WSR 15-18-121
[Docket U-144155Filed September 2, 2015, 11:49 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The subject of this inquiry is to consider whether the utilities and transportation commission (commission) should develop a new rule and/or modify existing rules in chapter 480-90 WAC (gas companies) and chapter 480-100 WAC (electric companies) to address problems corrected billing issues resulting from billing errors, and with inaccurate energy usage metering, which results in retroactive corrected billing of electric and natural gas customers. This inquiry addresses key concerns of both the companies and commission staff regarding reducing the length of retroactive corrected bills while recognizing: (1) Equipment breaks; (2) some customers do not notify the company immediately upon moving in; and (3) companies may not have complete control over how quickly these issues can be identified without significantly increasing costs that would ultimately be borne by all ratepayers. This inquiry supplements the original CR-101 filed at WSR 15-05-082 to consider all corrected billing situations.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The commission is responsible for protecting consumers by ensuring that investor-owned utility services are fairly priced, available, reliable, and accurate. Consumers have a right to timely and accurate bills each month. It is reasonable to expect utilities to identify and correct bills for billing errors, stopped meters, as well as, unidentified energy usage within a reasonable time frame. Initial data provided by the utilities indicate that customers are continuing to receive retroactive corrected bills for periods in excess of six months, and in some cases, more than twelve and twenty-four months. A rule making would establish common standards for all the regulated energy utilities.
Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study; and the commission will ask for initial written comments and conduct such other process as necessary to gather the information necessary to determine whether rules should be proposed or modified.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested persons may file comments with the Executive Director and Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, phone (360) 664-1174, fax (360) 586-1150, web portal, or through e-mail, by 5:00 p.m., October 5, 2015.
WRITTEN COMMENTS: Written comments may be submitted to the commission at the address given above and should be filed with the commission no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 5, 2015.
Electronic copies. The commission requests that comments be provided in electronic format to enhance public access, for ease of providing comments, to reduce the need for paper copies, and to facilitate quotations from the comments. Comments may be submitted via the commission's web portal at or by electronic mail to the commission's records center at Please include:
The docket number of this proceeding (U-144155).
The commenting party's name.
The title and date of the comment or comments.
An alternative method for submitting comments may be by mailing/delivering an electronic copy on a flash drive, DVD, or compact disk including the filed document(s). Include all of the information requested above. The commission will post on the commission's web site all comments that are provided in electronic format. The web site is located at If you are unable to file your comments electronically or to submit them on a disk, the commission will accept a paper document.
Opportunity for further comment is anticipated. Information about the schedule and other aspects of the rule making, including comments, will be posted on the commission's web site as it becomes available. If you wish to receive further information on this rule making, you may (1) call the commission's records center at (360) 664-1234, (2) e-mail the commission at <>, or (3) mail written comments to the address above to the attention of Steven V. King, executive director and secretary. When contacting the commission, please refer to Docket U-144155 to ensure that you are placed on the appropriate service list. Questions may be addressed to Roger Kouchi, (360) 664-1101, or e-mail
TO CONTINUE RECEIVING NOTICES AND INFORMATION ABOUT THIS RULE MAKINGThe commission wants to ensure its mailings are sent to persons who are interested in the topic and want to receive that information. ANY PERSON WHO COMMENTS will continue to receive notices and information. If you do not submit comments but wish to remain on the mailing list for this rule making, please advise the records center by any one of the following methods: (1) Send a note with your name, address (or a copy of your mailing label), and telephone and fax numbers referencing Docket U-144155, and the words "Please keep me on the mailing list;" or (2) e-mail your name, address, telephone and fax numbers, referencing Docket U-144155, and the words "Please keep me on the mailing list" to <>. Please note that all information in the mailings will be accessible through the commission's internet web site at <>. THOSE INTERESTED PERSONS WHO DO NOT RESPOND MAY NOT RECEIVE FURTHER MAILINGS OR INFORMATION ON THE RULE MAKING.
September 2, 2015
Steven V. King
Executive Director
and Secretary