MEA FILES RATE CASE
June 30, 2017
Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) is pleased to report it has completed the transition from an all-requirements, wholesale power purchaser to a vertically integrated, self-generating electric utility with the filing of its rate case reflecting the costs and benefits of the Eklutna Generation Station (EGS) with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA).
MEA’s filing is based on actual, audited cost data gathered over the course of 2016. MEA’s filing requests RCA approval for a 2.75 percent total increase to base rates, which, for a typical MEA member using 680 kWh, equates to approximately $1.12 per month and is less than a 1% change to the overall monthly bill. Even with this minimal rate increase, MEA members receive some of the lowest cost power on the Railbelt.
“Over the last year, MEA collected detailed cost data necessary to understand with specificity the rate impact of moving to self-generation,” said MEA CEO and General Manager Tony Izzo. “Today’s filing seeking only a small rate adjustment reflects the careful planning of the Board and management for transition to self-generation and the conscientious execution of that transition plan by all MEA employees.”
After one full year of operations, EGS’ unique design demonstrated it is the most efficient power plant to serve MEA’s load, using less fuel over the year to produce a megawatt of power when compared to all other thermal generation in the Railbelt, according to data compiled for a recent study from the Alaska Energy Authority.
In addition, EGS has provided a new and valuable service to the Railbelt – small, efficient increments of power – bringing additional sales revenues to offset costs for MEA members, as well as opportunities for Railbelt-wide savings.
During this time, MEA also invested in system reliability improvements including a new advanced metering system, improved right-of-way clearing, additional transmission assets and other infrastructure upgrades.
‘To have achieved all of this with only a small rate adjustment is the result of conservative, transparent and prudent financial management,’ says Izzo. ‘MEA is committed to maintaining its strong financial position and aggressively managing its business to reduce the impact of rising costs.’
MEA’s filing will include a public comment period. MEA has requested RCA approval for implementing its new rates in 45 days. RCA procedures include provision for suspension of a filing and opening of a formal docket to evaluate a rate filing. In the event the RCA opens a formal docket in regard to MEA’s filing, MEA will not seek an interim rate increase during the RCA’s review and existing approved base rates would remain unchanged until the RCA issues its ruling.
MEA’s last rate case filed was in 1999. This rate case was requested by the RCA to correspond with MEA’s transformation to a self-generating, vertically-integrated utility.
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska’s oldest existing and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its 50,000 members. MEA’s service area covers more than 4,300 miles of power lines in Southcentral Alaska. The co-op is dedicated to working with utilities statewide to provide consumers with affordable, reliable energy. More information at www.mea.coop.