Enstar wants permission to raise gas prices to cover $1 million in earthquake repairs

Cracks in an Anchorage highway ramp by Minnesota Drive and International Airport Boulevard. (Photo: Nathaniel Herz / Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage natural gas company Enstar is asking state regulators to allow it to bill its customers to recover $1 million in costs from last year’s major earthquake.

The company is insured for events like the earthquake, but it has a $1 million deductible, and Enstar had about $1.3 million in damages and repairs, it said in a 14-page petition to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska last week.

As a regulated utility, Enstar is now asking the RCA for permission to recover the costs by raising the rates it charges consumers. The specific amount of the increase isn’t known, and it won’t be filed until 2021, Enstar said.

The company’s service area includes Anchorage and parts of the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula, and it has more than 140,000 residential and commercial customers.

Among its repairs were replacing two pipelines along Vine Road, in the Mat-Su, that the quake moved 13 feet. That repair cost more than $320,000, the company said.

It also conducted numerous inspections and surveys, and brought in workers from outside Alaska.

Nathaniel Herz is an Anchorage-based journalist. He's been a reporter in Alaska for a decade, and is currently reporting for Alaska Public Media. Find more of his work by subscribing to his newsletter, Northern Journal, at natherz.substack.com. Reach him at natherz@gmail.com.

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