Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for the 'Seattle City Light' Category

Nov 07 2011

Money and energy saving LED streetlight installations continue under budget and ahead of schedule

Press Release issued – Nov. 7, 2011

LED streetlights now installed from North 65th street
in Seattle all the way through Shoreline

SEATTLE – In late September of this year, Seattle City Light began installing LED streetlights on residential streets from North 65th Street in Seattle all the way to the northern boundary of City Light’s service territory in Shoreline. The latest round of installations brings the total of installed LED streetlights to 18,000. This is ahead of the original schedule of 15,000 installations by the end of this year and nearly $5 million under budget. The savings are a result of the decreasing cost of the fixtures which are purchased each year instead of all at once.

“As our city continues to look for ways to save money, our new LED streetlights are already saving more than $300,000 each year and with the latest round of installations the annual savings is expected to grow to nearly $900,000,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council’s Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee. “These and future savings can be used to help fund libraries, social services and parks, they will pay for themselves in less than 10 years.”

In February of 2012, Seattle City Light is scheduled to begin installation of LED streetlights at the southern end of its service territory all the way up to Brandon Street in South Seattle. By the end of 2014, all of the City’s residential streetlights will be converted to LED. Once all 41,000 residential lights are installed, City Light expects a $2.4 million reduction in operating costs each year.

Customers seem to like the LED streetlights. City Light surveys have found that 85 percent of residents are satisfied with the new lighting and City Light has received complaints on less than 2 percent of the installations to date. The most recognizable change of the LED streetlights is the color of the light. The old high-pressure sodium streetlights had an amber hue, while the new LED streetlights have a hue that is more natural and comparable to moonlight.

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Nov 01 2011

Seattle City Light Goes Mobile

Press Release issued with Seattle City Light – Nov. 1, 2011

Mobile Web Features Available on All Smartphones

SEATTLE – Seattle City Light is making it easier for customers to connect with their utility while on the go.

“We want to give our customers the ability to connect with us wherever they might be,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “Making it more convenient to interact with us is our commitment. And we want customers to let us know how we are doing.”

Mobile phone users can now access mobile versions of key City Light web pages at On the site, customers can report a streetlight problem, get information about outages, read City Light news, get money-saving energy conservation tips, or find links to contact the utility on other matters. Customers who are signed up for eBilling also can pay their bills.

The mobile site is accessible to any phone with an Internet connection. A free mobile app is now available on the Android Market that will launch the mobile-enabled web pages. An iPhone version is pending with Apple for distribution in the iTunes store.

“Smartphone use in our country continues to rise, with the latest figures showing 35 percent of adults owning a smartphone,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee. “This new smart phone app from City Light allows ratepayers to engage where they want and when they want. This reflects our commitment to great customer service.”

City Light already is looking at ways to enhance its mobile site. Customers who use it are encouraged to send feedback and suggestions for potential additions to

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.

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Aug 09 2011

Council approves positive changes to City Light green programs

Published by under Seattle City Light

Press Release issued 8/08/11

More inclusive Community Solar program and Green Up carries on

SEATTLE – Today, the Seattle City Council approved legislation that helps expand Seattle’s reputation as a socially inclusive green city. Council Bill 117243 supports efforts to encourage all Seattle City Light customers to participate in the utility’s Community Solar program. This program aligns with the City’s Race and Social Justice goals and encourages City Light to provide the widest possible access to its solar programs. Community Solar gives customers the opportunity to receive credits on energy produced from a solar voltaic array owned and operated by City Light.

“As an advocate for social justice and inclusion, I am pleased to pass this legislation,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee. “It opens the Community Solar program up to people who may not have participated otherwise and spreads awareness of solar photovoltaic technology.”

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Jul 21 2011

Seattle City Light’s Rate Stabilization Account is Meeting Council Goals

Press Release issued 7/20/11

No surcharges forecasted for the remainder of 2011

Seattle –Today, City Light officials informed the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee that the Rate Stabilization Account (RSA) is working as intended and there are no anticipated surcharges for the remainder of 2011.

Last year, Councilmember Bruce Harrell developed and passed legislation that implemented the Rate Stabilization Account (RSA) for Seattle City Light to better address revenue fluctuations in surplus power sales.

“We developed the RSA to protect City Light customers from service cuts due to funding shortfalls at the Utility, as well as rate spikes caused by fluctuations in wholesale revenue,” said Councilmember Harrell. “Through this account we are achieving those goals and providing the stability that our customers demand.”

Over the past five years, surplus power sales have ranged from 8 percent to 19 percent of revenues. Revenue fluctuations are caused by either low energy prices or a small snowpack. The RSA was developed to protect ratepayers from this volatility. The account was fully funded to $100 million by January 1, 2011.

The current 2011 outlook for wholesale revenue is $112.9 million, versus $96.8 million assumed in the 2011 budget. The wholesale revenue outlook is updated weekly by the Utility and fluctuates based on the Utility’s forecast of prices and energy production and usage volumes for the year. With the RSA balance exceeding the targeted $100 million, the surplus will help reduce the likelihood of any rate surcharge appearing during 2012.

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May 10 2011

Putting our Power Plans in the Hands of our Community: Developing City Light’s Strategic Plan

Public outreach forums begin in May

As Chair of City Light, I have demanded that our customers have access to the same information that I have relative to the opportunities and challenges that face City Light. The public owns the utility so I wanted the public to exercise its vested interest in the plans of the utility. Over the past year, the City Light Review Panel has met 19 times in their work on developing City Light’s strategic plan. You may recall that the City Light Review Panel is a nine member group of key customer advocates whose job is to provide input and recommendations to City Light as the Strategic Plan is developed. If done correctly, this plan will serve as a six-year road map for City Light’s investments and operations. Prior to my initiation of these efforts, this kind of intense planning for an integrated Strategic Plan had never been done. Should we build a Smart Grid? Should we build another substation for load growth? How do we accommodate the onset of Electrical Vehicles? How much do we invest in our transmission lines, distribution lines, conservation plans, etc…? What should be the right portfolio mix of renewable energy purchases? These are complex issues and we not only want public input, we want to educate the public on the myriad of issues our utility faces.

Over the next two months, City Light will host seven forums for key stakeholders and the general public to gather input which will be used by the Council as the strategic plan development continues. I have opened these meetings with a full commitment to transparency and openness. These sessions are critical stages in our planning process.

For more information on strategic plan development and the City Light Review Panel, click this link: . Here you will find dates and materials for the public outreach forums. You can also participate in an online survey.

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Mar 01 2011

Seattle City Council to discuss Seattle’s current conversion to LED streetlights

Media Advisory issued 3/01/11:

SEATTLE – The Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee, chaired by Councilmember Bruce Harrell, will host a discussion of City Light’s continued roll out of LED streetlights and where they will be installed next. The discussion will include an analysis of cost and energy savings and emerging technologies such as adaptive lighting controls which enables the brightness of streetlights to be remotely adjusted based on activity in an area.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Avenue
Council Chambers, Second Floor

WHO: Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin
Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata
Edward Smalley, Seattle City Light Engineering Manager
Phil West, Seattle City Light Energy Delivery Officer
Tuan Tran, Seattle City Light Energy Delivery Engineering Director
Ahmed Darrat, Seattle Department of Transportation, Transportation Engineer

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