the jurisdiction of the commission, or anyofficer, agent or employee thereof, nor shall any commissioner or person appointedor regularly employed by and receiving a salary from the commission solicit,request from, or recommend, directly or indirectly, to any such public utilityor any officer or agent or employee thereof, the appointment of any person toany place or position.

 

37-2-105. Offices, equipment and facilities.

 

Theprincipal office of the commission shall be at the state capitol, and thecommission shall be provided by the state with such offices, equipment and facilitiesas may be necessary for the performance of its duties.

 

37-2-106. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; disposition of revenue.

 

Moniesderived from a uniform assessment of persons subject to assessment under W.S.37-2-107, except motor carriers as defined in W.S. 31-18-101(a)(x), shall becredited to the public service commission account for the purpose of defrayingadministrative expenses of the commission with respect to the persons assessed.At each regular session, the state legislature shall, under the budgetprovisions of Wyoming budget law, determine the amount to be collected. Itshall be the duty of the director of the revenue department to ascertain andcollect the proportional amount of the approved biennial budget to be paid byeach person assessed and to remit the funds immediately to the state treasurerfor deposit in the public service commission account. All expenditurestherefrom shall be subject to the warrant of the state auditor, upon submissionof properly executed vouchers authorized by the commission in the same manneras other funds are disbursed.

 

37-2-107. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; assessment generally.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, on orbefore the first day of July of each year the director of revenue shall, byrequiring special reports or otherwise, determine the total aggregate amount ofthe gross Wyoming intrastate retail revenues of all public utilities, entitiesutilizing public utility facilities in the state to furnish retail utilitycommodities or services to the public, and providers of telecommunicationservices, except motor carriers, and those utilities exempted under W.S.37-2-108, for the preceding calendar year. He shall then determine the ratiothat one-half (1/2) of the total authorized budgeted amount for the biennium isto the total aggregate gross retail Wyoming intrastate operating revenues. Theresulting percentage factor shall then be applied to the annual intrastategross retail operating revenues of each of such persons for the precedingcalendar year and the result shall be the assessment of each such person forthe ensuing budget fiscal year. However, the assessment rate against thepersons for any one (1) year shall not exceed .0030 of the gross Wyomingintrastate retail revenues of the persons. By the first day of August thedirector of the revenue department shall assess the persons, and one-half (1/2)the assessed fees shall be paid to him by the persons on or before the firstday of October and one-half (1/2) of the fees shall be paid to him by thepersons on or before the first day of April in the ensuing year. The directorof the revenue department, in computing the percentage upon which fees for thefirst fiscal year of the ensuing biennium shall be based, shall deduct anyunexpended balance in the commission's account, less an amount equal to thetotal of all properly authorized outstanding accounts payable, from one-half(1/2) the total authorized budgeted amount for the biennium, and the resultantfigure shall be used instead of the one-half (1/2) of the total authorizedbudgeted amount for the biennium, as above provided. Any unexpended balance inthe commission's account shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal period."Intrastate gross retail operating revenues" as used in this sectionshall mean intrastate gross revenues derived from the provision oftelecommunications, gas, electric, water and pipeline service offered for finalconsumption and not for resale.

 

(b) For the year 2002 only, the director of revenue shallassess all persons subject to assessment under subsection (a) of this sectionas follows:

 

(i) One-half (1/2) of the calendar year 2002 assessmentdetermined on April 1, 2002 shall be paid on or before the first day of June2002; and

 

(ii) Of the remaining one-half (1/2) of the calendar year 2002assessment, only two-thirds (2/3) shall be paid on or before the first day ofOctober 2002. This October payment shall serve as a transition to the dates insubsection (a) of this section. The remaining one-third (1/3) shall not bepaid.

 

37-2-108. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; exempt persons.

 

Anyperson subject to the provisions of this act shall be exempt from any paymentsor assessments to be made hereunder for the fiscal budget year following thecalendar year in which its gross intrastate retail operating revenues, asdefined in W.S. 37-2-107, total less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).

 

37-2-109. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; penalty for violations.

 

Anyperson who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this act, orfails, omits, neglects, or refuses to observe or comply with any requirement,direction or decision of the director of revenue relating thereto, or to fileany report as may be required by him, within the time specified, shall besubject to a penalty of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) foreach and every offense.

 

37-2-110. Secretary and other employees.

 

 

(a) The commission is authorized to employ asecretary and such other persons as may be necessary to enable it to performthe duties imposed upon it by this act and to designate the duties of suchemployees.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 172, 2.

 

37-2-111. Attorney general to be legal adviser; duties; representationby commission attorneys.

 

Theattorney general shall be the legal adviser of the commission and it shall behis duty to represent the commission in all proceedings in any court, beforeany other agency or before any departments of the federal government. Upon therequest of the commission, the attorney general may designate any dulyqualified attorney employed by the commission to function as an assistantattorney general to assist the attorney general in representing the commissionin all proceedings in any court, before any agency or before any departments ofthe federal government. Wherever he deems it appropriate, the attorney generalmay authorize a commission attorney to act without his assistance.

 

37-2-112. Powers.

 

Thecommission shall have general and exclusive power to regulate and superviseevery public utility within the state in accordance with the provisions of thisact.

 

37-2-113. Arbitration of controversies.

 

Wheneverany Wyoming public utility has a controversy with any other person and all theparties to such controversy agree in writing to submit such controversy to thecommission as arbitrators, the commission may act as such arbitrators, andafter due notice to all parties interested may proceed to hear suchcontroversy, and their award shall be final.

 

37-2-114. Authority to confer with other state and federalcommissions; expenses.

 

(a) The commission may confer in person, by attendingconventions or otherwise, with the members of railroad or other public utilitycommissions of other states and with the interstate commerce commission on anymatters relating to public utilities, and shall be allowed actual travelingexpenses when engaged in such work.

 

(b) In regulating the transmission of electricity:

 

(i) The commission may meet in conjunction with public utilitycommissions of other states as it determines necessary or convenient to developcommon sets of fact finding for regulation of the transmission of electricityin the region. Any common set of facts developed under this paragraph shallonly be developed under a docketed commission proceeding with opportunity forparticipation by the public in compliance with the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and commission rules;

 

(ii) The commission may meet jointly with public utilitycommissions of other states to conduct hearings on the regulation of thetransmission of electricity. The commission shall act independently inentering any order as a result of such hearings;

 

(iii) Subject to W.S. 37-2-122, the commission may considerregional effects of its orders upon the utility and may consider requirementsimposed upon the utility by the laws of other states within the region or theorders of other commissions within the region.

 

(c) As used in subsection (b) of this section,"region" includes any state with a border contiguous to Wyoming andthe states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon andWashington.

 

37-2-115. Examination of records of intrastate business of utilities;authority generally.

 

Thecommission, or upon order of the commission, any commissioner, or any person orpersons employed by the commission, shall upon demand have the right, insofaras applies to intrastate business, to inspect or examine the books, papers,accounts, documents, plant, property and facilities of any public utilityoperating in Wyoming, and to examine under oath any officer, agent or employeeof such public utility in relation to its business and affairs; provided, thatany person other than one (1) of the commissioners shall produce when sorequested his authority to make inspections or examinations under the hand of acommissioner or of the secretary and under the seal of the commission.

 

37-2-116. Ordering production of records.

 

Thecommission, by order, may require any public utility or any officer or agentthereof to produce within the state at such time and place as it may designate,any accounts, records, memoranda, books or papers kept in any office or placewithout or within the state, or in its discretion may in lieu of originalsorder the production of verified copies thereof in order that an examinationthereof insofar as they relate to intrastate business, may be made by thecommission or by any person under its direction.

 

37-2-117. Commission may initiate investigation.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall believe that an investigation of any act or omission toact, accomplished or proposed, or an investigation of any rate, service,facility or service regulation of any public utility should be made in order tosecure compliance with the provisions of this act and orders of the commission,it may of its own motion summarily investigate the same.

 

37-2-118. Who may make complaint.

 

Anypublic utility, person, municipality or the attorney general may complain tothe commission of anything, actual or proposed, done or omitted to be done inviolation of W.S. 37-1 through 37-64 [ 37-1-101 through 37-3-114] or W.S.37-260 through 37-272 [ 37-12-201 through 37-12-213], or of an order of thecommission.

 

37-2-119. Matters to be considered and determined in investigation.

 

Inconducting any investigation pursuant to the provisions of this act thecommission may investigate, consider and determine such matters as the cost orvalue, or both, of the property and business of any public utility, used anduseful for the convenience of the public, and all matters affecting or influencingsuch cost or value, the operating statistics for any public utility both as torevenues and expenses and as to the physical features of operation in suchdetail as the commission may deem advisable; the earnings, investment andexpenditures of any such corporation as a whole within this state, and as torates in plants of any water, electrical or gas corporations, the geographicallocation thereof shall be considered as well as the population of themunicipality in which such plant is located.

 

37-2-120. Order in case of violation; public hearing required forchange in rate or service.

 

Whenever,after investigation in accordance with the provisions of this act, thecommission shall be of the opinion that any provisions or requirements of thisact, or any order of the commission is being, has been, or is about to beviolated, it may make and enter of record an order in the premises, specifyingthe actual or proposed acts or omissions to act which constitute such real orproposed violations, and require that such violations be discontinued orrectified, or both, or that it be prevented. No order, however, shall be madeby the commission which requires the change of any rate or service, facility orservice regulation except as otherwise specifically provided, unless or untilall parties are afforded an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-121. When rate to be changed by commission; nontraditional ratemaking.

 

Ifupon hearing and investigation, any rate shall be found by the commission to beinadequate or unremunerative, or to be unjust, or unreasonable, or unjustlydiscriminatory, or unduly preferential or otherwise in any respect in violationof any provision of this act, the commission, within the time periods providedunder W.S. 37-3-106(c) may fix and order substituted therefor a rate as itshall determine to be just and reasonable, and in compliance with theprovisions of this act. The rate so ascertained, determined and fixed by thecommission shall be charged, enforced, collected and observed by the publicutility for the period of time fixed by the commission. The rates may containprovisions for incentives for improvement of the public utility's performanceor efficiency, lowering of operating costs, control of expenses or improvementand upgrading or modernization of its services or facilities. Any publicutility may apply to the commission for its consent to use innovative,incentive or nontraditional rate making methods. In conducting anyinvestigation and holding any hearing in response thereto, the commission mayconsider and approve proposals which include any rate, service regulation, ratesetting concept, economic development rate, service concept, nondiscriminatoryrevenue sharing or profit-sharing form of regulation and policy, includingpolicies for the encouragement of the development of public utilityinfrastructure, services, facilities or plant within the state, which can beshown by substantial evidence to support and be consistent with the publicinterest.

 

37-2-122. Matters considered in fixing rates; order changing servicesor facilities.

 

(a) In determining what are just and reasonable rates thecommission may take into consideration availability or reliability of service,depreciation of plant, technological obsolescence of equipment, expense ofoperation, physical and other values of the plant, system, business andproperties of the public utility whose rates are under consideration. Indetermining just and reasonable rates for electricity the commission shallconsider common sets of facts developed pursuant to W.S. 37-2-114(b)(i) andregional benefits provided by the utility.

 

(b) If, upon hearing and investigation, any service or serviceregulation of any public utility shall be found by the commission to beunjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential, or any service or facilityshall be found to be inadequate or unsafe, or any service regulation shall befound to be unjust or unreasonable, or any service, facility or serviceregulation shall be found otherwise in any respect to be in violation of anyprovisions of this act, the commission may prescribe and order substitutedtherefor such service, facility or service regulation, as it shall determine tobe adequate and safe, or just and reasonable, as the case may be and otherwisein compliance with the provisions of this act, including any provisionsconcerning the availability or reliability of service. It shall be the duty ofthe public utility to comply with and conform to such determination and orderof the commission.

 

37-2-123. Order apportioning expenses between joint public utilities.

 

Wheneverany order of the commission involves expenditures of any sum or sums by publicutilities rendering any joint service or services, and the public utilitiesaffected thereby shall fail to agree upon the division or apportionment thereofwithin a reasonable time after the service of such order, the commission mayissue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment or division of suchexpense.

 

37-2-124. Records open to inspection by public; exceptions.

 

Allreports, records and accounts in the possession of the commission shall be opento inspection by the public at all times except as otherwise provided in thisact or as ordered by the commission and under rules prescribed by thecommission.

 

37-2-125. Collection and disposition of fees.

 

(a) The public service commission is herebyauthorized and empowered in the conduct of business coming before it to collectin advance the following fees:

 

(i) For filing application for permit, five dollars ($5.00) andfor certificate of convenience and necessity, fifteen dollars ($15.00);

 

(ii) For filing applications for amendment or assignment ofcertificates of convenience and necessity, five dollars ($5.00);

 

(iii) For filing contests, five dollars ($5.00);

 

(iv) For each certificate and seal, two dollars ($2.00);

 

(v) For copies of records, judgments, and orders, one dollar($1.00) for the first one hundred (100) words, and twenty-five cents ($.25) perfolio for each subsequent folio, and if certified under seal, one dollar($1.00) additional;

 

(vi) For issuing summons or subpoenas, one dollar ($1.00) each;

 

(vii) For service of summons or subpoenas by registered mail,fifty cents ($.50) and for personal service, by a person authorized to makesuch service, the same fee that sheriffs receive for such service;

 

(viii) In all hearings on contests or on investigations, the feesfor witnesses and all other costs shall be taxed against the parties ininterest as determined by the commission;

 

(ix) For petitions filed under W.S. 37-6-102, fifteen dollars($15.00) each.

 

(b) All fees collected by the commission shall be paid to thestate treasurer as collected, and shall be credited to the general fund.

 

37-2-126. Report to the governor.

 

Thecommission shall, as required by W.S. 9-2-1014, report to the governor,including in such detail as the commission may deem expedient all proceedingsand investigations of the commission during such period and shall containabstracts of the reports of public utilities prepared by the commission. Itshall also contain the recommendations of the commission for new legislationand any other matters the commission desires to call to the attention of thegovernor and the legislature.

 

37-2-127. Implied and incidental powers; requiring information fromlocal utilities.

 

Inaddition to the powers herein specifically granted, the commission shall havesuch implied or incidental powers as may be necessary and proper, effectuallyto carry out, perform and execute all the powers so granted. The commissionshall have the power to require public utilities whose operations are purelylocal in extent and use to file in the office of the commission a list of theirstockholders, officers and directors, with the residence and post officeaddress of, and the amount of stock held by each.

 

37-2-128. Civil penalty for violation of federal Pipeline Inspection,Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006; generally.

 

Wherethe commission has exercised authority under the provisions of the federalPipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., and amendments thereto, to regulate gas safety in the stateof Wyoming, any person or persons as defined in that act who hereafter violateany provision of that act as made applicable to jurisdictional activities withinthe state of Wyoming may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed onehundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) for violation for each day that theviolation persists. However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed onemillion dollars ($1,000,000.00) for any related series of violations.

 

37-2-129. Civil penalty for violation of federal Natural Gas PipelineSafety Act of 1968; compromise and recovery thereof.

 

 

(a) Such civil penalty may be compromised bythe commission, and such determination shall be in the nature of a final orderappealable by the person alleged to have committed the violation only upon hisrefusal to pay. In determining the amount of the penalty, or the amount agreedupon in compromise, the size of the business of the person charged, the gravityof the violation and the good faith of the person charged in attempting toachieve compliance after notification of a violation shall be considered. The amountof the penalty when finally determined, or the amount agreed upon in compromisemay be deducted from any sums owing by the state to the person charged or maybe recovered in a civil action in the state courts.

 

(b) Any action to recover said sums shall be commenced in thecourts in and for the county or district in which the principal office of thecommission is located.

 

37-2-130. Right of review.

 

Aperson adversely affected or aggrieved by any action, findings, conclusions ordecision of the public service commission is entitled to judicial reviewthereof according to the procedures established by the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and the Wyoming Rules of Appellate Procedure. The standards tobe applied, to judicial review proceedings, including scope of review, shall bethose standards established in the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-131. Supplemental safety jurisdiction of commission.

 

(a) The commission shall have regulatory safety jurisdictionover any "intrastate gas pipeline facility" as defined under thePipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., as amended, for the sole purpose of implementing the safetystandards and practices of the federal act to such intrastate gas pipelinefacility. This jurisdiction shall not apply to an "intrastate gaspipeline facility" which is otherwise subject to federal regulatory jurisdictionfor safety purposes. The commission is authorized under this section toimplement such safety standards and practices only to the extent the secretaryof transportation is so authorized under the Pipeline Inspection, Protection,Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006. The commission's jurisdiction under thissection shall only apply where the secretary of transportation has delegated,or otherwise authorized, the state of Wyoming to act on his behalf, and thestate of Wyoming has formally accepted the delegation or other authorizationprior to the exercise of the jurisdiction by the commission.

 

(b) The commission shall have safety jurisdiction over any newor existing electrical lines used by the owner to transmit electricity which isgenerated by the owner for resale, and which are located upon property notexclusively controlled by the owner of the line for the purpose of enforcementof the safety requirements of the National Electrical Safety Code and thosesafety standards adopted by the commission. This section shall not apply to anyincorporated or chartered city or town established under Wyoming law or jointpowers board created under the Wyoming Joint Powers Act.

 

37-2-132. Determination of telephone prefixes; report to nationaldo-not-call list.

 

The public service commission may determine which prefixesor telephone numbers are used in Wyoming primarily for cellular telephoneservice by determining prefixes or telephone numbers or by utilizinginformation available from the North American numbering plan administrator, thenational pooling administrator, the local number portability administrator orany suitable least cost alternative as determined by the commission. Thecommission shall report these prefixes and telephone numbers to the nationaldo-not-call list.

 

ARTICLE 2 - REPORTS, INVESTIGATIONS AND HEARINGS

 

37-2-201. Fixing time and place of public hearing; notice and conduct.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall determine to conduct an investigation of any matterprovided for in chapter 64, Wyoming Compiled Statutes, 1945 [See 37-1-101through 37-3-114 and 37-12-201 through 37-12-213], either with or withoutcomplaint as in such chapter provided for, it shall fix a time and place for apublic hearing of the matters under investigation, and shall notify, byregistered letter requiring receipt, the complainant, the persons complained ofand such other persons, as it may deem proper, of such time and place ofhearing, at least twenty (20) days in advance thereof. At the hearing heldpursuant to such notice, the commission, commissioner or commission employeeauthorized by order of the commission to conduct such hearing, may take such testimonyas may be offered, or as they may desire, and may make such other and furtherinvestigation as in its opinion, is desirable.

 

37-2-202. Service of notice.

 

Serviceon any person of any notice or order or other matter under the provisions ofthis act may be made by mailing such notice, or order or other matter, or acertified copy thereof, in a registered letter requiring receipt, directed tothe public utility at the principal office of such public utility in thisstate.

 

37-2-203. Separate hearings; hearings to be open; representation byattorney; reports, investigations.

 

 

(a) When complaint is made of more than onematter or thing the commission may order separate hearings thereon and may hearand determine the several matters complained of separately and at such times asit may prescribe. All hearings conducted by the commission or commissionershall be open to the public. In any hearing, proceeding or investigationconducted by the commission or commissioner, any party may be heard in person orby attorney.

 

(b) Within a time to be fixed by the commission, every publicutility under the jurisdiction of this commission shall file an annual reportwith the commission, verified by the oath of the president, treasurer orgeneral manager or receiver, if any, of such public utility, or by the personrequired to file the same. The verification shall be made by said officialholding office, at the time of the filing of said report, and, if not made uponthe knowledge of the person verifying the same, shall set forth the source ofhis information and the grounds of his beliefs as to any matters not stated tobe verified upon his knowledge. The commission shall prescribe the form of suchreports and the character of the information to be contained therein, and mayfrom time to time make such changes and such additions in regard to form andcontents thereof as it may deem proper and each year shall furnish a blank formfor such annual reports to every such public utility. Such report shall alsocover the period, and be filed at the time prescribed by the commission. Thecontents of such report and the form thereof shall conform in the case ofinterstate public utilities as nearly as may be to that required of interstatepublic utilities under the act of congress entitled "An act to regulatecommerce", approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven[1887], and the acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto. The originalsof said reports subscribed and sworn to as prescribed by law, shall be filed inthe office of the commission. The commission may require, by order of anypublic utility or person, specific answers to questions upon which thecommission may need information. If any public utility shall fail to make andfile its annual report within the time ordered, or the time extended by thecommission, it shall be subject to the penalty as provided for under section 68of this act [ 37-12-204].

 

(c) The commission shall, within its jurisdiction, have power,in its discretion, to prescribe uniform methods of keeping accounts, recordsand books, to be observed by all public utilities operating within the state.It may also in its discretion prescribe by order, forms of accounts, recordsand memoranda to be kept by such public utilities. Notice of alterations by thecommission in the required method or form of keeping a system of accounts shallbe given to such public utility by the commission at least six (6) monthsbefore the same shall take effect. Any other and additional forms of accounts,records and memoranda kept by such public utility shall be subject toexamination by the commission. The system of accounts, established by thecommission and the forms of accounts, records and memoranda prescribed by itshall in the case of interstate public utilities conform as nearly as may be tothose prescribed by the interstate commerce commission under the act ofcongress, entitled "An act to regulate commerce", and the actsamendatory thereof and supplementary thereto.

 

(d) Every public utility shall report to the commission, underrules and regulations prescribed by the commission and harmonizing insofar aspracticable with those of the interstate commerce commission, and of any otherdepartment of this state, every accident occurring upon the property of anypublic utility or directly or indirectly arising from or connected with themaintenance or operation of the plant, equipment, appliances, apparatus,property or facilities of such public utility resulting in loss of life orinjury to person or property; provided, that whenever any accident occasionsthe loss of life or limb to any person, such public utility shall straightwayadvise the commission of the fact by the speediest available means ofcommunication.

 

(e) The commission shall investigate the cause of all suchaccidents resulting in loss of life or injury to persons or property, as in thejudgment of the commission requires investigation by it, and the commissionshall have power to make such order with respect thereto, as it may deem justand reasonable.

 

(f) Nothing in this act in relation to service regulation or inrelation to reports or the methods of keeping accounts, records or books shallapply to any common carrier engaged in interstate commerce; provided, that, thedepartment of transportation may, upon proper notice, require any commoncarrier to furnish to the department of transportation copies of any reports asit may designate which any common carrier may have filed with the interstatecommerce commission.

 

37-2-204. Rules for proceedings and investigations.

 

Thecommission may from time to time make, publish or amend rules for the order andregulation of all proceedings and investigations which under the provisions ofthis act it is authorized to conduct.

 

37-2-205. Certificate of convenience and necessity; hearings.

 

(a) No public utility shall beginconstruction of a line, plant or system, or of any extension of a line, plantor system without having first obtained from the commission a certificate thatthe present or future public convenience and necessity require or will requiresuch construction. This act shall not be construed to require any publicutility operating outside of a city or town to secure a certificate for anextension into an area within which it has lawfully commenced operation, or foran extension into territory contiguous to its line, plant or system for whichno certificate is in force and is not served by a public utility of likecharacter or for any extension within or to territory already served by it,necessary in the ordinary course of its business. If any public utility, inconstructing or extending its line, plant or system interferes or is about tointerfere with the operation of the line, plant or system of any other publicutility already authorized or constructed, the commission on complaint of thepublic utility claiming to be injuriously affected, may after hearing make suchorder and prescribe the terms and conditions for the location of the lines,plants or systems affected, as to it are just and reasonable. The powercompanies may, without the certificate, increase capacity of existing plants.

 

(b) No public utility shall henceforth exercise any right orprivilege or obtain a franchise or permit to exercise such right or privilegefrom a municipality or county, without having first obtained from thecommission a certificate that public convenience and necessity require theexercise of such right and privilege; provided, that when the commission shallfind, after hearing, that a public utility has heretofore begun actualconstruction work and is prosecuting such work in good faith, uninterruptedlyand with reasonable diligence in proportion to the magnitude of theundertaking, under any franchise or permit heretofore granted but notheretofore actually exercised, such public utility may proceed to thecompletion of such work, and may, after such completion exercise such right orprivilege; and provided, further, that this section shall not be construed tovalidate any right or privilege now invalid or hereafter becoming invalid underany law of this state, nor impair any vested right in any franchise or permitheretofore granted.

 

(c) Before any certificate may issue, under this section, acertified copy of its articles of incorporation or charter, if the applicant bea corporation, shall be filed in the office of the commission. The commissionshall have power, after hearing involving the financial ability and good faithof the applicant and the necessity of additional service in the community, toissue said certificate, as prayed for, or to refuse to issue the same, or toissue to it for the construction of a portion only of the contemplated line,plant, or system, or of a portion only, of the contemplated line, plant, systemor extension thereof, or for the partial exercise only of said right orprivilege, and may attach to the exercise of the rights granted by saidcertificate such terms and conditions as in its judgment the public convenienceand necessity may require.

 

(d) Upon its own motion, or on complaint of any person thecommission shall have power to investigate and determine whether thecompetitive rates, charges and service existing between any public utilitiesare fair, just and reasonable, after hearing thereon to determine, fix andorder such rates, charges, regulations and remedies as will establishreasonable and just rates, between said competing public utilities, and betweensaid public utilities and their customers and patrons.

 

(e) Where a certificate for the construction and operation of ahigh voltage electric transmission line of 230 KV or greater is required, thepublic service commission shall publish notice of application in a newspaper ofgeneral circulation in each county where the line will be constructed. Thepublic service commission shall give actual notice of hearing on theapplication by registered mail at the applicant's expense to each landowner whomay be affected. The notice of hearing shall be given at least thirty (30) daysbefore the hearing is held and shall contain a summary of the pertinent facts aboutthe application.

 

(f) In the case of a certificate for the construction of a highvoltage electric transmission line of 230 KV or greater, the issuance of thecertificate shall be conditioned so that no construction of the line isauthorized until all right-of-way for the line has been acquired.

 

(g) Any electric utility which provided service to any part ofthe annexed area prior to annexation and which does not receive a franchisefrom the annexing municipality to serve the annexed area shall receive justcompensation from the public or private utility franchised to serve the annexedarea. If the affected utilities cannot agree on just compensation withinthirty (30) days after the franchise has been issued and become final after anychallenge thereto, the affected utilities shall submit the matter toarbitration before the public service commission pursuant to W.S. 37-2-113. Upon conclusion of the arbitration proceedings and payment of the compensationdetermined to be just, ownership of the facilities shall be transferred to theacquiring utility.

 

(h) Notwithstanding subsection (f) of this section, thecommission may authorize the construction of segments of a transmission linebefore right-of-way is acquired for an entire transmission line provided that:

 

(i) The public utility has satisfied all requirements for theissuance of a certificate except subsection (f) of this section;

 

(ii) The public utility has obtained all required right-of-waywithin the authorized segment;

 

(iii) Authorization to construct the transmission line within theauthorized segment shall not exceed ten (10) miles from the advancing end of anauthorized segment, provided that the commission may waive the ten (10) milelimitation if the transmission line segment is:

 

(A) Located entirely between substations or switching stations;

 

(B) Located between a substation or switching station and thestate line; or

 

(C) Located entirely within state or federal land.

 

(iv) Notice has been provided to all private property ownersalong the entire length of the proposed transmission line;

 

(v) The commission provides an opportunity for private propertyowners who are adversely affected by the location of the segment an opportunityto be heard before the authorization of a segment concerning the location ofthe segment or the impact of any future extension of the transmission line.

 

37-2-206. Powers of commission; court to compel obedience to lawfulorders.

 

The commission, commissioner or commissionemployee acting in the capacity of a hearing officer for the purpose mentionedin W.S. 37-1-101 through 37-3-114, and 37-12-201 through 37-12-213, mayadminister oaths, certify to official acts, issue subpoenas, compel the attendanceof witnesses and the production of papers, books, accounts, documents andtestimony. If any person fails to comply with any lawful order of thecommission, commissioner or commission employee acting in the capacity of ahearing officer, or any subpoena, or if any witness refuses to testify to anymatter regarding which he may be interrogated lawfully, the district court ofany county on application of the commission, a commissioner or commissionemployee acting in the capacity of a hearing officer, shall compel obedience byattachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of therequirements of a subpoena issued from the court or a refusal to testifytherein.

 

37-2-207. Attendance of witnesses, production of books.

 

Anyparty to a proceeding before the commission with the consent of the commissionshall have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses, and the productionof books, papers, maps, contracts, reports and records of every descriptionaffecting the subject matter of the investigation.

 

37-2-208. Witness fees.

 

Witnesseswho are summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees and mileagethat are paid to witnesses in the district courts of this state. Witnesseswhose depositions are taken pursuant to the provisions of this act and themagistrate or officer taking the same shall be entitled severally to the samefees as are paid for like services in the district courts of the state. Allsuch fees shall be paid in the first instance by the party requesting theprocess and shall be taxed the same as costs and included in the order of thecommission.

 

37-2-209. Plea of self-incrimination unavailable; use of testimony incriminal prosecution prohibited; exception.

 

Noperson shall be excused from testifying or from producing books, accounts andpapers in any investigation or inquiry by or hearing before the commission orany commissioner, when ordered so to do, based upon or growing out of anyviolation of the provisions of this act, on the ground or for the reason thatthe testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tendto incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture but no person havingso testified shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture foror on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he may havetestified or produced any documentary evidence; provided, that no person sotestifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for perjury in sotestifying.

 

37-2-210. Depositions; rules as to hearings and investigations.

 

Thecommission, or with the consent of the commission, any party to the proceedingsbefore the commission, may, in any investigation, cause the depositions ofwitnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the mannerprescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the courts of thisstate. All hearings and investigations before the commission shall be conductedunder such rules as the commission may prescribe and adopt.

 

37-2-211. Minutes of hearings; parties entitled to transcripts.

 

Theminutes of all hearings had before or by the commission shall be kept, andshall include the names of all persons who appear and witnesses who are sworn,with the identification of any documentary evidence produced. Parties to anyproceeding before the commission shall be entitled to transcripts of thetestimony taken in such proceedings, subject to such reasonable rulings andregulations as the commission may prescribe.

 

37-2-212. Orders to be in writing; opinions to be published.

 

Everyorder of the commission shall be in writing and in cases of importance may beaccompanied by an opinion setting forth in brief the facts on which thecommission has based its order. The commission shall provide for thepublication from time to time and for the assembling of its opinions andorders.

 

37-2-213. Orders effective within 30 days; notice to parties;amendment or annulment of order.

 

Unlessa different time is prescribed by the commission, every order of the commissionshall be effective within thirty (30) days after the service thereof.Straightway after the entry of record of any order of the commission, noticethereof shall be given to every party required to obey the order. At any timeafter the entry thereof the commission in the manner provided for the makingthereof may alter, amend, annul or otherwise modify any order.

 

37-2-214. Rehearing.

 

Atany time after an order has been made by the commission any person interestedtherein may apply for a rehearing in respect to any matter determined thereinand the commission shall grant and hold a rehearing if in its judgmentsufficient reason therefor be made to appear, which rehearing shall be subjectto rules as the commission may prescribe. Applications for rehearing shall staythe effect of any order or decision of the commission only as to the portion ofthe order addressed in the rehearing application until the commission deniesthe application or enters an order following rehearing, whichever last occurs,provided, however, that upon the request of any party and a showing of goodcause therefor, the commission may vacate the stay and allow the order ordecision to remain in effect. An order or decision made after the rehearingvacating, amending or modifying the original order or decision shall not, as tothe matter considered on rehearing, be open to a further application forrehearing, and shall have the same force and effect as the original order ordecision.

 

37-2-215. Prosecution of violations.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall be of the opinion that any public utility is failing oromitting, or is about to fail or omit to do anything required of it by thisact, or by any order of the commission, or is doing anything or is about to doanything or permit anything to be done contrary to or in violation of theprovisions of this act, or of any order of the commission, it may begin andprosecute in any district court of this state an appropriate action in law orin equity to remedy or to prevent such real or proposed violation.

 

37-2-216. Venue.

 

Allprovisions of the law of this state relating to venue shall apply toproceedings under this act, and in addition any action at law or in equity toenforce the provisions of this act, or of any order of the commission, or toprevent any proposed violation thereof, may be commenced in the district courtin and for the county in which the principal office of the commission islocated or in the county where the principal office in the state of the publicutility is located.

 

37-2-217. Jurisdiction.

 

Allprovisions of the laws of this state prescribing the duties and jurisdiction ofthe courts thereof shall apply to this act, and in addition it shall be theduty of the district court of the county in which the commission has itsprincipal office to entertain and determine all actions commenced under theprovisions of this act, or of any order of the commission by mandamus, or byinjunctions, or by any other appropriate remedy.

 

37-2-218. Refund of excess charges.

 

Wheneverany public utility shall charge, collect or receive any rate or rates in excessof the rates fixed in the schedule of charges then in force, as provided inthis act, it shall be the duty of such public utility straightway to refund tothe person paying such excessive rates the difference between the lawful ratesfixed in such schedule and the rates so charged, collected or received.

 

37-2-219. Who may appeal commission decision or action; manner andextent of appeal.

 

Any party in interest or any person orparty authorized under W.S. 37-2-118, to file an original complaint before thecommission, may appeal from a final decision or other commission action orinaction, in the same manner, and to the same extent, as provided by theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-220. Process, evidence as in civil actions.

 

Inall actions and proceedings in court arising under this act, all processes shallbe served and the practice and rules of evidence shall be the same as in civilactions or in suits in equity, except as otherwise herein provided. Everysheriff or other officer empowered to execute civil process shall execute anyprocess issued under the provisions of this act and shall receive suchcompensation therefor, as may be prescribed by law for similar services.

 

37-2-221. Injunction.

 

Noinjunction shall issue suspending or staying any order of the commission,except upon application to the district court in and for the county in whichthe commission has its principal office, or the presiding judge thereof, or thefederal court or judge having jurisdiction there, and upon notice to thecommission and hearing.

 

37-2-222. Undercharges for electricity and gas; collection permitted;restrictions.

 

(a) Whenever a public utility supplying gas, natural gas orelectricity has undercharged any customer as the result of a meter or meteringinaccuracy or other continuing problem under its control, the utility may onlybill the customer for the amount of the unmetered gas or electricity renderedin the one hundred eighty-three (183) days immediately prior to the date theutility remedies the meter inaccuracy. The maximum portion of the underchargefor unmetered gas or electricity rendered that may be recovered from thecustomer in any billing month shall be determined by dividing the amount of theundercharge by twelve (12) and the quotient is the maximum portion of theundercharge that the utility may, subject to subsection (c) of this section,recover from the customer in any billing month, in addition to either regularmonthly charges of any type or regular level payment amounts billed inaccordance with an agreement between the customer and the utility. Subject tosubsection (c) of this section, the time period over which the undercharge maybe collected shall be twelve (12) consecutive months.

 

(b) No utility shall recover any interest charge, servicecharge or fee, whether or not a percentage is utilized for its computation, forbillings made pursuant to this section.

 

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent thecustomer from paying an undercharge or any portion thereof in a time shorterthan that stated in this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed toprevent a gas, natural gas or electric utility from collecting an underchargeor any portion thereof in a time longer than that stated in this section.

 

(d) A gas, natural gas or electric utility may not collect anyamount otherwise permitted to be collected under this section unless theutility, in the first bill the purpose of which is to collect the amount forunmetered gas or electric service, states the entire amount that it seeks tocollect.

 

(e) No gas, natural gas or electric utility required to followthis section in order to collect an undercharge from a customer may shut offthe service of the customer except for safety reasons, except in the event of arequest by the customer and except to enforce a shut-off provision in its filedtariffs with the commission that is triggered by nonpayment by a customer of alawfully owing past due amount.

 

(f) This section does not apply to any act that is an offenseunder W.S. 37-12-111 through 37-12-118, or where a physical act of a customeror its agent causes inaccurate or no recording of the meter reading orinaccurate or no measurement of the gas or electricity rendered.

 

ARTICLE 3 - TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

 

37-2-301. Telephone assistance program creation; discount.

 

 

(a) The commission shall administer atelephone assistance program to provide eligible residential subscribers with adiscount in the monthly charge for local exchange service in the telephonenetwork.

 

(b) The discount provided by the telephone assistance programshall be the greater of:

 

(i) Three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) per month for eacheligible subscriber; or

 

(ii) The amount necessary to obtain the matching waiveravailable under applicable orders and regulations of the federal communicationscommission.

 

(c) In no case shall the discount exceed the rate charged forthe grade of residential basic local exchange service received by each eligiblesubscriber.

 

37-2-302. Eligibility; certification.

 

(a) The telephone assistance program shall only be used toprovide for a single resident line at the principal residence of subscriberscertified by the department of family services, its successor agency or theequivalent tribal authority, to the commission pursuant to W.S. 42-2-303(b)that the subscriber is eligible to receive services under either article 1 or 2of chapter 2 or under chapter 4, title 42 of the Wyoming statutes.

 

(b) At least annually providers of residential regulated localexchange services shall submit the names of persons receiving programassistance to the department of family services, its successor agency or theequivalent tribal authority, for recertification that the persons receivingassistance are still eligible.

 

37-2-303. Reimbursement for discounts.

 

(a) The commission shall authorize an additional monthly chargenot to exceed twenty cents ($.20), for each residential access line and eachbusiness access line not to exceed one hundred (100) lines per customer tofully reimburse providers of local exchange services for discounts giveneligible subscribers under the telephone assistance program. The additionalmonthly charge shall not be imposed on eligible subscribers.

 

(b) The additional monthly charge for local exchange serviceapplies to persons who receive access lines from a provider of localtelecommunications services.

 

(c) In administering the telephone assistance program thecommission shall have the public interest as a primary concern.

 

37-2-304. Administration; rules.

 

(a) The commission shall monitor the effectiveness of thetelephone assistance program and include such information in its annual reportsto the legislature.

 

(b) The commission


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter2

CHAPTER 2 - Public Service Commission

 

ARTICLE 1 - IN GENERAL

 

37-2-101. Creation; composition; appointment; compensation; terms andoaths of members; removal; chairman and deputy chairman; vacancies.

 

 

(a) There is created a commission separatefrom the state board of equalization to which it has been joined which is knownas the "public service commission of Wyoming". The commission shallconsist of three (3) members appointed by the governor, by and with the adviceand consent of the senate. Not more than two (2) members of the commissionshall at any time be members of the same political party. Each member of thecommission shall receive an annual salary as provided by law, to be paid inequal monthly installments in the same manner that other state salaries arepaid.

 

(b) Biennially the members shall elect from among their numbera chairman and a deputy chairman who shall serve in these offices for a periodof two (2) years. The chairman shall receive an additional annual salary asprovided by law during his tenure as chairman to be paid in equal monthlyinstallments, in the same manner as other state salaries are paid.

 

(c) The present elected chairman and two (2) designated membersnow comprising the public service commission, or their successors, comprise thepublic service commission for purposes of this section.

 

(d) Upon the expiration of the term of any member he shall bereappointed or a successor shall be appointed for a term of six (6) years or exceptin case of a vacancy. Each member shall hold office until his successor isappointed and qualified. The governor may remove any member as provided in W.S.9-1-202.

 

(e) In case of a vacancy, it shall be filled by appointment bythe governor in accordance with W.S. 28-12-101.

 

(f) Each member, within thirty (30) days after notice of hisappointment and before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take,subscribe and file with the secretary of state the oath of office prescribed bythe constitution of this state. Effective July 1, 1979, appointments and termsunder this act shall be in accordance with W.S. 28-12-101 through 28-12-103.

 

37-2-102. Quorum; meetings; investigations and hearings by singlecommissioner.

 

 

Amajority of the commission shall constitute a quorum to transact business andfor the performance of any duty or for the exercise of any powers of thecommission and may hold meetings of the commission at any time or place withinthe state. A majority of the commission shall consist of two (2) of the three(3) members, including the chairman, that constitute the commission in thenormal course of business. Any investigation, inquiry or hearing which thecommission has power to hold may be held by or before any commissioner, or anemployee of the commission acting in the capacity of a hearing officer, when anorder is entered in the records of the office of the commission to that effect,and such an investigation, inquiry or hearing when approved and confirmed bythe commission shall be the investigation, inquiry or hearing of thecommission, but no finding or order of the commission shall be effectivewithout the concurrence of a majority of the commission.

 

37-2-103. Seal; may sue and be sued.

 

 

Thecommission shall have an official seal bearing the words "Public ServiceCommission of Wyoming", of which the courts shall take judicial notice,and may sue and be sued by its official name.

 

37-2-104. Gratuities prohibited.

 

 

Nocommissioner or person appointed and regularly employed and receiving a salaryfrom the commission shall accept any gift, gratuity, emolument or employmentfrom any public utility under the jurisdiction of the commission, or anyofficer, agent or employee thereof, nor shall any commissioner or person appointedor regularly employed by and receiving a salary from the commission solicit,request from, or recommend, directly or indirectly, to any such public utilityor any officer or agent or employee thereof, the appointment of any person toany place or position.

 

37-2-105. Offices, equipment and facilities.

 

Theprincipal office of the commission shall be at the state capitol, and thecommission shall be provided by the state with such offices, equipment and facilitiesas may be necessary for the performance of its duties.

 

37-2-106. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; disposition of revenue.

 

Moniesderived from a uniform assessment of persons subject to assessment under W.S.37-2-107, except motor carriers as defined in W.S. 31-18-101(a)(x), shall becredited to the public service commission account for the purpose of defrayingadministrative expenses of the commission with respect to the persons assessed.At each regular session, the state legislature shall, under the budgetprovisions of Wyoming budget law, determine the amount to be collected. Itshall be the duty of the director of the revenue department to ascertain andcollect the proportional amount of the approved biennial budget to be paid byeach person assessed and to remit the funds immediately to the state treasurerfor deposit in the public service commission account. All expenditurestherefrom shall be subject to the warrant of the state auditor, upon submissionof properly executed vouchers authorized by the commission in the same manneras other funds are disbursed.

 

37-2-107. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; assessment generally.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, on orbefore the first day of July of each year the director of revenue shall, byrequiring special reports or otherwise, determine the total aggregate amount ofthe gross Wyoming intrastate retail revenues of all public utilities, entitiesutilizing public utility facilities in the state to furnish retail utilitycommodities or services to the public, and providers of telecommunicationservices, except motor carriers, and those utilities exempted under W.S.37-2-108, for the preceding calendar year. He shall then determine the ratiothat one-half (1/2) of the total authorized budgeted amount for the biennium isto the total aggregate gross retail Wyoming intrastate operating revenues. Theresulting percentage factor shall then be applied to the annual intrastategross retail operating revenues of each of such persons for the precedingcalendar year and the result shall be the assessment of each such person forthe ensuing budget fiscal year. However, the assessment rate against thepersons for any one (1) year shall not exceed .0030 of the gross Wyomingintrastate retail revenues of the persons. By the first day of August thedirector of the revenue department shall assess the persons, and one-half (1/2)the assessed fees shall be paid to him by the persons on or before the firstday of October and one-half (1/2) of the fees shall be paid to him by thepersons on or before the first day of April in the ensuing year. The directorof the revenue department, in computing the percentage upon which fees for thefirst fiscal year of the ensuing biennium shall be based, shall deduct anyunexpended balance in the commission's account, less an amount equal to thetotal of all properly authorized outstanding accounts payable, from one-half(1/2) the total authorized budgeted amount for the biennium, and the resultantfigure shall be used instead of the one-half (1/2) of the total authorizedbudgeted amount for the biennium, as above provided. Any unexpended balance inthe commission's account shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal period."Intrastate gross retail operating revenues" as used in this sectionshall mean intrastate gross revenues derived from the provision oftelecommunications, gas, electric, water and pipeline service offered for finalconsumption and not for resale.

 

(b) For the year 2002 only, the director of revenue shallassess all persons subject to assessment under subsection (a) of this sectionas follows:

 

(i) One-half (1/2) of the calendar year 2002 assessmentdetermined on April 1, 2002 shall be paid on or before the first day of June2002; and

 

(ii) Of the remaining one-half (1/2) of the calendar year 2002assessment, only two-thirds (2/3) shall be paid on or before the first day ofOctober 2002. This October payment shall serve as a transition to the dates insubsection (a) of this section. The remaining one-third (1/3) shall not bepaid.

 

37-2-108. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; exempt persons.

 

Anyperson subject to the provisions of this act shall be exempt from any paymentsor assessments to be made hereunder for the fiscal budget year following thecalendar year in which its gross intrastate retail operating revenues, asdefined in W.S. 37-2-107, total less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).

 

37-2-109. Uniform assessment regarding telecommunications, gas,electric, water and pipeline service; penalty for violations.

 

Anyperson who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this act, orfails, omits, neglects, or refuses to observe or comply with any requirement,direction or decision of the director of revenue relating thereto, or to fileany report as may be required by him, within the time specified, shall besubject to a penalty of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) foreach and every offense.

 

37-2-110. Secretary and other employees.

 

 

(a) The commission is authorized to employ asecretary and such other persons as may be necessary to enable it to performthe duties imposed upon it by this act and to designate the duties of suchemployees.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 172, 2.

 

37-2-111. Attorney general to be legal adviser; duties; representationby commission attorneys.

 

Theattorney general shall be the legal adviser of the commission and it shall behis duty to represent the commission in all proceedings in any court, beforeany other agency or before any departments of the federal government. Upon therequest of the commission, the attorney general may designate any dulyqualified attorney employed by the commission to function as an assistantattorney general to assist the attorney general in representing the commissionin all proceedings in any court, before any agency or before any departments ofthe federal government. Wherever he deems it appropriate, the attorney generalmay authorize a commission attorney to act without his assistance.

 

37-2-112. Powers.

 

Thecommission shall have general and exclusive power to regulate and superviseevery public utility within the state in accordance with the provisions of thisact.

 

37-2-113. Arbitration of controversies.

 

Wheneverany Wyoming public utility has a controversy with any other person and all theparties to such controversy agree in writing to submit such controversy to thecommission as arbitrators, the commission may act as such arbitrators, andafter due notice to all parties interested may proceed to hear suchcontroversy, and their award shall be final.

 

37-2-114. Authority to confer with other state and federalcommissions; expenses.

 

(a) The commission may confer in person, by attendingconventions or otherwise, with the members of railroad or other public utilitycommissions of other states and with the interstate commerce commission on anymatters relating to public utilities, and shall be allowed actual travelingexpenses when engaged in such work.

 

(b) In regulating the transmission of electricity:

 

(i) The commission may meet in conjunction with public utilitycommissions of other states as it determines necessary or convenient to developcommon sets of fact finding for regulation of the transmission of electricityin the region. Any common set of facts developed under this paragraph shallonly be developed under a docketed commission proceeding with opportunity forparticipation by the public in compliance with the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and commission rules;

 

(ii) The commission may meet jointly with public utilitycommissions of other states to conduct hearings on the regulation of thetransmission of electricity. The commission shall act independently inentering any order as a result of such hearings;

 

(iii) Subject to W.S. 37-2-122, the commission may considerregional effects of its orders upon the utility and may consider requirementsimposed upon the utility by the laws of other states within the region or theorders of other commissions within the region.

 

(c) As used in subsection (b) of this section,"region" includes any state with a border contiguous to Wyoming andthe states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon andWashington.

 

37-2-115. Examination of records of intrastate business of utilities;authority generally.

 

Thecommission, or upon order of the commission, any commissioner, or any person orpersons employed by the commission, shall upon demand have the right, insofaras applies to intrastate business, to inspect or examine the books, papers,accounts, documents, plant, property and facilities of any public utilityoperating in Wyoming, and to examine under oath any officer, agent or employeeof such public utility in relation to its business and affairs; provided, thatany person other than one (1) of the commissioners shall produce when sorequested his authority to make inspections or examinations under the hand of acommissioner or of the secretary and under the seal of the commission.

 

37-2-116. Ordering production of records.

 

Thecommission, by order, may require any public utility or any officer or agentthereof to produce within the state at such time and place as it may designate,any accounts, records, memoranda, books or papers kept in any office or placewithout or within the state, or in its discretion may in lieu of originalsorder the production of verified copies thereof in order that an examinationthereof insofar as they relate to intrastate business, may be made by thecommission or by any person under its direction.

 

37-2-117. Commission may initiate investigation.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall believe that an investigation of any act or omission toact, accomplished or proposed, or an investigation of any rate, service,facility or service regulation of any public utility should be made in order tosecure compliance with the provisions of this act and orders of the commission,it may of its own motion summarily investigate the same.

 

37-2-118. Who may make complaint.

 

Anypublic utility, person, municipality or the attorney general may complain tothe commission of anything, actual or proposed, done or omitted to be done inviolation of W.S. 37-1 through 37-64 [ 37-1-101 through 37-3-114] or W.S.37-260 through 37-272 [ 37-12-201 through 37-12-213], or of an order of thecommission.

 

37-2-119. Matters to be considered and determined in investigation.

 

Inconducting any investigation pursuant to the provisions of this act thecommission may investigate, consider and determine such matters as the cost orvalue, or both, of the property and business of any public utility, used anduseful for the convenience of the public, and all matters affecting or influencingsuch cost or value, the operating statistics for any public utility both as torevenues and expenses and as to the physical features of operation in suchdetail as the commission may deem advisable; the earnings, investment andexpenditures of any such corporation as a whole within this state, and as torates in plants of any water, electrical or gas corporations, the geographicallocation thereof shall be considered as well as the population of themunicipality in which such plant is located.

 

37-2-120. Order in case of violation; public hearing required forchange in rate or service.

 

Whenever,after investigation in accordance with the provisions of this act, thecommission shall be of the opinion that any provisions or requirements of thisact, or any order of the commission is being, has been, or is about to beviolated, it may make and enter of record an order in the premises, specifyingthe actual or proposed acts or omissions to act which constitute such real orproposed violations, and require that such violations be discontinued orrectified, or both, or that it be prevented. No order, however, shall be madeby the commission which requires the change of any rate or service, facility orservice regulation except as otherwise specifically provided, unless or untilall parties are afforded an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-121. When rate to be changed by commission; nontraditional ratemaking.

 

Ifupon hearing and investigation, any rate shall be found by the commission to beinadequate or unremunerative, or to be unjust, or unreasonable, or unjustlydiscriminatory, or unduly preferential or otherwise in any respect in violationof any provision of this act, the commission, within the time periods providedunder W.S. 37-3-106(c) may fix and order substituted therefor a rate as itshall determine to be just and reasonable, and in compliance with theprovisions of this act. The rate so ascertained, determined and fixed by thecommission shall be charged, enforced, collected and observed by the publicutility for the period of time fixed by the commission. The rates may containprovisions for incentives for improvement of the public utility's performanceor efficiency, lowering of operating costs, control of expenses or improvementand upgrading or modernization of its services or facilities. Any publicutility may apply to the commission for its consent to use innovative,incentive or nontraditional rate making methods. In conducting anyinvestigation and holding any hearing in response thereto, the commission mayconsider and approve proposals which include any rate, service regulation, ratesetting concept, economic development rate, service concept, nondiscriminatoryrevenue sharing or profit-sharing form of regulation and policy, includingpolicies for the encouragement of the development of public utilityinfrastructure, services, facilities or plant within the state, which can beshown by substantial evidence to support and be consistent with the publicinterest.

 

37-2-122. Matters considered in fixing rates; order changing servicesor facilities.

 

(a) In determining what are just and reasonable rates thecommission may take into consideration availability or reliability of service,depreciation of plant, technological obsolescence of equipment, expense ofoperation, physical and other values of the plant, system, business andproperties of the public utility whose rates are under consideration. Indetermining just and reasonable rates for electricity the commission shallconsider common sets of facts developed pursuant to W.S. 37-2-114(b)(i) andregional benefits provided by the utility.

 

(b) If, upon hearing and investigation, any service or serviceregulation of any public utility shall be found by the commission to beunjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential, or any service or facilityshall be found to be inadequate or unsafe, or any service regulation shall befound to be unjust or unreasonable, or any service, facility or serviceregulation shall be found otherwise in any respect to be in violation of anyprovisions of this act, the commission may prescribe and order substitutedtherefor such service, facility or service regulation, as it shall determine tobe adequate and safe, or just and reasonable, as the case may be and otherwisein compliance with the provisions of this act, including any provisionsconcerning the availability or reliability of service. It shall be the duty ofthe public utility to comply with and conform to such determination and orderof the commission.

 

37-2-123. Order apportioning expenses between joint public utilities.

 

Wheneverany order of the commission involves expenditures of any sum or sums by publicutilities rendering any joint service or services, and the public utilitiesaffected thereby shall fail to agree upon the division or apportionment thereofwithin a reasonable time after the service of such order, the commission mayissue a supplemental order declaring the apportionment or division of suchexpense.

 

37-2-124. Records open to inspection by public; exceptions.

 

Allreports, records and accounts in the possession of the commission shall be opento inspection by the public at all times except as otherwise provided in thisact or as ordered by the commission and under rules prescribed by thecommission.

 

37-2-125. Collection and disposition of fees.

 

(a) The public service commission is herebyauthorized and empowered in the conduct of business coming before it to collectin advance the following fees:

 

(i) For filing application for permit, five dollars ($5.00) andfor certificate of convenience and necessity, fifteen dollars ($15.00);

 

(ii) For filing applications for amendment or assignment ofcertificates of convenience and necessity, five dollars ($5.00);

 

(iii) For filing contests, five dollars ($5.00);

 

(iv) For each certificate and seal, two dollars ($2.00);

 

(v) For copies of records, judgments, and orders, one dollar($1.00) for the first one hundred (100) words, and twenty-five cents ($.25) perfolio for each subsequent folio, and if certified under seal, one dollar($1.00) additional;

 

(vi) For issuing summons or subpoenas, one dollar ($1.00) each;

 

(vii) For service of summons or subpoenas by registered mail,fifty cents ($.50) and for personal service, by a person authorized to makesuch service, the same fee that sheriffs receive for such service;

 

(viii) In all hearings on contests or on investigations, the feesfor witnesses and all other costs shall be taxed against the parties ininterest as determined by the commission;

 

(ix) For petitions filed under W.S. 37-6-102, fifteen dollars($15.00) each.

 

(b) All fees collected by the commission shall be paid to thestate treasurer as collected, and shall be credited to the general fund.

 

37-2-126. Report to the governor.

 

Thecommission shall, as required by W.S. 9-2-1014, report to the governor,including in such detail as the commission may deem expedient all proceedingsand investigations of the commission during such period and shall containabstracts of the reports of public utilities prepared by the commission. Itshall also contain the recommendations of the commission for new legislationand any other matters the commission desires to call to the attention of thegovernor and the legislature.

 

37-2-127. Implied and incidental powers; requiring information fromlocal utilities.

 

Inaddition to the powers herein specifically granted, the commission shall havesuch implied or incidental powers as may be necessary and proper, effectuallyto carry out, perform and execute all the powers so granted. The commissionshall have the power to require public utilities whose operations are purelylocal in extent and use to file in the office of the commission a list of theirstockholders, officers and directors, with the residence and post officeaddress of, and the amount of stock held by each.

 

37-2-128. Civil penalty for violation of federal Pipeline Inspection,Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006; generally.

 

Wherethe commission has exercised authority under the provisions of the federalPipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., and amendments thereto, to regulate gas safety in the stateof Wyoming, any person or persons as defined in that act who hereafter violateany provision of that act as made applicable to jurisdictional activities withinthe state of Wyoming may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed onehundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) for violation for each day that theviolation persists. However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed onemillion dollars ($1,000,000.00) for any related series of violations.

 

37-2-129. Civil penalty for violation of federal Natural Gas PipelineSafety Act of 1968; compromise and recovery thereof.

 

 

(a) Such civil penalty may be compromised bythe commission, and such determination shall be in the nature of a final orderappealable by the person alleged to have committed the violation only upon hisrefusal to pay. In determining the amount of the penalty, or the amount agreedupon in compromise, the size of the business of the person charged, the gravityof the violation and the good faith of the person charged in attempting toachieve compliance after notification of a violation shall be considered. The amountof the penalty when finally determined, or the amount agreed upon in compromisemay be deducted from any sums owing by the state to the person charged or maybe recovered in a civil action in the state courts.

 

(b) Any action to recover said sums shall be commenced in thecourts in and for the county or district in which the principal office of thecommission is located.

 

37-2-130. Right of review.

 

Aperson adversely affected or aggrieved by any action, findings, conclusions ordecision of the public service commission is entitled to judicial reviewthereof according to the procedures established by the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and the Wyoming Rules of Appellate Procedure. The standards tobe applied, to judicial review proceedings, including scope of review, shall bethose standards established in the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-131. Supplemental safety jurisdiction of commission.

 

(a) The commission shall have regulatory safety jurisdictionover any "intrastate gas pipeline facility" as defined under thePipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., as amended, for the sole purpose of implementing the safetystandards and practices of the federal act to such intrastate gas pipelinefacility. This jurisdiction shall not apply to an "intrastate gaspipeline facility" which is otherwise subject to federal regulatory jurisdictionfor safety purposes. The commission is authorized under this section toimplement such safety standards and practices only to the extent the secretaryof transportation is so authorized under the Pipeline Inspection, Protection,Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006. The commission's jurisdiction under thissection shall only apply where the secretary of transportation has delegated,or otherwise authorized, the state of Wyoming to act on his behalf, and thestate of Wyoming has formally accepted the delegation or other authorizationprior to the exercise of the jurisdiction by the commission.

 

(b) The commission shall have safety jurisdiction over any newor existing electrical lines used by the owner to transmit electricity which isgenerated by the owner for resale, and which are located upon property notexclusively controlled by the owner of the line for the purpose of enforcementof the safety requirements of the National Electrical Safety Code and thosesafety standards adopted by the commission. This section shall not apply to anyincorporated or chartered city or town established under Wyoming law or jointpowers board created under the Wyoming Joint Powers Act.

 

37-2-132. Determination of telephone prefixes; report to nationaldo-not-call list.

 

The public service commission may determine which prefixesor telephone numbers are used in Wyoming primarily for cellular telephoneservice by determining prefixes or telephone numbers or by utilizinginformation available from the North American numbering plan administrator, thenational pooling administrator, the local number portability administrator orany suitable least cost alternative as determined by the commission. Thecommission shall report these prefixes and telephone numbers to the nationaldo-not-call list.

 

ARTICLE 2 - REPORTS, INVESTIGATIONS AND HEARINGS

 

37-2-201. Fixing time and place of public hearing; notice and conduct.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall determine to conduct an investigation of any matterprovided for in chapter 64, Wyoming Compiled Statutes, 1945 [See 37-1-101through 37-3-114 and 37-12-201 through 37-12-213], either with or withoutcomplaint as in such chapter provided for, it shall fix a time and place for apublic hearing of the matters under investigation, and shall notify, byregistered letter requiring receipt, the complainant, the persons complained ofand such other persons, as it may deem proper, of such time and place ofhearing, at least twenty (20) days in advance thereof. At the hearing heldpursuant to such notice, the commission, commissioner or commission employeeauthorized by order of the commission to conduct such hearing, may take such testimonyas may be offered, or as they may desire, and may make such other and furtherinvestigation as in its opinion, is desirable.

 

37-2-202. Service of notice.

 

Serviceon any person of any notice or order or other matter under the provisions ofthis act may be made by mailing such notice, or order or other matter, or acertified copy thereof, in a registered letter requiring receipt, directed tothe public utility at the principal office of such public utility in thisstate.

 

37-2-203. Separate hearings; hearings to be open; representation byattorney; reports, investigations.

 

 

(a) When complaint is made of more than onematter or thing the commission may order separate hearings thereon and may hearand determine the several matters complained of separately and at such times asit may prescribe. All hearings conducted by the commission or commissionershall be open to the public. In any hearing, proceeding or investigationconducted by the commission or commissioner, any party may be heard in person orby attorney.

 

(b) Within a time to be fixed by the commission, every publicutility under the jurisdiction of this commission shall file an annual reportwith the commission, verified by the oath of the president, treasurer orgeneral manager or receiver, if any, of such public utility, or by the personrequired to file the same. The verification shall be made by said officialholding office, at the time of the filing of said report, and, if not made uponthe knowledge of the person verifying the same, shall set forth the source ofhis information and the grounds of his beliefs as to any matters not stated tobe verified upon his knowledge. The commission shall prescribe the form of suchreports and the character of the information to be contained therein, and mayfrom time to time make such changes and such additions in regard to form andcontents thereof as it may deem proper and each year shall furnish a blank formfor such annual reports to every such public utility. Such report shall alsocover the period, and be filed at the time prescribed by the commission. Thecontents of such report and the form thereof shall conform in the case ofinterstate public utilities as nearly as may be to that required of interstatepublic utilities under the act of congress entitled "An act to regulatecommerce", approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven[1887], and the acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto. The originalsof said reports subscribed and sworn to as prescribed by law, shall be filed inthe office of the commission. The commission may require, by order of anypublic utility or person, specific answers to questions upon which thecommission may need information. If any public utility shall fail to make andfile its annual report within the time ordered, or the time extended by thecommission, it shall be subject to the penalty as provided for under section 68of this act [ 37-12-204].

 

(c) The commission shall, within its jurisdiction, have power,in its discretion, to prescribe uniform methods of keeping accounts, recordsand books, to be observed by all public utilities operating within the state.It may also in its discretion prescribe by order, forms of accounts, recordsand memoranda to be kept by such public utilities. Notice of alterations by thecommission in the required method or form of keeping a system of accounts shallbe given to such public utility by the commission at least six (6) monthsbefore the same shall take effect. Any other and additional forms of accounts,records and memoranda kept by such public utility shall be subject toexamination by the commission. The system of accounts, established by thecommission and the forms of accounts, records and memoranda prescribed by itshall in the case of interstate public utilities conform as nearly as may be tothose prescribed by the interstate commerce commission under the act ofcongress, entitled "An act to regulate commerce", and the actsamendatory thereof and supplementary thereto.

 

(d) Every public utility shall report to the commission, underrules and regulations prescribed by the commission and harmonizing insofar aspracticable with those of the interstate commerce commission, and of any otherdepartment of this state, every accident occurring upon the property of anypublic utility or directly or indirectly arising from or connected with themaintenance or operation of the plant, equipment, appliances, apparatus,property or facilities of such public utility resulting in loss of life orinjury to person or property; provided, that whenever any accident occasionsthe loss of life or limb to any person, such public utility shall straightwayadvise the commission of the fact by the speediest available means ofcommunication.

 

(e) The commission shall investigate the cause of all suchaccidents resulting in loss of life or injury to persons or property, as in thejudgment of the commission requires investigation by it, and the commissionshall have power to make such order with respect thereto, as it may deem justand reasonable.

 

(f) Nothing in this act in relation to service regulation or inrelation to reports or the methods of keeping accounts, records or books shallapply to any common carrier engaged in interstate commerce; provided, that, thedepartment of transportation may, upon proper notice, require any commoncarrier to furnish to the department of transportation copies of any reports asit may designate which any common carrier may have filed with the interstatecommerce commission.

 

37-2-204. Rules for proceedings and investigations.

 

Thecommission may from time to time make, publish or amend rules for the order andregulation of all proceedings and investigations which under the provisions ofthis act it is authorized to conduct.

 

37-2-205. Certificate of convenience and necessity; hearings.

 

(a) No public utility shall beginconstruction of a line, plant or system, or of any extension of a line, plantor system without having first obtained from the commission a certificate thatthe present or future public convenience and necessity require or will requiresuch construction. This act shall not be construed to require any publicutility operating outside of a city or town to secure a certificate for anextension into an area within which it has lawfully commenced operation, or foran extension into territory contiguous to its line, plant or system for whichno certificate is in force and is not served by a public utility of likecharacter or for any extension within or to territory already served by it,necessary in the ordinary course of its business. If any public utility, inconstructing or extending its line, plant or system interferes or is about tointerfere with the operation of the line, plant or system of any other publicutility already authorized or constructed, the commission on complaint of thepublic utility claiming to be injuriously affected, may after hearing make suchorder and prescribe the terms and conditions for the location of the lines,plants or systems affected, as to it are just and reasonable. The powercompanies may, without the certificate, increase capacity of existing plants.

 

(b) No public utility shall henceforth exercise any right orprivilege or obtain a franchise or permit to exercise such right or privilegefrom a municipality or county, without having first obtained from thecommission a certificate that public convenience and necessity require theexercise of such right and privilege; provided, that when the commission shallfind, after hearing, that a public utility has heretofore begun actualconstruction work and is prosecuting such work in good faith, uninterruptedlyand with reasonable diligence in proportion to the magnitude of theundertaking, under any franchise or permit heretofore granted but notheretofore actually exercised, such public utility may proceed to thecompletion of such work, and may, after such completion exercise such right orprivilege; and provided, further, that this section shall not be construed tovalidate any right or privilege now invalid or hereafter becoming invalid underany law of this state, nor impair any vested right in any franchise or permitheretofore granted.

 

(c) Before any certificate may issue, under this section, acertified copy of its articles of incorporation or charter, if the applicant bea corporation, shall be filed in the office of the commission. The commissionshall have power, after hearing involving the financial ability and good faithof the applicant and the necessity of additional service in the community, toissue said certificate, as prayed for, or to refuse to issue the same, or toissue to it for the construction of a portion only of the contemplated line,plant, or system, or of a portion only, of the contemplated line, plant, systemor extension thereof, or for the partial exercise only of said right orprivilege, and may attach to the exercise of the rights granted by saidcertificate such terms and conditions as in its judgment the public convenienceand necessity may require.

 

(d) Upon its own motion, or on complaint of any person thecommission shall have power to investigate and determine whether thecompetitive rates, charges and service existing between any public utilitiesare fair, just and reasonable, after hearing thereon to determine, fix andorder such rates, charges, regulations and remedies as will establishreasonable and just rates, between said competing public utilities, and betweensaid public utilities and their customers and patrons.

 

(e) Where a certificate for the construction and operation of ahigh voltage electric transmission line of 230 KV or greater is required, thepublic service commission shall publish notice of application in a newspaper ofgeneral circulation in each county where the line will be constructed. Thepublic service commission shall give actual notice of hearing on theapplication by registered mail at the applicant's expense to each landowner whomay be affected. The notice of hearing shall be given at least thirty (30) daysbefore the hearing is held and shall contain a summary of the pertinent facts aboutthe application.

 

(f) In the case of a certificate for the construction of a highvoltage electric transmission line of 230 KV or greater, the issuance of thecertificate shall be conditioned so that no construction of the line isauthorized until all right-of-way for the line has been acquired.

 

(g) Any electric utility which provided service to any part ofthe annexed area prior to annexation and which does not receive a franchisefrom the annexing municipality to serve the annexed area shall receive justcompensation from the public or private utility franchised to serve the annexedarea. If the affected utilities cannot agree on just compensation withinthirty (30) days after the franchise has been issued and become final after anychallenge thereto, the affected utilities shall submit the matter toarbitration before the public service commission pursuant to W.S. 37-2-113. Upon conclusion of the arbitration proceedings and payment of the compensationdetermined to be just, ownership of the facilities shall be transferred to theacquiring utility.

 

(h) Notwithstanding subsection (f) of this section, thecommission may authorize the construction of segments of a transmission linebefore right-of-way is acquired for an entire transmission line provided that:

 

(i) The public utility has satisfied all requirements for theissuance of a certificate except subsection (f) of this section;

 

(ii) The public utility has obtained all required right-of-waywithin the authorized segment;

 

(iii) Authorization to construct the transmission line within theauthorized segment shall not exceed ten (10) miles from the advancing end of anauthorized segment, provided that the commission may waive the ten (10) milelimitation if the transmission line segment is:

 

(A) Located entirely between substations or switching stations;

 

(B) Located between a substation or switching station and thestate line; or

 

(C) Located entirely within state or federal land.

 

(iv) Notice has been provided to all private property ownersalong the entire length of the proposed transmission line;

 

(v) The commission provides an opportunity for private propertyowners who are adversely affected by the location of the segment an opportunityto be heard before the authorization of a segment concerning the location ofthe segment or the impact of any future extension of the transmission line.

 

37-2-206. Powers of commission; court to compel obedience to lawfulorders.

 

The commission, commissioner or commissionemployee acting in the capacity of a hearing officer for the purpose mentionedin W.S. 37-1-101 through 37-3-114, and 37-12-201 through 37-12-213, mayadminister oaths, certify to official acts, issue subpoenas, compel the attendanceof witnesses and the production of papers, books, accounts, documents andtestimony. If any person fails to comply with any lawful order of thecommission, commissioner or commission employee acting in the capacity of ahearing officer, or any subpoena, or if any witness refuses to testify to anymatter regarding which he may be interrogated lawfully, the district court ofany county on application of the commission, a commissioner or commissionemployee acting in the capacity of a hearing officer, shall compel obedience byattachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of therequirements of a subpoena issued from the court or a refusal to testifytherein.

 

37-2-207. Attendance of witnesses, production of books.

 

Anyparty to a proceeding before the commission with the consent of the commissionshall have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses, and the productionof books, papers, maps, contracts, reports and records of every descriptionaffecting the subject matter of the investigation.

 

37-2-208. Witness fees.

 

Witnesseswho are summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees and mileagethat are paid to witnesses in the district courts of this state. Witnesseswhose depositions are taken pursuant to the provisions of this act and themagistrate or officer taking the same shall be entitled severally to the samefees as are paid for like services in the district courts of the state. Allsuch fees shall be paid in the first instance by the party requesting theprocess and shall be taxed the same as costs and included in the order of thecommission.

 

37-2-209. Plea of self-incrimination unavailable; use of testimony incriminal prosecution prohibited; exception.

 

Noperson shall be excused from testifying or from producing books, accounts andpapers in any investigation or inquiry by or hearing before the commission orany commissioner, when ordered so to do, based upon or growing out of anyviolation of the provisions of this act, on the ground or for the reason thatthe testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tendto incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture but no person havingso testified shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture foror on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he may havetestified or produced any documentary evidence; provided, that no person sotestifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for perjury in sotestifying.

 

37-2-210. Depositions; rules as to hearings and investigations.

 

Thecommission, or with the consent of the commission, any party to the proceedingsbefore the commission, may, in any investigation, cause the depositions ofwitnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the mannerprescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the courts of thisstate. All hearings and investigations before the commission shall be conductedunder such rules as the commission may prescribe and adopt.

 

37-2-211. Minutes of hearings; parties entitled to transcripts.

 

Theminutes of all hearings had before or by the commission shall be kept, andshall include the names of all persons who appear and witnesses who are sworn,with the identification of any documentary evidence produced. Parties to anyproceeding before the commission shall be entitled to transcripts of thetestimony taken in such proceedings, subject to such reasonable rulings andregulations as the commission may prescribe.

 

37-2-212. Orders to be in writing; opinions to be published.

 

Everyorder of the commission shall be in writing and in cases of importance may beaccompanied by an opinion setting forth in brief the facts on which thecommission has based its order. The commission shall provide for thepublication from time to time and for the assembling of its opinions andorders.

 

37-2-213. Orders effective within 30 days; notice to parties;amendment or annulment of order.

 

Unlessa different time is prescribed by the commission, every order of the commissionshall be effective within thirty (30) days after the service thereof.Straightway after the entry of record of any order of the commission, noticethereof shall be given to every party required to obey the order. At any timeafter the entry thereof the commission in the manner provided for the makingthereof may alter, amend, annul or otherwise modify any order.

 

37-2-214. Rehearing.

 

Atany time after an order has been made by the commission any person interestedtherein may apply for a rehearing in respect to any matter determined thereinand the commission shall grant and hold a rehearing if in its judgmentsufficient reason therefor be made to appear, which rehearing shall be subjectto rules as the commission may prescribe. Applications for rehearing shall staythe effect of any order or decision of the commission only as to the portion ofthe order addressed in the rehearing application until the commission deniesthe application or enters an order following rehearing, whichever last occurs,provided, however, that upon the request of any party and a showing of goodcause therefor, the commission may vacate the stay and allow the order ordecision to remain in effect. An order or decision made after the rehearingvacating, amending or modifying the original order or decision shall not, as tothe matter considered on rehearing, be open to a further application forrehearing, and shall have the same force and effect as the original order ordecision.

 

37-2-215. Prosecution of violations.

 

Wheneverthe commission shall be of the opinion that any public utility is failing oromitting, or is about to fail or omit to do anything required of it by thisact, or by any order of the commission, or is doing anything or is about to doanything or permit anything to be done contrary to or in violation of theprovisions of this act, or of any order of the commission, it may begin andprosecute in any district court of this state an appropriate action in law orin equity to remedy or to prevent such real or proposed violation.

 

37-2-216. Venue.

 

Allprovisions of the law of this state relating to venue shall apply toproceedings under this act, and in addition any action at law or in equity toenforce the provisions of this act, or of any order of the commission, or toprevent any proposed violation thereof, may be commenced in the district courtin and for the county in which the principal office of the commission islocated or in the county where the principal office in the state of the publicutility is located.

 

37-2-217. Jurisdiction.

 

Allprovisions of the laws of this state prescribing the duties and jurisdiction ofthe courts thereof shall apply to this act, and in addition it shall be theduty of the district court of the county in which the commission has itsprincipal office to entertain and determine all actions commenced under theprovisions of this act, or of any order of the commission by mandamus, or byinjunctions, or by any other appropriate remedy.

 

37-2-218. Refund of excess charges.

 

Wheneverany public utility shall charge, collect or receive any rate or rates in excessof the rates fixed in the schedule of charges then in force, as provided inthis act, it shall be the duty of such public utility straightway to refund tothe person paying such excessive rates the difference between the lawful ratesfixed in such schedule and the rates so charged, collected or received.

 

37-2-219. Who may appeal commission decision or action; manner andextent of appeal.

 

Any party in interest or any person orparty authorized under W.S. 37-2-118, to file an original complaint before thecommission, may appeal from a final decision or other commission action orinaction, in the same manner, and to the same extent, as provided by theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-2-220. Process, evidence as in civil actions.

 

Inall actions and proceedings in court arising under this act, all processes shallbe served and the practice and rules of evidence shall be the same as in civilactions or in suits in equity, except as otherwise herein provided. Everysheriff or other officer empowered to execute civil process shall execute anyprocess issued under the provisions of this act and shall receive suchcompensation therefor, as may be prescribed by law for similar services.

 

37-2-221. Injunction.

 

Noinjunction shall issue suspending or staying any order of the commission,except upon application to the district court in and for the county in whichthe commission has its principal office, or the presiding judge thereof, or thefederal court or judge having jurisdiction there, and upon notice to thecommission and hearing.

 

37-2-222. Undercharges for electricity and gas; collection permitted;restrictions.

 

(a) Whenever a public utility supplying gas, natural gas orelectricity has undercharged any customer as the result of a meter or meteringinaccuracy or other continuing problem under its control, the utility may onlybill the customer for the amount of the unmetered gas or electricity renderedin the one hundred eighty-three (183) days immediately prior to the date theutility remedies the meter inaccuracy. The maximum portion of the underchargefor unmetered gas or electricity rendered that may be recovered from thecustomer in any billing month shall be determined by dividing the amount of theundercharge by twelve (12) and the quotient is the maximum portion of theundercharge that the utility may, subject to subsection (c) of this section,recover from the customer in any billing month, in addition to either regularmonthly charges of any type or regular level payment amounts billed inaccordance with an agreement between the customer and the utility. Subject tosubsection (c) of this section, the time period over which the undercharge maybe collected shall be twelve (12) consecutive months.

 

(b) No utility shall recover any interest charge, servicecharge or fee, whether or not a percentage is utilized for its computation, forbillings made pursuant to this section.

 

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent thecustomer from paying an undercharge or any portion thereof in a time shorterthan that stated in this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed toprevent a gas, natural gas or electric utility from collecting an underchargeor any portion thereof in a time longer than that stated in this section.

 

(d) A gas, natural gas or electric utility may not collect anyamount otherwise permitted to be collected under this section unless theutility, in the first bill the purpose of which is to collect the amount forunmetered gas or electric service, states the entire amount that it seeks tocollect.

 

(e) No gas, natural gas or electric utility required to followthis section in order to collect an undercharge from a customer may shut offthe service of the customer except for safety reasons, except in the event of arequest by the customer and except to enforce a shut-off provision in its filedtariffs with the commission that is triggered by nonpayment by a customer of alawfully owing past due amount.

 

(f) This section does not apply to any act that is an offenseunder W.S. 37-12-111 through 37-12-118, or where a physical act of a customeror its agent causes inaccurate or no recording of the meter reading orinaccurate or no measurement of the gas or electricity rendered.

 

ARTICLE 3 - TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

 

37-2-301. Telephone assistance program creation; discount.

 

 

(a) The commission shall administer atelephone assistance program to provide eligible residential subscribers with adiscount in the monthly charge for local exchange service in the telephonenetwork.

 

(b) The discount provided by the telephone assistance programshall be the greater of:

 

(i) Three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) per month for eacheligible subscriber; or

 

(ii) The amount necessary to obtain the matching waiveravailable under applicable orders and regulations of the federal communicationscommission.

 

(c) In no case shall the discount exceed the rate charged forthe grade of residential basic local exchange service received by each eligiblesubscriber.

 

37-2-302. Eligibility; certification.

 

(a) The telephone assistance program shall only be used toprovide for a single resident line at the principal residence of subscriberscertified by the department of family services, its successor agency or theequivalent tribal authority, to the commission pursuant to W.S. 42-2-303(b)that the subscriber is eligible to receive services under either article 1 or 2of chapter 2 or under chapter 4, title 42 of the Wyoming statutes.

 

(b) At least annually providers of residential regulated localexchange services shall submit the names of persons receiving programassistance to the department of family services, its successor agency or theequivalent tribal authority, for recertification that the persons receivingassistance are still eligible.

 

37-2-303. Reimbursement for discounts.

 

(a) The commission shall authorize an additional monthly chargenot to exceed twenty cents ($.20), for each residential access line and eachbusiness access line not to exceed one hundred (100) lines per customer tofully reimburse providers of local exchange services for discounts giveneligible subscribers under the telephone assistance program. The additionalmonthly charge shall not be imposed on eligible subscribers.

 

(b) The additional monthly charge for local exchange serviceapplies to persons who receive access lines from a provider of localtelecommunications services.

 

(c) In administering the telephone assistance program thecommission shall have the public interest as a primary concern.

 

37-2-304. Administration; rules.

 

(a) The commission shall monitor the effectiveness of thetelephone assistance program and include such information in its annual reportsto the legislature.

 

(b) The commission

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