AEL&P asks for 22% rate hike

Posted: Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Alaska Electric Light & Power is seeking a permanent 22.1 percent rate increase, as well as an interim 18.5 percent increase that could go into effect in as little as two weeks, the utility announced Monday evening.

That will mean an increase of about $16 per month for an average customer, the utility said.

The increase is the first in five years, said AEL&P President Tim McLeod, and comes in the year after the Lake Dorothy Hydroelectric Project went online. The new rate is to cover both increases to regular operating costs and construction costs.

The rate increases will need to be approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which allows utilities to cover both their costs of providing service and a profit.

AEL&P spokeswoman Gayle Wood said if the commission eventually approves a permanent rate increase that is less than the 18.5 percent interim increase, the difference would be refunded to customers.

The new rates would be in effect in bills going out June 18, covering the previous month.

A typical customer using 750 kilowatts of electricity per month currently pays $75.76 per month. Under the proposal increase the customer would pay $91.80, according to AEL&P.

Commercial customers also will see proportional changes to their power costs and demand charges, but not to their customer (base) charges, Wood said.

Wood said the rate increase was not related to the Snettisham avalanches.

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