GODDEN ASKS FOR INPUT ON ELECTRICITY RATES
As policy discussions shape City Light's rate-setting process, City Council wants public input
SEATTLE - After holding a series of discussions on electricity rates and Seattle's power generation system, the Seattle City Council's Energy & Environmental Policy Committee will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, to seek public input that will influence a Council resolution directing City Light in its rate-setting process for 2005.
"Our discussions with City Light officials and other stakeholders have been very educational and have provided a good foundation to know what factors are important to consider as City Light sets its new electricity rates," said Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Energy & Environmental Policy Committee. "We've heard from members of the public during these discussions, but I feel it's important to set aside a forum solely to address ratepayer concerns."
Committee discussions have focused on specific aspects of service, costs and rate design, including City Light's relationship with the Bonneville Power Administration. Also under consideration are various cost discount programs, interruptibility and high-demand customers, and pricing, rate tiers and underground vs. overhead utilities, among other issues.
After the public hearing, the committee will draft a Council resolution that sets guidelines for City Light as it undertakes its process for setting new electricity rates for all classes of customers. This is one of the first steps in the rate setting process. The resolution will direct City Light to include, not include or amend policies such as low-income rate assistance, economic development rates, demand charges, conservation cost allocation, cost of service studies and mitigating large rate impacts, among others. The committee will possibly vote on the resolution by the end of May for Full Council action in June.
The hearing will be held in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue (entrance on Fifth Avenue between James and Cherry streets). The hearing will be cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21 and Web cast live at www.seattle.gov/council.