Utility discount program can cut winter heating costs by 60 percent

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

City Light Reaching Out to Seniors, Income-Eligible Families

Before cold winter weather returns to the Seattle area and starts driving up heating costs, Seattle City Light is working to help income-eligible customers cut their utility bills by 60 percent.

“It can be tough enough to make ends meet on a limited income,” City Light Energy Delivery Officer Phil West said. “People shouldn’t have to choose between staying warm in the winter and buying groceries. We’re here to help.”

The Utility Discount Program helps seniors and income-qualified families by lowering rates on the electricity provided by Seattle City Light and services from Seattle Public Utilities, including water, sewer and garbage. The average annual savings on electricity for participants is $450.

About 13,500 customers are already participating. An estimated 20,000 others are eligible for reduced rates, but have not yet signed up for the program.

City Light has started several efforts to break down barriers to participation caused by language differences, cultural skepticism and the required documentation. Staff members are available to help customers with their applications. Staff will hold office hours in neighborhood service centers to answer questions, guide people through the process and accept applications. And a pilot program is being developed to reach out to East African communities and seniors.

Additionally, staff will offer home visits to participants to identify opportunities for reducing their energy consumption. Participants will receive energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, outlet gaskets, low-flow showerheads and referrals to the Homewise weatherization program and other resources. Visit the website, call 206-684-3417 or email for more information.


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