AEL&P to share the wealth from corporate tax cut

AEL&P’s main offices, pictured here on March 24, 2018, are located in the Lemon Creek area in Juneau. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Ratepayers in Juneau can expect a rebate on their power bills. State regulators are now reviewing the proposed retroactive rate cut.

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The corporate tax rate — slashed by Congress — will save Alaska Electric Light & Power about $2.4 million in federal income taxes this year.

Juneau’s current electricity rates were calculated using the old, higher tax rate, and state lawyers and ALE&P agree it should be adjusted.

“Our electric rates are determined by the cost to provide power to our communities,” AEL&P spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll said. When costs rise, she explained, the power company applies to state regulators for permission to raise rates accordingly. “Likewise, if we have a significant decrease in our costs, then that gets passed through to customers.”

Beginning Aug. 1, electricity rates will fall by 6.73 percent, following an agreement reached by AEL&P and the state’s Regulatory Affairs and Public Advocacy section of the state Department of Law.

Regulators have until July 15 to approve the agreement.

The cut will be retroactive, which means ratepayers should receive a rebate for power purchased between January and the end of July.

The company says households using an average of 750 kilowatt hours per month can expect about $45 back in rebates.

The last increase was in 2016 went rates went up nearly 4 percent.

Jacob Resneck is CoastAlaska's regional news director in Juneau.

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