Current as of: 2013
(1) In this section:
(a) "Advertising" means:
1. Printed and published material and descriptive literature of a utility used in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV scripts, billboards and similar displays.
1m. Any material which provides information favorable to a public utility on any issue about which the utility is attempting to influence legislative or administrative action by direct oral or written communication with any elective state official, agency official or legislative employee if the practice is regulated under subch. III of ch. 13.
2. Descriptive literature and sales aids of all kinds issued by a utility for presentation to utility consumers and other members of the public, including but not limited to any material enclosed with or added to a utility billing statement, circulars, leaflets, booklets, depictions, illustrations and form letters.
3. Prepared sales talks to the public and public informational facilities.
4. Other materials and procedures enumerated by rule of the commission which promote or provide information to the public about a public utility.
(b) "Expenditure" means any cost of advertising directly incurred by a utility and any cost of advertising incurred by contribution to parent or affiliated companies or to trade associations.
(c) "Public utility" in this section means any public utility, as defined in s. 196.01, engaged in the transmission, delivery or furnishing of natural gas by means of pipes or mains, heat, light or power. "Public utility" does not include any cooperative association organized under ch. 185.
(2) A public utility may not charge its ratepayers for any expenditure for advertising unless the advertising:
(b) Produces a demonstrated, direct and substantial benefit for ratepayers. Advertising which produces a direct and substantial benefit for ratepayers is limited to advertising which:
1. Demonstrates energy conservation methods;
2. Conveys safety information on the use of energy;
3. Demonstrates methods of reducing ratepayer costs;
4. Otherwise directly and substantially benefits ratepayers; or
5. Is required by law.
(3) The commission shall make rules to carry out the purposes of and to enforce this section.
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