HEA rate restructure approved

Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Homer Electric Association Board of Directors approved a rate-restructuring proposal that would increase the residential rate 3.6 percent.

The proposal calls for an increase in the monthly customer charge from $11 to $15 and the implementation of a minimum monthly energy charge that would be the same as the cost of 150 kilowatt hours.

The board did modify the original proposal to allow an exemption from the minimum monthly energy charge for any HEA member that has an alternative energy source, such as a wind turbine or solar panels, and is participating in HEA's net metering program.

HEA plans to submit the proposal to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska later this month for approval.

That process is expected to take several months and will include a public comment period.

According to HEA Spokesperson, Joe Gallagher, the proposal is an effort to "more fairly recover" expenses not related to the amount of energy sold by the cooperative including billing, metering, customer service, poles, wires, substations, generation, transmission lines and insurance.

Gallagher said the impact on the average member using 600 kilowatt hours a month will be 0.2 percent, increasing billing from $125.56 to $125.78. The change for a member using 250 kilowatt hours a month will be slightly higher, with the monthly bill increasing by 4.1 percent, from $58.74 to $61.17.

The overall impact on HEA commercial customers with less than 20 kilowatts of load on average will be less than one percent overall.

For large commercial members with loads over 20 kilowatts, there will be no overall rate change on average, although depending on their usage characteristics some members in the class will see increases, Gallagher said.

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