by Vivian Korthuis, CEO
On July 16, 2021 the Association of Village Council Presidents Executive Board of Directors called a special board meeting and voted to join the Alaska Federation of Natives and 18 other plaintiffs who sued the state of Alaska seeking to preserve the Alaska Power Cost Equalization (PCE) program.
The Alaska Superior Court ruled on August 11, 2021 in the plaintiffs’ favor. The court’s decision confirms that the PCE is not in the general fund and subject to be swept. This ruling directs the State to keep funding for the PCE program in place, meaning PCE payments can go out immediately to the utilities that provide electricity to 90,000 residents in rural Alaska including those that live in our region.
On August 12, 2021, the Governor’s Office published a press release stating that Governor Dunleavy will not appeal the PCE ruling.
On the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta, this ruling directly impacts villages that rely on PCE to lower the cost of electricity in rural Alaska to make it comparable to the urban parts of Alaska. Electricity bills were expected to double for many customers if the decision was not in favor of upholding PCE.
“At the direction of our Executive Board, we will continue to advocate to protect the PCE program as it is vital to our communities and families in the AVCP Region” said Vivian Korthuis, CEO.