Back to top

Current News

My Account helps members understand energy use

Chugach Electric’s member portal My Account is helping our members better understand the amount of electricity they are using. The easy-to-use online portal and mobile app allow users to track and compare usage, view and pay bills, sign up for outage alerts, and track billing and payment history. Because of the technology built into Chugach’s metering system, members can see how much energy they are using on a 15-minute, 60-minute, daily, weekly or monthly basis (see sample graphic).

Recently, a member called our member services center asking about a spike in his bill. While looking over the usage history with our customer service representative, they were able to see a slow spike in usage between October and January. Upon further review and discussion, the member and the employee realized the member had been having problems with his hot water heater starting in October, leading to its replacement on January 10. By reviewing the data in My Account, the two could see usage drop to its former lower consumption on that date. The mystery of the high bill was solved in a five-minute phone call. The member was advised he could sign up for the usage alert feature in My Account and receive texts or emails if a similar usage spike occurs in the future.

To sign up for My Account and take advantage of the many features, go to www.chugachelectric.com/myaccount.

ML&P acquisition heading to Regulatory Commission of Alaska

Following approval from the Anchorage Assembly and the Chugach Board of Directors, the case for Chugach purchasing Municipal Light & Power moves next to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). The Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously to authorize the Municipality of Anchorage to sell ML&P to Chugach on December 4, and the Chugach Board gave its final approval on December 19.

With the sales agreements and associated documents signed, Chugach is now preparing the request for approval by the RCA. The RCA has six months to approve aspects of the final deal including cost recovery by Chugach and amendments to Chugach’s and ML&P’s certificates of public convenience and necessity. The RCA filing is expected in early March.

Following approval by the RCA, Chugach would move next to secure financing for the transaction. The deal is expected to close in the 4th quarter of 2019 or the 1st quarter of 2020. ML&P customers become Chugach members and ML&P employees become Chugach employees after closing is complete.

How do crews get assigned to outages?

While Chugach monitors its power system 24/7, we don’t have crews on standby for outages 24/7. That enables us to keep costs down and electricity more affordable for our members. 

Chugach is notified of outages via our Metering/Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, commonly referred to as SCADA, which is in operation 24/7, and we typically are made aware of outages within minutes of them occurring. Once Dispatch is aware of an outage, the response begins.

The first thing the dispatcher does is assess the outage, determine its size, location, and sometimes a probable cause. Generally, however, cause is not ascertainable until the crew gets to the site. The dispatcher then decides the appropriate crew size and initiates the call out. Chugach maintains a list of qualified personnel to respond to outages and, once the call out is complete, it takes time for the personnel to report to work, get the tools and materials required, and head to the outage. Travel time can be impacted by weather and road conditions. Once the crew reaches the site, linemen will assess the outage, determine whether they need additional assets (people, equipment, materials) to complete the repairs.

During an outage response, it is common for additional outages to occur, especially during bad weather. Depending on the location and type of outage, this may be added to the work of the crew already in the field, or additional crews are called in. Unfortunately, it is not possible to dispatch personnel to each individual outage the moment they occur. The process of calling in and assembling crews for outage response after hours can take several hours alone. 

Chugach’s goal is to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. We want the power back on just as much as our members do!

Assembly approves ML&P sale to Chugach Electric

The Anchorage Assembly has authorized the sale of Municipal Light & Power (ML&P) to Chugach Electric Association. By a unanimous vote of 10 to 0, the sale of substantially all the assets of ML&P was approved Tuesday night.

“The Municipality just took an important step in the sale of ML&P to Chugach. The result will deliver a unified utility to the ratepayers and strengthens the Municipality’s financial well-being,” said Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.  “A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen. I thank them and the people of Anchorage for the willingness to take this next step.”

“We appreciate the hard work and diligence of Assembly members and the Chugach Board of Directors,” said Chugach CEO Lee Thibert. “We have had great discussion and dialogue, and we are looking forward to continuing to move toward a combined utility which will ultimately benefit the electric ratepayers of both organizations, the employees, and the community at large.”

Proposition 10, approved by more than 65 percent of Anchorage voters in the April municipal election, gave the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) the authority to sell ML&P for a competitive value of approximately $1 billion. It also included language that there will be no lay-offs of Chugach or ML&P employees as a result of the transaction, and no increases to base electric rates for ratepayers as a result of the transaction.

Following the vote, Chugach and the MOA spent several months finalizing the term sheet which was released in September. The process has included numerous meetings of the Chugach board, and work sessions and public hearings with the Assembly.

The total transaction is valued at $1,009,600,000 and is broken out as follows:

  • An upfront cash payment by Chugach to the MOA of $767.8 million;
  • Annual payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) from Chugach to the MOA over 50 years with a total estimated net present value of $166.8 million;
  • Annual payments under a 35-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for power generated by the MOA’s share of the Eklutna Hydroelectric Project with a net present value between $48.8 million and $75 million, pending decisions by Matanuska Electric Association.

Following the Assembly action, the Asset Purchase Agreement and related sale documents are scheduled to be signed later this month, after the satisfactory completion of certain schedules associated with the sale and the completion of ML&P audited financial statements.

Once all documents are finalized and signed, the transaction needs approval from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). Once filed with the RCA, it could take from six to nine months for approval, and the deal is expected to close in fourth quarter 2019 or early 2020.

For more information, go to www.poweranchorage.com