City Light Completes Duct Bank Installation in South Lake Union

In March 2018, Seattle City Light crews completed the final civil work in South Lake Union. Crews installed electrical vaults and duct banks on Harrison Street, between Dexter and 9th avenues north.

Completion of this work will result in increased electrical reliability for the South Lake Union neighborhood.

City Light thanks its customers for their patience during the duration of this project.

Learn more about this project and others by visiting Seattle City Light’s “At Work in Your Neighborhood” website.

Women in Power Hosts Event to Press for Progress

On Thursday, more than 240 members of the City of Seattle community attended the Women in Power: Press for Progress event. This event celebrated International Women’s Day and powerful women everywhere.

The event took place in the Bertha Knight Landes Room, named after Seattle’s first female mayor. Opening speaker Mayor Jenny Durkan, the second female mayor more than 90 years later, recognized the significance of the space and the moment.

The morning panel discussion event included women from across the City of Seattle including: Deputy Mayor Shefali Ranganathan, Interim Chief of Police Carmen Best, and Acting Director Seattle IT Tracye Cantrell. The discussion, moderated by City Light Director Michelle Vargo, surrounded the importance of mentorship and encouraged the audience to amplify one another throughout their work. Each panelist contributed their unique perspective from their experiences and departments.

The afternoon panel, moderated by City Light Director Maura Brueger, featured four of Seattle’s six female city councilmembers: Lorena González, Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez and Teresa Mosqueda. The panelists focused on the importance of being heard and becoming agents of change within their spaces.

City Light’s Sarah Davis, who founded and chairs the volunteer Women in Power group, was thrilled with the event and is excited to see where the conversation goes from here.

“Today is a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together,” explains Davis. “I hope people left the room inspired, excited, and with a desire to do something. Actually, I want people to say ‘yes’ to do two things: one thing for themselves, and a second that will benefit someone else.”

A special thank you to the committee who made this event a reality: Sarah Davis, Stefanie Johnson, Koryn Kennedy, Holly Krejci, Courtney Adams, Kathryn Mork, Bianca Smith, Uzma Siddiqi, Martha Hobson, Stefanie Guzman and Dana Robinson-Slote.

More than 200 viewers watched the event via Skype. Click here to watch the event in its entirety.

About Women in Power
Created in late 2016, Women in Power (WIP) is a City Light employee-run group whose mission is to foster professional development, better support one another, and address unique issues women face in the workplace. In addition to bi-monthly programming and the International Women’s Day event, WIP recently launched a 6-month pilot mentoring program. WIP is open to all City Light employees (both women and men).

Public Hearing to Discuss City Light’s 800 Aloha Street Property

Seattle City Light is hosting a public hearing on the disposition plan for the utility’s 800 Aloha Street property on May 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. The public hearing will be located at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) at 860 Terry Ave N. in Seattle.

City representatives will be collecting public comments on City Light’s plans to dispose of the property at 800 Aloha Street, per requirements by Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35.94.040.

Aerial view of City Light’s property at 800 Aloha Street

Seattle residents can comment on the proposal or indicate interest in the sale by:

  • attending the public hearing on May 1, 2017 to offer testimony and/or to sign up on the interest/notification list;
  • e-mailing comments or indicate an interest in being notified of updates to the 800 Aloha Street surplus/disposition process by contacting SCL_RealProperty@seattle.gov;
  • sharing comments or requesting updates to the 800 Aloha Street surplus/disposition process via US Mail by contacting:

Timothy Croll
Seattle City Light
700 Fifth Ave, Suite 3316
Seattle WA, 98104

All comments must be received by May 5, 2017 to be included in the record developed for the Seattle City Council.

For more information on the 800 Aloha Street property, please visit www.seattle.gov/light/surplus.

A Cleaner Energy Future Through New Markets

Seattle City Light General Manager & CEO Larry Weis stated the utility’s intention to prepare to join the Energy Imbalance Market managed by the California Independent System Operator (ISO) beginning in April 2019. The Seattle City Council approved the action on Oct. 31 and Weis signed the ISO’s implementation agreement Dec. 9. As part of the City Council’s approval, City Light staff are required to provide the Council with a more detailed briefing in 2017 that includes the analysis of costs, benefits, and potential risks of participation to support the Council’s decision about its participation in the market.

“Seattle City Light has preliminarily evaluated the Energy Imbalance Market from an environmental, commercial, and reliability perspective and I believe City Light’s participation can deliver benefits to our customers in all three areas,” Weis said. “Participation in the Energy Imbalance Market is the best use of our resources and our employees’ expertise to extend our support for a clean energy economy across the West. This is the first in a number of steps to better integrate large-scale renewable resources in the West, and a new tool in our tool belt to address climate change and set the foundation for a cleaner energy future.”

The Energy Imbalance Market provides reliability and renewable resource integration benefits to the West while providing economic benefits to City Light customers. It is an automated, real-time wholesale energy market that matches the lowest cost electricity supply with demand every 5 and 15 minutes. Large quantities of sometimes-intermittent renewable power generation, such as wind and solar, are then more effectively integrated than they could be otherwise. The market also provides City Light with additional tools to better manage the power grid.

“To create a clean energy economy across the West, no one state can go-it-alone,” Weis said. “We all need to work together to decrease carbon emissions and the Energy Imbalance Market is a step in doing so cost-effectively.”

Seattle will join active participants PacifiCorp, NV Energy, Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy and future participants Portland General Electric and Idaho Power as utilities participating in the ISO’s Energy Imbalance Market.

2017 Changes to Permitting Fees and Other Charges

The Seattle City Council recently adopted the 2017-18 budget, including legislation that implements Seattle DCI fee changes in 2017 to cover wage increases in order to reflect our cost of doing business.

On January 1, 2017, these service fees go into effect. As in past years, we are making inflationary adjustments to most fees. Unlike past years, when our inflationary changes were made to account for cost increases that occurred since our last fee ordinance (usually every two years), this year our inflationary changes also include Council-adopted inflation changes already approved for 2017.  As a result, most fees will increase by approximately 10.5%, representing three years’ worth of known cost increases (2015-2017). As an example, our Base Hourly Fee will increase from $190 to $210. The Land Use Hourly fee, which was revised from $250 to $280 last year after a 15-year freeze, is increased 12.5% to $315.

We are also making additional changes to two of our fee tables: Table D-1– Calculation of the Development Fee Index; and Table D-14 – Electrical Permit Fees (when plans are reviewed). The minimum building permit fee in the Development Fee Index (Table D-1) has not changed since 2003. These tables have been expanded to include a greater number of discrete bands of project valuation upon which to base fees. In addition, the marginal rates applied to most bands are updated.

In 2017 we are implementing a new fee schedule for permanent signs.  Table D-16 – Permanent Sign Fees sets fees for signs based on a graduating scale of square footage and applies a marginally increasing rate to each band of the scale. Currently the fee for a sign permit is charged at a flat rate for the first 100 square feet of the sign display area with an additional charge as the display area increases in size. We have found that this methodology for generating fees is outdated and inadequate for cost recovery for the permitting/review process and field inspections of signs installed in the city.

As in past years, we have adopted, by Director’s Rule, the latest building valuation data (BVD) table. The table establishes construction cost values by occupancy and construction type, which are then used to assess permit fees.

Finally, we are increasing the Rental Housing Unit Inspection Fees related to the Rental Registration & Inspection Ordinance. The 2017 fee for us to serve as qualified rental housing inspector for a property including the first housing unit is $160. The 2017 fee for us to inspect each additional housing unit on the same property is $30.

New Director’s Rules, the BVD table and other fee-related information will be available to you on our website early next year.