Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) members will see a change in their monthly bills beginning April 1, 2020.
HEA proposes a change to the Cost of Power Adjustment (COPA) rate from $0.06204 to $0.07767 per kilowatt hour. The COPA, required to be filed with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, is adjusted quarterly. The adjustments primarily reflect the actual cost of natural gas used to generate power for HEA members. The average residential member who uses 550 kWh/month will see a $8.60 increase in their bill.
The increase is primarily driven by last quarter’s unusually low COPA, and by an increase in fuel costs. Unusually highwater levels in Bradley Lake late last year reduced HEA’s dependence on natural gas, driving the previous quarter’s COPA down.
Then in 2020, fuel prices went up. Although HEA’s fuel consumption is back to historically average levels, our new contract with Hilcorp went into effect in January at a higher price point. To help mitigate some of the impact of changing fuel prices and reduce our heavy dependence on a single fuel, HEA is evaluating several renewable resource opportunities. The first of these new resources will be available late this summer when the Battle Creek hydro project is completed.
The COPA change will be effective for all billings beginning April 1, 2020.