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Biennial Rate Review
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2015-2016 Biennial Rate Review

On October 6, 2014 the City Council adopted new rates for 2015 and 2016. The new rates align with City Light's 2014 Six-year Strategic Plan Update, which calls for rate increases of 4.2% in 2015 and 4.9% in 2016.

2015 Rate Impacts


Consistent with the Strategic Plan Update, the system average rate increase for 2015 is 4.2%. This rate adjustment takes into account the increased revenue requirement as well as an expected reduction in customer consumption growth.

The table below shows average percentage increases by customer class. For a more precise estimate of your electric bill in 2015, try our Excel-based Customer Bill Calculator.

2015 Rate Increase Total Residential Small Medium Large High Demand
City of Seattle 4.5% 3.5% 4.6% 4.4% 5.6% 6.2%
Network 2.1%     2.7% 1.6%  
Shoreline 4.2% 3.9% 5.6% 4.2% 5.3%  
Tukwila 4.3% 5.2% 4.9% 4.1% 5.4% 3.4%
Other Suburbs 5.4% 5.6% 5.9% 3.7% 5.6%  


In 2015, higher energy consuming customer classes will generally see higher rate impacts than lower-consuming customer classes. This is due to increased energy costs. By comparison, distribution and customer service costs are flat and in some cases lower compared to 2014.

Network customer rates will remain significantly higher than non-network rates, but average rate increases are lower for network customers than other customer classes because of a decrease in distribution costs relative to 2014. (The network rate premium results from the cost of maintaining redundant distribution service.) In 2013, steeply rising distribution costs caused network rates to increase nearly three times the system average, so this 2015 change represents a return towards the historical norm.

Suburban, Shoreline and Tukwila rate impacts vary from City averages due to new terms for renewed franchise agreements and differences in customer consumption patterns.

2016 Rate Impacts


Consistent with the Strategic Plan, the system average rate increase for 2016 is 4.9%. The table below shows average percentage increases by customer class. For a more precise estimate your electric bill will in 2016, try the Excel-based Customer Bill Calculator.

2016 Rate Increase Total Residential Small Medium Large High Demand
City of Seattle 5.2% 5.0% 5.0% 5.1% 5.6% 6.1%
Network 3.6%     3.4% 3.9%  
Shoreline 4.8% 4.9% 5.0% 5.1% 5.6%  
Tukwila 5.5% 4.9% 5.0% 5.1% 5.6% 6.1%
Other Suburbs 4.9% 4.9% 5.0% 5.1% 5.6%  


Similar to 2015, energy costs are the primary driver for the 2016 rate increase, and higher energy consuming customer classes will see larger average rate impacts than lower consuming customer classes.

As with 2015, network impacts are lower than average because of flat distribution costs.

Technical Documentation

  1. Revenue Requirements Analysis 2015-2016 (RRA)
  2. Cost of Service and Cost Allocation Report 2015-2016 (COSACAR)
  3. Rate Design Report 2015-2016 (RDR)
Related Content

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Latest updates on rate and rate changes.

Rates 101
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