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Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities Awarded $18 Million to Customers in Need

Seattle, WA—Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities announced today that they awarded more than $18 million dollars to customers in 2022. These funds were distributed to eligible residential customers enrolled in the utilities’ bill assistance programs and/or payment plans and applied directly to customers’ billing accounts.

The Washington State Legislature designated $100 million in 2022 for public and private utilities to reduce residential customer arrearages accrued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Seattle City Light distributed $9,756,600 to 16,990 customers while Seattle Public Utilities allocated more than $3,600,000 in funds to 3,760 of its customers in December 2022. Customers who received help through federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Low-Income Household Water Assistance Programs (LIHWAP), utility-funded assistance programs, or who engaged in payment plans were eligible to receive assistance.

“Despite challenging and uncertain times, our teams at Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities have worked together to embrace a One Seattle approach toward helping those in need and delivering tangible support to better serve Seattle residents,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “For many vulnerable residents in need in our communities, the assistance Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities provided represents a lifeline to get back on their feet, avoid disconnection, and access affordable, dependable utility services.”

“City Light is proud to have helped our most vulnerable customers at a time when it was needed the most,” said Debra Smith, General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light. “Our assistance helps to ease financial burdens and give families and individuals peace of mind after years of uncertainty.”

Throughout 2022, Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities partnered to ensure that all customers had access to affordable utility services no matter their financial circumstances. The utilities jointly helped more than 43,600 residential customers through the Utility Discount Program over the course the year. This program provides utility bill discounts to income-eligible residential customers whose household income is at or below 70% of the state median income.

Additionally, City Light distributed $1,056,200 through its Emergency Bill Assistance program and $2,706,400 in LIHEAP funds. Seattle Public Utilities distributed $714,300 in Emergency Assistance Program allocations and $162,800 in LIHWAP funds.

“We know many of our customers suffered as a result of the pandemic and struggled to afford basic needs,” said Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO of Seattle Public Utilities. “By accessing state COVID-19 utility assistance in addition to our own assistance dollars, we were able to help our customers at a time when they really needed it.”

In 2023, both utilities will continue to offer long-term and short-term repayment plans available to all utility customers along with income-eligible assistance programs to help customers reduce past due balances. To learn more about these programs, please visit