News https://www.utc.wa.gov/ en State regulators approve Puget Sound Energy to resume credit and collections processes with modifications https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/state-regulators-approve-puget-sound-energy-resume-credit-and-collections-processes-modifications <span>State regulators approve Puget Sound Energy to resume credit and collections processes with modifications</span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-05-16T12:00:00Z">May 16, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/840" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayla.boland</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-05-16T15:20:22-07:00" title="Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 3:20pm">May 16, 2024 - 3:20pm</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Media Contact: <a href="mailto:media@utc.wa.gov" rel="noopener" target="_blank">media@utc.wa.gov</a> or <a href="tel:3606641125" rel="noopener" target="_blank">360-664-1125</a><br /> Docket Numbers: <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2022/220066" rel="noopener" target="_blank">UE-220066</a> and <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2022/220067" rel="noopener" target="_blank">UG-220067</a> (Consolidated)</p> <h3>Modifications include increased outreach and education about energy assistance programs</h3> <p><strong>Lacey, Wash. –</strong> Today, state regulators approved Puget Sound Energy’s request to resume its credit and collections practices with modifications. The company paused its collections practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The modifications require PSE to conduct targeted outreach to all customers with a balance above $250 that is more than 90 days overdue. Outreach must include telephone or written communication to customers that includes information about bill assistance, payment management, and other programs that the customer may be eligible for without threatening disconnection. PSE will also identify and refer customers to local Community Action Agencies for additional assistance.</p> <p>The order states that if a customer fails to take action with PSE or a local Community Action Agency regarding their past-due balance within 30 days of the customer communication, PSE may place the customer on a phased debt collection plan, known as dunning. Disconnections for non-payment are limited to customers with at least $250 of unpaid, overdue bills.</p> <p>As of October 2023, PSE reported a total of $140 million in unpaid, overdue balances.</p> <p>The commission approved PSE to resume credit and collections processes to address the significant cost of overdue balances and the potential impact if the total unpaid balances were distributed to all customers for recovery.  The order recognizes the importance of providing extensive protection and resources for customers who need assistance to pay their energy bills.</p> <p>However, to mitigate the impact on vulnerable customers, the commission determined that unpaid, overdue balances that occurred during the COVID-19 disconnection moratorium, spanning from March 2020 through Dec. 2021, will not be recovered from individual customers. Instead, the order notes that PSE may recover these costs through its rates.</p> <p>The modified practices go into effect immediately.</p> <p>The order emphasizes that the commission expects, “PSE and all other utilities to prioritize principles of energy justice, afford meaningful opportunities for public participation, and conduct thorough equity analyses when developing credit and collections policies that could disproportionately harm already vulnerable populations.”</p> <p>Additionally, the order states that “achieving equitable access to essential utility services is a vital public interest that must be central to our regulation of customer arrearages, disconnections, and affordability programs. While this order allows a limited resumption of the dunning process, our work to advance energy justice and equitable utility practices is far from complete.”</p> <p><strong>Background Information</strong> </p> <p>On Dec. 22, 2022, the commission approved Final Order 24/10 in <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2022/220066" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Docket UE-220066</a>. In the order, PSE agreed to continue its existing credit and collections processes until the conclusion of the commission proceeding being conducted in <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2021/210800" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Docket U-210800</a>.  </p> <p>As part of this agreement, PSE did not conduct targeted outreach or disconnect customers unless their past-due balance exceeded $1,000, and they were not considered to be an estimated low-income or known low-income customer. PSE limited targeted outreach and collections practices to customers with past-due balances greater than $1,000.  </p> <p>Bellevue-based PSE provides electricity service to more than 1.1 million electric customers in eight Washington counties: Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Thurston, and Whatcom. PSE also provides natural gas service to more than 800,000 customers in six Washington counties: King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston.    </p> <p>The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide equitable, safe, and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.</p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p><strong>Editor’s note: </strong>You can find the final order and all other documents related to this case on our <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2022/220066" rel="noopener" target="_blank">website</a>.</p></div> Thu, 16 May 2024 22:20:22 +0000 kayla.boland 85327 at https://www.utc.wa.gov State regulators approve Puget Sound Energy’s request to recover certain LNG facility costs https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/state-regulators-approve-puget-sound-energys-request-recover-certain-lng-facility-costs <span>State regulators approve Puget Sound Energy’s request to recover certain LNG facility costs </span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-04-24T12:00:00Z">April 24, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/840" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayla.boland</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-04-24T15:40:24-07:00" title="Wednesday, April 24, 2024 - 3:40pm">April 24, 2024 - 3:40pm</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Media Contact: <a href="mailto:media@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">media@utc.wa.gov</a> or <a href="tel:3606641125" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">360-664-1125</a><br /> Docket number: <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2023/230393/docsets" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">UG-230393</a></p> <p><strong>Lacey, Wash.</strong> – Today, state regulators allowed Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to recover certain costs associated with its Tacoma liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility. The commission rejected recovery in rates of costs associated with marine shipping services since the services do not benefit the company’s gas customers.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://apiproxy.utc.wa.gov/cases/GetDocument?docID=539&amp;year=2023&amp;docketNumber=230393" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">final order</a>, the commission found that PSE’s decision to build the plant was prudent but expressed concern that PSE received violation notices from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and noted this could impact the company’s return on investment in the facility in the future. The commission also rejected PSE’s request to recover certain costs from customers, such as the costs of redesigning gas treatment equipment.</p> <p>On May 25, 2023, PSE filed revisions to its currently effective natural gas tariff to recover the costs of constructing and operating the Tacoma LNG facility. PSE proposed $47.6 million of additional revenue to include recovery of depreciation expense, return on investment, and operating and maintenance expenses associated with the regulated portion of the facility. The request also proposed recovery of PSE’s deferred capital costs, including deferred return on investment and operating expenses since the facility began commercial operation in February 2022. Additionally, PSE proposed an allocation of the costs of constructing the four-mile distribution line used to supply gas to the facility between PSE’s regulated and non-regulated customers.</p> <p>PSE proposed to apply the rate of return approved in its recent <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2022/220067" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">general rate case</a> to the total rate base associated with the facility, including its deferrals.</p> <p>The commission agreed with UTC staff’s position and rejected PSE’s request to recover a portion of its deferred return on investment. Additionally, the commission agreed with staff’s proposed allocation of the four-mile distribution line between PSE customers and non-regulated customers and directed PSE to refund the amount its regulated customers overpaid. The reduced allocation percentage decreases the regulated customers’ share of the $27.4 million distribution line from 62%, as proposed by PSE, to 30%.</p> <p>The amount of refund to be returned to PSE’s regulated customers will be determined in PSE’s subsequent compliance filing.</p> <p><strong>Background Information</strong></p> <p>On Dec. 22, 2022, the commission approved a settlement concerning the Tacoma LNG Plant, which determined that PSE acted prudently in authorizing the construction of the facility and allowed PSE to record Tacoma LNG facility costs in a tracker. The settlement permitted PSE to seek recovery of these costs and allowed other parties to contest recovery of costs in a subsequent filing.</p> <p>The commission modified a portion of the settlement and allowed PSE to recover costs provisionally, subject to refund, for the four-mile distribution line through rates. The order required PSE to allocate these costs between regulated and non-regulated customers in its Tacoma LNG tracker filing.</p> <p>The commission is not responsible for siting or permitting the LNG facility, and its 2022 order focused primarily on whether it was prudent for PSE to begin construction of the facility.</p> <p>Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy provides natural gas service to more than 800,000 customers in six Washington counties: King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston.</p> <p>The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.</p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p></div> Wed, 24 Apr 2024 22:40:24 +0000 kayla.boland 85148 at https://www.utc.wa.gov MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to comment on CenturyLink classification petition https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/media-advisory-public-invited-comment-centurylink-classification-petition <span>MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to comment on CenturyLink classification petition</span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-04-22T12:00:00Z">April 22, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/840" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayla.boland</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-04-22T09:48:09-07:00" title="Monday, April 22, 2024 - 9:48am">April 22, 2024 - 9:48am</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Media contact: <a href="tel:3606641116" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">360-664-1116</a> or <a href="mailto:media@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">media@utc.wa.gov</a>  <br /> Docket number: <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2024/240029" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">UT-240029</a></p> <h2 class="text-align-center">Public invited to comment on CenturyLink classification petition</h2> <p>LACEY, Wash. – The Utilities and Transportation Commission is holding a public comment hearing on May 16 to discuss the competitive classification petition filed by CenturyLink companies.</p> <p><strong>WHO</strong></p> <p>Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission</p> <p><strong>WHAT</strong></p> <p>Virtual public comment hearing</p> <p><strong>WHEN and WHERE</strong></p> <p>6 p.m. on Thursday, May 16.</p> <p>Join by <a href="https://utc-wa-gov.zoom.us/j/88526924207?pwd=cwbUXEIuOhHWfaKopgrDWWE3HVU8VW.1" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Zoom</a> (recommended) or by phone at 253-215-8782 with Meeting ID 885 2692 4207# and Passcode 232475#.</p> <p>You can also submit public comments:</p> <ul><li aria-setsize="-1"> <p><a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/submit-comment" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">online</a>,</p> </li> </ul><ul><li aria-setsize="-1"> <p>by phone at 888-333-9882,</p> </li> <li aria-setsize="-1"> <p>by email to <a href="mailto:comments@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">comments@utc.wa.gov</a>, and</p> </li> <li aria-setsize="-1"> <p>by mail to P.O Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250</p> </li> </ul><p>Translation services are available at no cost to you. If possible, please inform the commission at least one business day before the meeting by calling 360-664-1149, or by emailing <a href="mailto:stacey.brewster@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">stacey.brewster@utc.wa.gov</a>.</p> <p>If you need reasonable accommodation to attend the meeting, please contact the UTC at least one business day before the meeting by calling 888-333-9882 or emailing <a href="mailto:consumer@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">consumer@utc.wa.gov</a>.</p> <p><strong>BACKGROUND </strong></p> <p>The CenturyLink companies, including Qwest Corporation and several CenturyTel entities, have filed a petition with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission seeking competitive classification pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 80.36.320 and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 480-121-061. This classification could affect telecommunications regulation and oversight.</p> <p>CenturyLink, part of Lumen Technologies, is the largest local telephone company in Washington, serving approximately 650,000 residential and business lines.</p> <p>The UTC regulates the rates and services of telecommunications companies, investor-owned electric utilities, natural gas and water companies, garbage-collection haulers, household-goods movers and passenger transportation companies, commercial ferries, pipeline companies, marine pilotage, and a low-level radioactive waste repository. The commission does not regulate the rates of broadband services, cellular, cable, or Internet service.</p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p></div> Mon, 22 Apr 2024 16:48:09 +0000 kayla.boland 85108 at https://www.utc.wa.gov MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to comment on PacifiCorp’s Petition https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/media-advisory-public-invited-comment-pacificorps-petition <span>MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to comment on PacifiCorp’s Petition</span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-04-22T12:00:00Z">April 22, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/840" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayla.boland</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-04-22T10:27:29-07:00" title="Monday, April 22, 2024 - 10:27am">April 22, 2024 - 10:27am</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Media contact: 360-664-1116 or <a href="mailto:media@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">media@utc.wa.gov</a> <br /> Docket Number: <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2023/230482" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">UE-230482</a></p> <h3 class="text-align-center">Public comment hearing May 14<br />  </h3> <p><strong>Lacey, WASH.</strong> — The Utilities and Transportation Commission is holding a <a href="https://apiproxy.utc.wa.gov/cases/GetDocument?docID=362&amp;year=2023&amp;docketNumber=230482" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">public comment hearing</a> on May 14 to discuss PacifiCorp’s petition to extend the amortization of the Power Cost Adjustment Mechanism (PCAM) surcharge.</p> <p><strong>WHO</strong></p> <p>Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission</p> <p><strong>WHAT</strong></p> <p>Virtual public comment hearing</p> <p><strong>WHEN and WHERE</strong></p> <p>6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14</p> <p>Join by <a href="https://utc-wa-gov.zoom.us/j/81566198217?pwd=dYHaZN3iTY3Hhqy8W8WI8JpS9aaMq1.1" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Zoom</a> (recommended) or by phone 253-215-8782 and use Meeting ID 815 6619 8217# and Passcode 721759#.</p> <p>You can also submit public comments:</p> <ul><li aria-setsize="-1"> <p><a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/submit-comment" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">online</a>,</p> </li> <li aria-setsize="-1"> <p>by telephone at 888-333-9882,</p> </li> <li aria-setsize="-1"> <p>by email at <a href="mailto:comments@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">comments@utc.wa.gov</a>, and</p> </li> <li aria-setsize="-1"> <p>by mail to P.O Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250</p> </li> </ul><p>Translation services are available at no cost to you. If possible, please inform the commission at least one business day before the meeting by calling 360-664-1140, or by emailing <a href="mailto:stacey.brewster@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">stacey.brewster@utc.wa.gov</a>.</p> <p>If you need reasonable accommodation to attend the meeting, please contact the UTC at least one business day before the meeting by calling 888-333-9882 or emailing <a href="mailto:consumer@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">consumer@utc.wa.gov</a>.</p> <p><strong>BACKGROUND</strong></p> <p>In June 2023, PacifiCorp dba Pacific Power &amp; Light Company (PacifiCorp or Company) filed a petition to approve the 2022 PCAM Report, along with the accumulated customer deferral balance of $71.5 million. The company requested to extend the amortization period for surcharges from 12 months to 24 months. PacifiCorp is also requesting a revenue increase of $37.2 million or 9.5 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2024. A typical residential customer using 1,200 kilowatt-hours per month would see a billing increase of $11.09 monthly. This filing is pursuant to docket UE-14062, order 09, filed in May 2015.</p> <p>Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy of Des Moines, Iowa. The company provides electric service to about 130,000 customers in six Eastern Washington counties: Kittitas, Columbia, Garfield, Benton, Walla Walla, and Yakima. Cities in the company’s service territory include College Place, Dayton, Grandview, Naches, Pomeroy, Prescott, Selah, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Union Gap, Waitsburg, Walla Walla, Wapato, Yakima, and Zillah.</p> <p>The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide equitable, safe, and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.</p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p></div> Mon, 22 Apr 2024 17:27:29 +0000 kayla.boland 85127 at https://www.utc.wa.gov MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to attend Equity Policy Statement development workshop https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/media-advisory-public-invited-attend-equity-policy-statement-development-workshop <span>MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to attend Equity Policy Statement development workshop</span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-04-12T12:00:00Z">April 12, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/840" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayla.boland</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-04-12T11:19:09-07:00" title="Friday, April 12, 2024 - 11:19am">April 12, 2024 - 11:19am</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Media contact: <a href="tel:3606641116" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">360-664-1116</a> or <a href="mailto:media@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">media@utc.wa.gov</a><br /> Docket number: <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2023/230217" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">A-230217</a></p> <h2 class="text-align-center">Public invited to attend Equity Policy Statement development workshop</h2> <p><strong>LACEY, Wash.</strong> – The Utilities and Transportation Commission invites public participation in a <a href="https://apiproxy.utc.wa.gov/cases/GetDocument?docID=31&amp;year=2023&amp;docketNumber=230217" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">workshop</a> to discuss the development of a policy statement addressing the application of equity and justice in commission and regulated company processes and decisions.</p> <p><strong>WHO</strong></p> <p>Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission</p> <p><strong>WHAT</strong></p> <p>Hybrid (in-person and virtual) workshop</p> <p><strong>WHEN and WHERE</strong></p> <p>1-4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, 2024</p> <ul><li><strong>For in-person attendance:</strong> <ul><li>621 Woodland Square Loop S.E., Lacey, Washington 98503</li> <li>Hearing Room – Please use sign-in sheet in the lobby.<br />  </li> </ul></li> <li><strong>For virtual participation:</strong> <ul><li>Join by <a href="https://utc-wa-gov.zoom.us/j/85902263842?pwd=gaUr2ehqzdKpP0D8UDOTdb85eIaUZs.1" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Zoom</a> (recommended) or by phone at <a href="tel:2532158782" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">253-215-8782</a> with Meeting ID 859 0226 3842# and Passcode 896593#.</li> </ul></li> </ul><p>Translation services are available at no cost to you. If possible, please inform the commission at least one business day before the meeting by calling <a href="tel:3606641149" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">360-664-1149</a>, or by emailing <a href="mailto:stacey.brewster@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">stacey.brewster@utc.wa.gov</a>.</p> <p>If you need reasonable accommodation to attend the meeting, please contact the UTC at least one business day before the meeting by calling <a href="tel:8883339882" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">888-333-9882</a> or emailing <a href="mailto:consumer@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">consumer@utc.wa.gov</a>.</p> <p><strong>BACKGROUND</strong></p> <p>The UTC is holding this workshop as part of its ongoing efforts to develop a comprehensive policy statement on equity and justice. This initiative reflects the commission’s commitment to ensuring that its regulatory decisions and processes are informed by the principles of procedural justice, distributional justice, recognition justice, and restorative justice.</p> <p>The UTC regulates the rates and services of telecommunications companies, investor-owned electric utilities, natural gas and water companies, garbage-collection haulers, household-goods movers and passenger transportation companies, commercial ferries, pipeline companies, marine pilotage, and a low-level radioactive waste repository. The commission does not regulate the rates of broadband services, cellular, cable, or Internet service.</p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p></div> Fri, 12 Apr 2024 18:19:09 +0000 kayla.boland 85078 at https://www.utc.wa.gov Call Before You Dig to Know What’s Below  https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/call-you-dig-know-whats-below <span>Call Before You Dig to Know What’s Below </span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-04-03T12:00:00Z">April 3, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/840" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayla.boland</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-04-03T09:25:54-07:00" title="Wednesday, April 3, 2024 - 9:25am">April 3, 2024 - 9:25am</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h2 class="text-align-center">April is Safe Digging Month</h2> <p><strong>LACEY, Wash.</strong> - As Washington residents prepare for spring gardening, home improvement projects, and construction, the Utilities and Transportation Commission reminds everyone to <strong>call 811 before digging</strong> to prevent injuries, property damage, and service disruptions. </p> <p>April is nationally recognized as Safe Digging Month. Spring is a vital time to remember to call 811 at least <strong>two business days</strong> ahead of any digging project, big or small. This free service sends professional locators to mark underground utility lines on your property. </p> <p>Whether you plant a tree, install a mailbox, or build a fence, calling 811 is the law and the safest course of action. It helps you avoid striking buried electrical lines, gas pipes, and other utilities that can cause severe harm. </p> <p>In 2023, nearly half (46%) of the 2,069 reported underground utility damage in Washington were caused by those who did not call 811 before digging. These incidents are preventable with proper planning and a free call. </p> <p>The Utility Notification Center receives calls to 811 and sends locators to mark utility lines with color-coded flags and paint. Once the locate is complete, carefully hand-dig around marked areas to avoid accidentally contacting buried utilities. </p> <p>Last year, the notification center received 488,564 locate requests, a decrease of more than 35,757 from 2022. </p> <p>If you experience any issues with your utility locate, such as delays, incomplete markings, or inaccuracies, contact the UTC Consumer Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or email <a href="mailto:consumer@utc.wa.gov" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">consumer@utc.wa.gov</a>. For more details on safe digging practices in Washington, visit <a href="https://digsafewa.com/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">digsafewa.com</a>. </p> <p>Established by the Legislature in 1955, the UTC’s Pipeline Safety Program regulates the safety practices of 39 pipeline operators and conducts safety inspections on more than 47,000 miles of natural gas and hazardous-liquid pipelines in Washington. The UTC also regulates private, investor-owned natural gas, electric, water, and telecommunication utilities in the state. More information on the UTC Pipeline Safety Program can be found at <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/public-safety/pipeline-safety" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">www.utc.wa.gov</a>. </p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p></div> Wed, 03 Apr 2024 16:25:54 +0000 kayla.boland 85047 at https://www.utc.wa.gov State regulators approve PacifiCorp’s first general rate case settlement https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/state-regulators-approve-pacificorps-first-general-rate-case-settlement <span>State regulators approve PacifiCorp’s first general rate case settlement</span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-03-19T12:00:00Z">March 19, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/840" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayla.boland</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-03-19T13:20:22-07:00" title="Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 1:20pm">March 19, 2024 - 1:20pm</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Media Contact: <a href="mailto:media@utc.wa.gov">media@utc.wa.gov</a> or 360-664-1125</p> <p>Docket numbers: <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2023/230172" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">UE-230172</a> and <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2021/210852" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">UE-210852</a> (consolidated)</p> <h3>Customer rates to increase over next two years</h3> <p><strong>Lacey, Wash.</strong> – Today, state regulators approved rate increases for PacifiCorp’s electric customers. </p> <p>The Utilities and Transportation Commission approved a settlement agreement, subject to conditions, establishing a multi-year rate plan for the company to recover costs related to power, investments to support its clean energy transition, and increases in the cost of capital, among other factors. This is the first general rate case settlement approved for PacifiCorp since the passage of RCW 80.28.425, which requires utilities to propose multi-year rate plans in rate case filings before the commission.  </p> <p>The approved settlement covers a two-year period. Beginning in March 2024, a typical residential electric customer using 1,200 kilowatt-hours per month will pay $4.37 more per month, or an average monthly bill of $129.66. Beginning in March 2025, customers will experience an additional increase of $6.07 more per month.</p> <p>The settlement also requires PacifiCorp to work with the parties to develop a distributional equity analysis, a language access plan, and enhancements to its low-income bill assistance program. </p> <p>The commission approved the settlement agreement, subject to the conditions, that the company tracks additional data on affordability and energy burdens. PacifiCorp must also investigate the costs of providing this data at the census tract level. If PacifiCorp and the other settling parties accept the commission’s conditions, PacifiCorp will submit a compliance filing to the commission to determine the effective date for the rate increase. </p> <p><strong>Revenue Requirements </strong> </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Although the Commission authorized an increase in revenues of $12.68 million for rate year one and $21.1 million for rate years two, PacifiCorp must submit a compliance filing to update its power costs which will ultimately change the final impact to customers. </p> <p>PacifiCorp also must return fifty percent of excess revenues associated with the sale of fly ash to Washington customers, effectively reducing rates by $3.4 million over two years.  </p> <p><strong>Equity</strong> </p> <p>In the settlement, PacifiCorp agreed to collaborate with UTC staff and interested parties to develop an equity framework to evaluate their next general rate case based on the tenets of equity developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. PacifiCorp will also develop a distributed equity analysis for capital projects. Additionally, PacifiCorp will develop costs and benefits for analysis in collaboration with its equity advisory group, integrated resource advisory group and its customers.  </p> <p><strong>Low-income assistance</strong> </p> <p>The settlement requires PacifiCorp to work with its low-income advisory group and equity advisory group to develop enhancements to its low-income bill assistance program and create an arrearage management plan. PacifiCorp will seek consensus regarding customers to use self-declaration to qualify for income-based assistance, and the Company will propose tariff revisions to the commission in a compliance filing by April 30, 2025. PacifiCorp will also conduct a robust equity review of its disconnection practices in consultation with the low-income advisory group and equity advisory group.  </p> <p>Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy of Des Moines, Iowa. The company provides electric service to about 130,000 customers in six Eastern Washington counties: Kittitas, Columbia, Garfield, Benton, Walla Walla, and Yakima. Cities in the company’s service territory include College Place, Dayton, Grandview, Naches, Pomeroy, Prescott, Selah, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Union Gap, Waitsburg, Walla Walla, Wapato, Yakima, and Zillah.  </p> <p>The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide equitable, safe, and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.   </p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p></div> Tue, 19 Mar 2024 20:20:22 +0000 kayla.boland 84950 at https://www.utc.wa.gov UTC staff recommend $252,000 plus penalty to CenturyLink for lack of documentation and customer service response times https://www.utc.wa.gov/news/2024/utc-staff-recommend-252000-plus-penalty-centurylink-lack-documentation-and-customer-service-response <span>UTC staff recommend $252,000 plus penalty to CenturyLink for lack of documentation and customer service response times</span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Date</div> <div class="field--item"><time datetime="2024-03-14T12:00:00Z">March 14, 2024 - 12:00pm</time> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/816" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Tiffany Johnson</span></span> <span><time datetime="2024-03-14T10:53:20-07:00" title="Thursday, March 14, 2024 - 10:53am">March 14, 2024 - 10:53am</time> </span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Docket number: <a href="https://www.utc.wa.gov/casedocket/2024/240078">UT-240078</a></p> <p><strong>Editor's Note: This news release reflects the position of staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) and NOT the views of the three-member commission. It discusses enforcement actions and penalties that the commissioners have not yet reviewed. Any positions taken or comments offered by commission staff regarding this proceeding should be attributed clearly to staff members and NOT to the UTC.</strong></p> <h2>Staff found company violated requirements for live representative response times and providing documentation</h2> <p>LACEY, Wash. – The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission filed a complaint against CenturyLink Communications, LLC for excessive wait times to reach a live customer service representative and not providing required documentation to the commission.</p> <p>In an investigation, UTC staff found that CenturyLink violated commission rules by not connecting customers with a live representative within 60 seconds from the time the caller selected to speak to a live representative. Staff found that CenturyLink committed nine violations of this law from March 2022 through November 2022.</p> <p>During the investigation, staff also found that CenturyLink failed to provide all requested documentation to the commission within 10 business days of the request. Staff found that CenturyLink committed 234 such violations from March 2023 through February 2024.</p> <p>Staff are asking the commission to assess CenturyLink a penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation of requested documentation, totaling $243,000. Staff are also requesting an additional $1,000 per each violation of customer service response times, totaling $9,000. The combined total amount for all violations recommended is $252,000.</p> <p>Initially, UTC staff discovered the violation after receiving several complaints from CenturyLink customers about excessive call wait times and their inability to reach a customer service representative.</p> <p>The Utilities and Transportation Commission will hold a prehearing conference to establish a schedule to review the complaint at 1:30 p.m. on April 8.</p> <p>CenturyLink, part of Lumen Technologies, is the largest local telephone company in Washington, serving approximately 650,000 residential and business lines.</p> <p>The UTC regulates the rates and services of telecommunications companies, investor-owned electric utilities, natural gas and water companies, garbage-collection haulers, household-goods movers and passenger transportation companies, commercial ferries, pipeline companies, marine pilotage, and a low-level radioactive waste repository. The commission does not regulate the rates of broadband, cellular, cable, or internet service.</p> <p class="text-align-center">###</p></div> Thu, 14 Mar 2024 17:53:20 +0000 Tiffany Johnson 84932 at https://www.utc.wa.gov