Understanding My Bill

My Usage Details

While everyone's usage is different, City Light customers usually use more energy in the winter.

To view your own usage and bill, log into your account.

kWh stands for kilowatt-hour and is a unit of energy equal to 1000 Watts of power consumed over the course of 1 hour. It is used to calculate the charges on your bill. The average Seattle City Light residential customer uses 613 kWh each month.

The average US home uses about 877 kWh per month. The average City Light home uses 613 kWh a month. This is due to our mild climate and aggressive adoption of energy efficiency technologies.

Newer buildings typically have energy efficiency solutions built into them and use less energy than older buildings that have not been updated with energy efficiency solutions. Often, the more people living in the home, the more energy is used.

Unlike other parts of the country that rely heavily on air-conditioning, Seattle-area homes use more energy in the winter than in the summer.

If you own an Electric Vehicle and charge using your electricity account with City Light, this will likely be the largest user of energy for your home.

If you find your energy use exceeding 800 kWh a month on a regular basis and it cannot be explained by the weather, size of your home, number of occupants, electric heating use, or large energy consumers like electric vehicles, hot tubs, or home businesses, contact an Energy Advisor to help evaluate your usage.

Renters and homeowners can find ways to use energy more wisely and save money. Choose from a variety of programs and ideas here.

By knowing what uses the most energy in your home, you can stay comfortable at a cost that works for you while managing the use of your appliances, heating & cooling, and other electric household items. The average City Light home uses 613 kWh of electricity per month. Here are likely the top energy users in your home:

  • Cooling and heating (47%)
  • Water heater (14%)
  • Washer and dryer (13%)
  • Lighting (12%)
  • Refrigerator (4%)  

Find ways to save energy and lower your bill.

My Billing Details

Customers are charged a rate for every kilowatt-hour used. Rate charges are lower for the first block of use and higher thereafter. Block sizes are smaller in the summer than in the winter. Customers are also charged a small daily base service charge.

The Base Service Charge is a small daily charge that covers costs associated with billing and customer service operations.

City Light uses a block rate approach to bill for residential energy usage. The first block is offered at a lower rate to encourage less usage whenever possible, followed by a second block charged at a slightly higher rate. While the two-block rates do not change from summer to winter months, what does change is the amount of energy that you can use at the lower first block rate. This amount increases from 10 kWh/day in the summer to 16 kWh/day in winter because electricity use for basic essentials such as lighting and heating is higher in darker, colder winter months.

RSA stands for Rate Stabilization Account. The RSA is a cash reserve of approximately $100 million kept by City Light to access when fluctuations in wholesale market prices or hydroelectric production occur and cause an unexpected drop in revenue. If the RSA becomes depleted, a temporary rate surcharge is automatically added to customer bills to replenish it.

My Account Details

Account details include account number, billing address, service address and important messages related to billing.

You can update your billing contact information by logging into your account online or by calling (206) 684-3000.

You may be eligible for short- or long-term assistance programs. Find qualifications for programs.