By a vote of 8-0, the Seattle City Council has passed a resolution adopting Seattle City Light’s proposed six-year strategic plan. The plan includes revenue requirements that equal about a 4.7 percent rate increase for each of the next six years.
“This plan gives customers and policy-makers a much more predictable rate path while committing to critical investments in infrastructure maintenance and new technologies,” stated Councilmember Mike O’Brien, chair of the Energy & Technology Committee of the City Council. “The nine-member City Light Review Panel made up individuals representing all of the utility’s customer classes spent two years working with City Light to develop this plan and to talk with customers throughout City Light’s service territory about what is in the plan. It’s an excellent example of a thorough public process.”
The plan includes a new substation to be located north of downtown at the old Greyhound bus maintenance yard. City Light hasn’t built a new substation in more than 30 years. It will allow the utility to distribute power more efficiently within its service area. The plan also includes an initiative to provide increased training opportunities for employees in addition to increasing recruitment and retention efforts as the utility faces an increasing number of retirements in an already competitive labor market.
“Reliable, low-cost and environmentally-responsible power is important to our customers,” says City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco. “This plan looks out six years to ensure that we are meeting customer expectations while protecting rates from volatile fluctuations in the energy market or due to adverse impacts on surplus power sales due to low water years.”
Customers will see new rates beginning in January of 2013 that will add about $2.90 to the average residential bill. For more information about the strategic plan, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/light/strategic-plan/ .
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 nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.