AVEC plans takeover of Bethel utility
The Alaska Villages Electric Cooperative is still on track to take over Bethel Utilities Corp. this spring, and customers should see across-the-board savings.
The buyout should result in lower costs for customers in Bethel, Napaskiak and Oscarville in Western Alaska. The estimate is that bills will be 8 to 10 percent lower.
Existing customers of the cooperative should also benefit, KYUK reported (http://is.gd/C5OE4K).
The cooperative’s president, Meera Kohler, said the savings will come since the Bethel corporation is a for-profit organization, but the cooperative isn’t.
“They are a tax paying entity so included in their rate base is a component that goes to the federal government to pay income taxes, corporate income taxes. We don’t have to do that,” Kohler said. “So, that comes right out of the rate base.”
Customers should also see new options to settle their bills, including paying with a credit card or online.
The Regulatory Commission of Alaska is expected to sign off on the deal in December.
“Then we will start the process of all the various things that need to happen to transfer the utility completely to us,” Kohler said. “And we anticipate taking operation of BUC on May 1.”