ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Electric rates will go up 22 percent in Anchorage over the next three years, starting in October.
Municipal Light and Power says an interim increase of 17 percent increase will take effect in late October, followed by a 5 percent hike in early 2016.
Rates would be refunded if the Regulatory Commission of Alaska doesn't approve the increase, a process which can take up to 15 months, the utility said in a statement.
"The average residential ratepayer may expect to see an $11.55 increase to their overall monthly bill when interim rates go into effect this fall (17 percent increase in overall average bill) and then another $3.42 when permanent rates go into effect in early 2016 (another 5 percent), assuming the RCA approves the request," spokeswoman Ronnie Dent said in an email to The Associated Press.
The company says it needs the increases to pay for its investment in the Southcentral Power Project, a $369 million, 183-megawatt gas-fired power plant that opened in May. It's jointly owned by Municipal Light and Power and Chugach Electric.
"We're at the point where we need to make large investments in order to maintain our safe, reliable and affordable electric service that is so mission-critical to our customers," Municipal Light and Power General Manager James Posey said in the statement.
The company said at today's fuel prices, the new plant would save $4.4 million annually.