Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission rules provide noncompetitive regulated utilities three options for notifying their customers of a proposed rate:
At least 30-days before the proposed rate takes effect, the company must mail a notice to all customers affected by the proposed rate change. This notice can be included with the customer's bill.
At least 15-days before the proposed rate takes effect, the company must mail a notice to all customers affected by the proposed rate change, and:
- Distribute the notice to community organizations in the service area.
- Provide the notice to all news media within the service area.
- Post the notice on the company internet web-page.
At least 30-days before the proposed rate change, the company does a, b, and c, from Option 2; and buys an advertisement with the full notice in large print in the newspaper with the largest circulation in the service territory.
What Information Must be in the Notice?
- The reason for the rate increase request.
- A comparison of current and proposed rates.
- An example showing the effect of the proposed rate increase on the average bill.
- The proposed effective date.
- How the customer may comment on the proposal to the commission.
Information on Rates, Terms and Conditions
Regulated companies must provide customers with the ability to review their rates, terms, and conditions for services (known as tariffs). This can be done either by maintaining a physical location with a staff person in each county where they serve or provide a toll-free phone number where customers can order copies of the rates for free, and Internet access to electronic copies of the tariffs.