Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Scott Thomsen of Seattle City Light lists some reasons for the higher bills.
The bills people are receiving now are for December and January energy use. If you recall, we had several very cold stretches in there.
Anyone using electricity for heat would see a significant increase, even in comparison with recent winters, which have been mild.
We have a tiered rate structure that encourages energy conservation. Once you go beyond the base level block of energy use, you move into a higher tier of cost for each additional kilowatt-hour. Cold weather energy use for heating would almost certainly push a customer into that upper tier.
If someone had an estimated read and our estimate was low, the next bill would be much bigger because it would be catching up for the previous underbilling.
None of this has to do with advanced metering, which will not roll out for existing customers until this summer.
City Light does have some tools you can use to help reduce your electric bills.
- A Do It Yourself home energy audit
- City Light energy conservation rebates and incentives
- Income eligible City Light customers with electric heat can get free weatherization through the Homewise program. If you have gas or oil heating, you have to live within the City of Seattle to participate.
And you can always hire a vendor to increase the insulation in your attics, side walls, and/or crawl spaces to keep all that heat in your house.