PUBLISHED: 6:22 PM on Wednesday, October 22, 2008
AEL&P files for winter rate increase
JUNEAU - Alaska Electric Light and Power submitted a filing last week to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska proposing the Cost of Power Adjustment for winter utility bills starting Nov. 1

The proposed COPA is 1.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. The current base rate for residential customers for the winter period is 9.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, bringing the total effective rate this winter to 10.8 cents. This is the same as the current effective rate, which is slightly higher than usual due to April avalanches that left AEL&P with millions of dollars in repairs to transmission lines and diesel fuel costs.

The COPA calculation depends on how much uncollected diesel fuel cost there is from the previous period, and how much diesel generation is expected in the coming months.

"We still have roughly $2 million in uncollected diesel fuel costs from last winter," said Connie Hulbert, chief financial officer for AEL&P. "The good news is that there is a good chance we won't need any additional diesel generation this winter."

Both Snettisham lakes completely filled this fall. As a result, AEL&P was able to sell some surplus energy to dual-fuel customers, to Princess cruise ships, and to the Greens Creek mine.

Much of the revenue from these surplus sales is included in the COPA calculation to offset diesel fuel costs. Surplus sales to these customers will be halted once both Snettisham lakes quit spilling, which AEL&P expects will happen later this month.

AEL&P also provided the latest figures on electric energy conservation. Juneau consumers' energy conservation efforts, initiated as a result of last spring's avalanches, has continued. Electric energy use last week was approximately 8 percent lower than the same week last year.