Homer Electric returns capital credits to members

Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA), a member-owned not-for-profit electric cooperative, is distributing $1.5 million in capital credits to its members. The capital credits will be distributed to approximately 10,000 members and former members the week of April 17, 2017.
The capital credit checks are being distributed to people who were members of HEA during 1986 and 1987. 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 equity retirement plan calls for $1.5 million in 1986 and 1987 margins, or earnings, to be distributed to HEA members who purchased electricity during those years.
The average check for someone who was a residential member in both 1986 and 1987 will be approximately $75.00.
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.
From 1960 through 2017, HEA has returned over $18.9 million in capital credits to members of the cooperative.

HEA Board Election Update

Six candidates will be on the ballot for the Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) Board of Directors’ 2017 election. The deadline to apply for a seat on the board was March 3, 2017.
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 candidates are incumbent Kelly J. Bookey of Kenai and Kate Veh of Soldotna.
• In District 2 (Soldotna – Sterling – Kasilof), the candidates are incumbent Richard “Dick” Waisanen of Soldotna and Daniel N. Furlong of Soldotna.
• In District 3 (Kasilof south to Kachemak Bay area), the candidates are incumbent Eugene Alan “Jim” Levine of Homer and Doug Stark of Homer.
Candidate information is available on HEA’s website at www.homerelectric.com. The ballots will be mailed to HEA members on April 3, 2017. Completed mail-in ballots must be received in the mail by May 3, 2017, for validation. If HEA members are unable to complete a mail-in ballot, members will also have an opportunity to vote at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Members, which will be held May 4, 2017 at Soldotna High School.
For more details about the election and the Annual Meeting of the Members, please contact HEA at 800-478-8551 or our website at www.homerelectric.com.

For additional information regarding this press release, please call Bruce Shelley at 283-2324.

HEA Casts AEEC Deregulation Vote

December 21, 2016 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) announces that on December 21, 2016, it cast its single vote not to deregulate its subsidiary, Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative (AEEC) from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA).

Upon confirmation that the HEA membership voted against deregulation from the RCA and the vote had been certified by the RCA, HEA echoed the wishes of its members and voted NO to deregulating the AEEC from the RCA.

Because of the rules governing a deregulation election, a separate election was required for HEA’s subsidiary, AEEC, with HEA voting as the only member of the subsidiary.

HEA Deregulation Vote Results

December 20, 2016 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) announces December 20, 2016, the membership has voted against deregulation from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

A total of 6,894 votes were received and certified. The final count was 2,041 yes votes and 4,853 no votes.

The HEA Board of Directors would like to thank each and every one of the members for voting on this important matter. Almost one third of the membership voted which highlights one of the values of the cooperative model, enabling members to provide direction to their utility.

HEA Anticipates Slight Rate Increase in January 2017

December 5, 2016 – Homer Electric Association (HEA) members could see a slight increase in their monthly bills beginning January 5, 2017, if two filings with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) are approved.

In the first filing, made on November 23, 2016 as a result of the rate case originally filed in late 2015, HEA proposes an increase to both the residential and general service monthly customer charges from $15.49 to $20.00. It also proposes to decrease the residential service energy rate from the current interim rate of $0.15366 to $0.14866 and the general service energy rate from $0.15497 to $0.15473 per kilowatt hour.

This filing also changes the interim large general service rates. The energy rate decreases from $0.10394 to $0.09723 per kilowatt hour, the customer charge decreases from $51.63 to $50.00 and the demand charge increases from $17.23 to $20.00 per kilowatt.

In the second filing, HEA proposes a decrease to the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) rate from $0.07614 to $0.07373 per kilowatt hour. The COPA is adjusted on a quarterly basis and primarily reflects the cost of natural gas used to generate power for HEA members.

Overall, the proposed changes would decrease the blended residential rate (energy rate plus COPA) from $0.22980 to $0.22239 per kilowatt hour.

The combined proposed rate changes will result in an increase of 43 cents in the monthly bill for the average residential HEA member using 550 kilowatt hours.

If approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, both changes will be effective on January 5, 2017.

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.