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Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission                                          June 2011
Table of Contents
Summer Energy Savings
Energy Efficient Landscaping
Smart Summer Digging
Are You On Facebook?
Need Help?
Energy Rate Cases
Pending rate case requests may have an impact on your energy bills.

Avista has requested an 8.7 percent electric increase and 4 percent increase for natural gas service.

Puget Sound Energy has requested an 8.1 percent increase in electric service and 3 percent increase for natural gas customers. 

The commission is now accepting public comments on these proposals. 

Have your voice heard! To comment, submit an Online Comment Form, email consumer@utc.wa.gov or call
1-888-333-WUTC (9882). 

For more information on rate cases at the commission, click here.

Quick Links

UTC Website
1-888-333-WUTC (9882)

Call 8-1-1


Commission Calendar 

July 14, 9:30 a.m.
July 28, 9:30 a.m. 
 Aug. 11, 9:30 a.m. 
 What consumers are saying...
"Thank you - didn't know there was such an office here to help."
 - Barbara, Renton
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Call the Commission!

1-888-333-WUTC (9882)
I want to stay connected!
Welcome to the Utilities and Transportation Commission e-newsletter. If you have questions about UTC Connections, please e-mail consumer@utc.wa.gov.
The commission 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.
Saving Energy in the Summer
summerenergyThe temperature in Washington is finally rising, but don't let high temperatures raise your electric bills. This summer, keep your energy bills low by following these energy-efficiency tips:
  • Install air conditioning units on the north or shady side of the house.
  • Set your thermostat as high as possible. Seventy-eight degrees is recommended as a reasonably comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature. Every degree counts, lowering the thermostat to 76 degrees increases energy consumption by 35 percent.
  • Seal and insulate the ducts in your air conditioning system, especially those that pass through the attic or other uncooled spaces.
  • Clean the condenser coil of central air and heat units periodically.
  • Don't place lamps or televisions near your air conditioning thermostat. Heat from these appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
For more information on energy efficiency, click here.

Protect Your Move!

movingIf you are moving this summer, be sure to check with the commission before hiring a moving company. Only hire a company with a valid commission permit to ensure the company is following state consumer protection and safety laws. 


Before you hire a mover, you should always have an estimate done in person, not over the phone. Before you call the company, call the commission and check their permit status and consumer-complaint history.


To confirm a company is permitted, call the Consumer Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or email consumer@utc.wa.gov.

You can also check the permit status of a company anytime at www.utc.wa.gov/permits.


Landscape for Energy Efficiency!
energylandscapeIf you're working on your home's landscape this summer, you can create an energy-efficient yard that will cool your home in the summer, keep it warm in the winter and lower your utility bills.

Block the winter wind with dense evergreen trees and shrubs planted to the north and northwest of the home. Trees, bushes and shrubs are often planted together to block or impede wind from ground level to the treetops. 


Solar heat absorbed through windows and roofs can increase your air conditioner use in the summer. Incorporating shading concepts into your landscape design can help reduce this temperature increase, lowering g your cooling costs. To block solar heat in the summer but let much of it in during the winter, use deciduous trees. To provide continuous shade or to block heavy winds, use dense evergreen trees or shrubs.


Water-efficient landscaping, called "xeriscape," utilizes water-wise concepts. Use water-efficient native perennials and drought tolerant plants. Improve your soil for better absorption of water by using organic matter to provide beneficial nutrients to plants. Use turf only in areas when necessary. Groundcovers, low-water demand plants or mulches demand less water than turf. Mulched plant bends are an excellent replacement for grass. Mulches cool soil, minimizing evaporation. Using mulch also helps reduce landfill waste.


For more information on energy-efficient landscaping, visit the Department of Energy's Energy Saver's Landscape website.

Smart Summer Digging

The sun is finally out and so are our shovels. Many of us are gearing up for summer digging projects such as installing a fence, patio or pool. Did you know that any project where you dig into the ground more than 12 inches requires a call to 811 to request a free underground utility locate?


Hitting an underground utility cannot only be costly and hinder your project, but could put your safety at risk. Be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you plan to dig.


For more information about safe digging and 811, visit the UTC's Call Before You Dig website!

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Get HelpWhat Can the UTC Do For You?

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