Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Invitation from HEA Members Forum

Please join us for

A discussion of Corporate Personhood and the end of American Democracy

Tuesday April 26
355 West Pioneer Avenue, Homer Alaska

The underlying problem is that corporations, in addition to having all of the rights of people, have rights people don't have - such as incredibly favorable tax laws and limited liability. The combination of these rights has made the corporations more powerful than We The People.
Gershon Cohen
Featured Speaker and Co- founder of Earth Island Institute’s Ultimate Civics Project

For more information contact: Rob Rosenfeld, (907)388-2683 or (907)235-7528, robrosey@gmail.com

HEA Members Forum Update

2011 Annual HEA Meeting of the Members
Thursday, May 5 at
Soldotna High School
Registration 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM, Membership Meeting Starts 6:00 PM

Other May HEA/AEEC Meetings will take place at the 
Homer Offices, 3977 Lake Street.
Video conferencing is available in the Kenai Offices at 280 Airport Way.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10:00 AM -- Operations and Special Projects
1:00 PM -- Finance Committee
3:00 PM -- AEEC Board Meeting
5:30 PM -- HEA Board Meeting

Agendas are usually available the day before meetings. There are sometimes last minute changes in the meeting schedule. Check for updates and draft agendas on the HEA website at http://www.homerelectric.com/BoardofDirectorsElections/BoardMeetingInformation/Agendas/tabid/220/Default.aspx.

2011 HEA Board Elections -- Don't Forget to Vote

District 1: incumbent David Thomas of Kenai
District 2: Dick Waisanen of Soldotna
District 3: Malcolm Gaylord of Homer

HEA must receive mail-in ballots by 4:00 PM, May 4. Members may vote in person at the May 5 Annual Meeting at the Soldotna High School but will need to register there. You can only vote for a candidate in the district where you live.

Rate Decoupling and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs Technical Conference
April 19 &20, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
East Hearing Room of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska
701 West Eighth Avenue, Suite 300, Anchorage, Alaska 99501

This technical conference will feature a presentation on the topics of rate decoupling and energy efficiency and conservation programs by Richard Sedano, a Principal and Director of The Regulatory Assistance Project. The presentation on rate decoupling is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 19th, with the presentation on energy efficiency and conservation programs to follow on Wednesday, April 20th. Any entity interested in reviewing transcripts of this technical conference may consult the Commission’s website at http://rca.alaska.gov and type in Docket “I-11-004” in the Find a Matter search box.

Don't Forget the 2011 Business of Clean Energy in Alaska Conference
April 28 & 29
at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage
For more information, go to www.BCEAconference.com, or contact Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) at info@realaska.org or 907-929-7770.

Regulatory Commission of Alaska Adopts Revised Net Metering Interconnection Rules
Draft rules from January 2011 (RCA Docket R-09-02) were slightly modified to resolve potential conflicts between utility and customer over an "external disconnect switch." In general, these regulations appear to be reasonable and should not impose unnecessary expense to HEA members who wish to participate in net metering. The regulations go to the Department of Law for review but should be finalized without major change by May 5, 2011.

Regulatory Commission of Alaska Reauthorized -- But Only for 2 Years
The Alaska Senate passed HB 24 on April 17, 2011 by unanimous vote, extending the RCA through June 2013. The Senate modified language in HB 24 to require the RCA to provide the Legislature with a proposal to "reduce the statutory timeline for tariff filings that change a utility's revenue requirement or rate design." This must be done by January 17, 2012. Clearly this is a result of utility lobbying to make it easier and faster to increase your rates.

Independent Light $$
A Groundbreaking Ceremony is slated for
the Nikiski Combined Cycle Conversion (NCCC) Project April 28, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. At the ceremony, HEA will announce the award of the project contractor and will offer Nikiski Plant tours for anyone interested. If you are interested in attending but don't receive an invitation, contact Joe Gallagher at jgallagher@homerelectric.com.

Cook Inlet Tidal Power
Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) and Homer Electric Association (HEA) announced plans to collaborate on a hydrokinetic power pilot project near the East Forelands. ORPC has been developing unique tidal power systems and projects since 2004. ORPC has a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that allows three years to carry out studies and then submit a license application for an actual pilot project of up to 5 megawatts (HEA’s average load is currently 60 megawatts). It's possible that one or more 150-kilowatt generators could be deployed for testing in the inlet as early as 2013. HEA and ORPC are attempting to draft a Letter of Intent which defines the project scope and responsibilities.

HEA Rate Plan
The RCA has granted Land’s End Acquisition Corporation (LEAC) request to intervene in hearings on HEA's plan to restructure electric rates. Remember, the biggest sticking point is the proposed "minimum energy charge" which seems to be in conflict with Alaska Administrative Code. The RCA requested that previous hearing dates be changed to accommodate the Commission’s schedule. Intervening parties, the Attorney General’s Office (RAPA), and HEA have presented a mutually agreed upon revised hearing schedule for RCA consideration. The proposed final hearing would be during the week of September 26th. HEA is waiting for RAPA to reply to its legal brief on the proposed minimum energy charge.

"Watt’s New" -- From HEA
This is a new email public relations effort to deliver up-to-date news to members. It will encourage members to visit the HEA website where more detailed information can be found. The first “Watt’s New” blitz was sent to 7,900 members on April 1 and will be disseminated at least once a month -- more frequently depending on HEA events. It seems like a good idea. Contact Sandra at sghromley@homerelectric.com or 907-283-5831 if you're interested in signing on.

Friday, April 1, 2011

HEAMF Election Update

HEA Board of Directors Election Ballots will be mailed to members on Friday.  Your vte is vitally important.  We believe these superior candidates deserve your support:

David Thomas
(District 1: Kenai, Nikiski, parts of Soldotna area)

Dick Waisanen
(District 2: Soldotna, Sterling, part of Kasilof)

Malcolm Gaylord
(District 3: part of Kasilof and south to Kachemak Bay area)

For too many years our electric coop Board was pretty much a closed club simply because few HEA members took much interest. Most didn’t even bother to vote on who would represent them. Consequently, members were provided little information and management did pretty much what it wanted, decisions rubber stamped by the Board. We believe that cost us all a lot of money in the form of higher rates and questionable management practices and almost entangled us in the failed Healy 2 coal plant.

Things have improved since then. The Healy 2 debacle opened a lot of eyes and encouraged many HEA members to speak out for more open governance and better accountability. Over the last three or four years almost all new people have come to serve on the HEA Board of Directors. Communication with the membership is getting better.

But there’s still room for improvement. After Healy 2, the largest change in HEA history was made without significant input from the membership. The Independent Light project committed us to converting our Distribution Cooperative into a Generation and Transmission Cooperative, $180 million in new debt, and continuing dependence on natural gas. Its merits or flaws aside, such a huge change should have been proposed and explained to HEA members in advance and approved or rejected by their vote.

Let’s keep moving toward more open governance and better member involvement by electing Directors truly dedicated to member control -- people capable of independent thinking who will not simply follow management’s lead.

Vote for

David Thomas (District 1) Dick Waisanen (District 2) Malcolm Gaylord (District 3)