Customer Notice

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MEDIA ADVISORY: UTC seeking public feedback as it reviews its customer fees and notice rules

Media Contact: (360) 664-1116 or media@utc.wa.gov
Docket Number: U-210800

UTC seeking public feedback as it reviews its customer fees and notice rules 

Commission considering changes to customer fees, deposits, credit, and collection guidance 

LACEY, Wash. – The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission invites the public to provide written comments as it considers potential long-term changes and improvements to its customer fees, notice, credit, and collection rules. 

The commission is asking the public for general comments on the scope and purpose of its rulemaking and collecting data from utilities about customer fees and disconnections. As part of the rulemaking, the commission will consider permanent elimination of late fees, disconnection and reconnection fees, and deposits.  


WHAT: 

Notice to file written comments on commission rulemaking. 

WHO: 

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. 

WHEN and WHERE: 

File all written comments by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 29.  

Submit written comments through the UTC’s website at www.utc.wa.gov/e-filing or contact records@utc.wa.gov for more information.  

Written comments must include: 

  • Docket Number (Docket U-210800). 
  • Your name, including any organization you are representing. 
  • The title and date of the comment or comments.  

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. 

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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Editor’s Note: The CR-101 note of rulemaking is available on the UTC’s website in Docket U-210800. The rules the commission is reviewing are in WAC 480-90 and WAC 480-100

Topic(s)
Consumer
Energy
General