Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Berta's Briefings: Energy Plans and Savings Programs

Friday, July 04, 2008

Berta's Briefings: Energy Plans and Savings Programs

My State Rep. Berta Gardner puts out a great newsletter for her constituents. I like to post it when there is especially good information for all Alaskans.

AHFC Weatherization and Energy Rebate Programs:
Helpful Suggestions to Save on Energy Costs

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last month, I sent out a postcard to get your feedback on Governor Palin’s energy relief program. Although the Governor’s plan has changed, I was pleased by the number of responses I received and I thank everyone who sent me comments by phone or email and those who participated in the online survey. I will try to respond personally to each of you, though I hope you will be patient as it will take me some time to do so.

On the questions of the proposed $100/month for each Alaskan, and of energy assistance to individuals and Alaskan businesses, respondents were about evenly split. It was clear that respondents did not want to see the State pick up 60% of the energy costs for individuals, businesses and government offices.

Representative Gardner speaks with a member of the public who participated in the public testimony on TransCanada in Anchorage two weeks ago.

The best part of the responses were the comments. People were concerned about the risk of establishing a new government giveaway program, especially when money is given to people regardless of need. Some expressed a desire to see the money used to support schools, nonprofits or public transportation. Others focused on projects with long-term benefits, such as weatherizing homes, enhancing public transportation, increasing use of renewable energy or building a bullet line from the North Slope. Several people expressed frustration that the survey forced either or answers when none of the options were accurate for them. I apologize for that and will try to improve the structure of any future survey.

This week the Governor has announced she is adding energy issues to the renewed Special Session beginning July 9. Your responses and suggestions will be part of my consideration as I listen to the proposals and the testimony.

In the meantime, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) weatherization program is available to help all Alaskans save money and energy by improving the energy efficiency of our homes.

An energy auditor will inspect the home and make recommendations on how to bring it up to energy efficient standards. A crew then will come and do the repairs, all at no direct cost to those qualify under the income guidelines.

People below 100% of the median income in their region qualify for the Weatherization program. In Anchorage, the median incomes are as follows:

Household Size and Income Limit:

1 person - $55,100

2 people - $63,000

3 people - $70,800

4 people - $78,700

5 people - $85,000

6 people - $91,300

7 people - $97,600

8 people - $103,900

Priority is given to the elderly, disabled, young children and families under 60% of median income. When an individual or family gets to the top of the waiting list, a weatherization crew comes in and does the needed work on the home.

To find out more information on the weatherization program please visit http://www.muni.org/cdbg/weatherization.cfm

Best regards to each of you,

I'm Berta, and I'm listening.

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