SITKA, ALASKA Despite slowly falling prices for fuel oil, Sitka’s electrical system is still feeling the pinch of increased demand.
In fact, fuel oil would have to fall well below $3-dollars a gallon to be competitive again with electrical rates in Sitka, where consumers pay just over $.09 cents per kilowatt hour to heat their homes with electricity.
Until the expansion of the Blue Lake hydro project comes online in 2018, Sitka’s electrical department may be forced to meet increasing demand by running the backup diesel generators on Jarvis Street, and burning huge quantities of diesel fuel to do so.
In a worksession with the Sitka assembly last month, outgoing electrical director Charlie Walls tried to prepare local lawmakers for a future where electric rates in Sitka could be – at least for a few years – fifty-percent more expensive.
In part 1 of a 2-part interview, Walls spoke with KCAW’s Robert Woolsey about his interest in creating electrical policy in Sitka to fend off higher rates.
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