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August 14, 2013 at 5:10 PM
It’s time for energy rates to go down, not up, says the staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
In testimony filed today, the regulatory staff rejected Puget Sound Energy’s July request to increase electric rates by 0.02 percent, recommending instead that the utility reduce its electric revenue by 0.77 percent by December, a cut that would cut the average customer’s electric bill by 0.81 percent, according to a release from the commission.
The recommendation isn’t an official decision. Staff members only advise; it’s up to the three members of the commission to approve or reject PSE’s request. That will happen in the fall.
But should it adopt the decrease proposed by its staff, an average residential customer (using 1,000 kilowatt-hours) would see a $0.79 per month reduction in electricity costs, for an average bill of $96.29, the release said.
PSE, which serves more than 1 million customers in the state, would feel the effect, too. The release said PSE’s revenues would drop by about $15.8 million a year if rates decrease. Natural-gas rates would not be affected.
The company said last month that higher prices are necessary to support its three electricity-generating plants — Snoqualmie Falls, a 100-year-old hydroelectric plant in King County; Lower Baker River, a hydroelectric plant in Skagit and Whatcom counties; and Ferndale, a 290-megawatt gas-turbine plant in Whatcom County.
November 12, 2012 at 8:43 AM
The Associated Press
OLYMPIA — State regulators have fined Puget Sound Energy $250,000 for violating a 2010 order requiring the utility to review and correct specific customer accounts.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission last week approved a multiparty settlement of a complaint filed a year ago that alleged 515 violations of the 2010 order.
PSE spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken tells the Peninsula Daily News the company accepts the terms of the settlement agreement and will pay the $250,000 fine. She says the money will come from PSE owners and not from customers.
The commission penalized the company $104,300 in October 2010 for improperly handling accounts of customers, including many low-income customers, disconnected for nonpayment.
Bellevue-based PSE serves more than 1 million electric customers and about 785,000 natural gas customers, mostly in Western Washington.
January 25, 2012 at 6:03 PM
UPDATE: At 10:30 p.m., PSE had fewer than 3,000 customers without power, according to spokesman Roger Thompson.
By shortly after 5 p.m Wednesday, Puget Sound Energy was down to about 10,000 homes and businesses without power in Western Washington. And most should have power by daybreak, officials said.
Utility spokesman Roger Thompson said crews had hoped to have everyone’s power restored Wednesday, but high winds early in the day knocked out power to some 38,000 customers, many of them in Kitsap and in Skagit counties.
“We hope we’re writing the final chapter on this thing now,” Thompson said, noting that since the succession of storms began early last week, some 460,000 of the utility’s 1.1 million electrical customers lost power.
Many of the remaining homes without power Wednesday evening were in the Black Lake area on the west edge of Olympia, with other scattered around the Puget Sound area.
Puget Sound Energy customers who do not have power yet are asked to call the utility’s customer-service line, 1-888-225-5773.
January 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
If you were wondering what that State Patrol guy was doing, parked all day in front of a Puget Sound Energy office, just call it a little security precaution.
All those crews restoring power to over 404,000 customers also meant there was plenty of good stuff for the taking.
“These are not lock-down facilities. We’ve got people who come here to pay their bills. Nobody has to show ID,” said Roger Thompson, PSE spokesman.
“You never know, somebody decides to put on a hardhat, and perhaps make off with a duffel bag of tools and radios.”
Thompson said the utility has hired off-duty State Patrol officers, and officers from other police agencies, during previous storms.
This time, he said, there are eight to 10 cops assigned to PSE offices in Olympia, Kent, and other sites in King, Pierce and Thurston counties.
“They sit by the entrance, just to show that they’re there,” said Thompson.
He said that 1,500 utility vehicles and crews from a dozen states have been working to get power back on.
“We’ve got people coming and going, and tens of millions of [dollars in] expensive equipment,” he said.
Thompson said that on a couple of occasions during this storm, thieves have targeted downed power lines for their valuable copper.
“Over the last couple of days, we’ve had people taking bolt cutters and reaching up as high as they could on the pole and cut the wire,” he said. “That’s terrifying. You don’t know if those lines are energized or not.”
Thompson said that some 12,000 customers were without power on Tuesday night, mostly in South King County and Thurston County. He said that PSE expected power to be restored to everyone sometime Wednesday.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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