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Council Approves Positive Changes to City Light Green Programs

Seattle's City Council approves legislation to encourage all Seattle City Light customers to participate in the utility's Community Solar program.

Today, the Seattle City Council approved legislation that helps expand Seattle’s reputation as a socially inclusive green city. Council Bill 117243 supports efforts to encourage all Seattle City Light customers to participate in the utility’s Community Solar program.  This program aligns with the City’s Race and Social Justice goals and encourages City Light to provide the widest possible access to its solar programs. Community Solar gives customers the opportunity to receive credits on energy produced from a solar voltaic array owned and operated by City Light.  

“As an advocate for social justice and inclusion, I am pleased to pass this legislation,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee.  “It opens the Community Solar program up to people who may not have participated otherwise and spreads awareness of solar photovoltaic technology.”

In other Council action related to green energy programs, Council Bill 117242, retires City Light’s Green Power program because it has achieved its program goals. However, the City will continue on with the Utility’s Green Up program. 

Since 2002, Green Power funded 30 solar projects, 13 of those were located at schools. The goal of Green Power was to support the development of smaller scale, local renewable energy projects that increase awareness, improve operations, and create demand through demonstration and education.

City Light will continue to offer the Green Up program, established in 2005.  Green Up supports development of larger scale renewable energy projects like wind, geothermal and biomass.  Customers voluntarily participate in the program by paying an increased rate for green resources.

“Some of the projects that have been supported by Green Up funds in the past six years include geothermal, dairy biogas, and small canal hydro projects,” said City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco. “Green Up is an excellent way for customers to directly support new, renewable energy alternatives.

“Since 2002, customers have contributed $1.8 million into the Green Power program and since 2005, $7.5 million into the Green Up program. These programs and participation levels show our city’s commitment to sustainable practices,” added Councilmember Harrell.