All posts by Melissa Carlin

HEA Members Elect Directors at 2019 Annual Meeting

May 3, 2019 – Homer Electric Association members elected three directors at the cooperative’s 69th Annual Meeting of the Members in Kenai on May 2, 2019.

In District 1 (Kenai – Nikiski – parts of Soldotna area), incumbent director Dan Chay of Kenai ran unopposed and was elected to another three-year term.

In District 2 (Soldotna – Sterling- Kasilof area), incumbent director Ed Oberts of Soldotna ran against Ed Schmitt of Soldotna. Incumbent Ed Oberts was re-elected to represent District 2.

In District 3 (South Kasilof – Kachemak Bay area), Erin McKittrick of Seldovia ran against Gregory C. Martin, Jr. of Homer. Voters elected Erin McKittrick to represent District 3.

The Annual Meeting drew a crowd of over 300 people. The meeting featured informational booths with an emphasis on HEA services and programs.

The Annual Meeting also featured the winners of Homer Electric’s Safety Poster Contest, Youth Rally selections and HEA Scholarship Program recipients.

Safety Poster Contest
HEA’s annual Safety Poster Contest elevates awareness of electrical energy by challenging 3rd and 4th graders to think about the benefits, as well as potential hazards, associated with electric use.  Students are encouraged to create a safety message that can be expressed through art.

BEST SAFETY MESSAGE
Jovee Matson, 3rd Grade……………………………………. Soldotna Montessori Charter School

MOST CREATIVE MESSAGE
Atlas Burke, 4th Grade……………………………………………………… Connections Homeschool

MOST HUMOROUS MESSAGE
River Kruzick, 3rd Grade………………………………………………. K-Beach Elementary School

Youth Rally
The Youth Rally is a week long summer camp specifically tailored for high school students in grades 10 and 11, designed to develop leadership skills, foster teamwork, strengthen communication techniques, highlight the unique qualities of electric cooperatives and increase awareness regarding important issues faced by the utility industry.   The Youth Rally is held in Idaho and is a joint effort between statewide co-ops and the National Rural Electric Cooperative.

Olivia Davis, 10th Grade………………………………………………………… Soldotna High School

Katie Delker, 10th Grade………………………………………………………… Soldotna High School

 

Scholarship Program                                                                                                         HEA’s Scholarship Program is an outreach investment opportunity available to high school seniors and adults in pursuit of higher education.  The award value and scholarship quantity is determined annually by the Board of Directors and funded by the interest earned on unclaimed capital credits.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR – $1,000 SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
Justin Cox………………………………………………………………………………. Niksiki High School
Carlee Rizzo…………………………………………………………………………… Niksiki High School
Maria Salzetti……………………………………………………………….. Kenai Central High School
Kortney Birch………………………………………………………………………. Soldotna High School
Michael David Michael…………………………………………………………. Soldotna High School
Hunter Moos………………………………………………………………………….. Cook Inlet Academy
Katelyn Davis…………………………………………………………………………. Homer High School
Dexter Lowe…………………………………………………………………………… Homer High School
Rylyn Todd…………………………………………………………………………….. Homer High School

RETURNING STUDENT CATEGORY – $1,000 SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
Kirsten Hinz
Chelsea Holsonbake
Timothy Lehman

Homer Electric Returns Capital Credits to Members

April 12, 2019 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA), a member-owned not-for-profit electric cooperative, is distributing $1.9 million in capital credits to its members. The capital credits will be distributed to approximately 8,500 members and former members the week of April 22, 2019.

The capital credit checks are being distributed to people who were members of HEA during 1988 and 1989. The amount of each check is determined by the quantity of electricity purchased during each of those years; the more electricity purchased, the larger the capital credit check will be.

The average check for someone who was a residential member in both 1988 and 1989 will be approximately $65.00.

Capital credits represent HEA members’ share of equity in the utility and is one of the benefits of being a member of an electric cooperative. Capital credits are based on margins, which are the difference between total expenses and total revenues of the cooperative.  Each year, HEA allocates margins to its members in proportion to the amount they paid for electric service.

While the allocation is done annually, the return of margins in the form of a capital credit check occurs at the discretion of the Board of Directors, based on the financial health of the cooperative.

Prior to refunding capital credits, the cooperative uses its margins to maintain equity and fund long-term capital projects to improve and upgrade the electrical system.

 

HEA Anticipates Base Rate Increase for 2nd Quarter 2019

March 1, 2019 –  Homer Electric Association (HEA) members will likely see a rate increase effective April 1, 2019.

HEA has submitted a filing with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) that requests an increase to the demand and energy components of the monthly bills by five percent.  The residential energy rate increases from $0.14866 per kilowatt-hour to $0.15609 per kilowatt-hour. If approved, the new rate will mean an increase of $4.09 per month for the average HEA residential member using 550-kilowatt hours a month.

As an electric cooperative in Alaska, historically it is uncommon to see demand for electricity decrease. However, that has been the case over the past few years with many utilities, including HEA. Energy efficiency improvements and milder winters have generally reduced electric energy consumption. As a result, HEA is selling less electricity than anticipated which, in turn, decreases operating revenues needed to pay for fixed costs such as poles, wires, and generators needed to serve our members.

The last base rate change was approved by the RCA and implemented in January 2017. Pending approval from the RCA, the rate change will take effect on April 1, 2019.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2C7P7WN

 

 

Nomination Period is Open for Seats on HEA’s Board of Directors

January 17, 2019 –

Homer Electric Association (HEA) is accepting nominations from members interested in running for a seat on the cooperative’s board of directors.

The cooperative’s board consists of nine directors, three from each of the three Kenai Peninsula service area districts.

This year, the District 1 (Kenai-Nikiski-parts of Soldotna) seat currently held by HEA’s Board President Dan Chay will be on the ballot. In District 2 (Soldotna-Sterling-Kasilof area), the seat currently held by HEA’s Board Secretary/Treasurer Ed Oberts will be up for election. In District 3 (Kasilof-Homer-Seldovia area), HEA members will vote for the seat currently held by HEA Board of Director Bill Fry, who will not run in this year’s election as his nine-year term limit has ended.

HEA directors are elected by district, with members voting only for the director in their respective district.

Members interested in putting their name on the ballot must fill out a Candidacy Packet that requires the candidate to gather at least 15 signatures from current HEA members that live in the district where the candidate resides. The Candidacy Packet is available at HEA offices in Kenai and Homer and online at www.homerelectric.com.

The deadline to submit the Candidacy Packet is 5 PM on March 1, 2019. Completed packets can be submitted at either the Kenai or Homer HEA offices.

Ballots will be mailed to HEA members on April 1, 2019, and the results will be tabulated and announced at the Annual Meeting of the Members on May 2, 2019, at Kenai Central High School.

Brief Outage Due to Load Shed

December 26, 2018: Approximately 7,998 Homer Electric Association (HEA) members experienced a brief outage early this morning. Chugach Electric alerted HEA of a broken insulator on the 115 kV transmission line near Portage, which caused the outage. This resulted in frequency variations which required HEA to shed load and disconnect power to keep the balance and avoid shutting down HEA’s entire system.

Several areas of HEA’s service territory lost power at 3:23 AM and all were restored by 3:30 AM.  Thank you for your patience during this time.

Students Conserve Energy and Win Prizes

November 27, 2018 – More than 3,000 students from 128 sixth through eighth grade classrooms around the state participated in the 2018 Power Pledge Challenge, an initiative aimed at helping youth better understand energy use. This year’s campaign covered the largest geographic area of the initiative to date with students competing for regional and statewide prizes. A seventh grade science class from Hanshew Middle School in Anchorage is this year’s statewide winner.

Utilities and organizations from the Matanuska Susitna valley, Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula, Juneau, and statewide hosted the challenge as part of Energy Awareness Month, recognized every year in October. In the Challenge, students completed a hands-on activity from the AK EnergySmart curriculum, learned how to calculate the cost of appliance use and discovered ways to reduce their energy usage at home. Students then conducted an online home energy audit with their families and identified specific actions they would take to use energy more efficiently.

Susan Tifental’s 3rd period science class at Hanshew Middle School is the 2018 statewide winner. The class will be awarded a pizza party, energy related classroom materials worth $1,700 and a tour of the South- Central Power Project . Five regional winners each earned a pizza party and/or a tour of a local power plant.

“The energy awareness lesson brought to the schools by the Power Pledge Challenge partners is an excellent introduction to the 7th grade energy unit,” says Tifental, “Students are interested and engaged in the activities due to their relevant, local content. They especially liked learning about the energy consumption of the light bulbs in the Arctic Star. My students are very pleased to have won the Power Pledge Challenge and are looking forward to visiting the power plant.”

The winning classes are:
● Statewide Winner: Susan Tifental’s 3rd period class from Hanshew Middle School (Anchorage)
● Anchorage Regional Winner: Carole McKee’s 2nd period class from Mears Middle School
● Juneau Regional Winner: James White’s 4th period class from Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School
● Homer Electric Regional Winner: Patrick Dwyer’s 6th period class from Skyview Middle School
● Mat-Su and Eagle River Regional Winner: David Knopp’s 6th period class from Teeland Middle School
● City of Seward Regional Winner: Clay Ellsworth’s 6th period class from Seward Middle School
The Power Pledge Challenge began in 2012, offering energy presentations to 700 students in the Anchorage area. The now statewide initiative is held through support of Alaska Electric Light & Power, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Chugach Electric Association, City of Seward, Homer Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association, Municipal Light & Power and Renewable Energy Alaska Project.

Scammers Impersonating HEA

September 26, 2018 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) is again getting reports from area businesses regarding suspicious HEA impersonators over the phone, as well as in person.

There has been a recent report of an individual, posing as an HEA representative, confronting local businesses in person and threatening to disconnect their power if payment is not made immediately. This is not HEA’s protocol. Please call your local authorities if an impersonator confronts you.

In addition, business members have received phone calls from fraudulent callers impersonating a utility representative and requesting payment for the customer’s supposed past due bill.  The fraudulent caller threatens immediate disconnection of electric service if the bill is not paid. The goal of the scammers is to obtain credit card numbers or other financial information and payment.

If a suspicious phone call is received, end the phone call and contact HEA for verification and to check the status of your account.

HEA has a protocol for contacting members to make payment arrangements for past due bills.

Scammers are becoming smarter, so don’t be fooled by caller ID even if it says Homer Electric Association.

Never give anyone your personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account number or credit card number unless you initiated the conversation and you are confident the transaction is legitimate. If you have questions or need additional information, please call 1-800-478-8551.

Wind and Trees Cause Multiple Outages on September 24

September 25, 2018 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) crews responded to multiple outages throughout the day and into the late evening hours on Monday, September 24, 2018 in response to scattered outages caused by high winds and trees on lines. The outages affected approximately 7,000 members in the following areas:

• Areas in Sterling
• Beaver Loop Road
• Downtown Soldotna from Safeway toward the Soldotna Bridge
• Inlet Woods Subdivision, Kenai – Cause of outage due to underground fault
• K-Beach Road from Soldotna Bridge intersection to CES building (mile 15 K-Beach Road)
• Mackey Lake Road area
• Numerous outages along Kenai Spur Highway from Kenai to Soldotna
• Numerous outages in Nikiski
• Numerous outages along Ridgeway in Soldotna

Thank you for your patience during this time. Remember to stay away from downed power lines, which may still be live, and call HEA at 888-868-8243 or 911 to report it immediately.