This is an open letter to all Seattle City Light Customers from Superintendent Jorge Carrasco.
You, our customers, are the focus of everything we do at Seattle City Light, so I’m pleased to provide an overview of key accomplishments we achieved on your behalf in 2010.
Despite a poor water year and a drop in surplus power revenue, City Light was able to control costs while delivering significant accomplishments that benefited our community in 2010 and will continue to do so for years to come.
This report provides a high level summary of City Light performance in 2010. I want to thank all our customers, Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council for their help and support of our work in this challenging year. While our employees are proud of every accomplishment, several merit highlighting:
- Ranked in top 25 percent by JD Power among all utilities in the United States for customer service
- Significantly reduced streetlight repair time from 64 days to 10 working days
- Exceeded our annual energy conservation target by 25 percent
- Improved reliability by replacing old transmission lines and rebuilding underground cable systems
- Completed the fourth year of our four-year vegetation program by trimming 535 miles of vegetation
- Submitted a final Boundary re-licensing settlement agreement, setting the stage for a license to be issued in 2011
- Generated savings of $89 million in our budget to contain costs and mitigate the impact on rates
- Achieved $57 million in savings from refinancing old debt
Most importantly, I want to thank the Mayor and Council for supporting the establishment of a Rate Stabilization Fund. This fund, now fully funded at $100 million, will enable the utility to be better prepared to deal with variations in water supply and energy prices. We were able to remove the interim rate surcharge of 4.5 percent by the end of 2010, as well as reduce the proposed rate increase in 2011.
In 2011, we will work with the City Light Review Panel to develop a strategic plan that will help the utility plan long term, link these plans with future budgets, and identify the rate impacts of these investments in the future. I want to thank the Mayor and Council for convening this panel and providing an opportunity for us to have a conversation with policymakers, the public, and our employees about the future direction of Seattle City Light.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the work and support of our employees for making these accomplishments possible.