With Seattle utility rates projected to see double-digit increases over the next several years, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Wednesday announced details of his plan to double the enrollment in the city’s low-income utility discount program by 2018.
Murray said the city is streamlining the application process, creating a single portal of entry and expanding outreach to low-income residents who may qualify for discounts on their electricity, water, sewer, garbage and stormwater bills.
“This will allow families who are struggling to bring down their utility costs,” Murray said in a morning news conference.
The city estimates about 72,000 households are eligible for the discount program, but only about 14,000 were enrolled at the beginning of the year.
Changes to the program include extending the eligibility time from 18 months to two years, allowing recipients of other benefit programs, including subsidized housing, to automatically qualify for the city discount program, training city utility call center staff to screen and refer potential clients, adding an on-line application form and including information about the program on the monthly bills for City Light and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).
For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/udp or call 206-684-0268.
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