UTC Banner
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission                 January 2008
Table of Contents
2008 Open Meeting Calendar
Are You Moving Soon?
PSE Requests Rate Increase
Talkin' Trash
If A Power Line Hits Your Car
Power Surges
The UTC Can Help
Note These Dates!
The 2008 UTC Open Meeting Calendar is now available.
All open meetings are scheduled for 9:30 am on Thursdays, except as noted. You can arrange to dial in to our conference bridge line to listen in or participate in the open meeting.
To view open meeting agendas and minutes, or to listen to "podcast" recordings of open meeting discussions, please see the Records Center's open meetings archive page.
For additional information, please contact: records@utc.wa.gov, or call (360) 664-1234.
For driving directions to the commission, click on www.utc.wa.gov/directions.

More Info About

Railroad Safety

Quick Links
Commission Calendar
Jan. 31,  9:30 am
Feb. 14,  9:30 am
Feb. 28,  9:30 am
Mar. 13,  9:30 am
Welcome to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) e-newsletter.  UTC Connections replaced our News and Views publication in October 2007.  You received this because you were formerly subscribed to News and Views. If you have questions about UTC Connections, please email consumer@utc.wa.gov.
The UTC works every day to protect consumers by ensuring that utility and transportation services are fairly priced, available, reliable and safe. This bi-monthly e-newsletter is intended to provide you with current information about regulated industries, current issues and topics that impact you.  Thank you.
Moving Couch
Are You Moving Soon?
If so, notice the upcoming changes to the commission's rules on household goods moves in Washington. Changes to the rules are effective January 27, 2008. Check the following helpful hints:
  • Movers are required to provide a written estimate. 
  • Movers must give you a moving guide brochure at the time of your estimate. Read this thoroughly to understand your rights and responsibilities.
  • Movers can only charge up to 25% more than the estimate.
  • Only use registered carriers. Shop around and compare costs.
  • Review the estimate, bill of lading, and inventory of your goods. Ask questions.
  • Select your choice of loss or damage coverage.
  • Be present during packing, loading and unloading.
PSE LogoPSE Requests Rate Increase 
Puget Sound Energy has requested approval for an increase in  electric and gas rates for 2008. If approved, PSE's average electric rates will rise by 9.5 percent and gas rates will be higher by 5.31 percent, effective November 1. Click on www.pse.com for information.
The commission welcomes your participation in its decision-making process. Your voice is important! Here is a link that tells you how to become involved in the rate making process, www.utc.wa.gov/comment.
You may also contact Public Counsel, who has the responsibility of representing you, the consumer, at the commission during rate cases.
Talkin' Trash
Have you ever wondered why you can't choose your garbage company?
Before garbage companies became regulated, companies competed for the most lucrative service routes. Some rural areas received service but at a much higher rate than customers in urban areas. Other customers did not have the option to receive garbage service.
In 1961, the Washington State Legislature enacted laws that brought all garbage companies under regulation by the Utilities and Transportation Commission. The purpose of the law is to guarantee safe, reliable and affordable garbage service to all areas of the state.
The commission issues certificates to companies to serve certain territories. The law also says that a garbage company can apply to serve an area already served by another hauler. In order to receive a certificate to operate, the new company would have to prove that the current one is not providing service to the commission's satisfaction.
Hot Tip!
If a power line hits your car, stay inside unless you are in immediate danger from fire. You are safe from electrical shock as long as you don't become a pathway for the current to flow to the ground. Jump as far as you can if you are forced to leave the vehicle while it is in contact with a power line. Land with both feet as close together as possible and be sure no part of your body touches the vehicle and ground at the same time. Hop or shuffle away from the vehicle so your feet remain together. Don't return to the vehicle until the utility company tells you it is safe.
Surges Happen
surge suppressor
Make sure your equipment is protected for the storm season. According to one of the country's largest casualty loss insurers, over 63 percent of all loss payouts on electronic equipment are due to power problems. Consumers can guard against these problems and prevent costly repairs by using good quality surge protectors. A surge suppressor diverts excessive electrical energy away from your equipment to an electircal ground where it dissipates without doing any harm. For more information, go to www.ul.com/consumers/surge.html, or contact your electric provider or electrician.
What Can the UTC Do For You?
Get Help Problems?
Gas or electric service?
Get help with problems with private utility and transportation providers.  Please call 1-800-562-6150 or email consumer@utc.wa.gov.
Tell a Friend
Please take a moment and forward the new UTC Connections e-newsletter to a friend, family member or co-worker who may be interested in similar issues.  Just click on "Forward email" below.  Thank you.