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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2010
Public comments sought on Puget Sound Energy rate increase

Proposed rate hikes focus of Jan. 19 public hearing in Olympia

OLYMPIA – Puget Sound Energy customers can comment on the company’s proposed electric and gas rate increases during a public hearing next week in Olympia. This is PSE’s first rate case following the sale of the utility to the Macquarie investor consortium which was approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) in December 2008.

The UTC is holding its third and final public comment hearing on the rate request from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, in the Commission’s Hearing Room on the second floor of the Richard Hemstad Building, 1300 S. Evergreen Park Drive S.W.

PSE is requesting a rate increase that would generate approximately $113 million in electric revenues and $28 million in gas revenues. It’s the company’s 10th request since 2002 to raise electric rates.

The Public Counsel Section of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office challenged the proposal. Public Counsel concludes that no rate increase is warranted on the electric side, and a rate reduction may actually be appropriate. Regarding the gas rate increase request, Public Counsel’s analysis shows only a slight increase is warranted.

Staff members of the UTC recommend rejection of most of a proposed rate increase for Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) electric and natural gas customers.

The three-member UTC, which is not bound by the staff recommendation, will make a final decision on PSE’s rate-increase request early this spring. New rates, if approved, would take effect in April.

Members of the public can also submit written comments to UTC, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA, 98504 or via e-mail to comments@utc.wa.gov. Include your name and mailing address, the name of the company (PSE), and docket no. UE- 090704/UG-090705 (electric and gas).



The Public Counsel Section advocates for the interests of consumers on major rate cases, mergers and other rulemakings before the UTC. Public Counsel also advocates for consumers in court appeals, through technical study groups and before the Legislature and other policy makers. The office maintains contact with the public through a citizen advisory committee, community organizations, public hearings and personal contact with consumers in major cases. More information about Public Counsel’s work is available online at atg.wa.gov/utility.aspx

Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, Attorney General's Office, (206) 464-6432

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