From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Thursday, January 6, 2011:
We try to get the most mileage out of our cars, clothing, food and other commodities before buying more. But we don’t make the most of the electricity we have, a new report states of Fairbanks.
The report states it can be cheaper to invest in energy efficiency than in new sources of energy. It shows Fairbanks can cut its energy demand almost in half by investing $100 million in efficiency. That doesn’t mean turning down the heat but rather insulating and installing more efficient appliances and patching up other electricity-sucking devices.
A panel of state and local officials and energy experts convened Wednesday morning at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center to discuss the report and the potential of energy conservation in Fairbanks. They said energy efficiency would save money, improve the local business climate and create jobs.
“Energy efficiency and conservation will always be our best economic value and most secure investment. It comes with a high, tax-free rate of return,” said Todd Hoener of Golden Valley Electric Association.
The report, titled Fairbanks First Fuel, was commissioned by the non profit Alaska Conservation Analysis. It explores how Fairbanks residents, businesses and industries use electricity and how they could reap savings by investing in efficiency. It recommends measures for different sectors and gives costs and paybacks of various technologies.