City Light’s Integrated Resource Plan Adapts to Changing Environment

The 2016 Seattle City Light Integrated Resource Plan examines an array of power options to help position the utility towards the future. The plan focuses on being the least cost and most environmentally friendly, and achieves the utility’s goal of being a leader in environmental stewardship.

With various changes in the market – including technological advances, new codes and evolving customer behaviors – the utility has seen a lower energy demand even with an increasing customer population. Seattle City Light’s IRP adapts to these changes and assesses what energy resources the utility has; what it will need based on reliability, cost, risk and environmental impact; and then how to get there through power supply decisions that come from customer, stakeholder and public input.

City Light’s core findings include:

  • New utility energy efficiency programs are expected to be the most cost effective resource towards reducing future power supply needs
  • City Light plans to meet its renewable portfolio standard obligations through 2023 with its existing resource portfolio, new energy efficiency, hydro-efficiency upgrades and previously acquired renewable energy credits

Based on these findings, City Light will work to do the following over the next two years:

  • Continue investing in cost-effective energy efficiency
  • Serve the retail load with City Light’s existing resources portfolio, short-term markets, and other transactions to reshape seasonal electricity demands, where needed
  • Continue environmental leadership by evaluating factors such as climate change that impact hydro generation, electricity demand, and fish populations.
  • Monitor new resource and energy efficiency options including their costs and ability to meet City Light’s future resource needs

To view the 2016 Seattle City Light IRP, please visit:

About Seattle City Light

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.