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Seattle City Light and Public Utilities Customers Can Get Help Paying Electric and Utility Bills

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COVID-19 has affected Seattle residents in many ways. Many people, including older adults and families, are facing tough times due to job loss.

The City of Seattle can help people who are struggling to pay their electricity and utilities bills. Eligible households can enroll in the City of Seattle’s Utility Discount Program (UDP), which offers a 60 percent discount on Seattle City Light bills and a 50 percent discount on Seattle Public Utilities bills.

To be eligible, your pre-tax household income must be at or below 70 percent of the state’s median income. “Median income” value is used by many programs to determine income eligibility. In 2021, a four-person household may earn up to $5,996 per month or an annual income of $71,952 before taxes or other deductions.

UDP Application Process

  • Complete the online enrollment form at this website.
    • The form is in English. For language support, please call to speak to a representative.
  • Your application will be reviewed and processed. If your application meets the eligibility requirements, your household will be enrolled.
    • The response email or letter may be in English.
  • The discount may take up to two(2) billing cycles to appear on your bills.
  • Customers approved to receive the discount will need to renew their application with income documentation six months after their approval date.

If you receive a call, e-mail and/or postcard stating you need to contact our office to renew your application, call 206-684-0268 to speak to a representative. Interpretation services are available. You do not need to complete another online application form.

If you have questions about UDP enrollment or would like assistance, call or e-mail UDP@Seatttle.gov. If you need an interpreter, please request one when you call, and tell the operator which language you need. Note that there may be a slight wait time to connect to a language interpreter.

You can find additional information, including more detailed eligibility requirements, at www.seattle.gov/UDP.

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities will keep services on for customers, even if they are behind on paying their bills, throughout the pandemic. Customers can set up a deferred payment plan—just call 206-684-3000 or e-mail any time.


Contributor Michael Taylor-Judd serves on the external affairs team at Seattle Human Services, which administers the Utility Discount Program on behalf of the two Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities. Translations in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Somali, and Amharic are available here.

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