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State OKs hike in power rates

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2000

Most Juneau residents will see slightly higher electrical bills next month.

The state's utility regulation agency has approved a 3.65 percent rate increase for most local electrical power users. That's less than a 4.14 percent change requested by the Alaska Electric Light and Power Co.

Power bills for the average residential electrical user will go up between $2.50 and $3 a month under the increase, OK'd last week by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

About 280 residential customers using what's called electric demand meters will not see an immediate hike. That issue still is being considered by the regulatory agency, said Bill Corbus, president and CEO of AEL&P's parent company.

He said the lower rate increase request for other customers was negotiated with regulatory commission staff. Corbus said the increase will be part of September bills.

"This is to keep the company in a healthy financial condition so it can make system upgrades, maintain the facilities properly and to make financing large projects practical, such as the proposed Lake Dorothy hydroelectric project," he said today.

Corbus said the Lake Dorothy project has no start date, but eventually could supplement the Snettisham hydropower project, which provides Juneau with most of its electricity.

A problem on a line about six miles from Snettisham caused an areawide outage for more than an hour this morning.

AEL&P spokesman Peter Bibb said the cause is under investigation but may have been a bird on the line.



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