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2017 Demand Changes for Seattle City Light Network Customers

Thursday, May 18, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christine Miclat
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Article contributed by Soheila Ghassemikia, Seattle City Light.


Downtown Seattle is booming and Seattle City Light is working to meet the needs of business customers. With burgeoning infrastructure requirements, City Light’s Downtown Network implemented changes to peak demand charges this year. The impact of these changes upon billing depends on customer energy consumption patterns; those with high load factors (a constant load of the kind seen in hotels and data centers) will see smaller increases than those with low load factors (use that varies a great deal).

Demand charges are collected to pay for energy delivery infrastructure, which is sized to ensure reliable power during times of peak demand. Costs for distribution to the Downtown Network have increased and now peak demand charges have increased to meet them. In addition, the new demand charges put Downtown Network customers on par with the portion of distribution costs non-Downtown Network customers already pay. You can read more about peak demand and rate design here.

Most Downtown Network customers will not see large increases to their City Light bills. While demand charges went up, Downtown Network energy costs decreased by 4.2 percent for medium customers and 4.3 percent for large customers. The average 2017 bill increase is expected to be about 4 percent for medium customers and around 5 percent for large customers. These percentage increases are consistent with the rest of City Light’s service territory.  


To see how your City Light bill might change with the new demand charges, pick an exemplary month from 2016 (energy use varies greatly depending upon time of year) and use this Excel-based bill calculator to approximate what it will be in 2017. City Light’s demand charges remain very competitive even when compared to other utilities throughout the region, and the Downtown Network still provides the most reliable electric service in Seattle. 


The best way to save on energy costs is to use less energy. There is a global trend towards energy conservation and Seattle buildings often lead the way. If you would like to learn how your building can better conserve energy, contact a City Light energy advisor at SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov or visit this page for more information. Details about Seattle City Light’s rates can be found here.

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