Seattle City (spot)Light: Katie Seling

Katie Seling has served on City Light’s Customer Energy Solutions (CES) team for the past six years. “In my current role, I evaluate the effectiveness of conservation programs,” Katie explained. “Are our customers saving what we think they’re saving? Are people participating in areas we think they are? How well is a program designed—is this something we can make more streamlined for our customers? Have we reached all of our customers and made programs available equitably?”

A native Washingtonian, Katie grew up in Lake Stevens and lives in Shoreline with her husband, Peter. They have two young sons with whom they enjoy the area’s parks and activities. “Green Lake is one of our favorite places to hang out during the summer,” she said. In this week’s (spot)Light, Katie talks about her family, her love of music and how her philosophy degree from the University of Washington laid a strong foundation for her job.

Katie and her sons at a Pride parade

“I really like living here. I love that we’re so close to the water and that we have such easy access to the mountains. I also like the climate—maybe not ten months out of the year when it’s raining, but it does make everything green. My husband and I have traveled around and can imagine living in other places, but not for long. We talk about taking our family to live abroad for a year or two, but we’d always return home to the Northwest.”

“Right now, baseball is kind of taking up the bulk of our family time. My older son is a baseball fanatic. My husband is also a huge Mariners fan. We’re a Mariners family. Even when they’re losing, we cheer them on. So, we’re either watching our son play baseball at the park or have it on TV, the radio or getting updates on Peter’s phone.”

“Music is also another family activity. When he’s not teaching middle school kids, my husband is a musician—he plays guitar, primarily—so the kids are constantly playing the various instruments we have at home. Seattle has a great music scene. Some of our favorite places to catch a show are Neumos and the Neptune. Lo-fi and the Columbia City Theater are amazing little venues. I like it when my husband plays there and at the Vera Project, where our kids sometimes join him on stage. We’re very proud to be KEXP supporters, too.”

“I like to write and am a creative person, but philosophy grounded me in analysis and critical thinking. So, I’ve applied those traits to my work with our conservation programs. I also love data and determining who is taking advantage of our programs and who isn’t. Another huge focus of mine is ensuring that the utility is creating good equity-focused programs. It’s important that RSJI (the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative) is broadly integrated into various aspects of our organization like internal operations, our programs and our evaluation process.”

“I like working at City Light because we’re serving the community. I don’t like doing work that doesn’t connect to my values. Community service, education and social justice are my three top values, and if I’m not part of those things, I just can’t whole-heartedly invest in my work.”