HEA requests rate changes

Homer Electric Association has requested a rate increase in its quarterly filings with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

The requested rate changes will result in a 4.6-percent increase in the monthly residential bill for HEA members, about $5.63 for the average — 630 kilowatt hours — residential member. The last energy rate increase approved by the RCA and implemented by HEA was in October 2010.

“Over the last year and a half, expenses such as gasoline, insurance, equipment, vehicles and other necessary components of daily operations have increased,” HEA spokesman Joe Gallagher wrote in a press release. “In addition, the energy rate also helps recover costs associated with system improvements and generation projects that would otherwise need to be financed.”

In the request, HEA proposed raising the residential energy rate from $0.118 to $0.128 per kilowatt hour. The filing also increases the general service energy rate from $0.119 to $0.129 and large general service energy rate from $0.0799 to $0.0863. The demand rate for large general service members will go from $20.00 to $21.60 per kilowatt.

HEA is also requesting to decrease the cost of power adjustment (COPA) from $0.05103 to $0.04997 per kilowatt hour. COPA reflects the cost of the fuel used to generate electricity purchased by HEA from Chugach Electric.

Overall, the proposed changes would increase the blended residential rate — which is the energy rate plus COPA — from $0.169 to $0.178 cents per kilowatt hour. Even with the proposed increase, energy costs remain below the 2011 fourth quarter blended residential rate of $0.190 per kilowatt hour, HEA reported.

If approved by the regulatory commission, the COPA change will be effective for all billings beginning April 1 this year. The energy rate change will be effective for all billings beginning May 1.

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