MEA News

MEA News:

2013-2014 News

The MEA management team is considering options to bring the core of Wasilla the power it needs after the appeal of the Planning Commission ruling requiring the utility to bury the transmission lines was denied.

‘It is our duty to provide our members with both reliable and affordable power.  This decision has put those two mandates at odds with each other, ‘ stated MEA spokesperson, Julie Estey.

Each option comes with resulting consequences for the businesses and residents of Wasilla. 

Option 1 – Appeal to the Alaska Superior Court.  This is the next legal step in the process.  However, an appeal will result in delays and significant expense for both MEA and the City of Wasilla.  The likely outcome of a legal battle is a remand back to the Planning Commission which is not in best interest of MEA members or the residents of Wasilla.

Option 2 – Bury the Lines.  This option was estimated to increase the price tag by $40M last summer and is likely higher today.  Those costs would be passed on to a small number of businesses and homeowners within the city limits, resulting in higher rates.  In addition, the upheaval caused during installation and maintenance should not be underestimated.  Not only is this not in the best interest of Wasilla businesses and residents nor MEA members, but it is not feasible considering financial limitations and technical constraints.

Option 3 – Stop the Project.  Based on current permitting, MEA could stop the transmission lines at the Lazelle Substation just outside the city limits so the lines did not impact the Wasilla view-shed. This is not a viable option either.  To meet redundancy and capacity requirements,  transmission lines extended through the Wasilla core are necessary so demand does not exceed safe system limits.  During a cold snap in the winter of 2012/2013, MEA came dangerously close to the system limits in the Herning substation.    

Option 4 – Re-route around Wasilla.  This option simply moves the transmission lines from the Parks Highway into neighborhoods and private properties. Depending on the route, this will either require taller towers on existing lines or permission from agencies, residents, schools, businesses, and others for new right-of-way acquisition, delaying the project and increasing costs.  More importantly, it would have significant impact on our members’ homes and neighborhoods.

Reliable, affordable energy is an essential service connecting our members and the entire region to a good quality of life and vibrant economy.  MEA’s next steps are to meet with members and policy makers to receive feedback and discuss energy management measures that may prove necessary in the interim.

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Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska's oldest and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its members. MEA’s service area includes more than 4,200 miles of power lines and serves over 57,000 total accounts in Southcentral Alaska.   

 

Media Contact:

Julie Estey, Director of Public Relations
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc.
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(907) 355.4447

The Matanuska Electric Association Board of Directors voted on May 12, 2014 to authorize an increase of 1.03 percent in base rates, effective the third quarter of 2014.

The average MEA member uses just over 700 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.  These members can expect to see a total monthly increase of about $.80 as a result of the base rate adjustment.

Under the terms of the rules set by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA), MEA is allowed, on a quarterly basis, to file for limited increases or decreases in base rates, provided that the adjustments stay within certain financial parameters established by the RCA.  The rate filing is based on the test year ending March 31, 2014 and will take effect during the first week of July 2014 pending approval by the RCA.

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Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska's oldest and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its 49,000 members. MEA’s service area covers more than 4,200 miles of power lines in Southcentral Alaska, and the co-op leads projects statewide to provide customers with affordable, reliable energy. www.mea.coop

Media Contact
Julie Estey, Director of Public Relations
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc.
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(907) 355.4447

April 10, 2014

Matanuska Electric Association contributed a Connex storage container to the Chugiak United Methodist Church to support the growing charitable program, Recycle for a Reason.

Volunteers at Check Out
 Volunteers at Checkout
 Suggested Donation Sign
 Suggested Donation Sign
Interested customer
Interested Customer

Led by volunteers, Kay Abrams, Jan Wachsmuth, Susan Day and Jackie Holmquist, Recycle for a Reason was launched in January 2013 by the United Methodist Church of Chugiak as a means to give back to the community while decreasing waste. The group collects reusable items the first and last Saturday of every month, then holds a large-scale, name-your-price rummage sale the following Friday and second Saturday of the month.

The community is served in several ways. Charitable organizations throughout the service area take whatever they need for free and other residents can name their price, providing no to low cost household items for those in need. Second, after negligible costs are subtracted, the remaining substantial proceeds are given though grants to local charities along with some of the church’s other funding priorities around the world. The program also contributes the items remaining after each month’s sale to area charities. ‘Plus,’ as Abrams points out, ‘it means less unwanted stuff cluttering up our landfills. It’s a win-win situation.’

The success of the program can be seen in the gymnasium full of items each month, the line of people waiting before each sale, the smiles of the volunteers and the long list of organizations Recycle for a Reason has served. MEA’s donated Connex plays a supporting role - storing the donated items before each sale.

‘We were inspired by the good work this organization performs throughout our service area simply by reselling discarded items’, says David Glines, the MEA board member representing the Chugiak/Eagle River District. ‘When they expressed the need for a storage container, we decided to help by doing a little recycling of our own and reusing a Connex from MEA’s new EGS Power Plant. We are happy to be a small part of this very big program.’

Recycle for a Reason seeks additional donations, patrons and volunteers. For more information contact organizers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Media Contact
Julie Estey, Director of Public Relations
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc.
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(907) 355.4447

Matanuska Electric Association will host its 2014 annual meeting April 29th at 6 p.m. in Raven Hall on the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer. Members are invited to hear an update on the co-op's efforts, accomplishments and challenges over the last year as well as meet board members and staff.

No elections are anticipated this year after comprehensive bylaw changes were approved by the MEA membership in 2013, including a bylaw that permits four year terms for board members.  MEA bylaws require staggered terms that can only be achieved by skipping a board member election every fourth year. 2014 was identified as year four of the cycle and free of election requirements. 

This specific change was in response to an adjustment in Alaska state statute allowing four year board terms for cooperatives to acknowledge the value in board member productivity and potential cost savings.  Holding an annual election costs MEA over $250,000 per year so this adjustment will result in immediate and long term savings to the membership.  

Refreshments will be served and members who attend in person receive a $10 credit on their MEA electricity bill.  Transportation will be provided from locations throughout the MEA service area on a first-come, first-served basis.  Reservations for transportation can be made by calling 761.9200.

Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska's oldest and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its members. MEA’s service area covers more than 4,000 miles of power lines and serves 62,000 total accounts in Southcentral Alaska.   The co-op leads projects statewide to provide customers with affordable, reliable energy.

The Matanuska Electric Association Board of Directors voted on February 10, 2014 to authorize an increase of 2.54 percent in base rates, effective the second quarter of 2014.

The average MEA consumer uses just under 800 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.  “These consumers can expect to see a monthly increase of about $2.18 as a result of the base rate adjustment,” said MEA spokesperson Denali Daniels.

Under the terms of rules set by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA), MEA is allowed on a quarterly basis to file for limited increases or decreases in base rates, provided that the adjustments stay within certain financial parameters established by the RCA.  The rate filing is based on the test year ending December 31, 2013 and will take effect during the first week of April 2014, pending approval by the RCA.