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An Update on City Light’s Time of Use Rate

In September of 2022, Seattle City Council approved City Light’s 2023-2024 rate ordinance, implementing the utility’s electrical rates consistent with City Light’s 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. City Council approved that plan, which, among other components, introduced optional Time of Use (TOU) rate.

We are excited about the interest in City Light’s TOU rate. Here is an update on its development so far.

What are Time of Use rates?

Time-based rate structures follow a similar pattern. When both the cost of generating electricity and demand for electricity are low (the middle of the night), the rate paid to use electricity is low. But when both the cost of generation and demand for electricity are high (the afternoon when school gets out), the rate of electricity is higher.

Time-of-use pricing encourages customers to use electricity when power is cheaper and demand is lower. This helps reduce the strain on the electric grid. Those who adjust their home habits to run appliances and charge electric vehicles, for example, during off-peak times (early morning and late evening) can take advantage of lower rates.

This option allows customers to make informed choices about when and how they use energy, with the potential to save on their bills. The new TOU rate will also incentivize customers to help the City meet its decarbonization goals.

When will City Light offer a Time of Use rate?

We had initially hoped to offer the TOU rate in 2024. We are now targeting a full customer launch in early 2025. This timeline allows us to ensure a high-quality product with customer-centric tools, in-depth rate education, equity considerations, a streamlined sign-up process, and supported business procedures and staff training.

Developing the TOU rate has required us to navigate complex business and technology components. These factors affect the timing of the rate availability. We are currently developing an online tool to empower customers to explore their energy usage and make informed choices about their best-fit rate before the full release of the Time of Use rate. We are also improving our back-office processes to ensure consistent and comprehensive customer service.

Next steps

We are developing a communication plan to provide updates on TOU rate availability and the sign-up processes. Keep an eye on the Seattle City Light rates page as more information becomes available later in 2024.

We encourage you to explore our diverse range of other programs and home energy solutions at