rePOWER southeast! Pilot Project

To reach the state’s energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) goals, REAP managed a pilot project in Southeast Alaska from August 2012 – October 2013, using demand side management (DSM) recommendations from the Integrated Resource Plan for Southeast Alaska (SE IRP) as the frame for our efforts. – See more at: http://alaskarenewableenergy.org/about/events/repower-southeast/#sthash.dUjZjELn.dpuf

REAP is now dovetailing this effort with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, a collaborative effort to develop prosperity, sustainability, and resilience in Southeast communities. REAP is working with project partners to to consult on clean energy best practices in Kake, Hoonah, Hydaburg and Kasaan.  For more information, visit: www.sustainablesoutheast.net

RP2

 

 

Getting More for Less

 

Juliet Agne, Sitka Electric Department

Juliet Agne, Sitka Electric Department

Energy efficiency means using technology to reduce energy consumption.  When the City of Sitka Electric Department needed to reduce their electrical load, they looked at ways to retire some of the older appliances in the community, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers and even heating units and replace them with more efficient units.  Watch the VIDEO and learn more.

Read more about the program HERE.

Thanks Juliet!

Old Harbor Books Video Series

Old Harbor Books, Sitka, AK

Old Harbor Books, Sitka, AK

The Old Harbor Books building in downtown Sitka received an energy audit through Alaska Energy Authority’s Commercial Energy Audit Program.  They have made great strides in tightening up their building to reduce air leaks, and improving their mechanical equipment.  Watch this VIDEO SERIES to learn more about the programs and the energy efficiency efforts of the Old Harbor Books Building.

They did it and you can too!  Learn more about available programs for residential and public and private buildings HERE.

President Obama Signs Bills to Support Hydropower

In Alaska, over 20% of our electricity is generated from hydropower, mostly in the Southeast.  Nationwide this comes out to about 100,000 MW of  hydropower.  This month the President signed into law two bills aimed at increasing hydropower in the state, signalling that hydropower will continue to be a strong part of the energy portfolio for the U.S.

“H.R. 267 promotes the development of small hydropower and conduit projects and aims to shorten regulatory timeframes of certain other low-impact hydropower projects, such as adding power generation to the nation’s existing non-powered  dams and closed-loop pumped storage.

H.R. 678 authorizes small hydropwoer development at existing Bureau of Reclamation-owned canals, pipelines, aqueducts, and other manmade waterways.  Such development could provide enough power for 30,000 American homes with no environmental impact.”

Find the Press Release from National Hydropower Association HERE.

Feeding Time

Feeding Time

Hoping to see a bear in Kake, Nathan and I headed down to the Gunnuk Creek Bridge. It was a feeding frenzy for these black bears. They didn’t seem to mind us filming for an hour, which is fortunate because neither one of us were monitoring for bears on the bridge. Who needs human meat when you can have your choice of salmon?

Kake saves with new fuel supplier

Kake saves with new fuel supplier

Last month Kake received its first shipment of fuel from its new supplier, Hill Fuel LLC based in Hoonah. For a community dependent on high cost fuels, this new arrangement is providing immediate relief in Kake, with prices dropping about $1 per gallon of diesel and $.50 per gallon of gas. Said Kake School District Superintendent Kevin Shipley “Kake Tribal Fuel diligently worked to get a new provider with a lower cost of fuel for everyone. As a result, people will be able to afford fuel for their fishing boats as well as to heat their home.”

For Sitkans, Leadership Efforts Pay off with Lower Electric Bills

Old Washing-Machine-450x338_TreehuggerHow does a utility address a rapidly increasing electric demand that is close to generation capacity?  One path Sitka chose was to reduce demand.  And thus, the Energy Star Rebate Program was born in an effort to provide Sitkans with more efficient electric appliances and heat pumps, saving families and businesses money.

The program provided $100,000 in rebates towards Energy Star refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, as well as heat pumps and heat pump hot water heaters. When the program wrapped up in January, 194 individual rebates had been issued, helping to lower their energy costs and reduce demand on the hydroelectric systems.  These appliance upgrades are saving Sitkans an estimated 35,000 kWh of energy use annually! New Chest freezer

“This was money well spent on my part and the part of the City,” said Sitka resident Gary Short who received a rebate for a new freezer.  “If it hadn’t been for the program, I’d still be running that old glacier. This program did exactly what it intended for me.”  Mr. Short estimated that his old freezer was running about 40 minutes of every hour and used at least three times more energy than the replacement.

This successful program was a collaborative effort of the City Electric Department, the Sitka Conservation Society, City Finance and the City Public Works Department with support from the City Assembly. Research and public opinion surveying allowed staff to identify the most needed types of appliances, ultimately choosing refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, heat pumps and heat pump hot water heaters.

Not only were electric consumers benefitting from lower electric bills, but local and regional businesses also benefitted by selling approximately $400,000 in appliances, providing an estimated $20,000 in local sales tax revenue and leading to significant work for local contractors.

Energy efficiency and conservation is the cleanest and fastest energy resource, making it Alaska’s “first fuel.” It is great to see the City and Borough of Sitka illustrating leadership in making energy efficiency and conservation a priority in the community.