NOTE: This news release has been retained for historical use ONLY! While the text was accurate at the date of the release, the contact information may be out of date.
11/13/2001 9:59:00 AM
Mike Fong (206) 684-8808
Wills Introduces Voluntary Green Power Program
For City Light Customers
Seattle, WA - City Light customers might be able to pay a little more to see solar panels on public school rooftops come January of next year if the City Council supports Councilmember Wills' proposed legislation for a Voluntary Green Power Program to be voted on this afternoon. The program would be administered by Seattle City Light, giving customers the option of paying more for investments in local renewable resources, such as solar power. The legislation is in response to a bill passed by the state legislature earlier this year calling for electric utilities to offer their customers a voluntary option to purchase alternative energy resources by January 1, 2002.
Wills, chair of the Council's Energy Committee, noted that a customer survey conducted by City Light in 1996 found that thousands of people would be willing to pay an additional amount in their bills to further investments in local renewable resources. "The City has made a strong commitment to invest in renewable resources on behalf of all our customers and now, we want to give our ratepayers an opportunity to go even further," said Wills.
City Light has already made a significant renewable resource acquisition this year by purchasing a portion of the power generated from the State Line Wind Project, the largest wind farm to be developed in the United States. This legislation would generate revenue for smaller and more local demonstration projects to help City Light gain experience in new and emerging technologies as well as taking on a leadership role in the advancement and transformation of the market for renewable resources.
If the legislation passes, beginning next year, residents will see a new option on their bills of voluntary fixed monthly payments of $3, $7 or $10. Commercial customers would be offered different fixed amount options, such as $15, $20 and $30 for medium sized businesses. City Light would identify projects each year to invest in on behalf of those customers who have contributed. "As a national leader for clean energy, we need to be on the forefront of innovative and creative approaches to stimulating the green power market," said Wills. She added, "small investments will pay big dividends for our environment." It is estimated that between 1% and 3% of City Light's customers would participate and would bring in over $300,000 a year to fund local renewable energy projects.
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