Tag Archives: News

AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate Program Receives National Recognition

From Alaska Housing Finance Corporation:

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently announced that AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate Program is one of the exceptional state-led energy-efficiency programs in the United States. ACEEE recognized a total of just 18 top programs from 14 states. AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate Program received one of 10 honorable mentions awarded.Alaska’s Home Energy Rebate Program helps homeowners reduce energy costs by providing rebates toward the cost of energy-efficiency improvements. Energy ratings are required before and after improvements. Homeowners pay all costs upfront, and the rebate is paid out based on increased energy efficiency and eligible receipts. The maximum rebate is $10,000. Homeowners have 18 months to complete the program.

Dan Fauske, AHFC CEO/Executive, said, “Our calculations show people reduce energy use by about 30 percent and save nearly $1,600 a year on average. We are thrilled to be recognized for successfully rolling out this program in an extremely short timeframe. Although we had some bumps along the road, the response from those completing the program has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Continue reading: AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate Program Receives National Recognition

Flint Hills offers water filters to homes with sulfolane-tainted wells

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Thursday, September 30, 2010:

Flint Hills Resources unveiled in-home water treatment systems as a longer-term way to provide clean water to North Pole residents at a community meeting Tuesday night.

The filtration system is comprised of standard parts assembled specially to remove sulfolane. They are being tested during the next few months at five volunteer homes in North Pole with sulfolane readings between 50 parts per billion and 250 parts per billion, the full range found in private wells. After about two months, the system has proven to reduce sulfolane to non-detectable levels, said Flint Hills spokesman Jeff Cook.

“We’re hopeful that will be the final option we can offer people,” Cook said.

Flint Hills is continuing to clean up contamination that was discovered last year but happened years before the company bought the refinery in 2004. Sulfolane, a chemical used in refining oil, reportedly seeped into groundwater and private wells from gasoline spills last decade. Some water contains levels above those recommended by federal standards but much too low to make laboratory animals sick. Most of the tainted wells are outside North Pole city limits.

Alaska getting $700,000 for energy efficiency

From The Associated Press, Friday, September 10, 2010:

The federal government is giving Alaska $700,000 to take steps to improve energy efficiency in the state by 2020.

The U.S. Department of Energy funding is intended to go toward efforts such as expanding current energy efficiency programs and outreach and creating necessary policy to lead to a 15-percent improvement in efficiency over the next decade.

The department says this is part of nearly $30 million going to 12 states and territories.

Officials scrutinize Alaska Sustainable Energy Act

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Tuesday, February 16, 2010:

Public administrators and senators Monday steered what could be the start of much scrutiny of a major energy bill.

The bill, the proposed Alaska Sustainable Energy Act, addresses a broad slate of demand- and supply-side energy production and efficiency issues. It would, among other things, update outlines for a two-year-old public Renewable Energy Fund, force energy-efficiency improvements at state buildings and require an emphasis on energy efficiency when state government buys equipment and vehicles.

Click here for the full story.

Obama and proposed Energy Secretary Chu differ on fundamental energy issues

From the Wall Street Journal on Monday, December 15, 2008:

President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for energy secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who’s on the record calling coal a “nightmare” and advocating raising U.S. gas taxes to European levels to promote conservation. 

Mr. Obama himself has so far dismissed the idea of raising gas taxes, and worked hard during his campaign to reassure the utility and coal industries that he didn’t plan radical steps to slash the use of coal in power generation.

This apparent difference of opinion between Mr. Obama and his likely nominee is just one of the many red flags waving as Washington gears up for the most ambitious effort to remake America’s energy policy since Jimmy Carter slipped on a cardigan.

Click here to read the whole article.

World economy may doom signing of 2009 U.N. climate change pact

From Reuters on Monday, December 8, 2008:

Recession and the change of U.S. administration make it unlikely the world will meet a 2009 deadline for agreeing a full new pact to fight global warming, delegates at U.N. climate talks say.

A year ago, 190 nations signed up for a two-year push to agree a comprehensive climate treaty at talks in Copenhagen in late 2009. But negotiators and analysts attending preparatory December 1-12 talks in Poznan say that looks out of reach.

The most that many now hope for is agreement next year on the principles of a pact, though a few say this is too pessimistic.

“A suitable aspiration and a great achievement (in Copenhagen) would be agreement on the principles for negotiation, not a text,” said Robert Stavins, professor of business and government at Harvard University.

Recession means that developed nations’ greenhouse gas emissions will fall by about 2 percent next year, making other action less urgent, he said.

The 2009 deadline is meant to ensure that new targets for cutting emissions are in place in good time to allow worldwide ratification before Kyoto Protocol goals expire in 2012.

Click here to read the whole article.

Caribou herds thinning, rivers lower in northern Canada

From the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, December 7, 2008:

Chief Bill Erasmus of the Dene nation in northern Canada brought a stark warning about the climate crisis: The once abundant herds of caribou are dwindling, rivers are running lower and the ice is too thin to hunt on.

Erasmus raised his concerns in recent days on the sidelines of a U.N. climate conference, seeking to ensure that North America’s indigenous peoples are not left out in the cold when it comes to any global warming negotiations.

Erasmus, the 54-year-old elected leader of 30,000 native Americans in Canada, and representatives of other indigenous peoples met with the U.N.’s top climate official, Yvo de Boer, and have lobbied national delegations to recognize them as an “expert group” that can participate in the talks like other nongovernment organizations.

“We bring our traditional knowledge to the table that other people don’t have,” he said.

Click here to read the whole article.

Obama energy and environment plan

From www.change.gov, retrieved on Thursday, November 20, 2008:

The energy challenges our country faces are severe and have gone unaddressed for far too long. Our addiction to foreign oil doesn’t just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment — it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a comprehensive plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.

Click here to read the whole page, and find links to other elements of the plan.

Solar-powered car arrives in Fairbanks en route to record

From the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer August 14, 2008.

A solar-powered car on three wheels arrived in Fairbanks on Wednesday evening, creating a spectacle as the spaceship-like vehicle made its way down the Johansen Expressway to the Cold Climate Housing Research Center.

Click here to read the full article.

Water heater know-how could save you big bucks

BY: John Davies, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner June 19, 2008,  Section A3

From time to time, we get calls at the research center asking if it makes sense to shut down one’s oil-fired boiler during the summer, and provide hot water using an electric hot water heater instead. Of course, the answer is “It depends.” A straightforward calculation comparing the cost to heat water using electricity versus oil shows that it is more expensive to use electricity on a cost-per-BTU basis. A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of water one degree Fahrenheit. Continue reading