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Falling oil prices lead to 12 percent power rate drop in Interior

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published January 13, 2015

FAIRBANKS—Electricity rates will soon be declining by about 12 percent in Fairbanks, thanks to lower costs of generating power with oil.

Gasoline and heating fuel prices have dipped below $3 a gallon for consumers, and power bills will also be headed down starting Feb. 1, the Golden Valley Electric Association announced Tuesday.

The electric cooperative said its members, who live in communities from Cantwell to Delta Junction, will save about $17 a month on a typical household monthly bill for 600 kilowatt hours. The current cost is about $142 for that amount of power in the Fairbanks area.

The decrease is in the "fuel and purchase power" portion of the bill, a reduction from 9.9 cents to 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour. The charge reflects the actual costs paid by GVEA for fuel expenses and purchased power, which includes oil, coal, natural gas, hydro and wind. GVEA said it filed the rate reduction one month early because of the rapid drop in oil prices.

The new rate would be in effect until May 1. Oil made up about 25 percent of the fuel mix for GVEA in 2014.