Business Rates

Your business success depends on keeping operational costs low. Our goal is to keep electricity rates affordable. As a not-for-profit utility, the rate you pay goes only toward the carbon neutral electricity that you use, and to cover utility operations that ensure the delivery of reliable, safe, equitable, and green energy.

Current Rates

City Light provides affordable rates for carbon-neutral electricity, primarily generated from carbon-free hydroelectricity.

To understand your rates, find the applicable rate chart below based on the location and maximum demand (in kW) of your business. Maximum demand is the range into which more than half of your normal billings fall. Classification of new customers will be based on City Light's estimate of maximum demand in the current year.

Maximum demand places your business in one of four categories:

SmallMediumLargeHigh Demand
<50 kW 50-999 kW 1,000-9,999 kW 10,000+ kW

"Peak" is defined as the period Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., excluding New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

City of Seattle ("C")
Small Medium Large High Demand
Per kWh $0.1053 $0.0803 Peak $0.0913 Peak $0.0867
Off-Peak $0.0602 Off-Peak $0.0572
Per kW - $4.01 Peak $3.85 Peak $3.85
Off-Peak $0.27 Off-Peak $0.27
Minimum bill per meter per day $0.40 $1.28 $30.29 $93.33

Downtown Network ("D")
Small Medium Large
Per kWh $0.1053 $0.0987 Peak $0.1045
Off-Peak $0.0690
Per kW - $8.63 Peak $8.38
Off-Peak $0.27
Minimum bill per meter per day $0.40 $1.28 $30.29

Suburban ("S")
Small Medium
Per kWh $0.1053 $0.0803
Per kW - $4.01
Minimum bill per meter per day $0.40 $1.28

Tukwila ("T")
Small Medium Large High Demand
Per kWh $0.1100 $0.0867 Peak $0.0985 Peak $0.0935
Off-Peak $0.0650 Off-Peak $0.0617
Per kW - $4.32 Peak $4.15 Peak $4.16
Off-Peak $0.29 Off-Peak $0.29
Minimum bill per meter per day $0.43 $1.38 $32.64 $100.67

Burien ("B")
Lake Forest Park ("L")
Seatac ("E")
Shoreline ("H")
Small Medium Large
Per kWh $0.1105 $0.0868 Peak $0.0987
Off-Peak $0.0651
Per kW - $4.33 Peak $4.16
Off-Peak $0.29
Minimum bill per meter per day $0.43* $1.38 $32.71**

*$0.42 for Burien

**$32.72 for Lake Forest Park

Undergrounding Rates

Burien and Shoreline elected to underground distribution lines on some of their arterial streets. Instead of the jurisdiction paying for the work upfront, the undergrounding cost is recovered from all customers in that jurisdiction via a kWh undergrounding charge according to the table below:

Burien Undergrounding Rates
First Ave South 1 per kWh $0.0037
First Ave South 2 per kWh $0.0013

Shoreline Undergrounding Rates
North City per kWh $0.0007
Aurora 1 per kWh $0.0017
Aurora 2 per kWh $0.0018
Aurora 3A per kWh $0.0005
Aurora 3B per kWh $0.0022

Other Charges and Credits

Business rates may also include the following charges or credits:

  • Power factor charge: $0.0015/kVarh
  • Transformer investment credit: $0.27/kW

What's the Difference Between kW and kWh?

It's the difference between demand (kW) - measuring the maximum use of electricity at a given point in time - and consumption (kWh) - measuring the flow of electricity over an hour.

How Are Rates Designed?

Rates are driven by the cost of providing electricity to our customers, including costs for production, delivery and customer services, while also adhering to city, state and federal government regulations and requirements. Rates are generally approved by the Seattle City Council every two years. Business rates are determined by three factors: class, structure, and element.

Your rate class is based on your maximum demand (kW) per month. Your rate class and service location are noted under the "Rate Code" section of your bill. Rate code key:

Size
Max. Monthly Demand Class Code
Fewer than 50 kW Small General Service SM
50-999 kW Medium General Service MD
1,000-9,999 kW Large General Service LG
10,000+ kW High Demand General Service HD

Location
Class Code
City of Seattle C
Downtown Network D
Burien B
Seatac E
Shoreline H
Lake Forest Park L
Suburban S
Tukwila T

The rate structure indicates whether it is a flat rate, block rate, or based on time of use. The rate structure is displayed on your bill under "Peak." 

  • Flat rate: The charge for electricity use is the same price per kWh regardless of time or quantity. Flat rates are typical for small and medium general service customers. 
  • Block rate: The price of electricity changes at different levels of consumption. 
  • Time of use: Prices vary by time of day, with higher prices for usage during peak demand periods such as early evening. Time-of-use rates are for large and high-demand general service customers. 

Elements include types of energy used, demand for energy, and other charges to cover the cost of service.

  • Unit charge: That portion of a customer's bill based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed. 
  • Demand charge: That portion of a customer's bill based on the peak electricity demanded. 
  • Power factor penalty charge: The measure of how effectively power is being used at the service location. The penalty charge is only assessed if the power factor is less than 95%. This is typically only used for industrial facilities using large electric equipment that place a heavier than normal drain on the power source.
  • Transformer investment charge/discount: The transformer distributes power on the last leg of the trip to your business for high voltage transmission.

Other Business Rates

See our rates below for lighting; duct, vault and pole attachment rental; and Reserved Distribution Capacity (RDC).

Lights
Residential Lights (R)
Residential LED $12.64 per month
Arterial Lights (A)
Arterial HPS/other $38.53 per month
Arterial LED $18.75 per month
Floodlights (F)
Floodlights HPS $24.31 per month
Decorative, Pedestrian and Miscellaneous Lights (D)
Decorative HPS/other $39.27 per month
Decorative LED $22.02 per month
Department Maintained, Customer Owned (M)
HPS/other $25.10 per month
LED $7.71 per month
Customer Maintained, Customer Owned (E)
Any light $4.71 per month

Rentals
Duct Rental
Per duct-foot $11.49 per year
Per duct-foot-innerduct in a rented duct $11.49 per year
Vault Rental
Per square foot of wall space $28.70 per year
Per square foot of ceiling space $11.49 per year
Pole Attachment Rental
Within the Communication Space
Per pole owned solely by City Light $32.36 per year
Per pole owned by City Light + 1 other party $16.18 per year
Per pole owned by City Light + 2 other parties $10.79 per year
Below the Communication Space
Per pole owned solely by City Light $61.48 per year
Per pole owned by City Light + 1 other party $30.74 per year
Per pole owned by City Light + 2 other parties $20.49 per year

Reserved Distribution Capacity (RDC)
Per kW of monthly maximum $0.42