Councilmember O'Brien left office on December 31, 2019. This website is for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

Seattle City Council protects most vulnerable low-income utility customers


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We just passed a resolution to help Seattle’s most vulnerable low-income residents with their City Light bills. I am proud of this work that Councilmember Harrell and I have been working on since last summer. Here is the press release that went out today:

SeattleToday the Council unanimously passed Resolution 31311, confirming that Seattle City Light may extend residential rate assistance to low income customers residing in the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) and King County Housing Authority (KCHA), if they are not receiving other assistance with their electric utility bills. Residents in these facilities were previously ineligible to receive rate assistance from City Light.

“This is a great step for City Light and the Council toward increasing access for low income individuals, particularly making sure that everyone has warmth and light during the cold winter months. City Light estimates approximately 900 people will benefit from this action today,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee.

“Passage of this resolution will give SHA’s and KCHA’s most vulnerable residents the assistance they need,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell.  “Advancing our rate assistance efforts will be extremely helpful during the winter months as the demand increases.”

This resolution clarifies existing Seattle Municipal Code that redirects City Light to the Council’s intent and confirms that for residents who have net qualified incomes of less than $50/month ($25/month in King County Housing Authority), standard low income rates shall be extended, along with applicable one-time emergency assistance as appropriate and targeted conservation education.

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