Should City Light Rates Increase?
The mayor has proposed increasing Seattle City Light electricity rates by 8.8 percent in 2010. As the Seattle City Council deliberates on the increase, City Inside/Out with C.R. Douglas takes an in-depth look at the issue. Council Energy Chair Bruce Harrell says he is carefully reviewing the proposal and listening closely to public input. “I’d like to lower [the rate increase],” Harrell says. “We can lower it to around a 6.7—7 percent range.” Some ratepayers and businesses are opposing a rate hike during this economic downturn. North Seattle Industrial Association president Eugene Wasserman says the increase will really hurt some industries. “For businesses who use electricity in the production of things…[the rate hike] represents a significant cost increase,” says Wasserman.
Is the hike needed? And how will customers respond? We also visit City Ice, a local business that will be impacted negatively by the increase and hear from Northwest Energy Coalition Executive Director Sara Patton, an environmentalist who supports the increase.