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Seattle City Light DEBRA SMITH, General Manager and CEO
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Frequently Asked Questions

This information is designed for residential and some small business customers including apartment and condominium owners and property managers. Quick personal help for other business service customers is available from 7:30am-6:00pm, Monday-Friday at 206.684.3000.

How can I Open a City Utility Account? -- Electric Service

To start your new service with Seattle City Light, the utility account representative will want your name, telephone number and place of employment, billing information if the bill does not go to you, and the service address. You will need to obtain a meter reading. See How To Read Your Electric Meter. For assistance, please call 206.684.3000 or visit a City utility office listed under payment locations.

Your electricity service begins from the date you are responsible for your account.

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What do I need to know about the FACT Act?

Under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, Seattle City Light is required to obtain proof of identification when a customer establishes a new account. For more information about the FACT Act, please see our list of frequently asked questions and their answers here.

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Will I Be Charged a Fee When I Open a City Utility Account? - Electric Service

Your first bill will include an account service charge to cover the cost of starting service at a new address. This charge applies to new customers and to customers who change addresses within the City Light service area.

The account service charges are:
Residential $23.00
Small General Service $42.00
Medium General Service $72.00
Large & High Demand General Service $200.00

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How do I Close a City Utility Account? -- Electric Service

To permanently close your City Utility Account and end service with Seattle City Light, call 206.684.3000 or visit a City utility office listed under payment locations. The utility account representative will want your name, service address, evidence of How To Read Your Electric Meter and any final billing information. You can ask to discontinue electric service on the effective date if you are providing us with a meter reading you have obtained. Or you can notify us up to 15 days in advance if you are requesting that we read your meter or if you are willing to accept an estimated reading for your final bill.

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Can I learn more about my bill? (Residential Customers)

Most residential customers receive a bill every two months. The bill shows electric consumption for the billing period and the rate charged. The bill shows when winter and summer rates apply.

If it would be easier for you to pay an average amount rather than have the amount vary from winter to summer, consider City Light's Budget Billing Plan.

Use of electricity is measured by a meter, usually located outside your house. See How To Read Your Electric Meter.

A City ordinance requires the meter to be safely and easily accessible for reading by a utility field representative during normal business hours. If your meter needs to be read and can't be read due to a locked gate, unfriendly dog, overgrown shrubbery or other reason, consumption will be estimated for that billing period.

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Who is Responsible for Paying the Bill?

Seattle City Light holds the name of the customer on the account, co-applicants identified on the account, and adults in a house (spouse, domestic partner, roommates) who receive electric service responsible for paying the bill.

A more detailed explanation, and the ordinance that supports this policy, is available here: Bill Responsibility Details

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How can I protect myself from phone scams when the caller is claiming to work for SCL?

City Light has received reports of persons posing as our employees or agents and requesting credit card information from our customers.

Do not automatically give out credit card information. If you doubt the legitimacy of a request for payment, call us at (206) 684-3000. Utility representatives can verify the status of your account and assist you with payments.

If you feel that you have been a victim of credit fraud, call the Seattle Police Department at (206) 625-5011, and your credit card issuer.

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Who do I contact for Accounts & Billing Info?

City Light is a public utility that has been serving the electrical energy needs of Seattle area citizens since 1910. Thank you for letting us serve you.

Contacts for Account and Billing Questions:

City Utility Account Representative & Automated Service Line:
206.684.3000 (or 800.862.1181)
Account Information
Pay your bill
Outage Reporting
Late Payment Arrangements
Project Share (Low-Income & Hardship)

Budget Billing:

Utility Discount Program:

Discounted Rates for Low Income ages 18-65
Discounted Rates for Seniors age 65+
Discounted Rates for People with Disabilities

Emergency Low-Income Assistance:



Federal Energy Assistance for Low-Income: 800.348.7144
If your electricity has already been disconnected call: 425.869.6027

City Automated Voice Response Line:


More contacts on topics other than accounts and billing (streetlight outages, conservation, Skagit Tours, etc...):

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What should I do if a household member relies on electric equipment for a medical condition?

City Light offers a Life Support Equipment Program. This Program registers persons who use physician-prescribed and recognized life support equipment that requires an electrical connection for its operation.

Program services include:
  • notification of planned outages;
  • extends your electric service while you arrange to pay your bill or relocate;
  • how to prepare for and get information about an unplanned outage or during a major emergency causing widespread outages.
To learn more, see Life Support Equipment Program where you can get additional program information and download a form to register (which requires your doctor’s certification.) Or call us at 206-684-3020.

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  • Contact Seattle City Light

    700 5th Avenue
    Suite 3200
    P.O. Box 34023
    Seattle, WA 98124-4023

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