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Promote a healthy economy, strong communities, and protect consumers in Alaska. AS 44.33.020
- Economic Growth
- Sustainable Energy
- Strong Communities
- Consumer Protection
|A: Result - Department Results|
|A1: Core Service - Economic Growth|
Target #2: Create, or retain, 500 permanent jobs annually through the Project Development and Commercial Finance programs.
Analysis of results and challenges: AIDEA’s Project Development and Finance programs promote economic growth and support job creation. AIDEA uses job data collected from program participants to provide a mechanism that can be used to measure the economic benefit AIDEA’s programs provide to Alaska’s economy. In FY2014, AIDEA’s Loan Participation and Sustainable Energy and Transmission System (SETS) programs supported the creation or retention of 179 permanent jobs. AIDEA’s Development and Infrastructure project activity during FY2014 supported the creation or retention of 867 permanent jobs. AIDEA’s Loan Participation program has been a powerful economic driver since its inception in the early 1980’s, and helped to create or retain more than 6,000 permanent jobs in the last decade. During FY2014, there was a large increase in the number of projects and commercial investments in production. Through the Project Development and Finance programs, AIDEA invested over $149 million into Alaska’s economy, and these investments supported the development of projects and commercial ventures that helped to create 1,046 permanent jobs.
Target #3: Create, or retain, 400 construction jobs annually through the Project Development and Commercial Finance programs.
Analysis of results and challenges: AIDEA uses job creation as one of the measures of its success, and considers it important to distinguish permanent jobs from construction jobs. Construction jobs may be short term by nature, but they are an important factor in the measurement of economic growth. AIDEA includes both pre-construction and construction jobs into this category. Pre-construction jobs include activities such as design, engineering, and permitting. In FY2016, AIDEA had more large projects worked than in most prior years, requiring more pre-construction jobs than historically generated. During FY2014, AIDEA project activity resulted in the creation of 1,962 construction jobs.
|A2: Core Service - Sustainable Energy|
Target #1: By 2025, 50 percent of electricity generation is from renewable sources.
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska’s renewable energy portfolio is growing steadily due primarily to the impacts of the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA)’s Renewable Energy Grant Fund. In addition to the gains in electricity generation from renewable energy depicted in the graph above, the Renewable Energy Grant Fund is also funding renewable energy systems in rural locations whose utilities are not required to report to the Energy Information Administration and is providing gains in renewable heat energy, such as biomass and heat recovery.
At the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013, several larger renewable energy projects, namely wind, began operation. Individual years of energy production will vary depending on snowmelt and rain providing water to hydroelectric facilities.
Information on statewide energy generation is available in the Alaska Energy Statistics, produced by ISER and AEA and located on the AEA webpage. There is a more substantial information lag in the collection and analysis for energy generation data, both large systems and small rural Alaska systems, to the EIA.
Increasing the percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources is achieved by the following action items under way: 1) The statewide energy plan and regional energy planning efforts focus on locally available resources; 2) Renewable Energy Fund projects; 3) Planning and development for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project; 4) Additional state appropriations for renewable energy projects; 5) Power Project Loan Fund support of renewable energy projects; 6) Private capital in conjunction with Renewable Energy Fund grant money 7) Federal funding of renewable energy projects, including Denali Commission, Department of Energy and USDA; 8) Energy efficiency and conservation programs such as AEA’s Village Energy Efficiency Program (VEEP), Alaska Commercial Building Energy Audit Program, and public education and outreach activities that lower overall energy consumption, thereby increasing the percentage of power that is generated by renewables.
|A3: Core Service - Strong Communities|
Target #1: Reduce the number of communities (public entities) that are noncompliant with management sustainability indicators by five percent each year.
Analysis of results and challenges: Public services are critical to the health and long-term viability of the community. A local government’s ability to provide adequate and sustainable public services can be accurately predicted by examining essential management indicators. DCRA gathers public entity data used by staff to conduct service assessments necessary to understand the existing level of governance and to provide any assistance necessary to them. In FY2009, the division began measuring compliance of a set number of entities using a standardized set of indicators. These indicators and compliance standards are:
1. Workers’ Compensation policy – If an entity has an active policy or not.
2. Municipal elections – If the required election was properly held and certified.
3. Financial Audits – If the required state or federal financial audits have been completed and filed.
4. Liens - If liens or judgments are filed against the entity.
5. PERS Debt - If an entity is current on their PERS payments.
6. Fuel Loans - If an entity borrowed loans for purchase of fuel and is current on its payment; and
7. Financial Documents (budgets, audits/certified financial statements) – if an entity has completed and filed these documents.
The number of non-compliant entities decreased in FY2014 and DCRA was able to meet the desired target. Dwindling resources to work with communities, accuracy of data and timeliness of information reported by agencies and the community commitment to issue resolution, continue to be the challenges.
Most indicators will require the entity to make a change in procedures, policies, and or staffing to rectify issues.
Target #2: 100 percent of municipal governments provide essential public services (i.e. elections, legal, health, financial/contracting, fuel).
Analysis of results and challenges: DCRA attempts to identify and help all local governments requiring assistance to meet the minimum criteria for becoming a city, e.g. holding required public meetings and elections, providing adequate financial disclosure of public finances, and codifying municipal ordinances. Some municipalities struggle with providing these basic public services and lack the administrative capacity to manage the finances of the city. However, with DCRA’s assistance, most cities ultimately meet these minimum criteria. Despite the assistance available through DCRA, some municipalities are unable to meet the basic requirements to sustain a city.
The challenge is a lack of standards by which to verify the accuracy of submitted reports and financial disclosure of public finances. No requirements exist for municipalities to report inadequate or poor delivery of public services. Municipalities are only obligated to submit reports required under AS 29.20.640 and to certify that they have met the minimum statutory requirements of a municipality as a prerequisite to receiving Community Revenue Sharing (CRS). Information for this performance measure is collected as part of the Community Revenue Sharing application process, and is spot checked by Local Government Specialist staff during routine interactions with their assigned communities. DCRA is researching the concept of amending the CRS regulations to require the submission of verifying documents for these criteria as opposed to a receipt of certification from the municipality on the CRS application.
|A4: Core Service - Consumer Protection|
Target #1: 100 percent of tariff matters are reviewed and processed within regulatory timelines.
Analysis of results and challenges: The RCA reviews tariff filings for each regulated utility and pipeline carrier. A tariff controls the conduct of business by utilities and pipeline carriers. If review of a tariff filing is not completed within the established timeline, the requested change in rules, rates or procedure automatically goes into effect by force of law. In FY2014, 293 tariff filings that required RCA review were filed. Two tariff filings went into effect without appropriate RCA action. One tariff filing was misclassified and didn’t get timely reviewed. The staff memorandum for the other tariff filing inadvertently did not address one tariff sheet. In both instances, the requested tariff provisions went into effect without RCA review.
Target #2: Manage licensure of Alaska businesses and professionals.
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska benefits by increasing the number of companies and availability of competent, qualified practitioners doing business in the state. A variety of contributing factors can often cause the number of licensees to fluctuate, such as changes in competency requirements, fees, demand for the profession, economic climate, etc. In an ongoing effort to refine its processes and more accurately represent its functions, the division improved its method of calculating the number of professional licensees. The new method implemented in FY2012 includes all license activity over the course of a fiscal year and may be one of the reasons the number of professional licensees increased. In previous years, professional license numbers were calculated as a “snapshot” of one day—usually the last day of the fiscal year.
Current as of December 9, 2014