From Alaska Dispatch, Wednesday, December 23, 2009:
Massive initial interest in a state program to help people make their homes more energy efficient could be tapering off, even as some areas of the state face the likelihood of increased home heating costs in coming years.
As of Dec. 16, nearly 19,000 Alaskans have started the multi-step Home Energy Rebate Program funded by Gov. Sarah Palin and the Legislature and managed by the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.
They’ve paid for certified technicians to rate their current home energy efficiency and recommend upgrades that would be eligible for a state refund, up to $10,000. But only about 200 people have followed through with improvements and filed their claims, and the window to do so is closing daily for the flood of folks who jumped at the chance.
If this trend continues during the next several months, the program will end up with a financial cushion of funds set aside for improvements that weren’t cashed in on. But it’s leaving some to wonder: In a state with some of the highest energy costs in the nation, where homeowners stood to benefit significantly — exactly what happened?
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