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Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission                                           July 2010
Table of Contents
Are You On Facebook?
Moving? Don't sweat it!
Energy-Efficiency Tax Credits
Summer Train Safety
VOIP Phone Service
Summer Energy Tips
Utility Locate Problem?
UTC Help

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

Call Before You Dig
8-1-1 or 1-800-424-5555

Commission Calendar
Upcoming Open Meetings 
July 15, 9:30 a.m.
July 29, 9:30 a.m. 
 Aug. 12, 9:30 a.m. 
 What consumers are saying...
"Thank you - didn't know there was such an office here to help."
 - Barbara, Renton
Need Help?
Call the Commission!

1-888-333-WUTC (9882)
[email protected] 
I want to stay connected!
Welcome to the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) e-newsletter. If you have questions about UTC Connections, please e-mail [email protected].

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.
Are You on Facebook?  
Stay connected to news, events and more on the commission's Facebook page! Visit www.facebook.com/WAUTC and become a fan today!
Find us on Facebook
Moving? Don't Sweat It!
Moving can be stressful. Placing all your worldly belongings into the hands of strangers can make that stress even worse. The commission regulates residential moving companies so that you can have peace of mind during your transition. A permitted company must obey state consumer protection laws, safely maintain their vehicles and equipment, ensure employees are drug free, and maintain proper insurance. If you have a problem with a regulated company, you can call the commission for help. But, if you hire an unpermitted company, you risk having your belongings stolen, lost or damaged, leaving you little to no recourse to recover your property.
The commission offers a moving guide on our website,
www.utc.wa.gov/movingtips. Learn about your consumer rights, and don't let an illegal company get their hands on your property.
Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Going green can really pay off, for the environment and your wallet. Federal tax credits are available for homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades to windows, doors, insulation, roofs, water heaters, HVAC systems and more. Been looking to upgrade to solar energy or install a geo-thermal heat pump? You may be eligible for a tax credit of up to 30 percent of the total cost. For more information on all available energy tax credits, click here.
Summer Train Track Safety Tips
CBYD VideoSummer weather means more outdoor activity and more people out near railroad tracks. The UTC and Operation Lifesaver want you to remember: Stop, Look, Listen and Live! Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe around train tracks:
  • Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. 
  • Observe and obey all warning signs and signals.
  • Never walk down a train track. It's illegal and it's angerous.  By the time a locomotive engineer can see a trespasser or a vehicle on the tracks, it is too late. The train cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
  • Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes.  A second train might be blocked by the first.  Trains can come from either direction.  Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.
  • Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions and loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further.  If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit by the trains. 
For more information on rail safety, click here.
What is VOIP Phone Service?
CBYD VideoVoice-Over-Internet Protocol (VOIP) moves traditional landline telephone services over Internet connections. VOIP allows you to make a phone call directly from a computer or a traditional phone. In order to use VOIP, you need a broadband (high speed) Internet connection. A computer, adaptor or specialized phone is required. Some VOIP services offer features that are not available with a traditional phone or are available for an additional fee. You may also benefit by avoiding two bills for a broadband connection and traditional telephone line.  There are some things to consider before switching from your landline to VOIP. Some VOIP services don't work during power outages, and not all VOIP services connect directly to emergency services through 911. For more information on VOIP, click here.
Summer Energy Efficency Tips
CBYD VideoEnergy costs can rise with the temperatures. To keep your cooling costs low this summer, follow these easy tips for energy efficiency:
  • Replace your AC filters monthly so your system runs more efficiently.
  • Avoid running a dehumidifier at the same time as the AC. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
  • Keep lamps or TVs away from the air conditioner thermostat. The heat they generate will cause your air conditioner to run longer, running up bills unnecessarily.
  • During the cooling season, keep your house closed tight in the daytime to keep unwanted heat and humidity out. If practical, ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.
  • Save up to 10 percent a year with a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature by 10 to 15 percent for the hours that the house is unoccupied.
For more information on energy savings, click here.  
Utility Locate Problem? Call the Commission! 
CBYD VideoSo you already know that if you are going to dig, you need to call 811 at least two days before your project begins, but what do you do if your locate is late, innaccurate or incomplete? You call the commission. We investigate complaints regarding utility locate problems, and will attempt to work with the locators to get your project back on track. If you are having trouble with a utility locate, call 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or e-mail [email protected].
To request a locate, visit www.callbeforeyoudig.org.
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) 
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