Seattle City Light is making it easier for customers who use Spanish as their primary language to participate in the Utility Discount Program and save 60 percent on their bills.
The utility has created a Spanish language web page with program details and an application form in Spanish too. They are available online at http://www.seattle.gov/light/ReducirElRecibo/ .
“Customer service starts with communication,” Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. “We want to break down language barriers to help people who qualify get the discount they deserve.”
The Utility Discount Program helps seniors and income-qualified families by lowering rates on the electricity provided by Seattle City Light and services from Seattle Public Utilities, including water, sewer and garbage. The average annual savings on utilities for participants is $800.
About 14,000 customers are already participating. An estimated 60,000 others are eligible for reduced rates, but have not yet signed up for the program.
City Light has started several efforts to break down barriers to participation caused by language differences, cultural skepticism and the required documentation. Staff members and translation services are available to help customers with their applications.
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.