Ed Murray, Mayor
SUBJECT: City Light Partners With Nonprofits To Promote Discount Program
10/30/2013 9:00:00 AM
Scott Thomsen (206) 386-4233
Ten Housing Providers to Help Increase Enrollment
SEATTLE – Seattle City Light has partnered with 10 large non-profit affordable housing providers to enroll eligible income-qualified customers in the Utility Discount Program that provides a 60 percent discount off Seattle City Light bills and 50 percent discount off Seattle Public Utilities bills.
The Housing Partnership Program allows the utility to enroll customers through a shortened application process by using information from affordable housing providers rather than requiring the tenants to apply separately for the discount. Simplifying the application process is expected to bring in new customers who were previously unaware of this benefit.
"This program enables City Light to streamline the application process for customers who are most in need, allowing them to apply for the rate discount program at the same time as they apply for affordable housing," City Light Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. "This is just one part of the major effort underway as part of our Strategic Plan to assist customers who are having difficulty with their bills. We are also helping them better manage their energy use through home energy visits and other conservation measures."
The affordable housing providers who have signed agreements with Seattle City Light include Bellwether, Catholic Housing Services, Capitol Hill Housing, Compass Housing, King County Housing Authority, Low Income Housing Institute, South East Effective Development, YWCA, Plymouth Housing Group and Solid Ground. Non-profit affordable housing groups must meet federal and/or state guidelines for low-income operations, each agency must enter into a signed agreement with Seattle City Light, and the program will undergo periodic audits.
"It’s a win-win-win situation for our residents, our organization, and also for City Light," said Tristan Heart Hunter, Portfolio Manager for Capitol Hill Housing. "It makes sense to enroll our residents into City Light’s Utility Discount Program at the time that they are signing their leases. We have already verified income eligibility at that point, and it allows our families to avoid another lengthy application process. We want people to be financially stable and be able to pay their rent and other bills on time; having access to City Light’s Utility Discount Program helps our residents achieve that."
For more information on the Utility Discount Housing Partnership Program contact Wendy Johnson at (206) 233-2155 or go online to seattle.gov/light/discount/.