Customer Notice

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to comment on customer notice, fees, and deposit rules

Docket Number: U-210800

 

UTC holding public workshop to consider changes to existing rules

LACEY, Wash. - The Utilities and Transportation Commission is inviting members of the public to attend a virtual workshop at 1 p.m. on Aug. 29 to discuss potential changes to utility customer notice, fees, and deposit rules. 

In its rulemaking, the UTC will consider potential long-term changes to existing rules on:  

  • deposits  
  • late fees, disconnection fees, and reconnection fees  
  • customer notices  
  • credit and collection rules  

The UTC is holding the workshop to discuss comments energy utilities and customer advocates filed in response to a set of questions, and how these rules impact utility customers.  

The responses are posted in Docket U-210800

Qualified organizations may also be able to apply for Participatory Funding to help reimburse some costs of participating in the rulemaking on behalf of utility customers.  

WHAT

Virtual-only public workshop

WHO

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

WHEN and WHERE

Aug. 29, 2022 

1-4 p.m. 

Participate by Zoom (encouraged if possible).  

Participate by phone. Call 253-215-8782 and use Conference ID 833 0942 4915# with Passcode 106727# 

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 paige.doyle@utc.wa.gov.  

If you need a reasonable accommodation to attend the meeting, please contact the UTC at least one business day before the meeting by calling 360-664-1132 or emailing human_resources@utc.wa.gov.  

Anyone unable to attend this virtual workshop can still participate by filing a public comment. To submit public comments for this rulemaking, you may submit comments by email at comments@utc.wa.gov or by phone at 888-333-9882. Please be sure to reference Docket U-210800.  

BACKGROUND

During the first phase of the rulemaking process, the commission is asking its regulated energy utilities to respond to a series of questions about their disconnection and reconnection numbers and fees, late fees, deposits, and credit and collection processes, and how those processes impact low-income customers.  

The commission is also asking the public to provide comments, particularly on the scope of what the commission should consider as it reviews its rules, and the impacts of its rules on low-income and highly impacted customers. The commission reviewed one round of public comments and is seeking further engagement on edits to the series of questions. 

Under the direction of the commission, in March 2022 UTC staff opened a rulemaking to evaluate whether the commission should update its existing credit and collection rules to protect consumers more equitably. The commission requested the rulemaking after conducting a COVID-19 response workgroup to make sure that customers experiencing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic maintained access to essential services. 

A rulemaking is a formal process a state agency follows to develop or update rules that form the Washington Administrative Code, which are the guidelines that agencies use to implement Washington state laws.  

The UTC regulates the rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, landline telephone companies, and private water systems among other industries. 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.   

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Topic(s)
Consumer
Energy
General