Utility Discount Program Information Now Available in Spanish

Participants in the Utility Discount Program save 60 percent on their Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities bills.

Seattle City Light is making it easier for customers who use Spanish as their primary language to participate in the Utility Discount Program and save 60 percent on their bills.

The utility has created a Spanish language web page with program details and an application form in Spanish too. They are available online at http://www.seattle.gov/light/ReducirElRecibo/ .

“Customer service starts with communication,” Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. “We want to break down language barriers to help people who qualify get the discount they deserve.”

The Utility Discount Program helps seniors and income-qualified families by lowering rates on the electricity provided by Seattle City Light and services from Seattle Public Utilities, including water, sewer and garbage. The average annual savings on utilities for participants is $800.

About 14,000 customers are already participating. An estimated 60,000 others are eligible for reduced rates, but have not yet signed up for the program.

City Light has started several efforts to break down barriers to participation caused by language differences, cultural skepticism and the required documentation. Staff members and translation services are available to help customers with their applications.

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 nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

 

Información del Utility Discount Program (Programa de Descuento del Servicio) Ahora Disponible en Español

Seattle City Light está tomando acción para ayudar a sus clients hispanoparlantes a ahorrar hasta el 60% en sus facturas de utilidades a través del Utility Discount Program.

Este servicio público ha creado una página web en español con detalles sobre el programa y un formulario de solicitud que también está en español. Están disponibles enhttp://www.seattle.gov/light/ReducirElRecibo/ .

«La atención del cliente comienza con la comunicación», dijo la directora de Customer Care (Servicio al Cliente), Kelly Enright. «Deseamos derribar las barreras lingüísticas para ayudar a las personas que califican a obtener el descuento que merecen».

El Utility Discount Program ayuda a las familias que califican por sus ingresos y a los ancianos reduciendo las tarifas de la electricidad que proporciona Seattle City Light y de los servicios de Seattle Public Utilities (Servicios Públicos de Seattle), como agua, alcantarillado, y recolección de basura. El ahorro anual promedio en los servicios públicos por participante es de $800.

Ya están participando unos 14,000 clientes. Aproximadamente, otros 60,000 califican para las tarifas reducidas, pero todavía no se han inscrito en el programa.

City Light ha iniciado varios esfuerzos para derribar las barreras a la participación que presentan las diferencias lingüísticas, el escepticismo cultural y la documentación requerida. Se encuentran a disposición de los clientes personal y servicios de traducción para ayudarlos con las solicitudes.

Seattle City Light es el 10.° servicio público de electricidad más grande de Estados Unidos. Este servicio ofrece algunas de las tarifas de costos para clientes más bajas de todos los servicios públicos urbanos. Además, proporciona energía confiable, renovable y ecológica a casi un millón de residentes del área de Seattle. City Light ha sido una empresa neutral en cuanto a la emisión de gases de efecto invernadero desde 2005, el primer servicio público de la nación en lograr esa distinción.

City Light: Community Conversation with Univisión Seattle

Univisión Seattle hosts Teresa Gonzalez (left) and Jaime Méndez (middle) sat down with Jorge Carrasco (right), CEO and General Manager of Seattle City Light for a discussion of the Strategic Plan Update.

City Light CEO and General Manager Jorge Carrasco met with Teresa Gonzalez and Jaime Méndez of Univisión Seattle (KUNS-TV) for a Community Conversation, or Conversación con la Comunidad. The 30-minute segment originally aired last Saturday, March 29.  The Community Conversation will re-air on Univisión Seattle on Channel 51 this Saturday, April 5 at 11 p.m.

The Spanish-language Community Conversation marks Carrasco’s first appearance on Univisión and represents City Light’s commitment to community involvement, a founding element of the Strategic Plan. As a special guest, Carrasco reached out to Spanish-speaking customers and shared important information about our programs and future goals.

The Strategic Plan is City Light’s guide for making informed decisions to meet the current and future needs of its customers.  The utility is including stakeholders from diverse communities across its service area in direct town hall conversations to gather community input, reflect current issues and incorporate any necessary adjustments to the plan.

Questions from the Univisión audience demonstrated the broad spectrum of interests in the Seattle Latino community. Audience members asked about City Light resources, how the utility is planning for the future and its commitment to sustainable energy. The audience listened carefully to what it means to have a hydroelectric-based utility with more than 90 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources. A young student in the audience also asked what young people can do to make a difference in reducing their electric bills.

Carrasco took the opportunity to highlight specific projects being undertaken to improve customer service. He also shared information about the Utility Discount Program, which can save income-eligible customers up to 60 percent on their electric bill. City Light also created a Spanish-language Utility Discount Program website for customers.

In its second year of the six-year Strategic Plan, City Light exceeded expectations and is ambitiously raising the bar for the years to come. By 2018 City Light plans to reduce baseline costs by an ongoing $18 million per year, aggressively improving its safety record, expanding community engagement and environmental leadership, and strengthening its ability to meet the growing electricity needs of the customers it serves.

Town hall sessions such as this one with Univisión lead to greater engagement and input from our community members and customers. City Light is currently planning additional outreach through Seattle’s Azteca America network. The utility also recently reached out through a number of meetings in various languages to discuss our Strategic Plan Update and get feedback from the community.

“Seattle City Light, the Nation’s Greenest Utility, is committed to responsible stewardship of our natural resources and our rate-payer dollars, and doing that successfully demands transparency and accountability,” said Carrasco. “This blueprint outlines our path forward and is also our report card to the community on how we are doing.”

To learn more, please visit the Seattle City Light Strategic Plan website.