Seattle City Light will work to help its customers achieve even more energy conservation in the next two years without increasing its budget under a proposed goal submitted to the City Council today.
City Light is required to set energy conservation goals every two years under the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard, as approved by voters with Initiative 937. The new goal was determined using a conservation potential assessment that incorporates data from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.
“Seattle City Light is a national leader in energy conservation, which helps to keep its electricity prices the lowest in America’s largest cities,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “We are pushing ahead to do even more. It’s another example of why City Light is the nation’s greenest utility.”
With Council approval, City Light’s goal for 2016-17 would be 25.62 average megawatts of electricity conservation. That’s an eight percent increase over the 23.68 average megawatts goal for 2014-2015. An average megawatt is one megawatt of electricity every hour of the day for a year.
Two key factors have increased City Light’s confidence in meeting the higher conservation goal. First, the utility is on track to exceed its current 2014-15 goal because more customers are adopting energy efficient appliances, equipment and technology. Additionally, new energy saving measures have helped enterprise level data centers and indoor agriculture cut their energy use.
City Light has one of the longest-running conservation programs in the country. Since its start in 1977, energy efficiency measures supported by the utility have saved enough energy to power Seattle for more than two years.
Last year, conservation measures supported by City Light reduced customers’ electricity bills by more than $115 million. They also avoided the release of more than 961,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of removing about 211,000 cars from the road for a year.
“Doing more with the clean, renewable energy resources we already have reduces the pressure to build new power plants, holds costs down for our customers and limits our impact on the environment,” City Light Conservation Resources Director Craig Smith said. “That’s why conservation is our first resource of choice and what we are counting on to meet the energy needs of our fast-growing community for the next decade.”
INCREMENTAL ENERGY SAVED THROUGH CONSERVATION
Year Savings (Megawatt Hours)
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.