After the adoption of the Seattle City Light Strategic Plan, the utility has moved forward with a proposed rate adjustment for various customer classes based on its 2013 revenue requirements. While these revenue requirements indicate an average 4.7% increase in rates, the actual allocation of this increase varies significantly in the SCL proposal. Recently, the utility completed a cost of service study – its first such update for nearly six years. This update to the cost structure for various types of customers had different effects on residential, commercial, and network customers of the utility. In essence, the 2013 rate impacts reflect a “true up” of cost of service along with the general need for an increase of 4.7% in total revenue. While generalizing about rate impacts for different types of customers can be tricky, an estimated bill impact for the various rate schedules are as follows.
Customer Class, 2013 Proposed Increase
Residential Standard, 6.8%
Small General Service (<50kw), 3.8%
Medium General Service (>50kw, <1,000kw), .2%
Medium Network General Service, 12%
Large City General Service (>1,000kw, <10,000kw), .2%
Large Network General Service, 12.5%
High Demand General Service (>10,000kw), -4.1%
Of particular note in these rate adjustments is a pronounced trend toward higher demand charges (driving a significant percentage of bill increases in medium and large general service classes) with more modest increases in energy commodity costs. These proposed rates must be adopted by the Seattle City Council before they take effect.