RCA sets date for decision on interim increase

Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska will decide whether to grant Alaska Electric Light & Power's interim rate increase request by July 16, the commission announced last week.

The Juneau utility told the commission recently it needed a quick decision on its request for an 18.5-percent interim increase. Without a quick and adequate increase, it would likely sue the commission, utility officials said.

AEL&P also is seeking a permanent increase of 22.1-percent.

The commission issued an order last week, saying it anticipated reaching a decision on the request by July 16.

AEL&P President Tim McLeod said Friday that the deadline was "quite satisfactory."

When the RCA rejected AEL&P's earlier request for an interim increase, they also set a July 6 date for a hearing in which the company could present additional information in support of the increase. The RCA didn't set any timelines beyond that.

AEL&P's lawyer told the RCA last week the company needed a decision soon. The RCA has 14 months to decide on the permanent increase.

"The purpose of the interim rate, and the 45-day approval (period), is to keep a company financially healthy until the permanent rates are set," McLeod said.

The commission's order also required AEL&P to file a witness list for the July 6 hearing, along with a summary of the topics each witness is expected to testify on, by July 1.

AEL&P's lawyers have also said it may want to keep some documents it submits confidential, and the commission said it wants details by June 29 for any documents where confidentiality is sought.

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