SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Conserve Electricity and Weatherize Your Home
By Sam Bergeron


June 29, 2011

We have a shortage of inexpensive hydroelectric power. All of us need to conserve electricity and do our part to keep the diesel generators idol and stave off the dreaded rate increases talked about at the Ketchikan City Council chambers. Here's what you as an individual can do and save yourselves some money in the process.

Electrical conservation starts at your electric water heater. Turn it down to a lower setting; put a blanket around your water heater and install low flow shower heads. Heat pump water heaters, (click here) use less the electricity of a conventional water heater but they cost about $1500.00. When you leave town for more than 3 days, turn your water heater to its vacation mode or turn it off at the panel.

Convert your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights. They use about less the power of a regular light bulb.

If you aren't using your whole house, heat only the part you are using! Turn your thermostat down to 67 degrees in the heating season and use a programmable thermostat. Turn the heat down when you're not at home.

When you replace your washer and dryer replace them with high efficiency machines. Follow this link for a list of energy- star washers, they use far less electricity and wash in cold water whenever possible. And of course when you leave a room, turn off the TV, lights and anything else you re not using! Real conservation in the home happens with getting your home weatherized.

There are two programs available to all Alaskan's for home weatherization and they are offered thru the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, they are: the home weatherization rebate program and the weatherization program. The rebate program is explained very thoroughly and offered at AHFC' s web site:

The second program is offered right here in Ketchikan. You can call 907-228-4933 for an application or apply online and follow the link.

The weatherization program is 100% free to income qualified families, regardless if you rent or own your home or live in a rented apartment. The income guidelines for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough are as follows:

Family of 1: $53,900
Family of 2: $61,600
Family of 3: $69,300
Family of 4: $77,000
Family of 5: $83,200
Family of 6: $89,400
Family of 7: $95,500
Family of 8: $101,700
Add: $6160.00 for each additional family member past 8.

If you are income qualified and you live in the City of Ketchikan or in the Borough, you should apply to this program. It's 100% free and it saves you money and makes your home much more comfortable and typically 33-50% less costly to heat. This program is for everybody, not just KIC members so apply!

Conservation is about saving recourses, let's all do our part to keep our lake levels high and our diesel in the tank.

Saml Bergeron
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I was the superintendent on the first commercial wood pellet boiler installation in Juneau last fall and winter and a convert to the wood pellet technology. I m a life-long Alaskan, concerned citizen and a fiscal conservative. I ve served on the City Council, Borough Assembly and KIC Tribal as Council President and as a Council Member. I currently hold a seat on the Planning Commission, KPU Advisory Board and the Pledac Board. "

Received June 28, 2011 - Published June 29, 2011


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska