Many Southeast Alaska homeowners are converting to electric heat pumps as a way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve air quality. But in some of Southeast’s smallest communities, the high cost of electricity makes operating them unaffordable. A recent study found that offering a special rate for heat pumps in the Kupreanof Island village of Kake and other remote communities could help the electric utility, the environment and the consumer.
Using seawater to heat large buildings in Alaska is no longer a pipe dream. Andy Baker, an engineer with YourCleanEnergy LLC, helped design an ocean-sourced heat pump system for the Seward Sealife Center which will pay back the community’s investment in less than nine years -- just in fuel savings. Baker spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce this week (8-20-14) about practical applications for a technology that has quickly moved from theory into reality.