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Juneau (our nearest US capitol at 1,000 miles away) recently lost their electrical infrastructure. An avalanche breached the power lines from the hydroelectric generators. As a consequence, electricity must be generated from diesel-fueled generators which are much more expensive. The story reported by APRN.org,
http://aprn.org/2008/04/16/avalanches-drive-up-electricity-costs-in-juneau/ noted that costs per kilowatt hour were expected to go from 11 cents to 40 to 50 cents.

My ears perked at this because in Bethel I “normally” pay 40 cents or so per kwh, with the Power Cost Equalization subsidy that the state legislature (who meets in usually cheap Juneau) sometimes provides. Businesses in Bethel pay quite a bit more.

Some Juneau people have been concerned enough at the sudden increase in electrical rates to request a declaration of emergency.

Mr Nels Anderson, Jr. on the Nushagak (our sister rivershed) has very good ideas to consider in this APRN interview. Dillingham’s rates are only slightly less than Bethel’s.

Phillip Munger at Progressive Alaska reprints Mr Anderson’s letter to Gov. Palin which stresses that the crisis in Alaska power rates is not just in Juneau.

I am hoping that our Rural elected leaders, regional organizations, state-wide organizations will insist that village energy needs be considered along with Juneau. Juneau does have a serious problem but all of our villages do as well.

Read more about Mr Anderson and his letter here http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2008/04/

    How much do you normally pay for electricity?
  • Bethel

0.39/kwh plus something called “customer charge” (flat $10.98) plus 6% sales tax

For 390 kwh (about the very least usage possible) costs $172.19 Power cost equalization knocks off $0.2162 or $84.32 for final total of $87.87

  • Dillingham

31 cents/kwh plus $9 surcharge

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