Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
If you are facing unmanageable energy bills, here are some options that will help keep your service turned on.
Select your company below to see what payment assistance options they offer.
For company contact information, click here.
Call your company directly and offer to make payment arrangements that you can keep. The company can disconnect service if you fail to make those payments, so make sure you are able to pay on time. To avoid confusion, ask the company to send a confirmation letter with the agreed upon payment schedule.
Pay the same amount every month with budget or comfort billing programs. The company averages the cost of the energy used during the past 12 months and gives you a set payment for the upcoming year. This avoids high bills in the winter and low bills in the summer, and allows you to accurately budget for your monthly energy bill. The payment plan will automatically be adjusted at the end of the twelve-month budget period to charge only for the energy used. Budget Billing is available anytime of the year with no income limits. Call your company for more information. For company contact information, click here.
Funding is available to help low-income customers pay heating bills during the winter. You may have to meet certain income or age eligibility standards to receive assistance.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides direct heating bill assistance using federal grants and eligibility standards.
For more energy assistance resources in your area, dial 2-1-1 from any phone.
The commission's rules require regulated utilities to either restore service or suspend disconnect actions for five business days if there is a medical emergency in the household. The utility must postpone disconnection for a grace period of five business days to allow you time to submit a medical emergency certificate from their doctor, pay a minimum of 10 percent of the delinquent balance, and make payment arrangements on the balance due. Contact your utility to let the company know there is a medical condition in the household. If you need help, contact the commission.
This emergency option allows low-income individuals who have used up all other options to keep their heat on - from Nov. 15 through March 15 - making payments of seven percent of their household's monthly income. Before March 15, you must make arrangements on the winter bill, and pay the entire balance by Oct. 15. If the payment arrangements under this program are not kept, the company can disconnect your electricity and refuse to reconnect until the entire balance owed is paid. Read the Winter Low-Income Payment Program Law or call the commission for more information.
Commission staff are always ready to answer your questions about regulated energy companies. If you have a problem, try to resolve your complaint with the company first, ask to speak to a supervisor if necessary.
If you have an unresolved dispute with your energy company, or have received a disconnect notice, contact the commission! We will work with the company to help resolve your dispute or assist in making payment arrangements.
Consumer Help Line
Contact the UTC!
Online Complaint Form
Consumer Protection Help Line: 1-888-333-9882
Email: Consumer Help Line
For more information, read the Disconnection of Service Rules