Powerful Neighborhoods Expands to Central District

Seattle City Light’s Powerful Neighborhoods program to install free compact fluorescent light bulbs is moving to the Central District, starting April 4.

Seattle City Light’s Powerful Neighborhoods program to install free compact fluorescent light bulbs is moving to the Central District, starting April 4.

“In the year since this program launched, we have served more than 10,000 households and installed 192,585 compact florescent light bulbs,” City Light Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said. “This will save our customers about $3 million on their electricity bills over the lifetimes of the bulbs.”

The new service area for the program is bounded by Denny Way/East Madison Street on the north, East Yesler Way on the south, Broadway on the west, and 34th Avenue on the east.

Powerful Neighborhoods started in South Seattle last year as a pilot program. It is designed to reach out door-to-door to seniors, non-English speaking households, low-income residents and other customers who might not have participated in energy conservation programs.

Seattle City Light is working with Ecos Consulting, Cascadia Consulting, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS), and Working Green to hire and train installers, schedule home visits, and deliver and install the products.

All installers undergo background checks and drug-screening. Installers fluent in more than a dozen languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Amharic and Cantonese, are available to visit homes where English is not the primary language. All staff carry Seattle City Light identification. Short profiles and photos of all installers can be seen at http://www.seattle.gov/light/install/installers.asp .

City Light will mail residents in the new territory a letter inviting them to schedule an appointment. The letter includes translations in Spanish, Tagalog, Cantonese and Vietnamese.

Installers also canvass neighborhoods door-to-door. If an interested resident is home, staff will install the energy efficient light bulbs and provide low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators or schedule a more convenient time to visit.  If the resident is not home, installers leave a notice regarding how to contact the program to arrange a visit.

To qualify, a resident must live in a single-family home or 2- to 4-unit apartment or condo. To make an appointment, call 206-449-1132 or send an email to SCL_install@seattle.gov

Response from customers has been overwhelmingly positive with more than 96 percent of those who completed a satisfaction survey saying that they would definitely recommend the program to their neighbors and friends.

Seattle City Light is the 10th 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.