KENAI, Alaska ((Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion) — An Alaska electric utility has announced a rate increase but does not plan to cut service to residents facing financial hardship who do not pay their bills. The Peninsula Clarion reported the Homer Electric Association says the rate hike that is updated quarterly took effect on April 1st. A residential customer using 550 kilowatt-hours per month will face a bill increase of $8.60. The company said the increase is driven by last quarter’s unusually low adjustment rate and a fuel cost increase. Electric service will not be disconnected to customers who do not pay because of the coronavirus pandemic.