Alaska utility expects higher than usual rates to continue

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska utility says Juneau-area residents will likely continue paying more than usual for electricity because of low water levels.

The Juneau Empire reports dry conditions in southeast Alaska over the last year have caused the Alaska Electric Light & Power to temporarily increase rates.

The utility's main source of power is the Snettisham Hydroelectric Project.

The utility offsets power costs for customers by selling surplus energy to so-called interruptible customers — those with multiple heating systems.

The utility says it doesn't have the usual surplus energy, so it has disconnected power to the interruptible customers.

The utility says Snettisham has received about 79 inches (200 centimeters) of rainfall from October through February, instead of the typical 90 inches (229 centimeters).

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