SEATTLE-After holding the line on rates for the past four years, Seattle City Light is asking the City Council to raise average electricity rates by 3.1% per year in 2000, 2001 and 2002. If approved by Council, the first increase would go into effect on March 1, 2000 and would add less than a dollar per month to most residential electric bills.
City Light needs the money to cover increased operating costs and to finance some critical investments in Seattle's city-owned power system. "We want to continue giving our customers the least expensive, most reliable electricity of any major US city," says Superintendent Gary Zarker. "In order to do this, we need to keep our system in top shape."
The Utility also wants to spread its costs more equitably among all customers, and so is proposing to charge its highest-cost customers more for electricity. This would primarily affect customers outside the city limits and in the downtown business core.
City Light has not raised average rates since 1996. Since then rates for some customers have actually gone down. When adjusted for inflation, the average proposed rate in 2000 would be lower than any year since 1983.
For more information, please consult the New Rates 2000-2002 page.