Important Announcement Regarding the Power Cost Equalization Program.

Update:  The Governor has approved the bill that includes the reverse sweep, reinstating PCE funding for FY2020. 

Following the Attorney General's July 10th letter, on Friday, July 12, the Office of Management & Budget confirmed in a letter to lawmakers that the Power Cost Equalization (PCE) Endowment Fund is currently unavailable for disbursement.  Therefore at this time, there is no funding for Fiscal Year 2020 to pay PCE to eligible electric utilities.  Customers in rural areas will not receive PCE credits.   

Because PCE is important to rural Alaska utilities and their ratepayers, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) is available to utilities to navigate these issues and help ensure utilities continue to provide safe and affordable electric public utility service to customers. 

How the PCE Works

The PCE fund was established to equalize the power cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) statewide at a cost close to or equal to the mean of the cost per kWh in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau by paying money from the fund to eligible electric utilities. 

An eligible electric utility is entitled to receive PCE for sales of power to local community facilities and for actual consumption of not more than 500 kWh per month sold to each residential customer.  A PCE credit would be applied to the bills of residential and community facilities of eligible electric utilities. 

Statutory Authority

The Legislature established different functions for the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and the RCA under Alaska Statutes 42.45.100-.170, which govern PCE program responsibilities.  AEA determines eligibility of community facilities and residential customers and authorizes payment to the electric utility.  Commercial customers are not eligible to receive PCE credit.  Participating electric utilities are required to reduce each eligible customer's bill by the amount the State pays for PCE.  The RCA determines if a utility is eligible to participate in the program and calculates the amount of PCE per kWh payable to the electric utility.

Consumer Assistance

The RCA understands the impact of unfunded PCE in rural communities and the heavy burden on some families.  We encourage customers to seek assistance and avoid paying late fees or having electric service disconnected.  Help paying utility bills can come from different sectors:

·     Government assistance (e.g., Low Income Heating Assistance Program)

·     Charity aid

·     Utility company programs (e.g., budget billing, deferred payment, and other bill payment options).

Contact the Alaska 2-1-1 to find help in your community.  If customers have a dispute with a utility that they are unable to resolve, an informal complaint may be filed with the RCA through this link.


Date Issued: 7/16/2019