Local group has $2 million for home energy upgrades | Juneau Empire

You can put your name on our waitlist HERE! And, if you know others who may be interested, please, share our information with them! We hope to have our Healthy Homes program up and running by late July.

The Healthy Homes program is designed to provide a range of upgrades to low-income homes, according to Andy Romanoff, Alaska Heat Smart’s executive director and a member of Renewable Juneau, and the group has decided to use the funds from an energy-efficiency approach.

“The program isn’t intended to just install heat pumps, it’s a whole home remediation program,” Romanoff said. “Heat pumps are just a component of what that home will receive.”

HUD places a limit on how much can be spent per home, Romanoff said, which in this case is about $15,000, but with Alaska’s higher costs that means Alaska Heat Smart will be able to upgrade fewer homes than would be possible in the Lower 48. Alaska Heat Smart hopes to provide upgrades to 90 homes, Romanoff said. Additional upgrades include installing certain kinds of insulation, mold and moisture removal and the removal of toxic substances.

Local group has $2 million for home energy upgrades | Juneau Empire

Local group has $2 million for home energy upgrades | Juneau Empire

Top Down Support for a Common Sense Approach

Good news on the heat pump front. THIS inspiring news regarding new federal attention being paid to heat pumps could be a game changer!

The HEATR Act

With 4 million heat pumps installed in the US in 2021, yet 6 million AC units installed in the same period, the Senate’s HEATR Act, introduced recently, looks to incentivize the adoption of heat pumps. As we know, these amazing devices provide both the benefits of heating and cooling.

A key provision in the recently introduced HEATR Act encourages manufacturers to convert their whole supply of traditional central ACs — which can only cool — into devices that both heat homes and cool them: heat pumps. Sponsored by Democratic Senators Klobuchar, Smith, Hickenlooper, Whitehouse, Leahy, Merkley and Booker, the bill has the potential to transform American climate control.

Two-way heat pumps have a few important advantages over both one-way air conditioners and traditional heat sources. They tend to be two to four times more efficient than competing devices, which means they result in comparable or lower energy bills for most families. By taking over from other heat sources such as gas, oil and wood, heat pumps can dramatically reduce indoor air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Even homes in Florida, which have only a handful of heating days each year, can benefit.

Read the full Canary Media story, A New Bill Could Speed up American Electrification by 20 Years, HERE.

Incentives NOW in southeast Alaska!

If you are currently an Alaska Power and Telephone (APT) customer (Prince of Wales Island, Haines, Skagway and Gustavus), a heat pump incentive exists for you right now! APT offers both a heat pump cash incentive as well as an electric vehicle incentive. Learn more about your potential eligibility for APT’s $500 incentive here! And, if you are a Sealaska shareholder in addition to an APT customer, Sealaska will double the incentive by kicking in an additional $500. You can learn about that additional bonus here!

Alaska Heat Smart is currently in the early design stages of an additional incentive program that will target income-qualified Juneau heat pump adopters. We hope to roll out our program this coming fall with incentives of up to nearly 50% off the cost of a heat pump and its installation.

$300 Federal Tax Credit for Heat Pumps

It’s not too late to claim your $300 tax credit if you installed an air source heat pump in 2021!

IRS form 5695 is the one you’re after. Look down to line 22A on page 2 of the form for the proper place to write in $300. Full form instructions and a link to both forms can be found on our website’s ‘Financing and Incentives‘ page under the ‘For Home’ menu tab. The first and second links under ‘Grants, Tax Credits, and Other Incentives’ will take you to the proper IRS page where you can download both forms.

If you are one of the many who now file online with Turbo Tax, here is a page with detailed instructions on how to enter the $300 credit when filing.

Resilient Peoples Place: Energy independence is both a destination and a journey

Air source heat pumps for Southeast Alaskans.

Clay Good, Regional Energy Catalyst for the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, STEM Educator for the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, and Renewable Juneau board member offers us this wonderful update, in the 3.23.22 Juneau Empire, on the rapidly growing rural hydropower sector of southeast Alaska and how it will benefit the lives of those who use it.

While the largest population centers in the region enjoy the benefits of hydroelectricity, the smallest communities and villages continue to struggle with high energy costs as they work to free themselves from the grip of expensive and volatile diesel energy. That’s why more small Southeast communities are stepping up to the challenge, finding new ways to bring renewable options to town. And as hydropower increases regionally, additional renewable electrical energy creates opportunities for homeowners and communities to enjoy the many benefits clean energy provides.

Clay not only covers hydropower trends across rural southeast Alaska, but details how this clean, fish-friendly, local energy can save homeowners money, improve the quality of the air that they breathe, and keep dollars flowing in local economies. He goes on to offer solutions and sources of additional information, from non profit heat pump advisory services like our, to carbon offset solutions, as well as heat pump incentive programs.

Where can I get helpful information, incentives, or assistance? It’s not always easy for cash strapped homeowners to come up with several thousand dollars so they can get started saving energy and money. Additionally, because ASHP’s are an emerging market in Alaska, not every community will have sale and installation businesses readily available. Plus, it can be complicated to have an ASHP installed due to the need to coordinate various electricians, contractors and ASHP installers. Fortunately, there are excellent programs in Southeast designed to assist homeowners who are considering making the switch to an ASHP with technical and financial assistance.

Read the full story here!