By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Free energy coming to Valdez households

Registration opens for the city's defacto tax rebate


Registration opened this week for the city's popular energy assistance program.

It is not a needs-based program or a charity, but is does pay a one-time $550 credit towards energy bills for all eligible Valdez households.

Registration opened November 1 and is open until the end-of-business day December 31.

Registration is easy: applicants must have a valid utility bill, for Copper Valley Electric Association, or one of the two fuel delivery companies in Valdez. The credit can be applied to electric or fuel bills, or split between the two. The residence and accounts must be within the city limits of Valdez and the person representing the household must have their name on the account.

"Verification of local residency will be required during registration, so please bring along a valid ID and a recent utility bill or other documentation proving residence at the address for where the energy credit is to be applied," the city's website says.

Only one credit per household is allowed.

"We have 75 households signed up," Valdez city manager John Hozey told the Valdez City Council Monday night.

Applicants can register at city hall during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

"For people who want to come by after work, we do have four evening hours set up," Hozey said, when people can register until 7:30 p.m.

The extended registration dates are November 10, November 19, December 1 and December 17.

Still can't make it to city hall to register in person?

Applicants can still register by mail according to a notice published in the Valdez Star.

"Eligible households may register via US Mail as long as all required documentation is attached to a notarized registration form and all information is received in City Hall by December 31, 2014," the city website said.

The form is also available for download on the website, as is additional information on the program, whether you apply in person or through mail.

There is no online registration at this time.

Renters that have utilities included in their lease payments and businesses are excluded from the program.

The city sends the checks directly to the fuel company of the applicant's choice or Copper Valley Electric Association directly, usually by the end of January. The city payment can also be split evenly between a fuel provider and the electric association.

The program was created by council in 2008 after city coffers overflowed with increased oil tax wealth at a time when energy prices were reaching all-time highs. Backers saw the energy assistance as a sort of de facto property tax rebate.

The city council funded this year's rebate during its mid-year adjustment.

Since its inception, the program has paid out over $3 million in assistance to Valdez households.

If you owe money to the City of Valdez, the amount will be deducted and applied to the city debt before it can be paid to energy providers.

"...if you apply for the program and are past due on any other account with the

City of Valdez, this credit will first go toward paying off that debt before being applied as an energy credit," the application says.

The city also requires applicants to fill out a population survey as part of the process.

Valdez Star photo

Corina Nicolette filled out the application for the city's energy credit at City Hall Monday.


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