Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Updated Action Item: HB 288 ("Net Metering")

Allright folks, this is coming right up:
the public hearing for House Bill 288 on Net Metering is on
Full information on the bill was recently posted below, although there is a correction:
instead of the statement that consumers who own small renewable energy systems would get paid by their local utility for the excess energy they produce, the bill calls for consumers to get credit for the excess energy they produce from their utility.

Here is a list of emails of representatives who will be voting on the bill:,,,,,,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Next Sustainable Kodiak Meeting / Energy Events

The next Sustainable Kodiak meeting will be
Monday, February 4th, 2008
from 7:15 pm to 9:15pm
in room 106 of the Benny Benson Building, Kodiak College

Guest speaker Professor Richard Siefert from the UAF Cooperative Extension Service will be presenting on Peak Oil in Alaska.

Siefert will also present two short courses on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, on the use of Solar power in Alaska, and on Home Energy Efficiency (these require registration).

More information about these presentations and about Siefert's expertise are posted in a previous blog below.

Action Item: House Bill 288 ("Net Metering")

Help promote renewable energy in Alaska – Support HB 288, a bill to support “Net Metering”

Public Hearing on Friday, February 1, 2008 at 3:00 pm


What is “Net Metering?”

Net metering allows consumers who own small, renewable energy systems, such as wind or solar power, to sell the excess energy they produce back to their local utility.

What Would HB 288 Do?

House Bill (HB) 288, introduced by Representative Paul Seaton (R – District 35) is a bill that would put net metering in place in Alaska, one of the few states left in the nation without such a policy. Net metering is current policy in 42 states and Washington D.C.

Why Does AMCC Support HB 288?

Encouraging the use of clean energies in Alaska will help reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions which are the leading cause of climate change. AMCC supports initiatives at all levels of government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we work to advance solutions that will protect the long-term health of marine ecosystems and sustain our coastal communities.

What You Can Do

  1. Please testify in support of HB 288. The State House of Representatives Labor & Commerce Committee will hold a Public Hearing on Friday, February 1st at 3:00 pm. You can testify at your local Legislative Information Office (LIO). (See Talking Points below.) For a directory of Legislative Information Offices in Alaska, go to:

  1. Please forward this action alert on to other Alaskan residents – Thank you!

How Can I Learn More About HB 288?

Please contact Alan Parks in AMCC’s Homer office at (907) 235-3826 or email:

Talking Points in Support of Net Metering Bill (HB 288)

Net metering is good for Alaska’s economy --

- It provides Alaskans, who want to lower their electric bills and conserve energy, incentive to install photovoltaic panels and small wind and water turbines.

- HB 288 will help produce jobs on the local level by creating a market for the manufacturing and servicing of these small-scale renewable energy systems.

- A household’s excess electricity will be bought by the local utility, so families will not have to install expensive battery storage systems, which will lower the pay-back time for their investment in renewable energy equipment.

Net metering is good for conservation --

- Renewable energy generation systems will help break Alaskans’ dependence on fossil fuels, add to the diversification of Alaska’s current energy portfolio, and help lessen the environmental footprint associated with electricity generation and consumption.

- By connecting small-scale renewable energy generation systems to the electricity grid, it will ensure that all of the energy produced by these systems will be used. Without net metering some of the excess energy would be wasted.

Net metering is also good for our public utilities --

- Net metering increases the energy in the power grid to keep up with demand during peak power-use times. For instance --Wind generators will provide power during the windy winter months, when the wind causes heat loss from buildings; however, that is the time when more power can be produced from wind generation.

- Although net metering may slightly reduce utility revenues, within HB 288 is a cap on the amount of renewable energy that can be generate by the consumer. This cap will minimize the financial loss to the utility while stimulating substantial growth in renewable energy use.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Letter to Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux from Sustainable Kodiak

January 21, 2008

Representative Gabrielle LeDoux

State Capitol, Room 412
Juneau, AK 99801-1182

Dear Representative LeDoux:

Thank you for your recent Letter to the Editor (January 18, 2008, Kodiak Daily Mirror.)

At a meeting held tonight, Sustainable Kodiak discussed your ideas pertaining to the State of Alaska budget surplus and your proposal to distribute this surplus to Alaskans in the form of a household heating expense (or similar) reimbursement program. Sustainable Kodiak is a local citizen’s group promoting energy efficiency and environmentally-sound practices for our island community. Our meetings are informal, public, and have been well-attended.

Your idea motivated us to engage in a group discussion about how this budget surplus could be distributed in a way that might bring about a change in the mindset of Alaskan consumers (and legislators), and a more long-term solution to rising energy costs.

In the interest of sustainability and respect to the environment, we recommend the use of this fund surplus to create an incentive program to encourage Alaskans to purchase energy efficient devices, install energy-saving home features, or buy an energy-efficient vehicle. Not only families and individuals but also landlords, businesses, schools and government agencies could be included in such a program.

The State of Alaska already has an insulation and energy-saving program for low-income households that has proved to be extremely cost effective for the state and for the consumer. Wider dissemination of already developed information and ‘how-to’ directions could be accomplished at very low cost using agencies already set up to do this. Rebates or vouchers for materials and/or installation could put surplus fund money to work at the root of the energy problem.

As you mentioned in your letter, the details of such a program would need to be worked out, but this idea could bring us one step closer to reducing our problematic dependence on expensive and depleting petroleum resources. At a time when the world is learning about the urgency for change in human consumption of oil, we feel the program outlined above would offer a long-term and healthy mitigation for the present oil dilemma. In addition to saving money and petroleum, this program would also help alleviate climate change/global warming which is and will affect Alaskans severely. It is a win-win solution, and an excellent example for other states who might be considering similar rebates!

We thank you for your representation in Juneau, your dedication to Kodiak, and for your thoughtful consideration of our proposal. Please let us know if you and/or your staff would like to be added to our e-mail list to be informed of upcoming Sustainable Kodiak meetings. We would look forward to your participation.

With warm regards from your constituents and neighbors,

For Sustainable Kodiak,

Bridget Dodge

Donna Elizabeth Jones

Theresa Peterson

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Next Sustainable Kodiak Meeting

Sustainable Kodiak will be meeting on Monday evening,

January 21st, from 7:00 to 9:00,
at our NEW meeting location,
the Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center located downtown.

The meeting will focus on local recycling efforts and Rick Pillans with Threshhold Recycling will be joining us.

Please come and share idea's and learn how we all may facilitate recycling opportunity in our island home and work as a community to promote sustainable practices. If your interest group has a meeting, report or announcement, please send it to Theresa this weekend. Thanks!

For further information contact Theresa Peterson - 486-2991

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sustainable Kodiak on KMXT

Sustainable Kodiak has been on the local KMXT airwaves quite a bit recently: Theresa Peterson and Donna Jones spoke about the group with Lisa Polito on last Friday's Talk of the Rock, and a brief news item titled "Grass Roots Group Works for Sustainable Change" aired during the Morning Edition on Monday, January 14th. You can check out the interview by Casey Kelly here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

House Bills 288 and 308

From Hunter Berns:
Two bills have been introduced by Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer of which we should be aware and contact our venerable legislators in support. HB 288 is a net metering bill. It contains a buy-back and a credit provision for excess energy production. HB 308 is a "mixing zone" law (According to the DEC, a mixing zone is "The area where treated wastewater is authorized by DEC to mix with a water body") which requires the DEC to make available information on pollutants discharged into our waters, salty or fresh. Look below for full text, amendments, and to which committee it is assigned.

HB 288:
HB 302:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sustainable Kodiak hosts UAF Energy Specialist Rich Seifert

Sustainable Kodiak will be partnering with Kodiak Community College for a series of presentations and workshops by UAF Cooperative Extension Service Professor Rich Seifert on a variety of energy topics.

Monday, February 4th
Peak Oil and Alaska
Guest speaker at Sustainable Kodiak meeting
Where: Rm. 106 Benny Benson Building, Kodiak College
When: 7:15-9 PM

Richard Seifert, UAF Professor and Energy specialist, will be the guest speaker for the Sustainable Kodiak meeting,talking about Peak Oil and how it effects Alaska. Discussion of coming changes, and how Alaskan communities might use their local resources to become more secure and sustainable, through knowledge, experience, and UAF Cooperative Extension information. Come on over and fasten your seat belts. The future is going to be an interesting ride.
Free and open to the public

Tuesday, February 5th
An Alaskan Specific Course on
"Integrating Solar Energy into your Alaskan Home"

Where: Rm. 129 Campus Center, Kodiak Community College
When: 6 PM to 10 PM
Course is taught by Professor Seifert and will cover solar photovoltaic (electric), solar hot water, and passive solar home design. Text is "A Solar Design Manual For Alaska" written by Seifert.

Space limited to first 25 attendees.
Fee: $10 (payable at the door).

Call 1 800 478-8324 to pre-register.

Wednesday, February 6th
Energy Saving and Home Retrofit

Where: Benny Benson Bldg., Room 106
When: 7:15 to 10:15 PM
Course will cover example home insulation upgrade projects and experience from weatherization on how to achieve a more affordable, comfortable home in the marine climate of Kodiak. Free manual included, but please pre-register in order to get a manual.
Call 1 800 478-8324 to reserve a place and manual.


Rich Seifert Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Energy
and Housing has been the Cooperative Extension Service "Energy guy" at UAF
in Fairbanks for 26 years. He has a Bachelor's degree in Physics from
West Chester State University in Pennsylvania, and a Master's Degree
in Engineering Physics from the University of Alaska. He has lived in
Fairbanks 37 years, save for one year (1985-86) when he was a
Fulbright Scholar at the Technical University of Norway, in Trondheim
Norway. Seifert is the author of "A Solar Design Manual for Alaska"
which he uses as a text for an Introductory course to integrate solar
design into homes for Alaskans. He has authored numerous articles and
two books on cold climate homebuilding. He teaches public seminars for
adults, mainly on the topic of Cold and Marine Climate Homebuilding
techniques and renewable energy use for prospective homeowners. He has
authored numerous technical and public information papers and
pamphlets on housing issues, indoor air quality, radon, renewable
energy and sustainable building design. He recently has become very
interested in building a " Sustainable Alaska" and that drives much of
his educational outreach.

North Star Safe Access Meetings

Two more meetings for the North Star Safe Access Project:
January 24th, 2008

Safety Access Meeting
10:00 AM-Noon
North Star Elementary Library

Purpose: To outline and prioritize goals and objectives for North Star Safe Access; create timeline for implementation; define role of organizations, agencies and programs; identify Monies and its uses; and identify other grant opportunities, if needed.

  • Opening Remarks: by Lisa Holzapfel, NPS-Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, Alaska Region by conference callTime: 15 mins max.
  • Safe Routes to Schools: by Steven Soenksen, DOT Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator. Time: 15 mins max.
  • Work Session: See purpose above.
Evening community presentation: Safe Routes to Schools.
Steven Soenksen, AK State DOT Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator.
7:00 PM
North Star Elementary School Library

Agenda: What is the Safe Routes to School Program? How does this program affect Kodiak?
Available grants, purpose, and application process.

What is eaten in one week...

This is an interesting photo comparison of what different families eat around the world in one week. (forwarded email from Theresa) There are two photo essay books available in the college library that follow a similar theme, one about food, the other about material possessions (Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, and Material World: A Global Family Portrait).

Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

First Sustainable Kodiak Meeting 2008

Happy New Year!
There will be a Sustainable Kodiak meeting
Thursday, January 10, 2008
7 pm
Fisherman's Hall
Main guest speaker of the evening is Linda Freed, City Manager of Kodiak
Linda would like to discuss plans for the ferry dock and will be available for questions.
Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Impressive Fairbanks Energy Plan

The Interior Issues Council has been working on a sustainable
and transitional energy plan for Fairbanks and the railbelt for a while
now. This is their quite worthy product.

The Cost of Energy Taskforce is happy to announce that the Fairbanks Energy
Plan is complete and has been placed on the FEDCO website at Please forward
this notice to others who may have an interest in the cost of energy or more
importantly those who would like to help improve the cost of energy

If you only have fifteen seconds, look at the first two pages. The first
page, listed below for convenience, shows the objectives that can be
achieved through implementation of the Fairbanks Energy Plan as shown in
pictorial summary on the second page.
Page 1: Achievable Objectives of the Fairbanks Energy Plan

Fairbanks Energy Vision Statement:
Be the World Leader in Responsible Energy Use and Supply.

Achievable Objectives under the Fairbanks Energy Strategic Business Plan:
1. Be energy self-sufficient.
2. Reduce Interior Alaska yearly energy costs by $100,000,000.
3. Reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero.
4. Reduce sulfur emissions to near zero.
5. Reduce heavy metal emissions to near zero.
6. Reduce airborne Particulate Matter (PM2.5) to near zero.
7. Utilize tainted water from TAPS and municipal wastewater.
8. Replace base load aging electric generation for 100 years plus.
9. Diversify the Alaskan economic base.
10. Create economic en ergy, but use it wisely.
11. Grow a culture of energy use awareness and responsibility.
12. Create local jobs in both the supply and responsible use of energy.
13. Grow the local economy through construction and beyond.
14. Enhance partnership with UAF research to resolve local energy issues.
15. Build opportunities for the education and wise use of energy.
16. Invest in long term Alaskan infrastructure.
17. Ensure local control of Alaskan energy businesses.
18. Supply energy products for existing homes and vehicles.
19. Retain wealth in Interior Alaska.
20. Increase disposable income.
21. Shift from non-renewable fuels to sustainable local fuels.
22. Use carbon-neutral fuels rather than using sequestration.
23. Provide a robust vision for all plausible futures.
24. Provide a future for our children, grandchildren and great
25. Brand Fairbanks as: "The place to be, for energy".
The final narrative has been updated to include the final wording from the
Hydroelectric, Conservation/Efficiency Increases and Distributed Generation

Thank you to the entire taskforce for your persistence, sharing, wisdom,
respect, knowledge, open discussions, challenging of assumptions and working
together to resolve issues. This repor t is a tribute to your ability,
individually and as a group, to collectively capture the essence of creative
problem solving with a very diverse group. It has been my pleasure to work
with each and every one of you.

Happy New Year
Steven Haagenson, Chair
(907) 456-1178 home
(907) 460-7184 cell

Thanks to Susan Payne for sharing this!