Skip to main content

Payment Plans & Bill Assistance

Seattle City Light is disconnecting customers for non-payment. City Light has flexible payment plans available to all customers. For income-eligible residential customers, we have bill assistance programs available, including emergency bill assistance and the Utility Discount Program. If your electricity has been disconnected, call (206) 684-3000 Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 6:00 pm to discuss your options.

Residential Rates

City Light rates are more affordable compared to many cities in the country because we're a public, not-for-profit utility and we primarily rely on low-cost, renewable, carbon-free hydroelectricity. We focus on providing stable, predictable rates that allow us to deliver sustainable, reliable, and affordable service.

Your bill charges include:

  1. Base Service Charge: This is a charge you are billed regardless of your energy usage to cover costs associated with billing and customer service operations.
  2. Energy Charge: The portion of your bill based on the energy (kWh) consumed during the billing period. There are 2 block rates you may see on your bill:
    • 1st block – the lower rate you will pay for the first 10 kWh used per day in a summer month (April - September) and the first 16 kWh used per day in a winter month (October - March). When your bill period crosses over from summer to winter, or vice versa, the amounts are prorated by the number of days on that seasonal rate. Most residential customers are billed bi-monthly at approximately 60 days per billing cycle.
    • 2nd block – a slightly higher rate charged after you’ve reached the maximum on the 1st block rate.

Helpful Definitions

  • Watt: a measurement of the rate of electricity use, the most common unit of measurement is 1,000 watts, or 1 kilowatt (kW)
  • Kilowatt‐hour (kWh): a measure of the flow of electricity over an hour – 10, 100‐watt lights on for 1 hour = 1 kWh

Current Residential Rates

Seattle Burien,
SeaTac,
Shoreline,
Uninc. King County
Lake Forest Park Normandy Park Tukwila Renton
Base service charge per day $0.2301 $0.2485 $0.2486 $0.2448 $0.2467 $0.2301
1st block per kWh* $0.1132 $0.1261 $0.1262 $0.1243 $0.1252 $0.1168
2nd block per kWh $0.1307 $0.1456 $0.1456 $0.1434 $0.1445 $0.1348

*1st block equals 300 kWh per month from April - September and 480 kWh per month from October - March.

Residential Undergrounding Rates

Burien and Shoreline elected to underground distribution lines on some of their arterial streets. Instead of the jurisdiction paying for the work upfront, the undergrounding cost is recovered from all customers in that jurisdiction via a kWh undergrounding charge according to the table below:

Burien Undergrounding Rates
First Ave South 1 per kWh $0.0037
First Ave South 2 per kWh $0.0013

Shoreline Undergrounding Rates
North City per kWh $0.0007
Aurora 1 per kWh $0.0017
Aurora 2 per kWh $0.0018
Aurora 3A per kWh $0.0005
Aurora 3B per kWh $0.0022

What Your Rate Covers

We provide you electricity, but the rate you pay also covers:

  • Electricity production from City Light-owned dams
  • Efforts to keep supply and demand in balance (because electricity is difficult to store)
  • Delivery of energy to your home
  • Customer services like billing, call-center support, and outage management
  • Community benefits such as environmental programs and the low-income Utility Discount Program (UDP) that provides a 60% discount to help our neighbors who need a little extra help

The average rate you pay is about 12 cents per kWh and this is where it goes:

Pie chart showing a breakdown of where customer rates go

City Light

Debra Smith, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Ave, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34023, Seattle, WA, 98124-4023
Phone: (206) 684-3000
SCL_ExternalComms@seattle.gov

Seattle City Light was created by the citizens of Seattle in 1902 to provide affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible electric power to the City of Seattle and neighboring suburbs.