Seattle City Light Strategic Plan Outreach - DOC by 7IkTK8v


									                     Seattle City Light Strategic Plan Outreach
                             Franchise Cities - Burien
                                    April 2, 2012
                                  City Hall – Burien

Questions & Comments

  1. Comment: Seattle city Light is a public utility, but Burien has no ownership. Public Utility
     Districts have their own commission and private utilities have the Washington State Utilities
     and Transportation Commission (UTC).

      Response: City Light does have a franchise agreement with the City of Burien. Seattle’s
      Mayor and Council is the governing board for the utility. However, they welcome input
      from the seven suburban cities that we serve.

  2. Why are Burien customers paying for the new substation north of downtown? Shouldn’t
     those who directly benefitting from this $200 million investment the ones who should pay?

      Response: All City Light customers ultimately benefit from the addition of a new
      substation because it provides the utility with increased capacity and the ability to distribute
      power throughout our system. City Light hasn’t built a new substation in thirty years.
      Growth throughout our service territory requires this additional capacity and the cost is
      shared by all ratepayers. Now, there are customers in the immediate South Lake Union area
      who are asking for increased reliability through the availability of a network system. In those
      cases, they will pay the additional cost – their rates will be 21 percent higher than other
      similar customers. We do not ask the general rate base to cover this kind of requested
      increase in reliability.

  3. The preferred path recommendation will mean nearly a 30 percent increase in rates by the
     sixth year, correct? And this is on top of a 23% increase in the last three years.

      Response: That is correct. However, it is important to note that prior to 2010, during the
      previous six years, there was a 12.8 percent rate decrease. We remain the lowest cost electric
      utility of comparably size cities, as well as one of the lowest cost electric utility providers in
      the region. We also have a tremendous advantage over other utilities that depend on coal.
      They face increasing costs because of CO2 emissions or finding new sources of energy to
      replace coal. City Light is more than 90 percent hydro, which is the cleanest source of
      renewable energy available today.

  4. There was a recent article in the Economist that talked about how energy prices are going
     down because of the availability of natural gas. Isn’t it incorrect to say that energy prices are
     going up everywhere else?
5. Response: It is true that natural gas prices are very low right now and they are keeping all
   energy sources low. However, the investments that will be required for many of the coal
   plants to convert to natural gas will be considerable and the time that it takes either to
   convert or to build a new plant could see the cost for natural gas return to where it was just a
   few years ago. Today it is around $3/BTU, when five or six years ago it was more like
   $13/BTU. Our customers are fortunate that the majority of their energy source is low cost
   to begin with and environmentally sound.


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