October is Alaska Energy Awareness Month
October is Alaska Energy Awareness Month!
By Kate McKeown
On Thursday, September 30th, Alaska’s first LEED Silver certified building, JL Tower, set the stage for Governor Parnell’s proclamation declaring October 2010 as Alaska Energy Awareness Month.The event focused on the state’s goal of achieving a 15% increase in energy efficiency on a per capita basis, between 2010 and 2020, as outlined in House Bill 306, the State Energy Policy. This bill was developed by a large working group which included Alaska Conservation Alliance, and was sponsored by the House Special Committee on Energy.
Speakers addressed the exciting news that the Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Working Group (EECWG) were awarded a $700,000 grant from the United States Department of Energy to continue efforts to help Alaskans become more energy efficient. Event speakers also highlighted the importance of engaging commercial businesses in energy efficiency and securing funding for the commercial business revolving loan, outlined in Senate Bill 220, the Alaska Sustainable Energy Act. Lastly, success stories of energy efficiency efforts were discussed and the hope of achieving more than a 15% increase by 2020 was expressed.
Alaska is one of the highest energy consumers in the United States and Alaskans pay some of the highest energy costs. Declaring October as Energy Awareness Month is a great way to promote the state’s goal of 15% increasing energy efficiency by 2020. The hope this month is that Alaskans become more energy aware, stop losing money on energy bills, and take action by visiting akenergyefficiency.org.
Speakers at the event included:
• Senator Lesil McGuire, co-chair Senate Resources
• Ryan Colgan, Cold Climate Housing Research Center Chief Programs Officer,
• Leonard Hyde, Principal at JL Properties
• Dave Smith, Chugach Electric Association, Senior Vice President of Administration
• Bob Brean, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Director for Research & Rural Development
• Mike Harper, Alaska Energy Authority, Deputy Director for Rural Energy
• Senator Bill Wielechowski, co-chair Senate Resources
• Joe Balash, Special Assistant to Governor Parnell