Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Increase sought for electricity, fees


Residential and small commercial electric rates would go down slightly but rates for bulk power, five fees and a monthly customer charge would increase under a request by Alaska Power Company to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

The filing also seeks to levy a minimum usage charge for residential customers.

Public comments on the filing are due to RCA by 5 p.m. Sept. 8.

Under the filing, residential and small commercial rates in Haines and Skagway would drop from 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 14.18 cents per kilowatt hour. Also, a monthly, flat customer charge would increase from $13.85 to $20.

Bulk power rates in the two towns would increase from 10.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 11.1 cents. Late fees would increase from $2 to 5 percent of the bill, with a minimum charge of $5.

Connection fees will increase from $48 to $50 for single-phase power and from $100 to $125 for three-phase power. Reconnection charges increase from $25 to $50 during business hours and from $50 to $100 after hours.

Michael Garrett, chief operating officer for APC, said that currently the company has no minimum charge for power. “If you used one kilowatt hour, you paid for one kilowatt hour.”

Minimum charges are used in other communities and helps the utility recoup costs incurred with seasonal use, such as vacation homes, Garrett said.

Even if a customer is not using electricity, there are costs associated with delivering that service, he said. The minimum charge assumes a use of 150 kilowatt hours per month.

Under the proposed change, the minimum rate charge would be about $21.

The increase in connection fees is within range of what the RCA has ruled reasonable, Garrett said.

Garrett said the requested changes, if approved, wouldn’t likely come into effect for about a year. He said he hoped to visit affected communities and explain the request. The company did not seek any interim rate changes, he noted.

An RCA official said this week the proposed change must be approved by the commission.

The filing can be seen at the commission’s website, by typing docket “TA857-2” in the “Find a Matter” search box. Comments also can be filed on the website.


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