Seattle City Light starts serving private customers on September 9, 1905.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/17/1999
  • Essay 729
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On September 9, 1905, Seattle City Light starts supplying individual customers with electricity. The first residential customer is The Reverend J. M. Wilson, pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, who had applied for service in January.

Before this, electric utilities had focused on providing power for streetcars, street lighting, and industrial users. The city of Seattle had begun generating electric power for street lights on October 14, 1904.

The City Light Cedar River Power Plant began operating on January 10, 1905, but it only provided power to Seattleā€™s street lights. In September 1905, the city began selling the excess electricity it produced to private individuals and companies. Demands from Seattle residents for more electrical service caused the city to propose more bond issues for greater generating capacity at the power plant at Cedar Falls.

Sources: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 7, 1963, p. C-5; James D. Ross, "Your Own City Light," The Public Service Journal, August 16, 1935, p. 1.

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