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Meter reads during COVID-19

COVID-19 impacting manual meter reads; some customers may receive estimated bills

The COVID-19 outbreak and Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order have impacted Seattle City Light’s ability to provide manual meter reading services to some customers due to staffing shortages and an inability to access meters at temporarily closed properties. Manual reads are required for analog meters, not advanced meters; only about 34,000 of approximately 470,000 meters have yet to be upgraded to advanced meters.

City Light is working to safely redeploy our meter reading staff to the field. However, until we can fully resume normal operations, we must estimate meter reads when we cannot do a manual read. Estimates are based on previous usage and consumption patterns. Ultimately, when a meter reader can return to your property for an actual read you will be charged in the subsequent “true up” bill for only what you have used. This may result in an additional charge or a credit.

We are doing our best to minimize the number of estimated reads; at most, our system allows estimates for up to three consecutive billing cycles. If that occurs, it triggers an alert to a meter reader who will attempt a manual reading of the affected meters.

If you are a building or apartment manager and your offices are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, you can arrange a time to allow a meter reader on site by contacting us at 206-684-3000.

If you have concerns about your bill, we are here to help! Our representatives will help you navigate your options.

  • City Light offers a variety of resources to help customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Give us a call or email us to learn more.

Finally, we want to remind you that Seattle City Light staff are still in the field and may be on your property to read your meter or perform necessary work. These employees wear branded clothing and photo identification identifying them as Seattle City Light staff. Please make sure to maintain social distance of at least six feet if you encounter our staff in the field!