Enstar Natural Gas

Homer City Council recap: August 12, 2019

Sep 17, 2019
City of Homer

Homer Mayor Ken Castner campaigned on the promise that he would not cast votes to break a tie when the city council split their votes evenly. He said he wanted council members, who often split on issues, to not depend on him to decide. At Monday night’s council meeting, in response to Castner casting tie-breaking votes on a couple of issues, Councilmember Rachel Lord brought forth an ordinance that would have required the mayor break ties.

Courtesy of Enstar

On Tuesday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly gave the borough administration permission to intervene in a case before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which regulates utilities throughout the state.

The case centers around Enstar Natural Gas’ plan to restructure how a surcharge on Homer area customers’ bills is paying back the gas company for its contribution toward a 2013 project extending natural gas south of Anchor Point.  

Courtesy of Enstar

Enstar Natural Gas is asking state regulators to extend a surcharge paid by Homer area ratepayers to pay for a natural gas line extension installed in 2013. Kenai Peninsula governments are considering pushing back.

When Enstar brought natural gas to Homer and Kachemak City, the state paid for most of the work. But Enstar invested $3.6 million of its own money and levied a surcharge to pay back what it considered a loan.

Courtesy of Enstar

After roughly three years, Enstar Natural Gas is returning to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which regulates utility rates in the state, to potentially solve a growing problem on the southern Kenai Peninsula. The gas company is trying to restructure how a surcharge on customers’ bills is paying back money it spent to bring natural gas to Homer in 2013.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Following the news that Enstar Natural Gas Customers south of Anchor Point aren’t paying back a loan for the extension of natural gas infrastructure to the southern Kenai Peninsula, those customers may be wondering what this means for their bill. The short answer is nothing, at least for the time being.

Courtesy of Enstar

There has been a misunderstanding between the  City of Homer and Enstar Natural Gas.

Enstar helped fund the extension of its natural gas line to Homer in 2013. The state funded part of the extension too. However, the city and some in the Legislature were unaware that Enstar’s contribution was actually a loan with interest. Customers are supposed to pay the gas company back through an extra charge on their bill.

But, that loan balance isn’t dropping. In fact, it has grown by nearly $2 million  

Courtesy of Enstar

The natural gas utility serving the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley is still looking for leaks and assessing the damage to thousands of miles of gas lines following Friday's earthquake.

Enstar spokeswoman Lindsay Hobson said the company put the call out for customers to report signs of leaks.

“That generated quite a number of calls for gas leaks and perhaps people identified them on their own independent of that,” Hobson explained. “Over the course of a few days, we took in a total of roughly 1,400 leak orders.”