Quick News from Seattle City Light
January 2014

Recharging the "Hydro Battery"
This time of year, snow enthusiasts head to the mountains to play. But the powder conditions aren't just a sport for resource planners at Seattle City Light. Their jobs include keeping a close eye on the snow pack building up in the mountains above City Light dams.


Seattle City Light-owned hydro resources supply City Light customers with nearly 50% of the electricity the utility delivers. The amount of snow and rain the region gets determines the dams' output and City Light's interactions with the dams. So, weather patterns are very important to the utility. The resource planners at City Light follow a region-specific hydro-electric calendar, which has four distinct phases:


Phase 1: A rainy autumn where the goal is to maintain flows to promote a healthy salmon population.


Phase 2: A snowy winter where the hydroelectric "battery" of snow pack is recharged.


Phase 3: The spring snow-melt runoff where City Light aims at maintaining flows to sustain a healthy steelhead population and refilling the reservoirs in a controlled fashion.


Phase 4: The warm, dry summer where City Light works to keep the lakes at constant elevations and pass just enough water so they neither fill nor draft.   


It is currently early in Phase 2, which means waiting and watching the snow pack build up. Throughout the winter, snow measurements will be taken to refine the estimate of the amount of snow melt to expect when the weather warms up in late April. Watch what City Light is measuring on the Water Conditions page on our website.


Goodbye Energy-Guzzling Incandescent Light Bulbs


As of January 1, 2014, light bulbs sold in the US will be more efficient than the old incandescent ones we used to buy. Lighting has evolved and City Light is here to help.  Don't let old habits or confusion keep you in the dark. Familiarize yourself with the latest technologies and start saving now by purchasing new energy-efficient bulbs at discounted prices.  Get more information about instant discounts and tips, and be sure to check out " Your Guide to More Efficient and Money-Saving Light" created by the National Resources Defense Council, to help you decide which bulb is best for your home, energy-saving goals and budget.


Five Quick Tips for the New Year!
1) Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you're dealing with oily stains, washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning. 
2) Many new clothes dryers come designed with a moisture sensor, which automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, but it will also save wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.
3) Major appliances (refrigerators, washers, space heaters, etc) should always be plugged directly into a wall receptacle or outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used. 
4) Seattle City Light's Utility Discount Program is a great way to lower bills. With this income-qualified program you can save on your electric bill and also save money on Seattle Public Utilities like water, sewer, and garbage. 
5) Do you or a family member have life support equipment requiring electricity to operate? Please enroll in our Life Support Equipment Program so that we are aware of your special needs in the event of an unplanned outage.  
See You At 
the Home Show!

Stop by the City Light booth at the Seattle Home Show, February 15th-23rd, CenturyLink Event Center 

12th Man: Loud, Proud, and Sustainable.


Did you know that 97% of the Kingdome concrete was recycled, with 35% used in the construction of CenturyLink Field? In partnership with Seattle City Light and others, CenturyLink Field has become one of the most energy-efficient stadiums in the nation. City Light incentivized water pumping and lighting retrofit projects at CenturyLink, resulting in a reduction of energy consumption by 12%, energy savings equivalent to powering 2,635 typical Seattle homes for a year.  Next time you're at a Seahawks or Sounders game, be proud that CenturyLink Field is defending your turf.


City Light offers rebates to help customers save energy, because conserving electricity is the most cost-effective way to meet our future energy needs. Business customers are eligible for free site assessments to identify savings opportunities.  Find out today how to cut costs, update equipment and create impressive, efficient home and work environments.  More information about CenturyLink Field's sustainability efforts can be found here

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