By Samuel Bergeron
November 02, 2009
With the Swan-Tyee electrical intertie coming on line, it would
be in all of our best interest as rate payers and owners of KPU
and the Intertie, that we use it to its fullest extent.
My concept is very simple: if we have excess electrical generation
capacities why not use it? We can sell excess generating capacity
to heat homes and businesses at a reduced rate. Ketchikan Public
Utilities buys electricity from the 2 Dam Pool at 6.8 cents a
kilowatt hour. They could sell it to us for 7.5 cents for the
purpose of heating our homes and businesses. If you use an energy
conversion tool and compare what the break even point is
in comparison to oil versus electric heat, you would find that
at 7.5 cents a kilowatt hour for electricity, heating fuel would
cost $1.98 a gallon including taxes. Today's heating oil costs
about $3.01 with taxes. Even if you had electric heat at the
current rate of 9.5 cents a kilowatt hour, you would have a break
even point using oil at $2.51 a gallon with tax. We don't pay
sales tax on the electricity we use here, so if you live in the
City you would have an automatic 6% tax break versus oil or
propane and 2.5% tax break if you live in the Borough.
Homes or businesses would need a separate electrical meter to
get the rate reduction and probably a new service to accommodate
the extra electrical load your electric boiler would need. Ask
your local electrical contractor about what you may need to do
this. I converted my 95 year old home from an oil fired boiler
to an electric boiler last year. It was done by all local vendors
and contractors and it works magnificently. It makes no smoke,
is almost silent, you can't hear it unless you standing next
to it. It never runs out of oil, requires far less maintenance
than an oil fired furnace and now runs on rainfall, not fossil
fuels and creates local jobs. I love it.
It is important to note that the intertie is not an unlimited
power source. We are probably going to be using its maximum power
generation capacity within 3-4 years. It is comforting to know
that other hydro power sources are slated to come online as we
switch to lower cost, abundant hydro power. This should not affect
the decision to charge a different rate for electrically heat
homes and businesses; we should have the generation capacity
in place as the demand increases.
As you can see by the cost comparisons electric heat is the
way to go. Converting to electric heat creates jobs, saves precious
fossil fuels and boosts our local economy. Think of the jobs
this would create. Think of the money we could save and keep
right here at home instead of sending it to Arco, Exxon and BP.
Call your City Council members
and tell them they should consider a lower electrical rate for
Thanks for listening.
About: " I have served
on the Borough Assembly, City Council, Planning Commission and
KIC Tribal Council and numerous boards and committees."
Received October 30, 2009 -
Published November 02, 2009
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