Seattle utility costs, for the most part, run lower than utilities in other large metropolitan areas. However, total costs are still higher for Seattle residents than they are for people living in cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Nevertheless, electric costs are fairly reasonable as much of the generated power comes from hydroelectric dams operating in the Skagit and Cedar Rivers.
Seattle City Light is a city agency that provides the Seattle area with its electric power. It boasts that it’s one of the country’s biggest city-owned utilities with respect to the number of businesses and residents served. Because the main source of electric energy comes from hydroelectric power, Seattle depends on precipitation from rain and snow to supply them with most of their electrical needs. In years where the city falls in the normal range with regards to precipitation, hydroelectric resources can furnish the lion’s share of energy. The utility also depends on nuclear, wind, coal, natural gas, biomass, waste and petroleum resources. They claim that consumers realized an overall savings of approximately $660 million on their energy bills from 1977 to 2008, half of which was passed on to residential customers. On the whole, electrical usage runs about $80.00 per month annually. You can check out the rates at Seattle City Light’s site by visiting www.seattle.gov/light/accounts/rates/.
If you live in Seattle and connect to the Internet, you won’t find it to be too much of a hardship cost-wise. Rates run about $40 per month to use the Internet.
Natural Gas Use
Puget Sound Energy, a privately owned company, supplies the natural gas for the Seattle area. Generally, rates can vary significantly, depending on the month. In the coldest portion of the year, or during the months of December and January, heating bills can run in the range of $100. On the other hand, residents enjoy significantly reduced rates in months, such as October, when heating is not essential. Residents, during this portion of the year, usually pay around $30 for natural gas. Generally, though, the typical monthly amount hovers around $60 on average.
Qwest is the major provider of phone service for the city of Seattle. Rates are reasonable and run about $35.00 monthly. However, you can always cut down on your overall utility expense by using your cell phone instead of a landline phone in order to communicate. Nevertheless, if you depend on a landline phone as well as a cell phone for communication, you won’t find the expense too cost-prohibitive.
If you wouldn’t consider a life without cable programming, then you’ll need to furnish Comcast (Seattle’s cable provider) with a good chunk of change on a monthly basis. Cable TV in the Seattle area runs in the neighborhood of about $55 per month.
As stated, in comparison with other major cities, utility costs in Seattle are lower overall. Seattle stresses that residents make a concerted effort to conserve with respect to energy consumption. Therefore, your utility bills also reflect any efforts along these lines.