Alaska residents see the cost of energy as a major issue. As utility bills skyrocket, this issue escalates, affecting homeowners, renters, businesses and industry. Legislators are concerned and looking for the best strategy to provide some form of relief to residents.
The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Southcentral Energy Task Force report Hope is not a Strategy describes the impact of increased energy prices on Alaska families: “High energy prices have eliminated a great deal of discretionary income for many Alaska families; the situation in rural Alaska is especially troublesome.” One strategy for addressing energy cost stands out: increased energy efficiency. As the Interior Issues Council’s Cost of Energy Task Force report, Fairbanks Energy, notes: “Conservation and efficiency increases are by far the most effective means of reducing cost, reducing emissions and reducing fuel usage. The beauty of increasing efficiency is we can start today.” Numerous studies show that energy efficiency measures can be undertaken at low cost, paying back initial investment in a matter of months or a few years. The high return on investment of energy efficiency is a key reason that major corporations are investing heavily in their own energy conservation measures, for both cost savings and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.
This interim report summarizes the background of existing energy programs and policies in Alaska, gives an overview of the best programs and policies from outside Alaska, and proposes initial recommendations for state action. The final report in June 2008 will provide complete recommendations, a detailed implementation plan, and statutory and budgetary changes necessary to complete the plan.
A review of Alaskan energy programs and policies, and recommendation for state action.
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