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MEDIA ADVISORY: Public invited to comment on proposed PSE tariff revisions

Fe. 6, 2024

Media contact: 360-664-1116 or media@utc.wa.gov 
Docket number: UE-220066, UG-220067 and UG-210918 (consolidated) 

Public invited to comment on PSE proposed tariff revisions 

LACEY, Wash. – The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is holding a public comment hearing on Feb. 8 to discuss Puget Sound Energy’s proposed tariff revisions.   

WHO 

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission 

WHAT 

Virtual public comment hearing 

WHEN and WHERE 

6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 

Join by Zoom (recommended) or by phone at 253-215-8782 with Meeting ID 814 5100 9997# and Passcode 459983#. 

You can also submit public comments: 

  • online,  

  • by phone at 888-333-9882,  

  • by email to comments@utc.wa.gov, and  

  • by mail to P.O Box 47250, Olympia, Washington 98504-7250 

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 stacey.brewster@utc.wa.gov

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 consumer@utc.wa.gov

BACKGROUND 

PSE initially began operating under collections restrictions in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the Governor, by proclamation, ordered Washingtonians to stop all non-essential economic and social activity. The Governor, also by proclamation, forbade utilities from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment, refusing to reconnect customers who had been disconnected for non-payment, or charging late or disconnection fees. The protections remained in effect until September 30, 2021. 

The Commission also took action in response to the pandemic by opening a docket, U-200281, to see what measures it or utilities could take to assist customers. It issued a prohibition on disconnections and charging fees that paralleled the Governor’s proclamation, and those prohibitions ended at the same time as the protections created by the Governor’s proclamation.

After a phase-in period, the Commission authorized utilities to begin charging late fees and resume disconnections. PSE resumed limited disconnections beginning May 2022 - those limitations included only customers who had more than $1,000 in arrearages, and excluded known and estimated low-income customers.

The filed petition is requesting the Commission approve the PSE to begin a phased approach to start communicating with customers who have delinquent balances, disconnecting customers, if needed. Known and estimated low-income customers would be included in the proposed phased approach. 

Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy provides electric service to more than 1.2 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 900,000 customers in six Washington counties: King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston. 

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. 

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Topic(s)
Energy