UTC Connections - Summer Edition

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August 2020

Utility Disconnections/Late Fees Temporarily Suspended

While energy, telephone, and water utilities are currently banned from disconnecting service or charging late fees through Oct. 15, customers are still responsible for their unpaid balances. Once the temporary pause is lifted, you will have to pay any amount that you owe or you could face disconnection or additional charges.

If you will not be able to pay, contact your utility or call us at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or visit our COVID-19 utility help page at www.utc.wa.gov/CovidHelp as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Assistance in Multiple Languages

COVID-19 utility assistance information is now available in more than 30 different languages. To view the translated information, visit the commission’s multilingual resource center. Please share these with anyone you know that may need help.

You can always speak with our staff and an interpreter, free of charge. Simply call the commission at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) and ask for an interpreter.

Consumer Protection Staff Now Available for LiveChat

Chat 2

Our consumer protection specialists are helping consumers in new ways! If you haven’t been to utc.wa.gov lately, there is now an online chat feature that is available during regular business hours. You can open it up and start talking with a staff member right away, making it even easier to get the answers you need.

Summer Savings


It’s hot, but don’t let your utility bills rise with the temperature! Keep your bill cool with these helpful tips:

  • Fire up the grill. Grilling won’t heat up your kitchen, thereby forcing your air conditioning to work harder and use more energy.
  • Keep it closed. While baking, resist the temptation to open the oven door. Each time it is opened, the temp drops 25-30 degrees.
  • Don’t cool an empty house. If you won’t be home, program your thermostat to work around your schedule.
  • Give your fridge the day off. Keep drinks in coolers so your fridge isn't constantly opened.
  • Huddled masses. A fully stocked fridge keeps cold better than an empty one. Cold items in a fridge help keep the other items cold.
  • Pane relief. Close your curtains and shades to keep the sun from heating your house. Even potted trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows act as shade.

For more ways to save energy and lower your utility bill, visit our Lower My Energy Bill page.

Smart Meter Rules Approved

State regulators have approved new rules for advanced meter infrastructure, or smart meters, concluding a two-year rulemaking process.

The new rules provide guidance to investor-owned utilities employing smart meter technology for residential customers, focusing on protecting customer information and ensuring continuity of service. These rules do not affect customers’ ability to opt out of using smart meters.

Consumers can learn more about the new rules here.

Lifeline Awareness Week


Lifeline Awareness Week is especially important this year during the pandemic. Running from Sept. 14-18, Lifeline Awareness Week reminds consumers that they may be eligible to receive discounted telephone or broadband service.

Lifeline typically provides up to a $9.25 monthly discount on service for eligible low-income subscribers. Subscribers may receive a Lifeline discount on either a wireline or a wireless service, but they may not receive a discount on both services at the same time. Lifeline also supports broadband internet access service and broadband-voice bundles.

To help keep Americans connected during the coronavirus pandemic, the FCC has temporarily waived recertification, reverification, general de-enrollment, subscriber usage, income documentation, and documentation requirements for subscribers residing in rural areas on Tribal lands, and has extended those waivers until Nov. 30, 2020.

For more information, and to apply for discounted telecommunication service, visit www.LifelineSupport.org.

Commission Furlough Days

In accordance with Gov. Inslee’s Directive 20-08, which requires state employers to furlough all staff at least four times between August and November, the commission will be closed the following days:

  • Friday, Sept. 18
  • Friday, Oct. 16
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25

To stay up to date on any changes follow the commission on Twitter and Facebook.