Alfred Love has been at City Light for three years, but just celebrated 20 years of service with the City of Seattle. He began his career in the Parks and Recreation department and is now the Credit and Collections Supervisor in the utility’s Customer Care division. “People hear the word ‘collections’ and think negatively, but that’s not the case for us as the customer is the one making contact,” Alfred explained. “We deal with closed accounts, move dates, unreceived bills and finalize open transactions.”
A longtime resident of the Northwest, Alfred grew up in Rainier Beach. He lives in Kent, but is still active in the Rainier Beach community. Alfred and his fiancée, Ashanti, have five children and one grandson. In this week’s (spot)Light, Alfred talks about his volunteer work in the community and why he enjoys customer interface.
Alfred with his team
“I used to go to the Rainier Beach Community Center when I was a kid. I was always there to play basketball. Eventually, I started coaching which led to a position working in the after-school program. I was in high school at the time, so it was a part-time position, but eventually I applied for a full-time position as a recreation attendant. I’ve always enjoyed positions that were customer facing.”
“I’m still very much involved with the Rainier Beach Community Center. I’m the head coach of two basketball teams and the founder of the Seattle Youth Recreation Foundation (SYRF), which is a non-profit organization for the youth. I created the organization to help the kids at the community center have a better team experience. We take the kids to an annual travel basketball tournament and other monthly outings. It gives them the experience of being on a team without having a certain level of skill or finances to support the endeavor. It’s a recreational team. I’ve been running SYRF for nine years. It’s a wonderful experience. I’m also a minister at Spiritual Blessings Christian Church which also keeps me going.”
“I’ve been coaching basketball for 30 years. I’m now coaching kids of kids I use to coach! I’m still running plays from my early years of coaching and my previous players, who are now parents, are recognizing those plays! It’s funny how it comes back full circle. But the play still works, so why not?! I’m a basketball guy; a community guy. I just love to do what I do and keep it going.”
“My desire to serve and help others ties into my role here at City Light. I like coming up with process improvements and looking at things from different perspectives. It helps to serve our mission of customer service. We don’t want our customers to go to collections. That’s not our goal. Our goal is to prevent them from getting there. There are different programs we implement to help streamline the process. I’m always looking at ways to update that process and make sure that things are in a constant state of improvement. Like I said, I’ve always enjoyed positions with customer interaction.”
SEATTLE – Seattle City Light began upgrading existing electricity meters today with advanced meters that will enhance services for customers and help the publicly owned utility operate more efficiently.
Senior Customer Service Representative Joanna Perley does a quality assurance check on a newly-installed advanced meter.
“Today’s installation is a big step toward modernizing the service Seattle City Light provides its customers,” City Light Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. “Upgrading our metering technology will put more power into our customers’ hands so they can better manage their energy use and it will empower our employees to provide even better service.”
City Light will replace more than 420,000 meters across its service territory by the end of 2018.
The new meters will provide more accurate billing by eliminating the estimated reads currently used to generate a bill when a meter reader is unable to access a customer’s meter or complete a route. Once the Advanced Metering data is connected to other utility computer systems, power outages will be reported automatically and customers will be able to access their energy use information online. The new meters also create opportunities for additional enhancements in the future, such as account balance alerts, monthly billing and optional time-of-use rates to support electric vehicle charging.
“Advanced Metering will be good for the environment too,” Enright said. “Eliminating the need to send a meter reader to your home or business cuts out 200,000 miles of driving and 72 tons of carbon emissions.”
There is no charge for a customer to receive an advanced meter. City Light will provide three notifications before exchanging an existing meter with an advanced meter. A letter will be sent about six weeks ahead of the exchange. A post card will be sent about two weeks before the exchange. And an automated phone call will be made one to three days before the installation.
Customers who do not wish to participate in Advanced Metering can opt out of the program. Fees will apply. For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/light/meters.
The new web application will streamline the submittal process for customers.
Seattle City Light is launching a new Electrical Service Request Application website. The new web-based system will allow for electronic processing of the more than 6,000 electrical service requests that are submitted to the utility each year.
The website will help users easily navigate through the online application for requesting new or upgraded electric services. Additional instructions and resources will also be provided on the website to assist customers with the application. The new website will allow for faster processing times and instant online communication with City Light’s Customer Care division. Commercial customers will still need to submit paper drawings with their application.
To access the online electrical service request application, visit www.seattle.gov/light/electricservice/application.asp
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.