Evers signs Citizens Utility Board bill

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Wisconsin now has stable funding for the Citizens Utility Board, an an independent non-profit group that advocates for residential and small business utility customers.

Gov. Tony Evers signed the bill into law Thursday, which will fund the CUB each year. CUB is represents customers in rate case and utility construction proceedings before the Public Service Commission. Previously, CUB funding relied on funding from a PSC grant, which was subject to approval in Wisconsin’s biennial budget.

“Giving CUB the means to have a more equal footing in proceedings before the PSC results in greater representation for Wisconsin consumers, and ultimately leads to lower utility bills,” said  Evers. “This law will ensure that CUB’s funding will be more stable and sustainable, and will allow CUB to remain focused on its mission of advocating for Wisconsin families and small businesses who don’t have an army of attorneys at their disposal.”

PSC chair Rebecca Cameron Valcz agreed that it was an important group.

“Without CUB’s active participation as an intervenor in PSC cases, there would be a lack of a counterbalance to the utilities—leaving residential and small business consumers without an equal advocate,” said Cameron Valcq. “We have to base our decisions on the evidence presented to us. This will make that information more robust and complete, and ensure the voice of customers is represented.”

The new law authorizes up to $900,000 per year in funding for the CUB.