May 2015  

Legislative Update  
This legislative session has been a productive one for the Utilities and Transportation Commission. Two major pieces of legislation were passed which will enable the commission to better serve the people of Washington.

The first was the Oil Transportation bill, HB 1449. This piece of legislation enhances the commission's current authority over railroad safety by increasing the number of rail inspectors, and allowing the commission to inspect private crossings.

The second bill, SSB 5362,addresses the emerging industry of party buses. The bill is a result of a study initiated by the commission in 2014 which addressed dozens of preventable fatalities throughout the country that have happened on party buses. In an effort to prevent these types of tragedies from happening in Washington, the bill gives the commission oversight for both safety and consumer protection in this new industry.

Both new laws go into effect this July. 
Protect Your Move 
Check with the state, before it's too late!  
May is the unofficial start of moving season. If you're planning a move this summer, be sure to do your homework before hiring a moving company.

Know your rights and responsibilities. There are unlicensed moving companies taking advantage of people, holding goods hostage for large sums of money, and illegally inflating estimates. This is why it is so important to hire a company with the proper permit to help you move within Washington.

Movers providing an in-state move, must hold a permit with the Utilities and Transportation Commission and follow state rules and regulations. You can check the permit of a moving company by calling the commission's Consumer Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or visiting us online.

If your move will take you across state lines, check with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to ensure the company you hire has the proper permit. Interstate movers have different permitting requirements which are enforced at the federal level.

For more information about in-state moves, visit the UTC's Consumer Moving Web page. Interstate moving information can be found on the FMCA website.

Save Water this Summer 
Water conservation is essential to keep your bills and rates low. During the summer water use skyrockets with lawns and gardens needing water. By conserving water, you have more control over your bills and can reduce stress on the larger water system.

Find out what you can do to reduce your outdoor water use on the commission's Consumer Water Conservation website. Additional water conservation information can be found at Water, Use it Wisely.     
Stay Cool without Breaking the Bank  
Staying cool during the warm summer months can be expensive. Air conditioning units are notorious for sucking energy and inflating electric bills. The good news is, there are ways to keep cool without breaking the bank. Follow these simple steps to help conserve energy this summer:
  • Use windows to bring in cool air;
  • Operate your thermostat efficiently;
  • Use fans and ventilation strategies to cool your home;
  • Keep your cooling system running efficiently;
  • Don't heat your home with appliances and lighting;
  • Keep hot air from leaking into your house; and
  • Lower your water heating costs.

For more details on each of these tips, click here

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Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission | 888.333.9882