Seattle City Light remains committed to providing safe and reliable power while prioritizing the safety of our customers and crews. Our service is an essential need and its reliability is a top priority.
In April, as our community was observing Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, City Light voluntarily paused all work that required an outage to minimize service disruptions to our customers.
Now, as we turn our attention to reopening and recovery, it’s critical that we resume essential critical infrastructure work to improve electrical reliability and ensure the safety of our infrastructure. Beginning June 8, we will resume critical work that requires planned outages.
Why Outages are Necessary
Planned power outages are important to maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure. Planned outages are necessary to ensure that City Light crews can complete their work in a safe, efficient manner. We understand that outages can be burdensome, and even more so as our customers are at home working, teaching children, and maintaining a healthy life during the COVID-19 crisis.
Planned outages are scheduled for a variety of reasons. Depending on the type of work, outages can occur during the day, at night or on the weekends. Our approach to scheduling planned outages is consistent throughout our service area. Safety, reliability and customer needs are considered as employees plan and schedule any outage-related work.
What Impacted Customers Should Expect
If a planned outage will be taking place in your neighborhood, you can expect to receive a notification at least five days ahead of the planned outage. The notification will be a door hanger, notice letter, or possibly an email for residential customers who live in an apartment complex or condominium building. The notification will contain detailed information about the planned outage, including the date, time, and anticipated duration of the outage. If an outage is cancelled or rescheduled (due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances), customers can expect to be notified about the change.
At this time, work will be moving forward for City Light’s Accelerated Pole Replacement Program. Crews are replacing aging utility poles throughout the utility’s service area to enhance safety and electrical reliability. For more information about this essential work and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit powerlines.seattle.gov/poles. Additional capital improvement projects and construction activities, including joint use work (e.g., telecommunications companies installing and maintaining equipment on our poles), will resume as work continues to restart across our service area.
To learn more about how you can prepare for an outage, please visit powerlines.seattle.gov/outage.
Additional Safety Measures
All City Light crews and contractors will continue to follow public health guidance around daily health screening procedures, social distancing and appropriate personal protective equipment, including facial coverings. Please be aware that due to the nature of our work maintaining the electrical system, some essential tasks require crew members to work closely together for their safety. So, if you see lineworkers working side by side, please know they’re doing it for good reason and are minimizing close proximity as much as they can to safely complete the job. And please do your part by keeping a safe distance – always a good idea when it comes to working with electricity, whether we’re avoiding a virus or not.
We will continue to update customers about ongoing work. We appreciate your patience as we work to improve the electrical infrastructure and enhance the safety of your neighborhood by completing this essential work.