Vote online in the HEA election here, or send your mail-in ballot by May 4.
We can’t predict what energy system we’ll have in 2030, but it won’t be the one we have today.
Since the 1960s, the majority of our electricity has been fueled by Cook Inlet natural gas. In January, the state forecast that at current usage rates, supplies could fall short by 2027. To extend local gas into the 2030s, according to previous analysis, our gas prices would need to rise by 50-100%. We can trade one expensive vulnerability for another by going all-in on importing gas. Or cut our reliance on gas of any kind by building renewable power backed by a robust and resilient grid. The course will be set in the next few years with choices made by the directors of our electrical co-ops—and the members who vote for them.
Three seats on the nine-member Homer Electric Association board of directors are up for election this
spring. Everyone who pays an HEA electric bill has the opportunity to vote.
If you aren’t an HEA member (the name on your bill is a parent, partner, landlord, or spouse), you can still make a difference by volunteering for a pro-renewable candidate. These may be low-turnout
elections, but winning still means mobilizing a large number of people.
Members can vote once they receive a paper ballot or digital voting information. For the first time
this year, you can also vote online. Both options will be open until HEA’s annual meeting at Soldotna High School on May 4, where the results will be announced.
Inletkeeper supports pro-renewable candidates in each of HEA’s three districts:
- Rob Ernst, a retired teacher from Nikiski High School, is running to represent Kenai and Nikiski. Having lived in Nikiski for 55 years, Ernst has seen firsthand how the cost of energy impacts how we live our lives. With further change on the horizon, he wants to work to diversify HEA’s power with the support of systems already in place, such as HEA’s battery storage.
- C.O. Rudstrom, a project manager for the City of Soldotna, is running to represent Soldotna and Sterling. Seeking his second, three-year term on the board, he’s a strong supporter of HEA’s goal to be 50% renewable by 2025 and wants to continue leading HEA through the big changes ahead.
- Jim Levine, a construction project manager, is running to represent the southern Kenai Peninsula. An HEA director since 2016 and a long-time renewable champion, Jim seeks savings and security for HEA as the cost of natural gas (about 30% of HEA’s spending) continues to rise and renewable prices continue to fall. We hope you’ll support these candidates with your vote. One simple action to raise the turnout of the election is to ask your friends to sign our HEA Pledge to Vote, which you can find at inletkeeper.org/utility.
Learn more about how you can be a part of this important work by contacting Cook Inletkeeper’s energy organizer Ben Boettger at firstname.lastname@example.org.