• Alaska Electric Power Statistics (with Alaska Energy Balance) 1960-2001

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      Prior to 1985, the federal Alaska Power Administration published the Alaska Electric Power Statistics. Then, the Alaska Energy Authority (formerly the Alaska Power Authority) began gathering statistical data and publishing this annual report. In 1988, the Alaska Electric Power Statistics report became a combined effort between the Alaska Systems Coordinating Council and the Alaska Energy Authority. Beginning in 1993, the report became a joint effort between the Alaska Systems Coordinating Council and the Department of Community and Regional Affairs, Division of Energy. After the 1995 no further reports were published until this year. This twenty-second edition of the Alaska Electric Power Statistics has been prepared by the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University of Alaska Anchorage with funding provided by the Alaska Energy Authority, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, and the Denali Commission. The data is presented using the same regional definitions as in past reports, but since some utilities have operations that span more than a single region, their combined operations characteristics are also reported. In addition we present a breakdown of operations between the Railbelt utilities, the Power Cost Equalization utilities, and all other. Finally, an entirely new section has been added to the report that describes the production and consumption of all energy in the state.
    • Cost Analysis of Selected Flush Haul Water and Wastewater Systems in Rural Alaska

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      This research memorandum presents and compares estimates of the operating costs of selected flush haul sanitation systems in rural Alaska. The estimates are based on actual operating experience. An accurate picture of operating costs is important when evaluating flush haul systems because communities are generally responsible for paying these costs. People need to know these costs in advance when choosing among alternative systems.In previous work (Colt 1994) I estimated life-cycle costs for prospective flush haul systems in Buckland and Mekoryuk. These systems have now been operating for several years. In addition, flush haul systems have recently been installed in Galena, Napakiak, Nunapitchuk, Quinhagak, Shishmaref, and Tuntutuliak. As part of the Alaska Native Health Board Operation and Maintenance Demonstration Project, we collected operating data from the communities of Buckland, Galena, and Nunapitchuk. Additional data for systems in Mekoryuk, Quinhagak, and Tuntutuliak has been collected by others (Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation 1998). This paper therefore considers the six communities listed above. This work was undertaken with the assistance and contributions of the Alaska Native Health Board Operation & Maintenance Demonstration Project.
    • Economic Analysis of the Potential Sale of the Thorne Bay Electric Utility

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1993)
      This report was prepared as an analysis of different options for the potential sale of the Thorne Bay Electric Utility. It addresses costs of service, rates, fiscal impact on the City of Thorne Bay, financial effect on the residents, future costs and a number of other important factors for evaluating the economic implications of such a sale.
    • Economic Significance of Power Cost Equalization Program - Full Report and Summary

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1998)
      The PCE program is designed to pay a portion, currently 95 percent, of the legitimate electric generation costs between a floor and a ceiling, for a basic level of electric service for residential and commercial customers (including public schools) and community facilities. The floor is set at a level equal to the cost for electricity generation in urban areas, 9.5 cents in 1996, and the ceiling is set at the level of reasonable maximum cost for a small utility, 52.5 cents. In recent years PCE budget restrictions have kept payments to eligible utilities below 95 percent of legitimate costs. The assistance provided to the utilities is primarily targeted toward residential customers in the PCE communities. The average income ofPCE households is $49,825 compared to $65,054 for non PCE conununities. (Although the average income in the typical PCE community is considerably less, $35,203, because average incomes are higher in the larger PCE communities.) The unemployment rate among PCE households is 15 percent compared to 8 percent for non PCE communities. 18 percent of families in PCE communities have incomes below the poverty level compared to 6 percent in non PCE communities. The state which has paid for much of the investment in the public infrastructure in rural Alaska also has an interest in its continued ability to provide the services to sustain rural communities. Loss or deterioration of these services would be detrimental to the physical and psychological well being of rural Alaskans and responding to the problems this would create would put an additional burden on state financial resources.
    • Effects of Rising Utility Costs on Alaska Households 200 - 2006

      Saylor, Ben; Haley, Sharman (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Households in remote rural places face utility costs 50% higher now than in 2000. In Anchorage those costs are up 35% and in other large or road-system communities about 39%. The share of household income going to utilities is also up. Utility costs in urban and rural areas are now anywhere from about 3% to 10% of income for the typical household. Those are median figures for all households. Utilities take a much bigger share of income among low-income households. Utility costs now amount to more than a third of income among low-income households in remote places. These are among the findings of an ISER analysis of how rising energy prices have increased utility costs for Alaska households since 2000.
    • Evaluation of the Alaska Native Health Board Sanitation Facility Operation and Maintenance Program: Final Report on Phase III Projects and Extended Phase II Projects

      Haley, Sharman; Larson, Eric; Frazier, Rosyland; DeRoche, Patricia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      The Alaska Native Health Board (ANHB) has a multi-year project funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater Management, to administer sanitation facilities operations and maintenance (O&M) demonstration grants in rural Alaska. Nine projects were funded in the first wave, beginning in April 1996. Nineteen projects, including two carry- overs from the first wave, were funded in the second wave, which started in April 1997. The third and last wave, with seven projects, started in April 1998. The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage is monitoring and evaluating the individual sanitation facility O&M projects and the program overall. EPA initially funded this work; it is now funded by ANHB. The research design and the underlying program design differ somewhat across the three phases. The innovation in the Phase III design was the addition of mentor communities to assist project communities. This report comprises the final evaluation for the seven Phase III community projects and four Phase II projects that extended beyond the deadline for the Phase II report.
    • Evaluation of the Alaska Native Health Board Sanitation Facility Operation and Maintenance Program: Phase II

      Haley, Sharman (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      The Alaska Native Health Board is administering a demonstration grant program intended to improve the capacity of rural Alaska communities to operate and maintain their water and sewer systems. This multi-year program began in 1996 and is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater Management. The Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage is evaluating the individual projects and the program overall. This report is the final evaluation of the 16 Phase II community projects for which data collection was substantially complete as of September 30, 1999. Phase II started in 1997. A coordinating committee for the project reviewed applications from 68 communities. It selected 18 whose proposed plans focused on improving operations and maintenance by improving utility structure and management and by educating customers about utility operations. ANHB also offered two Phase I communities continuation funding. We report here on 16 rather than 20 communities because several extended their projects past September 1999 and one was dropped from the program. There are several parts to this evaluation included with this report.
    • Evaluation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Water and Sanitation Project in the Village of Buckland, Alaska - Phase 2

      Haley, Sharman; Wiita, Amy (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead agency for a multi-year sanitation pilot project in the village of Buckland, in Alaska's Northwest Arctic Borough. Providing safe drinking water and sewage disposal for rural communities has been and continues to be a major public policy goal in Alaska. The federal and state governments have spent more than $1 billion building sewer and water facilities in rural Alaska in the past several decades, but many unsafe and inadequate water and sewer systems remain. A wide range of government agencies and Native organizations have been involved in rural sanitation projects, but until recently one notable exception was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps has regulatory authority over and provides technical expertise for water-related projects across Alaska—for example, oil, gas, and mining activities that affect wetlands. But historically it has not been involved in providing sanitation systems in rural Alaska. That changed in 1997, when Congress asked the corps to apply its expertise with cold region design, construction, and operation of water and sewer facilities to projects in rural Alaska. This report evaluates just the planning and the phase one design activities of that pilot project. The Environmental Protection Agency hired the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to do this evaluation.
    • Financing Water and Sewer Operation and Maintenance in Rural Alaska

      Haley, Sharman (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      Are existing sanitation systems simply too expensive for many Alaska villages? Or could small utilities operate in the black if they increased their charges and toughened collection policies? How much difference do village leadership and commitment to good sanitation make? Could alternative technologies provide adequate sanitation for less? To help shed some light on these questions, the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage prepared this volume. It presents seven recent analyses, by various authors, of some aspects of financing water and sewer operations and maintenance in rural Alaska. We added an introductory chapter, a final chapter drawing some conclusions from the various analyses and discussing policy issues, and an executive summary. The analyses look at methods villages use to pay for O&M; the share of small sanitation systems operating in the red; the costs of selected closed-haul systems (one alternative to piped systems); the fiscal capacity of small rural communities; and steps that might help small sanitation systems meet their costs. These studies are not comprehensive, and in some cases they raise as many questions as they answer. But they provide valuable information on a public policy issue Alaska will continue to grapple with for the foreseeable future.
    • Propane from the North Slope: Could It Reduce Energy Costs in the Interior?

      Goldsmith, Scott; Szymoniak, Nick (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2009)
      Could propane from the North Slope cut energy costs in Fairbanks and other Interior communities that heat buildings or generate electricity with fuel oil or naphtha? The Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority (ANGDA) thinks it could....We analyzed how fuel prices in Fairbanks might compare, under those assumptions and at different crude oil prices. We estimated the price of propane delivered to Fairbanks, the wholesale price of fuel oil in Fairbanks, and the price of the naphtha that Golden Valley Electric Association (the Fairbanks utility) burns to generate electricity. These aren’t prices residential customers would pay. The propane price doesn’t include costs of storing and distributing propane in Fairbanks, and we tried to make the fuel oil price comparable to that. This analysis is intended just to show relative fuel prices, given ANGDA’s assumptions.
    • Summary of 2006 Southcentral Energy Forum

      Cravez, Pamela; Goldsmith, Scott; Larsen, Peter (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Nearly 70% of Alaskans rely on relatively inexpensive natural gas from Cook Inlet. That gas heats homes and businesses, generates electricity, and fuels industrial processes. But growing demand has depleted 80% of the known Cook Inlet gas reserves. Many Alaskans are concerned about where Southcentral Alaska will get affordable energy in the future. The information presented here is not a product of ISER research. It is a summary of statements, opinions, and projections of those attending the forum.
    • Sustainable Utilities in Rural Alaska Effective Management, Maintenance, and Operation of Electric, Water, Sewer, Bulk Fuel, Solid Waste Final Report Part A: Overview

      Goldsmith, Scott; Wiita, Amy; Colt, Steve; Foster, Mark (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      Two reports are provided Part A is an overview - reliable and affordable utility services remain out of reach for thousands of Alaskans and between $1.5 and $2 billion of public investment is potentially at risk due to the inadequate operations, maintenance, and management of electric, water, sewer, bulk fuel, and solid waste utilities in many small rural Alaska communities. This report provides a foundation of facts and ideas that can be used to move toward sustainable utilities in these places. Part B contains supporting material and examines the maintenance, management, and operation of rural Alaska utilities.