Conserving Stossel Creek

Steelhead – photo by Oregon State University

Seattle City Light recently acquired 154 acres of land on Stossel Creek east of Duvall to preserve important habitat for coho salmon and steelhead.

The utility owns more than 13,000 acres of conservation lands to protect habitat for fish and wildlife. It’s part of our commitment to environmental stewardship in the areas where we generate clean hydropower to meet our customers’ electricity needs in a responsible manner. That’s one more reason we are the nation’s greenest utility.

Here’s what Mountains to Sound Greenway wrote about the Stossel Creek purchase in their Spring issue of the Connections newsletter:

Seattle City Light acquired 154 acres on Stossel Creek, an important coho and steelhead tributary to the Tolt River, for the purpose of habitat restoration. The property is located just east of Duvall and adjacent to the Marckworth State Forest, managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The acquisition is a key component of a regional conservation strategy, led by DNR, King County, and the Tolt Fish Habitat Restoration Group, to undertake restoration in the basin, including reconnecting wetland complexes to the creek and removing and reducing sediment input to Stossel Creek and the Tolt River. Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States and has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

Seattle City Light Thanks Green Up Customers for Supporting Renewable Energy

Clean, affordable hydroelectricity supplies 90 percent of Seattle City Light’s power.  Add to that a zero carbon footprint and a 35 year history of energy conservation, and you can see why we are the nation’s greenest utility. 

The Pacific Northwest outside of City Light’s service territory is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels.  So we’d like to thank our Green Up participants for making a big difference in our region by supporting new renewable energy sources. 

From January to October 2014, City Light Green Up participants added 80,760 megawatt-hours of clean, green energy to our region’s power grid, avoiding the release of 108 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  That’s the equivalent of planting 1,258,873 tree seedlings or taking 10,337 cars off Seattle’s streets.

Way to go!  You’re making a difference every day. 

Want to go further?  You can support adding more clean, green energy right here in your own backyard with Community Solar.  Find out more and sign up today.

White House Names Seattle “Climate Action Champion”

Today the White House recognized Seattle as a Climate Action Champion, one of 16 local and tribal governments that demonstrated a strong and ongoing commitment to actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience.

“This is a tremendous honor that adds momentum to our innovations on climate action and community resilience,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We applaud President Obama for drawing attention to climate change and supporting local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Obama Administration launched the local community Climate Action Champions competition this fall as a compliment to his commitment to address climate change at the national and international scale. On the front lines of climate impacts and a proving ground for climate solutions, local communities have a powerful role to play in addressing climate change.

Seattle stands out as a national leader with a citywide goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, ambitious Climate Action Plan and Seattle City Light’s decade-long track record as a 100 percent carbon neutral electric utility.

The Climate Action Champion designation comes with targeted federal support in the form of technical assistance, preferred status in certain competitive federal grant programs, and opportunities to engage in peer-to-peer networking and showcase Seattle’s leadership on a national stage.

For more information: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/03/announcing-first-class-climate-action-champions.

What Does Public Power Mean To YOU? Celebrate Public Power Week, Oct. 5 – 11

This week, Oct. 5-11, local citizens, communities and government officials are taking part in celebrating the  the 28th annual Public Power Week, a nationwide program that celebrates the importance of public power.

Seattle City Light, the 10th largest public utility in the United States, was the first municipally owned electric utility in the nation.  City Light continues to be publicly owned and has served its Seattle customers now for more than 105 years.

City Light got its start in 1902 when Seattle voters approved a bond measure to develop a hydroelectric facility on the Cedar River, the nation’s first municipally-owned hydro project. Today, the utility has grown to more than 1,800 employees, seven hydroelectric plants and 14 major substations. It serves more than 408,000 customers in the city of Seattle and eight adjacent communities.

Ross Dam, part of Seattle City Light’s Skagit Hydroelectric Project.

Programs at City Light deliberately avoid the release of more than 663,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of taking 146,000 cars off the road each year! This focus on the environment  inspires our identity as The Nation’s Greenest Utility. More than 90 percent of City Light’s electricity is generated by hydroelectric facilities and 94.2 percent of City Light’s electricity, in total, comes from clean energy sources.

City Light recognizes its impact on natural resources that are vital to the life of the Pacific Northwest, so the utility also acquires property to preserve wildlife and fish habitats, protecting a total of 13,075 acres of land. The Skagit River Hydroelectric Project Wildlife Mitigation Program alone has grown to total 10,300 acres, providing critical habitat for a wide range of animals and including high quality, old-growth conifer forest.

The utility’s conservation program just surpassed its 37 year, the longest in the nation. In 2011, City Light conservation programs helped customers reduce their energy consumption by 1.1 million megawatt-hours. That’s enough electricity to power 124,000 Seattle homes – nearly one third of the utility’s residential service. Customers who participated in conservation programs reduced their City Light bills by a combined $797 million, half of those savings went to residential customers.

When it comes to giving back to the public and community, City Light partakes in numerous efforts. Whether it is assisting low-income homeowners improve their residence through green-minded renovations, engaging with students to help educate them on energy conservation or even supporting income qualified customers with their electric bills – Seattle City Light actively works to be a public steward for its customers.

Celebrate Public Power Week and let Seattle City Light know what public power means to you!

 

City Light Contributes to ‘Most Sustainable City’ Rating for Seattle

STAR Communities named Seattle the most sustainable city in the nation.

Seattle City Light’s work to offset all its carbon emissions and help customers reduce their energy consumption are two of the key reasons Seattle has been recognized as the nation’s most sustainable city by STAR Communities.

STAR Communities, which evaluates the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities, awarded Seattle a 5-STAR Community rating – its highest score – for national leadership in sustainability.

Seattle is one of only two cities to achieve a 5-STAR rating and recieved the highest total score. Northampton, Mass., was the other city to achieve a 5-STAR rating.

The STAR Communities recognition demonstrates why Seattle City Light is the nation’s greenest utility.

City Light has a proven commitment to carbon neutrality: We were the first electric utility in the nation to become carbon neutral in 2005, and we remain carbon neutral today.

For more than 30 years, City Light has been a leader in energy efficiency through conservation, developing progressive programs that help customers save energy and money.

Two examples are Community Power Works and HomeWise.

Community Power Works has resulted in home energy upgrades for more than 3,000 families, while also supporting jobs for contractors that provide those upgrade services.

HomeWise offers free weatherization services to low-income customers.

There are many other ways that City Light supports and promotes sustainability, including our Community Solar projects, and a contest we’re running now, Cookin’ ’With Kilowatts.

To view STAR Communities full report on Seattle, go to http://www.starcommunities.org/communities/31-seattle-washington

And you can see the complete list of communities involved in this effort at http://www.STARcommunities.org/communities.

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.