REAP energy curriculum draws on common need for Alaska 

By Elwood Brehmer | Alaska Journal of Commerce: Alaska has a love-hate relationship with its energy.

Every year Alaskans wait with bated breath for the PFD announcement — their personal share of the state’s oil wealth.

While clean, reliable hydropower provides inexpensive electricity to Southeast, residents of the Interior and Western Alaska struggle to afford $5 per gallon fuel oil. Some pay more for heat than their mortgage every month.

For 10 years, Chris Rose, founder of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, or REAP, has tried to level the energy field across the state.

“We have worked very hard to help people understand this is an economic issue,” Rose said.

According to Rose, Alaskans spend more than $5 billion per year on energy, with most of that money leaving the state.

Over the past couple years, REAP has partnered with the state in an effort to make sure Alaska’s future leaders have the basis to tackle their state’s wide-ranging energy challenges.

In 2012, the nonprofit began developing the AK Energy Smart curriculum with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a way to spread the word about the importance of energy awareness through the state’s schools.

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