Juneau's electric utility wants rate hike

    JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska Electric Light and Power is seeking a rate increase.

    Juneau's electric utility is asking the Regulatory Commission of Alaska an 8.1 percent hike.

    The request is comprised of a 3.86 percent interim increase that could take effect as early as November 1 and a permanent rate increase of an additional 4.24 percent which could take up to 450 days or about 15 months to finalize.

    For a residential customer using an average of 750 kilowatt hours a month, the utility says the interim hike would result in an increase of $3.19 in the summer and $3.79 in the winter.   The combined total rate would increase bills by $6.72 in the summer and $8 in winter months.

    Increased costs are cited for the need to increase rates.  Those costs include additions and upgrades to the system, as well as increase operating and maintenance expenses.

    Over the course of six years, AEL&P has invested a total of $50 million in capital improvements. The most recent and visible investment is the backup generation plant on Industrial Boulevard, which cost $22.5 million to construct.

    Deb Driscoll of the utility says they are sensitive to the impact the increase may have on customers.  To assist customers, she says a credit counselor and energy services specialist are available to help them find ways to reduce their usage, make payment arrangements and  make contact with community resources that can help with the payment of bills.

    In addition, she says customers can find helpful information online, at AEL&P's website.

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