Start or Stop Electricity Service

Things to know before getting started:

  • Identity Verification - Federal regulations require identity verification for new residential customers setting up service. If you are starting new service online or over the phone, you will be asked to answer some credit related security questions that will not impact your credit score. Renters stopping service online will also be required to verify identity.
  • Renters - Many property managers handle connecting and disconnecting service on behalf of their tenants. Check with your property manager before you begin.
  • Home Owners - If you are buying or selling a home or building in our service territory, it is likely that electricity service connection or disconnection will be handled by your escrow company. Check with your escrow company before you begin.
  • Fees - A one-time administrative fee is applied when starting service and goes toward making sure everything is up and running as expected. Set up fees for residential and business accounts vary. For more information, residential customers can call (206) 684-3000, businesses expecting demand <1000 kW can call (206) 256-5200 and businesses expecting demand >999 kW can contact a Business Customer Services representative.
  • Billing - If you are a residential customer starting service online and have successfully completed the identification verification process, you will likely have an account number generated when the request is submitted. This number will be communicated on the start service confirmation page that is presented after completing the online start service process. Once our system recognizes the account (expect a few hours prior to start date) this number can be used to sign up for e-billing. You will receive your first bill in the mail approximately two months after you start service. If you have not already done so, you can then set up an online profile and use the account number on your bill to sign up for e-billing, autopay, and other services.

Start or Stop Service

Residents and Businesses

Residential and business customers can start or stop service online or by contacting Customer Care at (206) 684-3000.

Please have the following information available to start service online or by phone:

  • The legal name of the property renter or owner
  • Address of the home or business where you need to start service
  • The date you want your service started or stopped
  • Billing address and contact information including contact name, phone number and email address

Get Started

Please have the following information available to stop service online or by phone:

  • The name on the account
  • Address of the home or business where you need to stop service
  • The date you wish to stop service 
  • Forwarding address

Get Started

Important Information About Your Seattle City Light Electric Service

Deposits: City Light does not require a deposit when establishing service.

Rates: If you are interested in better understanding your bill and the City Light rate structure, please see our Residential Rates and Business Rates pages.

Bill Responsibility: City Light holds the customer named on the account, co-applicants identified on the account, and adults in house (spouse, domestic partner, roommates) who receive electric service, responsible for paying the bill. For more detailed explanations and authorities relating to landlord-tenant responsibilities, select the "When can landlords be held responsible for tenant's bills" section of our Billing and Account FAQs page.

Paying Your Bill: We offer several convenient ways to pay your City Light bill including in-person, phone, mail, electronic/automatic withdrawal and online. For further details on these options, click here.

Payment Arrangements: If you receive a bill and do not think you'll be able to pay it on time, please contact us immediately. We can work with you to make payment arrangements. For details, please visit our "Short Term Payment Plan" section.

Budget Billing: You may request a payment plan that lets you spread your utility payments evenly over an entire year by paying the same amount every month, based on your last 12 months of usage. At the end of the plan year, your budget billing amount will be adjusted to align with your actual use. For additional program information, please visit our "Average Monthly Billing Plan" section.

Late Payment Fee: A late payment charge of $10.00 will be applied to bills more than 15 days past due.

Bill Disputes: If you believe your bill is not correct, please contact us right away at (206) 684-3000. If we can't resolve the issue to your satisfaction through our progressive dispute resolution process, you have the right to request a hearing. For further specifics, visit our "Dispute A Bill" section.

Disconnection: Electric service may be terminated for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to pay a current or previous bill or make satisfactory payment arrangements with us.
  2. Failure to comply with terms of a payment arrangement.
  3. Unauthorized use of service. If your service has been disconnected, it is illegal for you to reconnect it. All unauthorized users will be prosecuted, and reconnection fees may be assessed.

Meter Testing Process: All electric meters used by City Light for billing purposes are manufacturer certified to meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accuracy standards. The City Light meter department also performs full-lot testing or statistical sampling of all incoming meters to verify accuracy. City Light maintains a calibration laboratory that keeps its test equipment calibrated and is traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). City Light only purchases and uses ANSI accuracy metering devices, such as current and voltage transformers. All metering devices are accuracy tested by City Light before release for installation. All three-phase meters are accuracy tested before being released for installation. Meters removed in the course of high bill complaint resolution, or during any kind of investigation for tampering, electricity theft, etc. are fully tested when removed. Upon request, City Light will test the accuracy of a customer's meter. If the meter's accuracy is found to be out of legal tolerance, City Light will repair or replace the meter and adjust the customer's bill.

Estimated Bills: If we cannot access your meter to get a reading, we will estimate your bill. Typically, our estimate is based on your usage during the same period in the previous year. Once we are able to access your meter, we will make adjustments on your next bill if your estimate was too high or too low. Please help us get an accurate reading by keeping your meter area clear and accessible.

Energy Assistance Programs: City Light offers several energy assistance programs to help customers in need. Please review our Payment Assistance Programs page.

Discontinuing Service: Property owners and tenants are equally responsible for letting us know within 10 business days of any changes in occupancy and/or ownership.

Conditions that must be met by the utility prior to discontinuing service: Before we disconnect any electric service, we will provide notification of the delinquency 10-days prior to potential disconnection and, again, 24-hours prior to potential disconnection of service. Notices are delivered by first class mail or in person. Failure to receive mail or notice of delinquency is not a valid reason for failure to pay bills when due.

Public Information Disclosures: We follow federal and state laws about information disclosure whenever we work with outside governmental agencies and in answering Public Disclosure Requests (PDRs). Business partners and contracted vendors who receive or collect personal information from us or for us to deliver City services must agree to our privacy requirements. If you need additional information, please visit our "Sharing Information with Third Parties" section of our Privacy Policy page.

Privacy Policy: City Light values your privacy and will make every reasonable effort to protect the information we hold about you. However, under certain circumstances customer information may be shared to third parties in accordance with applicable laws. Learn more by visiting our Privacy Policy page.

Annual Report: City Light's latest annual report can be accessed on our Publications page.

Property Owners and Managers

Property owners or managers can start or stop service for a primary tenant online.

Sign in or register for our Landlord, Owner, Agent portal, where you can request changes in occupancy for electric accounts of properties you own or manage. The online system allows you to manage accounts all in one place and easily verify tenant identification.

To get started, you'll need to provide:

  • The service start or stop date for the tenant
  • The address of the residence where service is being started and/or stopped
  • The primary tenant's name, phone number, and email address
  • The names, phone numbers, and email addresses of any co-applicants or roommates who will be on the account

Get Started

Get Help

Residential customers can review frequently asked questions or call (206) 684-3000 for assistance.

Small and medium businesses can call (206) 256-5200 for additional assistance.

Large businesses can contact a Business Customer Service Representative for more information.