Rate increases, a continuous trend

Nationally, electricity rates grow on average by around 3.5%, which we use to factor in the expected savings on our solar proposals. Public and private electric utilities must meet growing demand, upgrade infrastructure, and adjust for inflation. Here is the breakdown for the rate increases approved for PSE, Seattle City Light, and SnoPUD.

PSEs rate hike approved by UTC

In December last year, the Utility and Transportation Commission approved PSE’s proposal to increase rates beyond their typical 2% increase temporarily. Starting January 1st of 2023, PSE customers’ monthly electricity rates are now 8.7% more expensive. In 2024 this rate will increase again by 1.7%. Our original blog details their initial proposal of raising rates by 12.9% below.

Benefits from increased rates

The settlement will help recover costs from clean energy investments such as increased access to public EV charging sites, decarbonization research, pilot programs to promote electric heat pumps, and better reporting requirements to measure PSE’s carbon emissions. PSE also agrees to improve the electricity distribution of low-income assistance by working with the Low-Income Advisory Committee to develop and submit a plan for low-income discounted rates and managing debts accrued during the pandemic.

Seattle City Light rate hike

On average, the customer electricity rate hike is about 4.5%; for 2023, the Seattle City Light Council approved the 2023-2024 Rate Ordinance, which will observe a 5.7% increase. Fortunately, folks enrolled in the Utility Discount Program will see an increase of about $2 monthly on their bills. The City Light Review Panel, a stakeholder group, endorsed this new rate.

Benefits from increased rates

The City Light Review Panel, a stakeholder group, endorsed this new rate, which meets the policy goals established by the panel.

Transparency of rates

Clear and easily accessible information on current and future rates.

Revenue sufficiency

Ensures that SCL can continue delivering safe and efficient energy with environmental and affordable programs.


The revenue from rates contributes to decarbonization goals.

Customer choice

This rate hike will lead to new rate structure options in 2024.

SnoPud staying consistent

Approved in December, the Public Utility District’s (PUD’s) 2023 budget for electricity includes a 2% general rate increase that will go into effect on April 1st of this year. The rate hike will address higher material costs, inflation, and supply chain challenges experienced over the last few years. Revenue from the rate increase will also fund infrastructure and service modernization investments.

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Manuel Larrain
Manuel Larrain is a Chilean-born US citizen who studied business and sustainability at Western Washington University. Solar energy is his passion, as it is transforming how Washingtonians power their lifestyle. He believes we can address climate change, environmental justice, and steward a brighter future for all of us through renewable energy.