Electricity rates in Seattle are set to rise some 10 percent over the next two years, and 31 percent over six years, the Seattle Times reported.
The rate hike was approved on Tuesday by the Seattle City Council Energy and Environment Committee.
Under the new rate plan, residential customers face greater rate increases than businesses, and will see yearly bills increase by about $40 in each of the next two years.
The impact on businesses varies notably; from less than $40 next year for small offices to as much as $150,000 more next year for a large office tower in the downtown-service network.
Seattle City Light officials say the utility could attain as much as $18 million in savings under the new rate plan, which includes key investments like a new substation in the downtown area.
Critics, however, say those savings depend on changes in union contracts that have yet to be negotiated, and that the utility is already less efficient than its peers to the tune of almost $30 million per year.
What's more, they say, while distribution costs have gone up in recent years, the actual cost of energy has dropped.
Either way, our region will be paying more in what remains a commodity-based model of energy economics.
The utility also services Burien, Normandy Park, SeaTac, Renton, Tukwila, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and unincorporated areas of King County.-from The Seattle Times, 9/11/2012