Matanuska Electric Association has announced an increase in rates effective January of next year.
MEA spokesperson Julie Estey says the power company’s board of directors authorized a rate hike of 15 to 20 percent in November. Part of that increase is an .81 base rate increase.
“So every quarter, MEA can file what they call a simplified rate filing based on our costs to provide power. So this .81 percent is that quarterly adjustment that we do through the RCA,” Estey says.
MEA members can expect to see a total monthly increase of about $0.63 as a result of the base rate adjustment. If the quarterly increase is approved by the RCA, customers can expect to see about eight to ten dollars more a month in their electric bills.
“This is a component of the 15 – 20 percent increase that we were projecting for 2015. So this is not in addition to that, this is part of that 15 to 20 percent.”
Estey says the average MEA member uses just over 700 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. The higher bills in January will reflect about 10 – 12 percent of the projected retail rate increase for 2015.
She says MEA has requested an additional adjustement due to a hike in costs of fuel.
“And that’s an additional filing that the RCA is looking at right now, which is basically pass through costs of fuel for us.”
The majority of projected increases will be reflected in January 2015 customer billings, as MEA meets the increased cost of fuel under the new, higher-priced contracts for Cook Inlet gas, Estey says.
MEA’s new Eklutna power plant is almost ready to begin generating power. Right now it is going through tests. Estey says four of the engines should be up and running by the end of the year, and the final six engines should be ready by March.