This is what happens every time a small town utility bites off more than it can chew. First off, what fuel rates are they talking about, gasoline for their vehicles or natural gas for their turbines? They are so vague. Natural gas prices nation wide have not risen. In fact there is a glut of methane fuel. HEA is feeding us a snow job due to their being a small utility and wanting to get off Chugach Electric's power supply. HEA is not ready for this yet, meaning they just do not have enough customer base to be spending $50 million to $100 million to build and maintain their own power supply. Chugach Electric has 400 megawatts of capacity and can produce power for HEA a lot cheaper than they can themselves.
This is just the start of our rate increases. HEA does not even have the manpower or knowledge to overhaul and rebuild the combustion gas turbines that they plan to buy. So, they say they are going to make more jobs to do this. Sounds well and good from their prospective, but this is all going to cost HEA's customers even more rate increases in the future. They have big heads and think we are really stupid and don't know what is going on. $21 extra dollars a month is way too much for the average consumer to absorb, and this is only the beginning. Their customers are living in bad economic times, in case they don't know it. Hang on to your wallet. Is this really what their board of directors want?
Dave Thompson, Kenai
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