New report suggests energy savings for Fairbanks
January 7, 2011
From the Anchorage Daily News: It can be cheaper for Fairbanks to invest in energy savings than in new energy sources, according to a new report commissioned by the nonprofit Alaska Conservation Alliance.
The report said the city can cut energy demand in half by investing $100 million in energy efficiency, such as better building insulation and efficient appliances. For example, replacing old refrigerators in 38,000 Fairbanks homes would save 32 million kilowatt-hours per year. State and local officials gathered Wednesday to discuss the issue, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. They say energy efficiency would save money, improve the 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 “Fairbanks First Fuel” report explores how residents, businesses and industries can reduce electricity demand by investing in efficiency. It recommends measures for different sectors. According to the report, financing is key to getting residents and businesses on board. The utility, for example, could reward those who save by tying rates to how much is energy is used.
“There is no incentive to conserve electricity with the current rate structure,” said Tom DeLong, who is on the board of GVEA. “We could come up with new rates, adjust things between customers.” Read more