Preparing for winter in Fairbanks: An energy rating from a certified energy rater is a good choice for most

BY: Ryan Colgan & John Davies, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner May 29, 2008,  Section A3

Many in Fairbanks do not want to think about winter just as summer is arriving. However, there is no better time to prepare for winter and the high energy expenses that result from heating your home.

AHFC offers two programs to help those in the Alaska reduce the expense of home heating by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

1. The Weatherization Program provides start-to-finish retrofit service to those who meet income guidelines. For example, a household size of one may qualify at an income level of $39,811 while a household size of four may qualify at an income level of $76,560. For more information about this program, call Interior Weatherization at 452-5323.

2. The Energy Rebate Program provides money back for certain energy efficiency retrofits to homeowners. The amount of the rebate is based on the amount of improvement in the energy ratings performed after retrofit work is completed on a home compared to a rating done beforehand. There is no income requirement for this program.

The first step for those interested in the Energy Rebate Program is to contact a certified energy rater.

How to schedule an appointment for a home energy efficiency evaluation:

A listing of certified energy raters can be found on the AHFC website or by calling 1-800-478-2432. Select a rater from the list in your area and call them to make an appointment for an energy evaluation and rating.

What to expect from a home energy efficiency evaluation:

A certified energy rater will meet with the home owner to discuss the features of the home and perform a few tests that will be used as inputs into an energy efficiency model developed for Alaskan homes called AKWarm. The certified energy rater will use the information and the AKWarm model to generate a report that lists the recommended energy efficiency retrofit projects, including the estimated cost and estimated energy savings.

This report will serve you as a guide, from which you can make informed decisions about energy efficiency retrofit options that are right for you and eligible for the Energy Rebate Program. Note that only those projects listed on this report are eligible for a rebate.


How to get reimbursed for qualified energy retrofit work and the cost of evaluations: 

First read all of the guidelines posted on the AHFC website.

After the first energy rating you may submit a copy of the paid receipt from the energy rater to AHFC and be reimbursed up to $325. After any qualifying retrofit work is done, you must submit receipts for the work done along with the results of the second rating and will be reimbursed according to the following schedule:







Rebate (up to)






A step is one step in the star rating from AkWarm; for example if you improve from three-star plus to four-star, that would be one step, three-star to four-star would be two steps, and so on. Note that you cannot get a rebate for more than your actual expenses. Also, you are eligible for a rebate of up to $175 of the cost of the second energy rating.

Ryan Colgan is Projects Coordinator and John Davies is Research Director at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center.