Seattle City (spot)Light: Shari Weir

Shari Weir will celebrate three years at City Light this month. She works in Customer Energy Solutions as the program manager for Green-Up, City Light’s voluntary green power program. “We have about 13,000 participants who contribute a little extra on their bill,” Shari explained. “That extra money goes toward the purchase of renewable energy. Our customer contributions average around $1M dollars per year. It’s amazing to see.”

Shari was born in Southern California but grew up in Snoqualmie. “My dad was a software engineer, so we moved up here in the early 90s,” Shari shared. She studied urban planning, in the Community, Environment and Planning program at the University of Washington (UW). She also attended graduate school at UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Shari talks about being a public servant and her hobbies.

Shari on the Horseshoe Bay Ferry in British Columbia

“I enjoy the outdoors as much as I can – skiing, hiking, getting out with my dog Roger. I used to work for the Forest Service so I’m familiar with the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and know the trails well. The past few years, after pressure from my sister and brother, I’ve gotten into alpine touring. I would like to do more of that without the fear of avalanches! I also like to read, bake, restore mid-century furniture, and embroider, mainly free-hand embroidery… I got started in grad school when I found I needed a creative release– it’s nice to grab a piece of fabric and some thread and create something out of nothing.”

“My job has two focuses. One is to market the Green-Up Program; to keep attracting customers and talk to those who already participate. The other is to find ways to spend the revenue in ways that 1) are compliant with the laws that govern the program and 2) are in line with the customers’ preferences. One example is our Green-up Grants which funded 14 local projects in 2017. This year, I ‘m working on the Access Solar Project which will install solar on affordable housing in our service territory.”

“I’m a born public servant and have worked in renewable energy for seven years. I had a strong desire to switch over to the utility side, especially one that serves my hometown. Because we’re a muni, I’m also working for the City. It’s all about the public good. I like to operate with a high level of integrity. It’s always been my philosophy to apply my work toward public good, specifically focusing on sustainability. That’s how I decided on my major in college.”

“As an organization, we have a pretty high level of integrity. We’re always trying to treat our customers well, to do the right thing, to be responsible with our revenues and rates. I see that consistently. I also really like our focus on RSJI and assisting our low-income customers. That’s been a real joy to work on – to always consider the community impact, the community initiative. It’s not just about what we at the utility want to do.  And I get a lot of pleasure managing a customer-facing program because it’s all about our customers. It’s not ratepayer’s funds I’m working with, it’s the participant’s funds. So, it’s about what they want.”