Last on AEL&P's customer billing list

Posted: Sunday, February 08, 2009

Concerned about the size of my electricity bill, I consulted the Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. Web site to discover that my high billing period begins on Feb. 11 and won't end until March 12. I'm last on their list. I phoned AEL&P on Tuesday to try to have this changed because, as I explained the following to the several people I spoke with:

• My meter was read on Jan. 12, during the power outage caused by the avalanche.

• Therefore, I have already been billed for the last hydro generated watt I used prior to the avalanche.

• Therefore, my current billing period ending Feb. 11 will include each and every one of the diesel generated watts I used.

• But my current billing period, during which I have conserved, will not include the high rate due to the billing process they developed.

• This forced me to conserve cheap, hydro power through the next billing cycle, a full 41 days after hydro power was restored, or pay the consequences.

My pleas to AEL&P were essentially ignored. Their position was that they have developed this procedure and they will not modify it or make any exception. None. Period. They weren't interested in the facts of my situation or in the impact their procedure has on me. AEL&P's Scott Willis was quoted in the Feb. 4 issue of the Juneau Empire stating that the billing process is "as fair as it can be." Horsepucky.

The billing process is arbitrary, dictatorial and in my situation, couldn't be any more unfair. I can't imagine how Willis defines "fair." I appreciate all the work it took under extreme conditions to get hydro power restored. I would think that a company capable of that could admit a mistake and punch a few buttons on a keyboard to fix it. Apparently, that simple act is beyond AEL&P's abilities.

So, until March 13, I'll have to continue burn wood for heat, jump in and out of the shower, eat sandwiches and only read during the daylight. What fun! Thanks, AEL&P. Thanks, Scott Willis.

Richard Deakins


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