Utility Discount Program Reaches Annual Goal of 2,500 New Participants


With more than 2,500 Utility Discount Program sign-ups this year, Seattle City Light has already met its annual goal for enrollment. But our mission is to provide the best customer experience of any utility in the nation, so we aren’t satisfied with simply meeting the goal. We’re still headed out into the community with sign-up events at community service centers, food banks, multifamily communities, and more. Good customer service makes sure people are signed up. Great customer service makes sure people know about other resources. The Utility Discount Program is a great place to start to keep your costs manageable. However, there are times when a little extra help is needed or you might not qualify for the discount. Try these resources:

  • The federal energy assistance program (LIHEAP) opens in November. If you need help paying your bill this winter, call the Energy Assistance Hotline at 800-348-7144. It’s open 24 hours a day,7 days a week.
  • If, after LIHEAP help, you are still behind more than $250 and get an URGENT or SHUT OFF notice, call City Light’s ELIA program at 206-684-3688.
  • If you still need help after LIHEAP and ELIA, or if you are ineligible for LIHEAP and ELIA, call about City Light’s Project Share funds 206-684-3000.
  • Interested in taking control over your energy use? Call the Seattle City Light Energy Advisors at 206-684-3800.
  • If you need some tips on how to manage your finances, the city has opened FREE Financial Empowerment Centers operated through Neighborhood House and available to anyone. Call 206-923-6555 to make an appointment.

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 Finalizes RSJI Work Plan for 2014

City Light has finalized its Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) work plan for 2014. As part of its RSJI plan for the year, Seattle City Light will focus on the equity areas of education, equitable development, housing, jobs/economic justice, the environment, and service equity.

The work plan is part of a larger citywide effort to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all people, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. Seattle City Light is committed to removing the barriers that prevent all people from attaining the same access to opportunity in its hiring practices and customer service, as well as creating a community enriched by Seattle’s diverse cultures with full participation from all residents. City Light strives to implement outreach and engage with the public in a manner that reflects the diversity of the customers in its service area.

The city’s initiative is led by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights and various city staff, and is supported by all City of Seattle elected officials. More information about the initiative can be found on the city of Seattle’s RSJI website.

A few highlights from the Seattle City Light RSJI 2014 Work Plan include the following:

  • Seattle City Light will continue its efforts through the Powerful Neighborhoods program to reach seniors, non-English speaking households and low-income residents.  This program includes the direct installation of efficient lighting and water-saving showerheads in multifamily properties. Special emphasis is placed on outreach to affordable housing providers and their residents, with a goal of reaching at least 3,500 multifamily households.
  • City Light will partner with Seattle University to sponsor engineering projects for racially diverse teams of students to develop their skills, provide the opportunity to exhibit their work, and advance their education with real-life projects.
  • City Light’s 2014 goal is to reach 150 families with its HomeWise low-income weatherization program.
  • City Light will continue to partner with tribes in the implementation of cultural and natural resource protection and restoration in its work on the Boundary Project as well as the Skagit Project. In addition, the utility will assure communication on cultural resource issues as well as contracting opportunities are available for the Kalispel and Skagit River tribes.
  • In an effort to achieve equity in access to living wage jobs, City Light will increase opportunities for internships in the Seattle Youth Employment Program, as well as promote its Tuition Reimbursement Program and develop specific targets for closing any gaps in diversity in its workforce.
  • City Light is dedicated to building a workforce that reflects or exceeds the racial demographics of the communities it serves. In order to achieve that goal, the utility requires all staff members involved in hiring processes to be trained on Workforce Equity and Human Resources RSJI Best Practices. Furthermore, its 2014 plan includes deepening ties with diverse community and educational organizations to recruit interns and job candidates.
  • In addition, City Light actively seeks to work with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) and Women and Minority-owned Businesses (WMBE).  Its RSJI 2014 Work Plan includes specific outreach event commitments, as well as target goals for spending on consulting and purchasing expenditures with these firms.
  • Seattle City Light is prioritizing streetlight upgrades in historically underserved areas such as the Holly Park SHA residential neighborhood in order to provide safer electrical systems and to ensure streets are well-lit at night.
  • The utility also provides free interpreter services for customers as well as offers translated printed information in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Somali, Tagalog, Korean and other languages commonly used among City Light customers. As part of the RSJI 2014 Work Plan, City Light will continue to host community meetings and focus groups designed for historically underrepresented communities, all of which are supported by interpretation and translation services.

City Light supports a number of other programs and initiatives designed to alleviate inequity including the Utility Discount Program and Project Share.

The Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative began in 2004. At the time, no other US city had so directly focused on institutional racism and working to improve racial equity. Seattle was the first city in the nation to explicitly focus on undoing institutional racism. Institutional racism is defined by the city of Seattle Office for Civil Rights as the policies, practices and procedures that often unintentionally or inadvertently work to the benefit of certain groups and to the detriment of others.

More information about Seattle City Light’s Race and Social Justice Initiative efforts can be found on our website. For more details about the City of Seattle’s efforts to achieve racial equity, please click here.