All posts by Melissa Carlin

RCA Approved Gas Pipeline Rate Increases

October 12, 2016 –  Homer Electric Association members did see a rate increase effective October 1st to the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA), which is the fuel purchased by HEA to generate electricity and is adjusted on a quarterly basis. A major driver in the increase was the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) granting of an interim and refundable rate increase to the Kenai Beluga Pipeline LLC (KBPL). HEA did intervene in this rate case to represent the Cooperative’s interests. The RCA approved increase to the pipeline rate was based on an anticipated reduction in pipeline through-put volumes and an increase in capital costs from new equipment installed to aid in shipping gas off the Kenai Peninsula. The pipeline interim rate, approved by the RCA, increased 119%, from $0.2915 to $0.6398 per Mcf.

As a result, HEA had to submit a quarterly filing with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) to increase the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) from $0.06286 per kilowatt hour to $0.07614 per kilowatt hour. The new rate will mean an increase of $7.30 per month for the average HEA member using 550 kilowatt hours a month. HEA is researching opportunities to reduce the impact of the pipeline tariff increase on our members. The final pipeline rate is subject to further RCA approval and may differ based on the findings at future proceedings.

HEA Warns Members of Phone Scam

October 4, 2016 – Homer Electric Association (HEA) is getting reports from area businesses regarding suspicious phone calls.

The fraudulent caller impersonates a utility representative and requests payment for the customer’s supposed past due bill and 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.

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

Homer Electric has a protocol for contacting members which includes advanced notification prior to a phone call and the cooperative does not threaten to cut off power immediately.

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.

HEA Board Seat Vacancy Filled

September 30, 2016 – The Homer Electric Association (HEA) Board of Directors has appointed Homer resident Jim Levine to fill the vacant seat on the board in District 3, representing Kasilof south to Kachemak Bay areas. The seat became vacant following District 3 board member Don Seelinger’s resignation this summer.

Two HEA members applied for the vacant seat and after reviewing the applications, the board selected Mr. Levine. Mr. Levine has previous experience on the HEA Board of Directors, having served a term from 2009 to 2014, including deputy secretary.

Mr. Levine is a project manager for Jay-Brant General Contractors in Homer. Mr. Levine stated, “My main goal will be to continue searching for new and better ways to provide electrical power to the members while trying to minimize rates. While on the HEA board previously, I worked towards providing ocean power generation, started the sub-committee for renewable, and participated in Independent Light which allowed HEA to provide their members local power. I will also continue looking for other ways to provide renewable energy and energy efficiency to the members which I feel is key to providing reliable power.”

Mr. Levine will serve out Mr. Seelinger’s remaining term which expires in May 2017. When the term ends, the board seat will then be filled by the membership through the election process at the Annual Meeting of the Members.

HEA Crews Respond to Outages from High Winds

Homer Electric Association (HEA) crews responded to several outages last night and into the early morning after strong winds hit the Kenai Peninsula.

As of 8:50 Wednesday morning, crews are working to restore power to the remaining 250 members affected by outages in the Sterling, Nikiski, Funny River Rd, and Kasilof. areas.

Beginning Tuesday around 11:26 pm, high winds resulted in several outages caused by fallen trees on power lines. The first reports of outages were in Kasilof off Voyager St., Irish Hills Ave, Cardwell Rd. and Tote Rd. areas affecting 248 members. More outages in Kasilof left 639 members without power from KBeach Rd. to mile 14 of the Sterling Highway.

By 2:00 am, there were approximately 1,270 members without power in the Kasilof, Sterilng and Soldotna areas. HEA crews restored power to 639 members from Kasilof to mile 13 of the Sterling Highway by 3:49 am.

HEA crews continue to work to restore power to the remaining 250 members without power.

Please remember to stay away from downed power lines as this can result in serious injury or even death. Call 911 or HEA if you come across a fallen power line. DO NOT attempt to get out of your car if the line is in the road or lands on your car.

Like Homer Electric on Facebook and select “See First” on your Newsfeed to receive immediate outage notifications.  Outage information, via the Facebook feed, can also be found on HEA’s website at www.homerelectric.com.

Board Vacancy District 3

August 12, 2016 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. is accepting applications to fill a vacant seat on the Board of Directors for District 3.

Applicants must be a member of Homer Electric Association, Inc. and a bona fide resident within the district boundary, which generally includes portions of the Kasilof area south to Homer and across Kachemak Bay.

Click HERE for the voting district boundaries map.

Click HERE  for the Board of Directors Application.  Applications are also  available at both HEA offices.

The term of office will begin after appointment by the Board of Directors and will expire in May 2017.

When the term ends, the board seat will then be filled by the membership through the election process at the Annual Meeting of the Members.

Applicants are encouraged to return their application and resume to Homer Electric by Friday, September 9, 2016.  The board plans to conduct interviews on September 28, 2016.

Power Outage Impacts Homer Area

June 22, 2016: Homer Electric Association responded to a power outage on Tuesday evening, June 21, that impacted approximately 900 HEA members in the Homer area.

The outage was the result of a broken insulator on a power pole near the Homer Fire Hall on Heath Street.

When the insulator broke, the wire fell to the ground and on to an electrical junction box.

The downed line, which was energized at 25 kilovolt, created a power surge on the circuits coming out of the 12 kilovolt junction box. The resulting voltage surge was seen in many homes and businesses in the surrounding area.

HEA crew responded to the incident and were able to make repairs at the location of the broken insulator and power was restored at approximately 11:15 pm.

Homer Electric is investigating the incident. Any HEA members who had damage to equipment or appliances during the power outage can contact HEA for a damage claim form.

HEA Members Elect Directors at 2016 Annual Meeting

Homer Electric Association members elected three directors at the cooperative’s Annual Meeting of the Members in Kenai on May 4, 2016.

In District 1 (Kenai – Nikiski – parts of Soldotna area), incumbent director Dan Chay of Kenai ran uncontested and received 781 votes

In District 2 (Soldotna – Sterling- Kasilof area), incumbent director Ed Oberts of Soldotna also ran uncontested and received 978 votes.

In District 3 (South Kasilof – Kachemak Bay area), incumbent director Bill Fry of Homer received 900 votes and Stephen J. Pollack III garnered 404 votes.

The Annual Meeting drew a crowd of over 250 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
Kendyl Cannava, 4th Grade at Soldotna Elementary School

MOST CREATIVE MESSAGE
Evelyn Giver, 4th Grade at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School

MOST HUMOROUS MESSAGE
Lucas Story, 4th Grade at McNeil Canyon Elementary

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.

Brian Dusek, 11th Grade at Soldotna High School
Leah Johnson, 10th Grade at Kenai Central 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
David Beck of  Kenai Central High School
Nolan Bunting of Homer High School
Victoria Cizek of Cook Inlet Academy
Kayla Haeg of Soldotna High School
Shenandoah Lush of Homer High School
Aziza Pitcher of Homer High School
Tisha Lovett of Homer High School
Mikaela Salzetti of Kenai Central High School
Jeanelee Stock of Nikiski High School
Halen Wells of Soldotna High School

OTHER/CONTINUING EDUCATION CATEGORY – $1,000 SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
Stan Holguin of District 1
Carron Ann Murray of District 2
Stephen Severson of District 2

HEA to Host 2016 Annual Meeting on May 4

HEA will host its Annual Meeting at Kenai Central High School on Wednesday, May 4. Registration for the meeting will begin at 4:30 pm and close at 6:30 pm in the high school commons area. The business meeting will start in the Renee C. Henderson Theatre at 6:00 pm.

HEA members are reminded to please bring a form of identification for registration purposes.

The Annual Meeting will feature food, refreshments, informational booths, election results, and an update from the General Manager on HEA issues. There will also be attendance door prize drawings for energy credits, including a grand prize drawing for a free year of electricity (up to 10,000 kilowatt hours).

HEA Requests Rate Decrease for 2nd Quarter

March 30, 2016 – Homer Electric Association is requesting a rate change in its quarterly filing with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

In its filing, HEA is proposing to decrease the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) from 6.656 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.316 cents per kilowatt hour. COPA mainly reflects the cost of fuel (natural gas) used to generate electricity and is adjusted on a quarterly basis.

The reduction in the COPA is partially due to HEA’s new gas supply contract with Furie Operating Alaska LLC that goes into effect on April 1, 2016.

The change to the COPA will mean a decrease in the average monthly residential bill (550 kilowatt hours) of $1.87.
The COPA decrease will be effective for all billings beginning April 1, 2016.

HEA Board Election Updated

March 17, 2016 – Four candidates will be on the ballot for the Homer Electric Association (HEA) Board of Directors’ 2016 election. The deadline to apply for a seat on the board was March 4.

HEA directors are elected by the members in their respective district, with members voting only for the candidates residing in their district. This year, the following candidates are seeking election to the HEA board:

  • In District 1 (Kenai – Nikiski- parts of Soldotna area), the candidate is incumbent Dan Chay of Kenai.
  • In District 2 (Soldotna – Sterling – Kasilof), the candidate is incumbent Ed Oberts of Soldotna.
  • In District 3 (Kasilof south to Kachemak Bay area), the candidates are incumbent Bill Fry of Homer and Stephen J. Pollack III of Seldovia.

The 2016 ballot will also include six propositions. Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 would change the wording in the HEA bylaws and Articles of Incorporation from “husband and wife” to “married couple” to allow same-sex couples to hold a joint HEA membership. The proposed change is based on recent legal rulings regarding same-sex marriages. The remaining ballot propositions are aimed at clarifying language and intent in several sections of the bylaws. A complete rundown of the ballot propositions along with candidate information is available on HEA’s website (www.homerelectric.com).

The ballots will be mailed to HEA members on April 1, 2016. Completed mail-in ballots must be received in the mail by May 3, 2016, for validation. If HEA members are unable to complete a mail-in ballot, members will also have an opportunity to vote at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Members, which will be held May 4, 2016, at Kenai Central High School.

For more details about the election and the Annual Meeting of the Members contact HEA’s office at 800-478-8551 or HEA’s website at www.homerelectric.com.