After completion of a round of public input on a new “rate idea”, Seattle City Light is set to ask the Seattle City Council for formal adoption of a set of 2015-2015 electricity rates for its customers. This final proposal, while similar to the previously announced “rate idea”, has been modified by public input received by the utility. Even with modification, this rate proposal marks a significant shift in rate structure, especially for commercial and industrial customers. The new rate proposal has a greater percentage of SCL revenues coming from a combination of fixed charges (basic service fee) and higher demand costs for peak energy use. The utility predicates the necessity for these changes based on customer equity concerns and the need to increase financial stability of the utility in the face of very modest load growth projections. Highlights of this rate proposal are (all from a 2013 baseline);
- 50% increase in the residential basic service charge. A 37% decrease in first block (300 kWh each month) commodity rates with a very slight decrease in end block rates.
- 268% increase in the base service charge for small general service customers coupled with an 18% decrease in the commodity rate.
- For medium and large general service a new basic service charge of $18.60 per meter. The demand charge increases by 110% while kWh charges decrease by 9%.
The City Council and Mayor must approve this proposal with their action anticipated this spring and summer.