800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104
The Public Counsel Unit is comprised of two attorneys, three regulatory analysts, and support staff. The unit represents the customers of state-regulated, investor-owned utility companies. These include telecommunications companies, such as CenturyLink and Frontier, and electric and gas companies, such as Puget Sound Energy, Avista Utilities, and PacifiCorp.
Legal Services Provided
The Public Counsel Unit represents the customers of Washington’s investor-owned telephone, electric, and natural gas utilities regulated by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC), including CenturyLink, Frontier, Puget Sound Energy, Avista, and Pacific Power. Public Counsel represents the interests of residential and small business consumers on issues, such as rates, service quality, conservation, business practices, mergers, and competition.
Public Counsel advocates for the interests of consumers by presenting evidence and legal arguments in major rate cases, mergers, and other cases and rulemakings before the UTC. In addition, Public Counsel makes presentations at the UTC Open Meeting on consumer issues and participates in industry advisory and study groups reviewing utility resource planning and conservation programs. Public Counsel also provides information to the Legislature and other state policy makers and may appeal UTC decisions in appropriate cases.
The office maintains contact with the public through a citizen advisory committee, community organizations, public hearings, personal contact, and letters and telephone calls from consumers in major cases.