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Seattle City Light proposes rate increase for residential customers

The agency is planning residential rate increases for 2023 and 2024.
Credit: KING

SEATTLE — Electricity costs in Seattle could be rising soon.

Seattle City Light proposed rate increases of at least 5% for residential customers during a city council hearing on Wednesday.

Under the proposal, rates for residential customers would increase an average of 5.7% in 2023 and another 5% in 2024. That translates to an increase of about $5 or less for monthly bills.

Pointing to inflation and rising costs of materials and labor, City Light said the increases are needed in order to deliver "reliable, clean and socially-responsibility electric services for the next two years." 

Customer bills were not increased in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, City Light said in its strategic plan. In 2022, City Light increased customer bills by 2.1%, less than the 3.9% approved in the last strategic plan. 

Rate increases would be lower for those enrolled in the Utility Discount Program, which offers a discount of about 60% on Seattle City Light bills and 50% on Seattle Public Utilities bills to households with incomes at or below 70% of the state median income. 

For those using the discount program, the monthly bill increase would be $2 or less under the City Light proposed rate increases.

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