The local electric cooperative for the Dillingham area is seeking public comments on a proposed rate increase that is scheduled to take effect in mid-June. A number of factors have come together to negatively impact the financial position of the Nushagak Cooperative. Those factors include a downturn in sales due to the unseasonable warm winter and the short seafood processing season that the region experienced last year.
In an effort to improve the Cooperative’s financial position the Board of Directors recently approved increasing the electricity rate by another half a cent. That comes on the heels of another half a cent rate increase that went into effect at the beginning of the year. If the new rate increase is ultimately approved it would increase the electricity rate for residential customers to just over 24.2-cents per kilowatt hour. That’s up from the current rate of 23.7-cents per kilowatt hour. The new small commercial rate would be 25.8-cents per kilowatt hour and the new large commercial rate would be 22.6-cents per kilowatt hour. In information sent to customers the Nushagak Cooperative notes that a residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt hours per bill cycle will see an increase of $2.50-cents before the Power Cost Equalization benefit is calculated and applied.
The Nushagak Cooperative has put in place several cost cutting measures but the co-op claims that those measures have been negated due to increased shipping costs and new regulatory requirements. The Cooperative’s management claims the half a cent rate increase is smallest increase possible that would keep the financial condition of the Cooperative solid. The Nushagak Cooperative is currently accepting public comments on the proposed half a cent rate increase through June 10th. The Cooperative’s Board of Directors will review the submitted public comments at the next Board meeting that is currently scheduled for June 17th.