What is a kilowatt-hour?
A kilowatt-hour (kwh) is a unit of electrical
energy equal to the energy delivered by the flow
of one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of electrical power
for one hour. (A 100-watt bulb burning for 10 hours
will use one kilowatt-hour of energy.)
Electricity usage is measured by your meter,
which is read by KPU meter readers at regular monthly
Tracking your electricity usage
You can read your meter if you wish to
check usage. It will help if you read your meter
at the same time each day. Keeping a log of what
various usages such as laundry and baking went on
during the day will help you to correlate your electrical
usage with your meter readings.
My Bills are too high!
This is a common complaint. Actually Ketchikan residents
enjoy some of the lowest costs of electricity in
Alaska! For some ideas on why your bills are high, CLICK HERE
Ketchikan Public Utilities recognizes that saving
money is important to today’s homeowner. Through
this online link to ENERGY
STAR®, a government-backed program, you
can receive information on how to save money and
Before a meter is installed it is tested for accuracy.
Meters are usually very reliable devices. Before
requesting a meter test, please try the energy
I have done all you suggested and I think
my meter is the problem.
If you still suspect a problem KPU
staff will test your meter for accuracy.
and Payment of Bills
Seasonal & Vacation
Hot water heaters
Hot water heaters will use only use a
small amount less of electricity while you are away
than if you were at home using hot water. If you
leave your electric water heater energized during
your vacation it will continue to maintain the tank
temperature. Heat is lost through the insulation
and copper pipes that come out of the top. A natural
convection of heated water flows up the pipes, cools
and returns to the water heater to be re-heated.
Hot water tanks account for between ¼ and
1/3 of the average home bill.
If I lower the thermostat on my furnace while I
am gone will it use less electricity?
I was gone for the month why did my bill
remained the same?
If the temperature dropped while you were gone your
furnace or electric heater ran longer to maintain
the preset temperature. Energized lights and appliances
add heat to your home. Your furnace or electric
heater will run longer if these lights and appliances
are off while you are on vacation. (See above: hot
In all-electric homes, winter usage in the winter
months is in direct proportion to the outside temperature.
Using indoor equipment like televisions, lights,
an oven, water bed heaters and other appliances
has almost no impact on your usage, because it just
offsets the amount of heat that would otherwise
come from the electric heat.
Refrigerator or freezer use
If refrigerators and freezers were not emptied and
turned off while you were gone they will continue
to operate to maintain preset temperatures. Other
electrical appliances like clocks, heat tapes, security
lights and televisions with an “instant-on”
feature will continue to use electricity if they
are not unplugged.
Turning off the circuit breaker before you leave
will result in no electricity use while you are
on vacation. However, when you do this the automatic
appliances and lighting will stop. Your refrigerator
and freezer will defrost, your water heater will
not have hot water for use upon your return, and
your home may freeze or be very cold when you walk
in the door.
Ketchikan Public Utilities will act to protect revenue
from being lost due to electricity being taken without
the knowledge or approval of the Utility. This includes
deliberate theft, the falsifying of meter readings,
name fraud, billing errors, illegal wiring, or faulty
equipment. Ketchikan Public Utilities has an attitude
of zero tolerance for theft of service. This attitude
was adopted out of concern for the advancement of
public safety, to minimize the risk of injuries
or death and to remain financially viable so that
KPU rates can continue to be among the lowest in
the state. Billions of dollars are stolen from utilities
across the nation each year in the form of erroneous
meter readings, name fraud, meter tampering, and
bypasses. These costs are passed on to all utility
customers in the form of higher energy bills.
Energy theft is a civil offense under Alaska Law
(AS 42.20.030 and AS 42.20.040). It is also a safety
issue. Most energy theft situations involve shock
and fire hazards for the perpetrator and others.
Theft conditions can lead to property damage, personal
injury, and even death. If you suspect someone is
stealing power from Ketchikan Public Utilities,
please report it right away. You will be helping
honest utility customers like yourself by recovering
the revenue lost due to theft. Using a different
name to receive energy in order to avoid paying
an outstanding bill is "fraud" as well.
If you have any information regarding possible
energy theft, we urge you to call the KPU Electric
Division Manager or Assistant Manager at 225-5505.
Your report may be anonymous.
If you suspect energy theft of any source of energy
provided by any utility, you can fill out a universal
report form at the International
Utilities Revenue Protection Association