A Message from the President & CEO
The Power to Use Less
Overall, it was a successful year at your cooperative. Our system provided extremely reliable power. On average, members experienced less than 2.5 hours without power. Financially, we met our requirements and are prepared to move forward with the restart of Healy Unit 2 (formerly referred to as HCCP).
Golden Valley Electric Association has been working hard to reduce your costs of electricity without impacting reliability. Last year, members began to enjoy some of the bene¦ts of these efforts - residential electric bills decreased by about 12 percent in December. That’s an average of about $15 per month in savings.
How did we do it? First, in October of 2012, GVEA’s Board of Directors approved a contract to secure natural gas-fired power from Anchorage. This contract, which maximizes our use of the Alaska Intertie, will provide a steady supply of lower-cost power through March of 2015.
Second, GVEA turned on Eva Creek Wind last fall. As expected, Eva Creek is producing power at 8.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. When you add in the other costs of having wind on GVEA’s system, it’s a bit more expensive than natural gas or hydro, but it’s much cheaper than oil, our most expensive fuel option.
Thanks to gas and wind, GVEA burned 4.7 million fewer gallons of oil in the first quarter of 2013 than the first quarter of 2012. The savings are realized in the Fuel and Purchased Power Charge on members’ bills.
In the future, new power sources and fuels – such as Healy Unit 2 and natural gas trucking from the North Slope – will help us further stabilize our rates. We anticipate finalizing purchase negotiations for Healy Unit 2 by the end of this summer.
GVEA is always on the lookout for new sources of power that can lower members’ bills. But we’re not stopping there. We’re making efforts to lower our costs internally too. We’ve been reviewing all internal processes at Golden Valley and are saving dollars where we can.
We’re also asking members to help in our efforts to lower costs by conserving electricity. The less electricity members use, the less expensive oil GVEA has to burn to meet demand.
To help members conserve, we kicked off the Power to Use Less campaign in 2012. ¨e campaign focuses on seven easy ways to save energy and money in the home. One way we’ve asked members to get on board the conservation bandwagon is by signing up for a Home$ense Energy Audit. In 2012, 262 members completed audits. I’m happy to report that 131 members have taken advantage of the opportunity in just the ¦rst quarter of this year.
In conclusion, I’d like to congratulate those members who have worked hard to reduce their electric usage already. Since 2005, GVEA residential member usage has decreased 13.5 percent – from 761 to 660 kilowatt-hours per month.