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How to turn your HEA Board of Directors election ballot into a year of free electricity


Ballots for Homer Electric Association Board of Directors election went out last week. The ballots are due back by May 5, in advance of their annual meeting on May 6 at 6 p.m.  Like last year, they're holding the meeting online. HEA Spokesperson Kerianne Baker was a guest on KBBI's Coffee Table this week and says members who want to attend the meeting will have two options. 

"You'll be able to click on a link and register to participate in the meeting. Now, some people just want to hear what's going on, but they don't necessarily want to make motions from the floor. So there'll be an option for you just to stream on YouTube, the meeting. You don't have to actually register and participate if you don't want to. Although we certainly hope you will," Baker said.

There is an advantage to registering to attend virtually instead of just watching the meeting on You Tube. Like every year, there will be prizes. Baker says, someone will win a years worth of electricity from HEA, not to exceed 10,000 kilowatts.

Not only can you get an energy credit prize from $50 up to a year free of electricity for participating in registering for their meeting, fter the meeting, we'll, we'll draw $50 in energy credits up to a year of free electricity for anybody who will cast the vote as well." 

 The annual meeting is where HEA tallies the votes for board of directors. This year there are 8 candidates running for three seats.  Baker says the most common questions HEA gets this time of year are about lost or destroyed ballots.

"And we do provide an opportunity for you to get a substitute ballot, come by either one of our local offices bring your ID, and we do have a process for giving you a new ballot, but it's important to remember. We won't accept your ballots there. We only do a mail in ballot where we have a third party administrator that can look at those and tally those." 

The results of the HEA Board of Directors election will be announced at the May 6th meeting.  On the lower Kenai Peninsula, there is one seat up for election in District 3 - Kasilof south to Kachemak Bay. District 3 board members Jim Levine and Erin McKittrick are not up for reelection this year, but one seat in District 3 is open. Roy Champagne of Anchor Point  was elected to HEA's board in 2018. Champagne is running to retain his seat and he has a challenger, Louie Flora of Homer. 

Roy Champagne was not available for an interview with KBBI. In his candidate statement in the HEA ballot package, Champagne writes,

"My main goal has not changed from 2018. It is still to bring efficiencies through oversite and or alternative ideas. The  goal is to get more members involved as roughly 10% of eligible members submitted a ballot over the last 12 years. What I do NOT bring is an alternate agenda. As a small utility, there are many opportunities to be more efficient with current rate structure for the infrastructure which we currently own and operate."

Louie Flora did agree to an interview with KBBI,  He said one of his goals, if elected, is to help make renewable energy more affordable to the membership through federal no interest loans. And, he said, he'd like to see some changes to the net energy metering program. Net metering is way of billing electricity that allows consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of just when it is generated.

"When the utilities were at the regulatory commission in 2009,, that was kind of a way to give the utilities a program that wouldn't be a subsidy. But I believe there's different ways to look at the net metering program changes to the service delivery charge and the conservation fee for net metering customers," Flora said.


To attend the meeting and be eligible for prizes, HEA members need to register to attend the May 6, virtual annual meeting at Registration begins this Monday, April 19. 

Kathleen Gustafson came to Homer in 1999 and has been involved with KBBI since 2003
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