In its 2009 Annual report, Seattle City Light shows how the utility was able to launch new energy conservation programs that nearly doubled savings goals despite a historic national recession and an unexpected plunge in revenue from surplus power sales.
“In spite of these difficulties, I’m proud of the way the utility continued to make progress and even found some opportunities,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said.
“Our financial challenges have continued into 2010,” adds Carrasco. “Although energy prices stabilized earlier in the year, the effects of el Nino from a warmer, drier winter meant that we had less power to sell. However, working with the Mayor and Council, we have put together a solid plan to stabilize rates and protect our bond ratings.”
Although 2009 was a difficult year for City Light, the Conservation Resources Division launched new programs for commercial customers that resulted in savings of 63 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 29 million kilowatt-hours more than originally estimated. In addition, small-business customers increased participation in conservation programs, up 62 percent from the previous year, saving 7,175,691 kilowatt-hours.
The annual report itself is an expression of City Light’s continuing financial prudence and environmental responsibility.
Rather than producing a traditional magazine-like report, the utility is sharing its financial reports entirely on compact disc with only a brief narrative incorporated into the cover. The report also can be found online at http://www.seattle.gov/light/aboutus/annualreport/ The change in format saved the utility thousands of dollars in production costs and reduced its use of paper products.
Seattle City Light is the ninth largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.