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Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission                                     March 2012
Table of Contents
Message from the Chair
Consumer Tip: e-Bills
Need Energy Assistance?
Problem? Call the Commission!
Are You On Facebook?
Energy Companies Top Consumer Complaint List
Regulated electric and natural gas companies moved to the top of the consumer complaint list in 2011, while telecommunications companies dropped to a close second. UTC Consumer Protection staff saved consumers more than $200,000 in 2011 through customer credits and refunds. They investigated 1,364 complaints for customers of regulated companies, and recorded more than 170,000 violations for failure to comply with state laws.
To read more about 2011 consumer complaints, click here.
To view a regulated company's consumer complaint statistics, click here.  
Before You Hire a Mover
Before you hire a mover,
 watch this video!

Quick Links

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

Call 8-1-1


Commission Calendar 

Mar. 8, 9:30 a.m.
 Mar. 29, 9:30 a.m. 
 Apr. 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)
I want to stay connected!
Welcome to the Utilities and Transportation Commission e-newsletter. If you have questions about UTC Connections, please email 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.
Message from the Chairman -
Help for Heating Bills  
As the state agency charged with regulating private utility rates, we hear of families having to choose between paying energy bills and buying food or medicine. We hear from people on fixed incomes keeping their homes at 60 degrees to try to eke out some savings. We want you to know there is help available.


The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and company low-income assistance programs provide funding to qualifying households to assist with their heating bills. Washington residents can keep the heat on with these energy-assistance programs. We might not always be able to control the impacts that higher customer demand and renewable energy upgrades have on the cost to deliver service to your home, but we can help our neighbors keep their heat and lights on during the cold winter months through these vital programs.


You can apply for heating assistance directly through your energy company, or through your local Community Action Agency. For more information on locating an assistance agency in your area, or help with a billing dispute, disconnect notice or service complaint, call the commission's Consumer Protection Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or visit www.utc.wa.gov/consumer.  

-Jeff Goltz, UTC Chairman
Consumer Protection Week
onlinebillpayNational Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is an annual outreach effort that encourages consumers to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions in the marketplace. The 14th annual NCPW will be March 4-10. For a list of consumer protection resources, click here.
Protect yourself and read up on your rights as a customer of a regulated utility. Visit our Consumer Rights page for more information. If you ever have a dispute with a regulated company, call the Consumer Protection Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or file a complaint online at www.utc.wa.gov/fileacomplaint

Can You Dig It?

onlinebillpayDid you know Washington has a dig law? We do, and it's been around since 1985. The law was established to protect Washington's underground utilities from damage. Last year, the Legislature passed a new and improved law intended to increase the safety of Washington's underground utilities. The law still requires you to call 811 for a free utility locate two business days prior to digging. However, now you will be asked to mark the area you plan to dig with white paint. You will also receive better responses from locators, who are now required to keep more accurate maps of their lines. Digging into lines can be costly and dangerous, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per violation.


Protect yourself and your pocketbook and make the easy call to 811 two days prior to your next project. For more information visit www.utc.wa.gov/callbeforeyoudig.

Problem? Call the Commission!
If you've experienced a billing or service dispute with a company regulated by the commission, contact our Consumer Protection Help Line for assistance with your complaint. Our consumer specialists will work with you and the company to come to a resolution. For more information on when to call the commission, visit www.utc.wa.gov/consumers.
To open a complaint or get more information on your issue, call the Consumer Protection Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or submit and Online Complaint Form.
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!

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Get HelpWhat Can the UTC Do For You?

Do you need help with:

When to Call the Commission


Consumer Help Line

1-888-333-WUTC (9882)


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