UTC Connections Winter Edition

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February 2020

Thinking about going solar?

Last year, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission adopted rules for community solar companies to protect consumers in Washington.

These are companies, other than electric utilities, that own solar projects generating no more than 1 megawatt (MW) of electricity and providing electric and related services to more than one paying customer.

The rules establish requirements for company registration, consumer protection, record keeping, and reporting.

Before entering into a contract with a community solar company, confirm the company is registered by visiting the UTC’s website (www.utc.wa.gov/communitysolar), by calling 1-888-333-9882, or by emailing consumer@utc.wa.gov. Consumers should also read the Community Solar Guide available here.

Don’t dig into trouble


April is Safe Digging Month and the commission is reminding consumers: if you’re planning on digging a new garden or installing a fence, call 811 before you dig.

Pipelines and other underground utilities run just beneath the surface. Digging into these lines can be costly to repair and put you and your neighbors at risk. Save yourself the headache by calling 811 for a free underground utility locate before you break ground. Not only is it the law, but it can prevent you from damaging vital underground utilities and footing an expensive repair bill.

Calling 811 is easy:

  1. Dial 811 from any phone at least two business days before your planned digging project.
  2. Provide the notification center with basic information about the location of your project.
  3. Outline your digging location with white paint.
  4. The notification center will alert all of your local utility companies to come out and mark their underground utility lines and pipes within your planned dig area.
  5. Once all utilities have been marked, follow safe dig practices.

For more information, visit www.callbeforeyoudig.org.

Lifeline Phone and Broadband Assistance

customer service

Lifeline is a federal program that offers eligible participants a $9.25 discount on landline telephone and wireless services, in addition to discounts for broadband and broadband-voice bundles.

It’s now easier to apply for Lifeline telephone and broadband assistance! With the new National Verifier portal, customers can be approved before shopping for a company. Learn more and apply here.

Contact the Commission

The commission regulates the private, investor-owned electric utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates.

If you have an issue with a regulated company, contact the commission’s Consumer Protection Help Line here.

If you’re a customer of a regulated company and would like to make a public comment about a current rate case, click here. For a list of open cases before the commission, click here.