RCA Announces Procedural Schedule on Docket U-08-58, ENSTAR’s Gas Supply Contracts, and
Urges Consumers to Prepare for the Winter Heating Season

On May 12, 2008, the RCA suspended ENSTAR’s tariff filing (TA167-4) into Docket U-08-58 and invited participation by the Attorney General.  In TA167-4, ENSTAR indicated it hopes to begin purchasing gas under the two new contracts with Conoco-Phillips and Marathon Oil, which together fill a gap of approximately 2.1 Bcf in ENSTAR’s gas supply portfolio for 2009.  In August 2008, the RCA held a two-week evidentiary hearing in Docket U-08-58 to review the pricing and terms and conditions of the gas supply contracts.  The commission hopes to release its decision by October 31, 2008. 

For further information about Docket U-08-58, please visit our main website and enter "U-08-058" in the Find a Matter search box.

Meanwhile, the commission urges consumers to prepare for the winter heating season in light of high energy prices and increasing demand.  Crude oil prices are not controlled by the RCA or utilities.  Higher prices and colder winters mean you may have to pay a lot more to heat your home.  Consumers can manage and possibly reduce winter heating costs by taking the following steps:

1.   Conserve energy.  Alaskan consumers can control their energy use by using energy wisely and more efficiently.  Caulk windows and seal unused doors, have furnace/heating systems checked, and change filters once a month. 

2.   Enroll in budget billing.  Budget billing or “level pay” plan allow consumers to spread out their utility payments equally over a 12-month period.  Budget billing includes a true-up adjustment at the end of the budget billing cycle to determine the variance between the budgeted amount and actual charges.

3.   Apply for Heating Assistance Program (HAP).  This program runs from November 1 through April 1.  Households with seniors or disable individuals may apply for the program on or after September 1.  The Alaska Legislature approved additional HAP funding for residents with incomes between 150% to 225% of the poverty income guidelines.  For more information about the HAP, visit the Department of Health & Social Services’ HAP website at www.health.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/programs/hap/  or call 1-800-470-3058.

4.  Apply for Weatherization & Energy Rebate through the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC). The Alaska Legislature gave the program $160 million this year and it allows homeowners to recoup a portion of their costs from making energy efficiency improvements.  For more information, visit www.ahfc.state.ak.us  or contact AHFC at 338-6100 or 1-800-478-AHFC.

5.   Avoid unnecessary late fees, finance and other charges.  A bill will be considered past due and delinquent if not paid within 25 days from the date billed; therefore it’s crucial to pay the bill on time to avoid late fees and finance charges.

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Date Issued: 9/16/2008