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.

Area wide outage on September 14

September 14, 2018 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) experienced an area wide outage on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 2:03 PM that affected approximately 3,361 members. Power was restored to all members at 2:16 PM.

The cause of the outage was the result of a Railbelt generator tripping offline causing a frequency excursion that created a load shed event on the HEA system.

HEA anticipates rate increase for 4th quarter 2018

Homer Electric Association (HEA) members will likely see a rate increase effective October 1, 2018.

HEA has submitted a filing with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) that requested an increase in the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) from $0.07270 per kilowatt-hour to $0.08151per kilowatt-hour.

COPA reflects the cost of the fuel purchased by HEA to generate electricity and is adjusted on a quarterly basis.

If approved, the new rate will mean an increase of $4.85 per month for the average HEA residential member using 550-kilowatt hours a month. The increase is in anticipation of the unavailability of HEA’s Nikiski Plant due to routine turnaround maintenance and inspection in October. This will require HEA to temporarily obtain power from other sources not as cost efficient as Nikiski.

Pending approval from the RCA, the rate change will be effective October 1, 2018.

IMMEDIATE CONSERVATION NOTICE FOR HALIBUT COVE, COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE BAY

July 10, 2018

Approximately 64 Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) members in the Halibut Cove and Peterson Bay area across Kachemak Bay, remain without power due to the outages over the weekend.

The cause of the Halibut Cove outage was due to a tree on the power line, which dislodged the pole due to the continued flooding in the McKeon Flats area.

HEA crews have worked around the clock since Sunday, July 8 to restore power to the area, but have been challenged by the inaccessible and complicated terrain. Progress has been made and generators have provided remote power to the community. However, due to the critical nature of the outage, HEA is advising for proactive and deliberate conservation of energy use by those in the Halibut Cove and Peterson Bay area, specifically between the peak hours of 4:00 to 8:00 PM. By conserving energy usage, it will help maintain the integrity of the generators.

Members in the affected areas may still experience intermittent outages while HEA crews continue to repair the damaged system and maintain the remote generators. Thank you for your continued patience during this time. Many thanks to our HEA crews, dispatch and staff.

Restoration updates will be posted on HEA’s Facebook page as current information becomes available. For real-time outage notifications and updates, please “Like” HEA’s Facebook page and select “See First” for automatic updates to your newsfeed. HEA’s Facebook page should not be used to report outages.

For additional information, please contact Melissa Carlin, Communications Specialist, 907-235-3338.
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July 8 Outage Across Kachemak Bay

July 9, 2018 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) members in the communities across Kachemak Bay experienced outages over the weekend.

HEA received the first reports of outages in Seldovia, Port Graham, and Nanwalek on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 7:35 AM affecting 836 members. At approximately 8:30 AM, 178 members in Port Graham and Nanwalek were powered by local generation while HEA crews flew the line to investigate the cause. By 2:00 PM, power was restored to the 658 members in Seldovia. The cause of the outage is still under investigation.

In addition, 135 members in the Halibut Cove area were out of power on Sunday. The cause of the Halibut Cove outage was due to a tree on the power line which dislodged the pole due to the continued flooding in the area. HEA crews were not able to access this area via helicopter on Sunday due to the complicated terrain.

Currently, HEA crews continue to work on restoring power to the members in the Halibut Cove area. Restoration updates will be posted on HEA’s Facebook page as current information becomes available. Thank you for your patience during this time. Many thanks to our HEA crews, dispatch and staff.

HEA Rate Increase in July 2018

June 14, 2018 – Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) members will see an increase in their monthly bills beginning July 1, 2018.

HEA proposes an increase to the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) rate from $0.06701 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to $0.07270 kWh, which is an increase of 8.49%. The COPA is adjusted on a quarterly basis and primarily reflects the cost of natural gas used to generate power for HEA members.

The average residential member who uses 550 kWh/month will see a $3.13 increase in their bill. The primary driver of the increase is HEA’s greater reliance on its higher priced baseload gas contract going forward to fuel generation, compared to lower priced gas spot market opportunities that HEA has been able to act upon year to date.

The COPA decrease will be effective for all billings beginning July 1, 2018.