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?
Click here to read the full story.
I regret that AHFC did not submit a correction about this article sooner. Instead of the 200 participants cited, a total of 3,339 Alaskans have completed upgrades to their homes or built new 5*+ homes and received rebates under the Home Energy Rebate Program. The 18-month deadline to complete the work began expiring in November, and 70 percent of the initial applicants participated by completing work on their homes and applying for a rebate.
Currently, the program’s funds are encumbered. Nearly 17,000 homeowners have had their initial energy rating, and AHFC has set aside enough funds to cover any rebates for which they may qualify. As the 18-month deadlines pass for each homeowner, any unused funds will roll back into the program, and AHFC will again dispatch raters to additional homeowners currently on the waitlist.
Corporate Communications Officer, AHFC
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