Electric bills causing sticker shock among residents

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

City Light customers are receiving their winter electric bills and many are reporting bills that are hundreds of dollars higher than the last billing cycle.

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.
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.



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