Electric bill seem way too high? Might be a mistake, Seattle City Light says

If you got an online Seattle City Light electricity bill this week, take a good look – you might be one of more than 12,000 customers who were erroneously double-billed. That’s according to an online update from the utility:

City Light became aware of an error in our billing system that resulted in some Seattle City Light residential customers receiving bill notifications on Jan. 4, 2022, that show double charges for the same usage. The error was limited to a subset of approximately 12,500 residential customer bills processed. We have paused all bill processing until we are certain the issue is fixed.

We learned of the issue in time to stop the mailing of the potentially impacted paper bills and prevent payment processing for those customers on autopay. However, customers who are signed up for e-billing may have received an email alert with the erroneous bill information. Customers who received such a bill should not pay it. If a customer already paid the bill due to receiving the email, please contact (206) 684-3000.

We will reprocess all incorrect bills and send revised bills to impacted customers. We expect revised bills will be issued by the end of the week.

The online update was added to an SCL post about rates rising at the start of the year – about two percent.

9 Replies to "Electric bill seem way too high? Might be a mistake, Seattle City Light says"

  • Brian January 6, 2022 (10:44 pm)

    Someone I know had their bill assessed at over $800 and had it knocked down to $120. 

  • John January 7, 2022 (3:59 am)

    And yet they claimed these digital meters would be better and essentially forced people into them because between the extra monthly fee and the opting out fee it was practically half the cost of the electric bill for the year

    • Jeff January 7, 2022 (9:51 am)

      Surely manual meter readings would be just as subject to whatever error in the billing system caused this.   

    • AMD January 7, 2022 (10:30 am)

      The error was in the billing system, not the meters.

    • Jon Wright January 7, 2022 (10:34 am)

      Yes, “these digital meters” are better because City Light doesn’t need to have a legion of meter readers traipsing all over town, physically looking at every customer’s meter. And a “billing system error” could be taken to mean the issue was with the back end processing and not the meter. It sounds like you still have hard feelings but it seems reasonable that if someone wants to opt out of programs that make a public utility more efficient they ought to pay the incremental expense they are causing.

    • My two cents January 7, 2022 (1:46 pm)

      @john  the issue was the billing system and not the meter. Reading meters manually requires people … people that are paid, people that get benefits. If you want someone to read your meter manually, can’t really complain about the increased overhead to provide such a service.

  • KT January 7, 2022 (4:56 am)

    Nice that they caught the error before the paper bills went out and are able to fix it so quickly.

  • JonnyQuest January 7, 2022 (8:41 am)

    “If a customer already paid the bill due to receiving the email, please contact (206) 684-3000.”

    So if someone has already paid the erroneous bill, the onus is on them to get this corrected?  SCL has record of which bills were inaccurate, and which customers have paid.  Should they not be responsible for proactively initiating the credit/refund?    

  • Adrienne D January 22, 2022 (5:33 pm)

    We still have an older style meter and ours was misread/mischarged at 10k kWh more than our usual rate and more than our meter actually says. We were over billed by $1400. Luckily they handled it over the phone for us and I was easily able to send them a picture of the right meter reading. Check your bills!

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