Seattle City Light Recognized for Progress toward Clean Energy Future

Today, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), a nonprofit organization that envisions a carbon-free energy system, announced that Seattle City Light has earned a spot in its 2021 Utility Transformation Leaderboard. The recognition results from City Light’s participation in SEPA’s Utility Transformation Challenge—a comprehensive, honest assessment of U.S. electric utilities’ efforts to embrace the transition to a clean and modern energy future. 

The evaluation framework analyzed six individual surveys designed to capture meaningful utility progress across key areas covering transformation in infrastructure, programs, strategy and operations. SEPA received survey responses from 135 individual utilities, representing more than 83 million customer accounts, or approximately 63% of all U.S. electric customer accounts.  

“Seattle City Light stands out due to its comprehensive efforts to transition to a carbon-free energy future, and most importantly, its results,” said SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “The transformation to a clean and modern energy system involves much more than clean energy generation; it will require changes to almost every part of a utility’s business. We applaud Seattle City Light for its progress and recognize that much work remains. The world does not have the luxury of time on carbon reduction.”  

“We are honored to be a part of SEPA’s Utility Transformation Challenge,” City Light General Manager and CEO Debra Smith said. “I think we all recognize the need to transform is a constant in our lives, businesses, and society. Creating a carbon-free energy system is never truly complete. City Light will continue to lead these efforts as our region moves toward a cleaner energy future.”  

City Light continues to develop and implement large-scale projects to curb the region’s carbon emissions, leveraging the utility’s carbon-neutral electricity while increasing the reliability and resilience of the grid itself. Current key efforts include:  

Transportation Electrification Strategic Investment Plan (TESIP): Last fall, Seattle City Council passed City Light’s TESIP, an important step in committing resources and making investments to modernize its electric grid and enable a once-in-a-century transformation of the Seattle area’s transportation ecosystem. The plan uses feedback we have received from the communities we serve to set the priorities for future transportation electrification programs and services and describes how the utility will bolster and modernize our electric grid to enable public transit charging, support freight and commercial fleets and provide flexibility for personal mobility. The TESIP  was created with a focus on and will remain centered on three key values: equity, environment and the grid.  

Grid Modernization Plan: City Light recently finalized its Grid Modernization Plan and Roadmap to support the key operational objectives of affordability and reliability, while developing the skills and technologies necessary to enable increased customer electrification and improve grid resiliency and security. The plan showcases and identifies specific grid modernization work for the next two years, as well as laying the foundation of five-year and 10-year goals. The projects span across planning, operations, supporting technologies, and physical infrastructure upgrades and will prepare the grid for our electrified future 

 The 2021 Utility Transformation Profile report and Utility Transformation Leaderboard are available here. Download the executive summary here. View frequently asked questions here. Watch a recording of the launch event here

About City Light  
Seattle City Light, one of the nation’s largest publicly owned utilities, generates and delivers affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible power to the homes, businesses, and communities we serve. We provide carbon-neutral electricity, generated primarily from carbon-free hydropower, to over 900,000 residents in Seattle and the surrounding areas.