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Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission                 June 2008
Table of Contents
Be Meter Savvy
Water Wisely
PSE Energy Assistance Available
Let Us Know What You Think!
The UTC Can Help
Do Not Call List
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. Check your number at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222. 

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Welcome to the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) e-newsletter. 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.
Be Meter Savvyelectric meter
Not all bills are what they seem. Gas and electric companies are allowed to bill customers based on an estimate of how much gas or electricity was used during a given billing period. The most common reasons for retroactive bills are a stopped meter or failed automatic module reader, unassigned meters, meter mix-up, and address issues. Although the utility company must bill for past usage, it must also make payment arrangements equal to the length of time of the missed bills. To avoid surprises, or to see the effects of extreme weather on energy consumption, learn how to read your meter. Your utility company can provide instructions on this simple process. 
  • Find out your read date.
  • Check your meter around that date.
  • Keep a log, or add the read to your calendar.
  • Check the read against the bill. 
If you suspect your meter is malfunctioning, ask your utility for a meter read test. You are allowed one free meter test per year.
Can You Dig It?  
If you hit a utility line, the utility company will charge you for damage to its facilities. If you dig without calling for locates, you can be subject to triple the damages. So, call before you dig.
It's easy to do. Simply call 1-800-424-5555 two business days before you plan on digging. It's the law.
To learn more about this process, visit the Washington Utilities Coordinating Council website.
The call...FREE.
Avoiding damage that could cause serious damage to you, your home, loved ones and neighbors...PRICELESS.
Water Wisely 
In the summer, up to 70 percent of your water bill is due to outdoor use. From May to September your water company may charge a higher rate if your usage exceeds a specific amount of cubic feet of water per month. Going over that threshold can be costly. Check with your water company.
Over watering is the number one waste of water during the hot months.
  • Water early or late so it wont evaporate.
  • Water efficiently. Use soaker hoses and drip irrigation for trees, shrubs, and planting beds.
  • Let rain do the work. If you use an in-ground, automatic system install a rain sensor to shut off the system when it rains.
  • Concrete won't grow. Adjust sprinklers so that driveways, sidewalks and streets don't get watered.
Remember to conserve any time of year. 
Energy Assistance Available to PSE customers 
Are you having trouble paying your utility bill? If you live in King, Pierce or Snohomish counties Puget Sound Energy has financial assistance available. HELP (Home Energy Lifeline Program) is a program PSE offers customers to "help" with high utility bills. Depending on your income and household size, you can get up to $750 in service credits! For more information about receiving HELP click here
Let Us Know What You Think! 
Please take three minutes to share your thoughts about UTC Connections. Each edition of UTC Connections is meant to provide you with helpful information about the utility and transportation industries. Your feedback will help us bring you news and information that is most important to you!
Thank you again for your input. We look forward to hearing what you have to say! 
What Can the UTC Do For You?
Get Help 
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.
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