Strategic Plan and Review Panel

City Light develops a full strategic plan every six years to outline the key strategies that will guide our work. We also update the plan every two years to highlight the progress we've made and communicate our focus for the remainder of the plan period.

The process involves City Light employees, our customers, the Seattle City Light Review Panel, other City department personnel, community members, and business leaders. Seattle City Council is presented with the plan for approval before it is adopted and put into action.

Current Strategic Plan

We are in the process of building our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.

Previous Strategic Plan

2019-2024: We Power Seattle

The 2019-2024 Strategic Plan establishes a path forward for meeting the current and future energy needs of our customers. It identifies specific initiatives and the revenue needed to accomplish them.

Executive Summary

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We see several challenges that will transform our business over the next decade.

  1. New technologies are transforming how people use electricity. New options and products for controlling energy consumption, generation and storage will impact how customers interact with the utility.
  2. Retail energy consumption is declining. Advances in energy efficiency have reduced consumer energy demand.
  3. Power supply assumptions are changing. Low wholesale market prices coupled with rising costs of hydro operations are quickly eroding the market advantage afforded by City Light's hydroelectric resources.
  4. Impact of retirements and legacy practices. As more employees become eligible for retirement and workflows are not documented or digitized, we risk the loss of institutional memory, costly service interruptions and a potential impact to service delivery.
  5. Climate change continues and clean energy is more available than ever. Weather pattern changes affect reservoir levels and seasonal energy consumption - leading to increasing volatility of energy supply and demand. However, clean, renewable energy sources can help protect our environment now more than ever.

The plan outlines four strategic priorities to help us respond to the industry challenges, with associated initiatives that will support these priorities. Initiatives are funded within existing budget and staffing levels.

Priority 1: Customer Service

  • Upgrading customer service practices to meet evolving customer needs and expectations.
  • Initiative: Modernizing customer service experience and tools

Priority 2: Affordability

  • Implementing strategies to control costs, capture new revenues, and restructure rates to keep customers' bills affordable and rates stable.
  • Initiatives: Business process improvements, revenue recovery efforts and new rate structures, active management of the cost of growth and addressing evolving energy markets.

Priority 3: Clean Energy

  • Deliver robust and innovative programs to promote the efficient use of clean energy and protect the environment.
  • Initiatives: Environmental stewardship programs, and a clean renewable-powered city.

Priority 4: Continuing Progress on our Core Business

  • Invest in our infrastructure and workforce to provide a consistent level of service, reliability, and response.
  • Initiatives: Promoting a culture of mutual respect and a high-performing workforce, building a strong safety culture, enhancing security and emergency preparedness, maintaining our hydroelectric generation assets, acquiring new federal licenses for our three hydroelectric projects, upgrading our operational technology infrastructure and energy grid, investing in the maintenance and upgrading of transmission and distribution systems to increase reliability, and implementing smart grid and advanced grid analytics.

To learn more about:

  • How we developed the current 2019-2024 Strategic Plan
  • Our accomplishments from our 2013-2018 Strategic Plan
  • Metrics
  • Our priorities and initiatives
  • Our financial forecast

Download the full 2019-2024 Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan Supporting Documents

Summary reports that allow you to see how we developed the Strategic Plan with the help of customers and partners.

Strategic Plan Archive

Want to see past Strategic Plans? You can find the last three plans including any mid-period updates in our archive.

Go to Archive

City Light Review Panel

This panel is made up of nine members representing City Light's customers and partners. They review and assess our proposed Strategic Plan and provide an opinion on the merits of the plan and future revisions before it goes to the Mayor and the City Council for approval. This group was established by Seattle City Council Ordinance 123256.

Learn more about our Review Panel and a calendar of their upcoming meetings.