City Light has determined that all electrical meters need to be mounted on land for safety reasons. Under Article 3.11.3. Houseboat Piers City Light service to houseboats must be terminated onshore. The termination equipment must also be approved by City Light. City Light will not upgrade existing overhead distribution on houseboat piers. If additional loads require upgrading of houseboat pier electrical distribution, it is the customer’s responsibility to do so. You can view Seattle City Light’s Requirements for Electric Service Connection here.

Note that as long as no electrical upgrade of any house on a dock is implemented, we can continue operating as we have in the past. But this ignores the fact that many of our docks have antiquated systems that will need to be upgraded at some point in the future.

The upgrade involves:

A) Individual shore-based meters
Pouring a concrete pad to mount all meters for each dock.
The distribution of conduit from each meter to each floating home.
Removal of the old meter and the wiring of the new main to each meter.
The estimated cost for the above is approximately $20,000 per house.

B) Power from City Light pole-mounted transformers to dock meter bases.
Transformers have to be removed from the poles and placed in a concrete vault on the lakeside of the street. This requires digging up the street, digging a vault location, pouring a transformer vault, installing a transformer, and running power from the pole to the transformer. When priced to have a single vault and transformer for 4 docks (approximately 72 floating homes) the cost was $18,000 per household.

The FHA is lobbying our City Council to explain how City Light’s arbitrarily mandated upgrade should not all be at our expense. We currently have and pay for City Light power on our docks.