Hello Renewable Juneau friends,
The start of the new year, 2020, is a time for the Renewable Juneau board to reflect back on our activities in 2019 and to share our successes with our friends.
Part of our mission is to provide education about both present uses and future possible uses of Juneau’s renewable energy. In 2019, we held two free heat pump workshops, making information and professionals available to the interested public. Combined, these workshops were attended by nearly 200 people. The spring workshop had an additional focus on building energy efficiency, while the November workshop introduced Alaska Heat Smart (see more below). Renewable Juneau also had tables at the annual electric vehicle rally, and the downtown Maritime Festival, where we reached out to attendees about renewable energy for both transportation and home heating. Further, we expanded our social media presence and our ‘subscriber’ lists and now regularly reach over 700 concerned individuals with regular blog posts, news updates, and actions. You can follow our blog posts here or via our Facebook page.
Another part of our mission is to advocate for increasing local use of renewable energy. In 2019, we facilitated a public comment campaign seeking the use of head tax money for dock electrification and we facilitated sending public comments to the mayor and our city assembly in favor of plugging in the ships when docked.
Renewable Juneau helped to engage the public in the planning process for the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area and proposed major changes to parking, visitation facilities and access, with special attention to bus issues and new facility energy use.
Renewable Juneau launched the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund on June 28 with the hope of two heat pump installations in lower-income family homes by year’s end. The Fund surpassed all expectations, raising over $27,000, assisting two lower-income families with home heating, coordinating two additional installations to be completed by mid-January, and offsetting over 23 tons of annual carbon dioxide (first four homes). We owe a special thank you to our financial partner, the Juneau Community Foundation, as well as to the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund advisory committee for their work in crafting policies and procedures and for screening applications. We will be looking for volunteers to help us market the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund and are looking at a January 25 training session…details soon.
Renewable Juneau board members were founding members of Alaska Heat Smart, a CBJ-supported organization that will provide financial information and homeowner assistance with navigating the often confusing process of selecting and installing an air source heat pump.
Please let us know your thoughts on these or other issues that Renewable Juneau could address, as well as your interest in volunteering for Renewable Juneau. And, your tax deductible contributions to Renewable Juneau and to the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund are always welcome!
On behalf of the board of directors of Renewable Juneau, our best wishes to you, your family and our community in 2020 and our hopes for more renewable energy use in the decade to come.
Margo Waring, President