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Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission                                        April 2009
Table of Contents
Busted! Putting the Brakes on Illegal Movers!
Moving? Read this first!
Energy Spring Cleaning
Call Before You Dig
Safe Drinking Water
UTC Help

Need Help?
Call the Commission!

1-888-333-WUTC (9882)
 What consumers are saying...
"The help I received was great. Good to know you can still get good help these days."
-Annette, Kent 

More Info About
Quick Links
UTC Contacts
1-888-333-WUTC (9882) 

Call Before You Dig
811 or 1-800-424-5555

Commission Calendar
Upcoming Open Meetings 
May 14, 9:30 am
May 28, 9:30 am
Jun 11, 9:30am
Welcome to the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) e-newsletter. If you have questions about UTC Connections, please e-mail 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.
Busted! Putting the Brakes on Illegal Movers
Get HelpA member of the commission's Consumer Protection Team recently observed a sting set up by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) targeting illegal moving companies. ODOT and the Clackamas County Sheriff's office contacted unpermitted residential moving companies based on their advertisements and scheduled a move. When the movers arrived on the job, they were greeted by ODOT compliance staff, officers from the Clackamas County Sheriff's office and the City of Canby, OR. The sting shed light on the growing problem of illegal residential moving companies and the dangers consumers face when hiring these rogue companies.

Of the 15 illegal companies cited for operating without proper authority, 18 company "employees" knocking on the door possessed a criminal record or warrant for offenses ranging from possession and trafficking of a controlled substance (cocaine) to burglary and assault. When you trust a moving company to enter your home and handle your possessions, you should have confidence in your safety and in the moving company. Washington state laws regarding permitted movers help provide you with that confidence.
These residential moving stings are a harsh reminder of an underground economy and the danger customers may find themselves in when dealing with these companies.
If an illegal mover breaks, damages or steals the customer's property, the companies are not registered so the customer has no recourse.
To watch news coverage of a previous sting operation, click here.

Washington's New Residential Mover Laws
HHG Bill SigningGov. Gregoire has signed two new bills into Washington law that will help stop the illegal actions of unregistered moving companies.
House Bill 1536 expands the definition of household goods carriers to include those that use advertisements or Web sites to promote their illegal residential moving company, allowing the commission to shut down illegal carriers that advertise on sites like Craigslist or in the phone book.

A bill jointly requested by the commission and the Washington State Patrol, Substitute House Bill 1843, requires moving trucks or vans and other UTC-inspected vehicles to obtain a registration number from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) by Jan. 1, 2010. Under the new law, the UTC can place a USDOT number out-of-service through the State Patrol for safety violations, failure to pay penalties or for a violation of a cease-and-desist order.
For more information on the new laws, click here.
Moving? Read this first! 
If you are hiring a moving company this spring or summer, be sure to check with the state before it's too late!
The commission regulates the rates and services of in-state moving companies, and our Consumer Help Line can ensure the company you hire is permitted, insured and provide you with their consumer complaint history. So before you begin packing, call the commission at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882). For more moving tips, click here.
Spring Cleaning for Energy Efficiency
Get HelpGet out those gloves and dusters, it's time to shake off the winter doldrums! While you're cleaning up and dusting off, remember these simple steps to make your home more energy efficient:  

When cleaning windows, check to see if they're in good condition. Loose, leaky or single-paned windows allow hot or cold air to escape, taking hard-earned dollars with it. Repair and seal existing window leaks or consider replacing them with energy-efficient windows.  

When vacuuming and dusting, remember to clean under and behind the fridge. Dust easily builds up in those hard-to-reach areas, causing the fridge to run less efficiently. Consider replacing your old fridge with a more efficient model. They can use half as much energy as older models leading to hundreds of dollars a year in savings.

Remember to dust or wipe light bulbs. Clean bulbs provide more light for the money. Replace traditional bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and fixtures - they use more than two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
Check your window air conditioner. If it's in poor working order, consider replacing it with an more efficient model. Regularly clean and replace filters.

For more information on energy efficiency, click here.
Call Before You Dig 
Gov. Gregorie has signed a proclamation declaring May Washington's Utility Damage Prevention Month, encouraging residents to always Call Before You Dig.  Before you start your spring garden or outdoor project, be sure to call 811 or visit www.callbeforeyoudig.org and request a underground utility locate before you begin digging! It's our responsibility before we dig to protect our vital underground utilities and prevent damages, outages or injuries! For more information on Call Before You Dig, click here.
National Drinking Water Week, May 3-9, 2009
Get HelpA safe, reliable water supply is critical to every community. In Washington state, our water infrastructure creates jobs, attracts industry and provides for the welfare of citizens ranging from disease prevention to fire control. We often take our water supply for granted until it is threatened, either by drought, water main breaks or some other event. May 3 - 9, help celebrate Drinking Water Week - and recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. For more information on drinking water in Washington, click here.
What Can the UTC Do For You? Get Help
Do you need help with: 

When to Call the Commission
Consumer Help Line 
1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or
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