New Report Explores Beneficial Electric Heat Pump Rate

New Report Explores Beneficial Electric Heat Pump Rate

A new report evaluates a potential new beneficial rate for heat pumps in Kake, Alaska.

Many utilities in Alaska have experienced decreasing energy sales over the last decade. Decreasing kilowatt-hour sales mean that a utility must raise the rate per kWh in order to recover fixed costs, leading to customer complaints, possible cross-subsidization and a negative feedback loop as the higher rates cause even more reductions in sales. This report finds that lowering the existing kilowatt-hour rate for heat pump program participants' residential sales above 500 kWh per month would economically benefit not only the utility but also those who install electric heat pumps for home heating. 

The analysis, carried out by Shivani Mathur, an ACEP intern and Colorado School of Mines Ph.D., was in collaboration with Inside Passage Energy Cooperative and other ACEP researchers.

Kake and its utility, IPEC, run on a mix of diesel and hydro, and the beneficial rate could help utilize excess hydro that would otherwise be spilled.

Read the report here /media/305617/Kake_HeatPumpRate_Analysis.pdf.

For more information on this report and beneficial electrification, please contact Michelle Wilber at


Gunnuk Creek - prior to completion of the new hydroelectric plant in Kake. Photo by Michelle Wilber.