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Light Reading: Jul./Aug. 2020

"Light Reading" logo superimposed over mountains in the North Cascades

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City Light is here to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic. The utility will not shut off power for non- payment of your electric bill during this emergency.

If your finances are strained, please get in touch with us so we can work out a payment plan by calling (206) 684-3000 or sending an email 24/7 at seattle. gov/utilities/about-us/ email-question.

Get a full list of utility bill assistance programs and other community resources at https://powerlines. covid-19-resources.

City Light has been partnering with local non-profit The Common Acre on a pollinator garden in south Beacon Hill since 2018. This site is part of the utility’s Green Line, a community stewardship restoration project taking place in the transmission power line corridor between substations at south Beacon Hill and Southwest Seattle.

The Common Acre, with its volunteers and other partners, has planted two acres of formerly mowed turf area in the Green Line with native plants that support pollinators. They host volunteer events to weed and mulch the garden. This site is part of “a strategy to create ‘hubs and spokes’ of community directed, re-purposed public land that can become a ‘grid’ with civic utility and ecological and cultural promise.”

Want to know more about this awesome work? Go to

we’re excited to announce the launch of the City of Seattle’s new utility services website. This upgraded site includes a suite of benefits to enhance your customer service experience. In addition to existing online capabilities, some of the new features include:

  • Easy sign up for budget billing
  • Availability of daily energy usage data for customers with advanced meters
  • Enhanced customer service tools

Get started at!

Please note: customers paying their bills online via our current system will be asked to reset their password.

Keeping your home cool via air conditioners or heat pumps can end up boosting your energy bill in ways you’d rather avoid. Here are a few tips to keep your home affordably cool.

Keep the heat out of the kitchen. Cooking at home, and especially the oven, can produce a lot of unwanted heat. A microwave, pressure cooker or crock pot will produce much less wasted heat, keeping your kitchen cooler.

Use portable fans efficiently. Portable fans and ceiling fans don’t cool a space; instead, they help people in a space feel more comfortable by moving air past the skin. In fact, a fan’s motor can increase the temperature of a room and consumes electricity as it runs. Use these types of fans only in occupied rooms.

Go with the (air)flow. While moving air around your home with portable fans won’t cool it, moving hot air out of the home can. Hot air rises, so opening windows both low and high can draw cooler air in through the low windows and exhaust hot air out of the upper ones.

Invest in efficiency. Summer is a great time to replace or upgrade an old heating system with new, efficient heat pump technology. City Light offers instant discounts to contractors purchasing high-efficiency heat pumps through various local distributors. Visit to learn more!

Set your controls for efficient cooling. If you’ve got a heat pump system, set a comfortable upper temperature that works for you, and leave it at that setting. The heat pump will use its internal logic to keep your home cool.

Seattle City Light crews are in these neighborhoods, working to provide reliable service:

  • Arroyo/South Arbor Heights: installing underground conduits, vaults and streetlights to replace aging infrastructure;
  • Chinatown-International District: upgrading underdeck light fixtures to LEDs at several freeway overpass locations;
  • Delridge: replacing aging utility poles, overhead wires and equipment to help upgrade the existing electrical system;
  • Downtown Seattle: installing underground conduits on 4th Avenue and Stewart Street to maintain electrical reliability;
  • Service Territory: eplacing aging utility poles throughout the utility’s service area to enhance safety and electrical reliability.

This is a partial list. For details, go to to access our map and learn about individual projects.

“Using a window or portable AC unit? Check the amperage on your unit and the outlet where you intend to plug it in. Overloading the outlet creates a fire hazard. You should never run more than one unit on the same circuit.”