HEA Revising Credit Card Policy as of January 1, 2016

Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) will no longer accept MasterCard debit/credit cards as a form of payment, beginning January 1, 2016.    The decision was made after considering several options to reduce the expense incurred by HEA in processing credit cards.

Currently, HEA accepts credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) as a form of payment without charging any fee to the member.   The costs associated with this service amount to over $400,000 per year for the cooperative.  While approximately 40 percent of HEA members use a credit card to pay their electric bill, the costs are spread out across the entire membership.

In reviewing the costs associated with accepting credit cards, it was determined that MasterCard transactions account for 58% of HEA’s total credit card fees, but only 17% of all credit card payments.

By no longer accepting MasterCard, HEA expects to realize substantial savings.

The decision will affect approximately 1,800 HEA members who currently use MasterCard to make a payment.   Those members who are currently using MasterCard to make a recurring HEA payment will be notified by mail of the new policy so they can make necessary arrangements to convert their method of payment.

While continuing to accept Visa as a form of payment, HEA offers several other forms of payment including:

  • Electronic Bank Draft: HEA will automatically deduct your bill from your designated bank account each month. No checks to write or payments to submit. Call or stop by an HEA office with a voided check or download an application to mail into the office to sign up.
  • EasyPay Online: At homerelectric.com you can look up your account, view your bill/usage history and pay your bill with a Visa card online or with an e-Check. This password protected option provides convenient and around the clock access to your account information. First time users: Please contact HEA for an access password.
  • Pay by Phone: Save time and postage by making a payment by phone. This service is available 24/7 and all you need is your account number.
  • Pay in Person: Stop by our cashier station or payment kiosk at either of the two HEA offices, open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Payments are accepted in the form of cash, check, e-check, money order, or Visa debit/credit card.
  • HEA Drop Box: Drop your payment in the drop boxes located at HEA offices in Homer or Kenai.
  • Mobile App: Download HEA’s app today and login to your account, check your balance, history and pay your bill. You also have access to HEA contact and outage information.
  • Budget Billing. Simplify your bill paying and even out your electric payments by paying the same amount in December as you do in June with Budget Billing. Enrollment is in March, April and May.

If you have further questions or need assistance with your electric account, please contact Homer Electric’s member services department.

Friday, September 25 Outage in Homer

HEA is responding to a power outage in the Homer area this morning. The outage began at 5:30 am and is impacting 14 HEA members in the Mountain View Drive/Kachemak Drive area. The cause of the outage is an underground fault and the estimated time to complete repairs and restore power is approximately four hours.

HEA and Furie Sign Gas Sale & Purchase Agreement

Homer Electric Association has signed a Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement with Furie Operating Alaska LLC.

Furie is an independent oil and gas company that focuses on the exploration and production of natural gas in the Cook Inlet area.

Under the terms of the agreement, Homer Electric’s generation and transmission subsidiary, Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative (AEEC), will receive natural gas from Furie beginning on April 1, 2016. The contract terminates December 31, 2018. Additionally, there are two one-year options to extend the term of the agreement through December 31, 2020.

The gas will be used to fuel HEA-owned power plants in Nikiski and Soldotna.

Currently, Homer Electric is purchasing gas from Hilcorp under terms of a contract that expires March 31, 2016. To secure a future gas supply beyond March 31, 2016, HEA contacted known Cook Inlet natural gas producers and began negotiations with those producers that expressed an interest and an ability to provide natural gas under the terms of a utility based natural gas supply contract. The agreement with Furie is the culmination of that effort.

The agreement calls for HEA/AEEC to purchase between 4.0 and 6.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually beginning in March 31, 2016.

With regard to gas pricing, HEA’s gas costs in 2016 and 2017 will actually be lower than what HEA is currently paying for gas under its existing Hilcorp contract. HEA General Manager Brad Janorschke said the agreement with Furie is a positive development for the Cook Inlet area.

“This contract will provide one of the Cook Inlet independent producers with a market for its gas, allowing them to move forward with significant investment in Cook Inlet offshore gas infrastructure. The contract brings to fruition the State of Alaska’s goal to incentivize offshore exploration and development in the Cook Inlet. The excess capacity that will result from this development and the pricing within this contract may lead to more competitive gas pricing within the Cook Inlet market,” said Janorschke.

Furie finished construction and installation of a new offshore platform, 16 miles of subsea pipeline and a natural gas processing facility in Nikiski this summer. They are currently connecting the Kitchen Lights Unit discovery well within the platform caisson to the production equipment. Furie has indicated that they plan to have production online by November of 2015. HEA has every confidence in Furie’s ability to deliver gas according to the terms of this contract.

Furie’s Senior Vice President Bruce Webb said the contract with HEA is an exciting step for Furie’s long-term success in the Cook Inlet.

“When we began drilling in 2011, the Cook Inlet was in the midst of a potential energy crisis. We are proud to be one of the companies to provide energy security to the residents of Southcentral Alaska. It seems fitting that our first natural gas deliveries will be to HEA who supplies electricity to the community where our onshore production facility is located. We look forward to supplying natural gas to other Cook Inlet utilities.”

The Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement does not become effective until approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA).

Strong Winds Cause Scattered Outages

August 26, 2015 – Homer Electric crews responded to several scattered outages, mostly due to strong winds, on Wednesday, August 26th.

The first outage occurred about 7:02 am on Irish Hills Avenue, between Soldotna and Kasilof, affecting 31 members and was restored by 10:00 am and was due to a faulty insulator.

HEA crews responded to an outage on Miller Loop affecting 63 members at 11:13 am. Power was restored to that area at approximately 1:27 pm. The cause of the outage was due to a fallen tree on the power line.

An outage on Farr Street off West Poppy Lane affected 74 members was also due to a fallen tree on the line. The outage began around 12:51 pm and was restored by 2:37 pm.

There was also an outage at 1:39 pm in the Robinson Loop and Swanson River Road area affecting 222 members. Power was restored to this area by 3:48 pm

In addition, approximately 369 members in Sterling off Monica Street were without power starting at 2:00 pm and power restored by 4:13 pm.

Thirty-nine members in Nikiski off Neighbors Drive also experienced an outage late in the afternoon and power was restored by 6:26 pm.

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.


August 21 Power Outage

Homer Electric Association (HEA) members experienced a brief widespread power outage Friday morning.

The outage started at approximately 11:00 am when there was a fault on Chugach Electric’s transmission line between Indian and Anchorage.

The disruption on the transmission tie-line, which connects the Kenai Peninsula to the rest of the Railbelt, resulted in frequency variations on Homer Electric’s system. As a result of the frequency swings, several HEA circuits automatically dropped off line affecting about 11,500 meters.

The outage was seen in several areas including Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling, Kasilof, and Homer.

HEA was able to adjust the output at its generation plants on the Peninsula and the system was quickly stabilized. Power was restored to all the affected areas by 11:22 am.

The cause of the initial problem on the transmission line near Anchorage is unknown at this time.

June 24 Power Outage

Homer Electric Association (HEA) members experienced a systemwide power outage Wednesday morning.

The outage started at approximately 11:00 am when a problem at HEA’s Nikiski generation plant resulted in the plant going off line.

The loss of Nikiski generation resulted in a power outage that affected approximately 22,000 of the 33,000 meters on HEA’s system, from Nikiski south to Homer.

After the Nikiski plant tripped, HEA was able to start up the Bernice Lake generation plant as well as add load to the generation plant in Soldotna.

Restoration efforts began immediately and by 11:20 am power had been restored to all the affected meters.

Card Street Fire Update

June 19, 2015 – Homer Electric Association restored power to the Kenai Keys area on Saturday afternoon, as conditions in the area were safe to do so.

There were 169 meters in the area that were without power since the Card Street Fire started on Monday.

The fire burned in the Kenai Keys area, damaging electric facilities and leaving a number of charred and hazardous trees in its wake.

During the week, HEA crews were able to make temporary repairs to the electric equipment and are currently working with a tree contractor to remove trees that are burned and in danger of falling into the power lines.

With the fire conditions deemed safe, the power was  turned back on in the Kenai Keys area on Saturday.
HEA appreciates the patience and support of the Kenai Keys residents during this difficult time.

For additional information please contact Joe Gallagher at 907-283-2324

HEA Requests Rate Decrease for 3rd Quarter

Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) is requesting a rate change in its quarterly filings with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA).

In its filing, HEA is proposing to decrease the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) from 7.846 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 7.784 cents per kWh. COPA reflects the cost of the fuel (natural gas) used to generate electricity and is adjusted on a quarterly basis.

The requested rate change will result in a decrease of $0.39 in a monthly residential bill for HEA members using the average of 630 kWh.

If approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the proposed change will be effective for all billings beginning July 1, 2015.


Power Outage in Homer

Homer Electric Association responded to a power outage Monday afternoon in the Diamond Ridge and Old Sterling Highway area. The outage started at 2:37 pm and affected 638 HEA members.

The cause of the outage was a failed insulator on power pole along the Old Sterling Highway. The failure of the insulator caused a small fire at the bottom of the pole. HEA crews were able to contain the fire until the Division of Forestry and the Anchor Point Fire Department arrived on the scene.

The fire was quickly extinguished and did not spread beyond the immediate vicinity of the power pole.

Homer Electric crews made repairs and had power fully restored at 3:45 pm.

Phone Scams Reported in Southcentral Alaska

Utilities, including Homer Electric, are getting reports from businesses regarding suspicious phone calls.

The phone scam is targeting customers in Anchorage and on the Kenai Peninsula.

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 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.

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.