I favor the concept of the rate increase being proposed by Alaska electric Light & Power and I trust the regulators reviewing the increase to validate the reasoning behind the request.
When I first arrived in Juneau in 1972, I noticed many weathered and out dated electrical transmission lines. For 38 years, I have seen a continuous upgrade to the entire local electrical grid. Today, as an example, new lines are being installed on Mendenhall Loop Road. These lines are obviously an expensive investment, an investment for our benefit.
Southeast Alaska probably has as much sustainable electricity from hydropower as any place on Earth. We are blessed with this abundant energy source while traditional energy sources are dwindling and skyrocketing in price. If AEL&P develops more hydroelectric energy now, it will cost more now, but as other energy sources diminish, our electricity will cost us less comparatively.
Electric home heating and electric vehicles are a practical reality for Juneau if we invest now. As the rest of the world is increasingly competing for petroleum products, our best course may well be hydroelectric expansion as AEL&P is advocating.
AEL&P appears to me to be a good neighbor and a prudent corporation. If the regulators agree with the rate increase, I will support their approval and confidently pay the increased charge as an investment in my energy future.