Update: 2013 Wisconsin Act 47

October 29, 2013

This is an update on the adoption of Section 196.137, Wis. Stats., regarding municipal utility customer information.

Customer information means any information received from a customer that serves to identify a customer individually by utility usage or utility account status. A municipal utility cannot release customer information except with the consent of the customer or except as provided for in the statute.

Recently, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 315, which was signed into law by Governor Walker, as 2013 Wisconsin Act 47.

This Act expanded the number of exemptions applicable to the prohibition against disclosure. Municipal utilities can now disclose customer information as follows:

  • In connection with an issue of municipal securities.
  • In connection with the preparation of real estate closing documents, a disclosure can be made to a title agent, insurer, lender, mortgage broker or attorney providing legal services.
  • In connection with the foreclosure of real property, a lender or prospective purchaser can receive the information.

Act 47 is obviously a “curative” act intending to answer many of the questions that arose subsequent to the initial passage.

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