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Anchorage residents see reduced electricity rates

(KTUU)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 7:20 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - If you looked at your electric bill this month and noticed it’s lower than usual, that is not a mistake. In fact, reduced rates were part of a promise from Chugach Electric, made possible after consolidating with Municipal Light & Power back in October of 2020.

“One of the things we’ve said since the very beginning is that by combining the two utilities, members will see lower, long-term electric rates,” says Julie Hasquet, senior manager of Corporate Communications at Chugach Electric. “You can combine two utilities, you get rid of duplication and all the other factors and you’re able to see a long-term lowering of your electric rates.”

Chugach has two rate districts: north and south. According to Hasquet, the north district is the ML&P legacy service area and the south district is the Chugach legacy service area. She says Chugach’s north district members will see a rate reduction of 9.6% in their January bills, while south district members’ rates will drop 2.7%.

“The reason the north members got a bigger discount in January, is that as part of the sale of ML&P to Chugach, there was $36 million in equity in the ML&P system and as part of the sale being approved, it was determined that that $36 million would be returned to the legacy ML&P members because that was their investment over three years,” says Hasquet. “So for the next three years, they will get $12 million a year reduction in their bills. There will be reductions for our south customers as well, but the reduction in the north is a little bit bigger because of the $36 million in equity.”

And as for the consolidation, Hasquet says things are going really well.

“We’ve had some challenges last year as you can imagine with COVID. It impacted some of our planning, some of our training, but now we’re into January and getting the new customers all set into our system and we feel like it’s going really well and we’re so appreciative of the communities support and the business communities support of this acquisition,” Hasquet said.

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