Rethink boat electric fees

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2004

The CBJ Docks and Harbors Board approved a measure that will put a flat rate on electrical fees at the small boat harbors to help pay for the electrical systems at the yet-to-be-rebuilt harbors. This means that slip users will no longer have metered electrical pedestals and be billed by AELP. Electrical fees, when they go into effect, will be paid directly to the city.

The fees will vary depending on what size breaker you have, what season it is, and whether or not you live on your boat. For example, a non-liveaboard boat slip with a 20-amp circuit breaker in the winter (October 1 to April 30) will cost $55 per month. In the summer, this level of service will cost $30 per month. For a liveaboard, the fee for the same service will be $85 and $50 respectively. Higher amp breakers will mean a higher rate. These are flat fees and harbor patrons will pay this regardless of how much electricity they use.

I live aboard and, according to Port Director John Stone, my average electrical bill has been $26.75 per month. I have taken steps to curb my electrical use but with a flat rate fee I will not do that. Mr. Stone told me that the flat fees are based on average electrical usage (non-liveaboards versus liveaboards). The fact is that an amp is an amp and a person is limited by how much electricity can be used. If a non-liveaboard and a liveaboard use the same amount of electricity per month, the liveaboard will pay more simply because he/she lives on a boat. You can bet too when the flat fee system actually begins that everyone is going to use as much electricity as they possibly can. I don't mind paying my share of a new electrical system but the current fee structure is not fair or equitable.

For more information on what you may be paying for services at the harbors, including the electrical rates, go to on the web.

I appreciate the Docks and Harbor Board for wanting to have better facilities for boaters but I don't think the electrical fee structure was well thought out.

Jeff Kemp


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