Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

04/02/2015 01:00 PM SPECIAL CMTE ON ENERGY

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01:03:07 PM Start
01:03:42 PM Presentation By: Association of Alaska Housing Authorities (aaha), Rural Alaska Community Action Program (ruralcap), Alaska Community Development Corporation, and Interior Weatherization, Will Be Presenting Their Collective, Statewide Contributions and Impact on Alaska Energy Issues and Policy.
01:44:38 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Association of Alaska Housing Authorities (AAHA) TELECONFERENCED
Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RuralCAP)
Alaska Community Development Corporation and
Interior Weatherization, Inc. Will Be Presenting
Their Collective, Statewide Contributions and
Impact on Alaska Energy Issues and Policy
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ENERGY                                                                             
                         April 2, 2015                                                                                          
                           1:03 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Peter Micciche, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Presentation: Association  Of Alaska Housing  Authorities (AAHA),                                                               
Rural  Alaska  Community  Action   Program  (RurAL  CAP),  Alaska                                                               
Community   Development   Corporation    (ACDC),   and   Interior                                                               
Weatherization,  Inc.  presenting   their  collective,  statewide                                                               
contributions and impact on Alaska energy issues and policy.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CAROL GORE, President/CEO                                                                                                       
Cook Inlet Housing Authority                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on the Weatherization Program in                                                               
Southcentral Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG MOORE, Vice President                                                                                                     
Planning & Development                                                                                                          
Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority (THRHA)                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on the Weatherization Program                                                                  
impacts through the THRHA.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DAVID HARDENBERGH, Executive Director                                                                                           
Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP)                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Commented  on   Alaska's  Weatherization                                                             
Program impacts for low income folks.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ETTA KUZAKIN, President                                                                                                         
Agdaagux Tribal Council                                                                                                         
King Cove, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Related  the Weatherization Program's impact                                                             
on her family and others in rural communities around the state.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:03:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MICCICHE  called the Senate Special  Committee on Energy                                                             
meeting to  order at 1:03  p.m. Co-Chair Micciche was  present at                                                               
the call to order.                                                                                                            
^PRESENTATION BY: Association of Alaska Housing Authorities                                                                     
(AAHA), Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RuralCAP), Alaska                                                                
Community Development Corporation, and Interior Weatherization,                                                                 
will be presenting their collective, statewide contributions and                                                                
impact on Alaska energy issues and policy.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:03:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MICCICHE  said  the  purpose of  this  meeting  was  to                                                               
receive  a presentation  from the  Association of  Alaska Housing                                                               
Authorities (AAHA), Rural Alaska  Community Action Program (RurAL                                                               
CAP),  Alaska  Community   Development  Corporation  (ACDC),  and                                                               
Interior   Weatherization,   on    their   collective   statewide                                                               
contributions that impact on Alaska Energy issues and policy.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:04:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CAROL GORE,  President/CEO, Cook Inlet Housing  Authority (CIHA),                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska,  said she serves most  of Southcentral Alaska.                                                               
It  is  one of  the  14  regional  housing authorities  that  are                                                               
members  of the  AAHA. She  said she  represents a  recipient and                                                               
practitioners who understand first-hand  the value of the state's                                                               
investment in  energy for homeowners  who live across  the state.                                                               
Managing energy  efficiency and housing  costs results  in safer,                                                               
healthier,  and  more  affordable housing  and  smart,  strategic                                                               
investments  in  energy  efficient   housing  have  an  important                                                               
economic impact for  the state. The state's  investment in energy                                                               
efficient   housing   is   critical  to   achieving   sustainable                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:07:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG  MOORE, Vice  President, Planning  & Development,  Tlingit-                                                               
Haida  Regional   Housing  Authority  (THRHA),   Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
recognized  two people  in the  audience  that have  a wealth  of                                                               
information   on  the   Weatherization   Program:  Pat   Shively,                                                               
Executive Director  of Alaska Community  Development Corporation,                                                               
and the Weatherization Coordinator,  Matthew Bell. Mr. Moore said                                                               
he oversees  the Weatherization Program at  the Housing Authority                                                               
as well as new construction and rehab projects.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MOORE provided  an overview  of  the state's  Weatherization                                                               
Program and  the positive impacts  it has brought to  his region.                                                               
THRHA  serves rural  communities in  the Southeast  Alaska Region                                                               
from  Yakutat to  Hydaburg,  he  said, and  few  programs are  as                                                               
important to the well-being of  the rural communities as this one                                                               
is.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Since 2008, THRHA  has received funding to  weatherize 915 homes,                                                               
and many  more need this  service. The  average cost per  unit is                                                               
$11,000  and  this represents  a  significant  infusion into  the                                                               
local economy.  It has  reduced heating  costs, because  many old                                                               
rural  homes  are  in  the one-to-two  star  energy  range,  very                                                               
inefficient, and  are typically  heated with  fuel oil.  Some are                                                               
heated with wood.  There is no natural gas  heating in Southeast.                                                               
They find  that with  insulating and  sealing against  heat loss,                                                               
servicing heating  systems and,  in some cases,  replacing failed                                                               
or  very inefficient  heating systems  with new  energy efficient                                                               
systems  can  often raise  these  homes  to  three or  four  star                                                               
ratings.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:10:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MOORE   said  trained  assessors  use   blower  door  tests,                                                               
combustion  analyzers, backdraft  testing, IR  cameras, fan  flow                                                               
measurements and their  trained eyes to test  and identify health                                                               
hazards in  the homes. They  then take measures to  reduce carbon                                                               
monoxide,  mold and  mildew,  poor indoor  air  quality and  fire                                                               
hazards making homes much healthier and safer.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOORE  said this program  has also provided much  needed jobs                                                               
in economically  depressed communities  and economic  benefits to                                                               
local businesses. Materials are  purchased from local vendors and                                                               
contractors   are  hired   for   many  weatherization   services;                                                               
transportation companies  benefit and  local stores  benefit from                                                               
the cash infusion  from wage earners. This all  helps sustain the                                                               
local economies.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  said  Crews  receive  training in  building  science,  energy                                                               
efficiency which  has also  raised the  level of  knowledge about                                                               
indoor  air  quality  and  health  factors  in  the  construction                                                               
workforce. Workers  are trained  to identify  and seal  heat loss                                                               
bypasses  in  attics,  floors  and  walls,  to  test  and  repair                                                               
defective  heating systems  and  to call  in heating  contractors                                                               
when failed systems  need to be replaced. They  test for adequate                                                               
ventilation and  install high  quality fans  for good  indoor air                                                               
quality.  These  skills  and  knowledge  are  invaluable  in  the                                                               
villages, a benefit that carries forward long into the future.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MOORE  said  the  Weatherization   Program  helps  slow  the                                                               
outmigration of  village families, because these  jobs give young                                                               
men  and women  a  chance to  earn good  incomes  and gain  self-                                                               
respect while they improve the  quality of life for their elders,                                                               
and it  makes their homes  more affordable to operate.  These all                                                               
affect their decisions  to stay in their  beloved communities and                                                               
not move to the urban hubs.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOORE  summarized that  he sees benefits  on a  regular basis                                                               
and he  is thankful to  be part of  a program that  so positively                                                               
affects so many people.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MICCICHE  noted  that  he had  used  the  program  with                                                               
astounding results.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:15:23 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  HARDENBERGH, Executive  Director,  Rural Alaska  Community                                                               
Action  Program (RurAL  CAP), Anchorage,  Alaska, mentioned  that                                                               
Senator  Micciche  was  probably talking  about  the  Residential                                                               
Rebate Program, which  is also administered by AHFC, but  it is a                                                               
little  bit different  than  the  income eligible  Weatherization                                                               
Program for lower income folks.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:16:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARDENBERGH  thanked the committee  for being able  to review                                                               
the  measurable   results  and  impacts  of   the  Weatherization                                                               
Program. He said  the original concept for what has  now become a                                                               
national program  was born  here in  Alaska and  came out  of the                                                               
Community of  Fort Yukon in the  1970s. Weatherization assistance                                                               
provides  income  eligible   households  with  energy  efficiency                                                               
improvements;  it   saves  money,  saves  energy,   keeps  people                                                               
healthy, extends the  life of the home and  creates skilled jobs.                                                               
Seventy  percent  of  the  households  served  include  a  senior                                                               
citizen or  person with a  disability and  more than half  of the                                                               
households served include children under the age of six.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
One of the factors that makes  the return on investment in energy                                                               
savings  so compelling  in  Alaska is  that  low income  Alaskans                                                               
experience  the  highest  energy   burden  in  the  country,  Mr.                                                               
Hardenbergh said.  The energy burden  for low income  families in                                                               
rural  Alaska often  exceeds  50 percent  just  for home  heating                                                               
fuel. Thus, a  program that reduces the amount of  fuel needed to                                                               
heat a  home by 30 percent  on a statewide average  and more than                                                               
40 percent  in much of  rural Alaska  can be life-changing  for a                                                               
low income family.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARDENBERGH  said  average  rural families  save  more  than                                                               
$2,300 a year on home  heating fuel; statewide the average family                                                               
saves $1,300 a year after  their homes have been weatherized, and                                                               
the amount of  savings to a family budget increases  to more than                                                               
$4,000 a year in those parts  of the state where both fuel prices                                                               
and energy burdens are highest.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:18:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MICCICHE asked if the  program had spent $10 million, an                                                               
average of $11,000 on 915 homes, so far.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARDENBERGH answered that the  program serves Anchorage after                                                               
taking it  over from the  Municipality about five years  ago, and                                                               
then along with some regional  housing authorities they serve all                                                               
of Western  Alaska from  the Y-K  region all  the way  up through                                                               
Nome  and Kotzebue  regions, as  well as  Juneau, along  with the                                                               
Housing Authority here.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MICCICHE  asked  him to  consider  savings  per  capita                                                               
across the  state in the future  to demonstrate the value  of the                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:19:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARDENBERGH  said he had  a number  from AHFC which  he would                                                               
come  to  in  a  minute. He  continued  that  the  Weatherization                                                               
Program  also includes  health and  safety benefits  ranging from                                                               
smoke  and  carbon  monoxide  detectors  to  improve  indoor  air                                                               
quality  and  the mitigation  of  mold  and mildew  problems;  it                                                               
improves Alaska's housing  stock by adding more than  20 years to                                                               
the lifespan  of the average  home. AHFC has calculated  that the                                                               
aggregate  return on  investment  from previous  years using  the                                                               
Weatherization Program  was $46  million this year.  The economic                                                               
impacts  on local  communities  also resulted  in  wages paid  to                                                               
locally hired crews and payments made to local vendors.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He said that  RurAL CAP works with dozens of  local businesses in                                                               
Anchorage and Juneau that provide  materials and deliver services                                                               
for  the   program.  Economists  at  the   University  of  Alaska                                                               
Anchorage's  (UAA), Institute  of  Social  and Economic  Research                                                               
(ISER),  found  that energy  efficiency  programs  were the  most                                                               
conservative and cost effective  options for state energy policy,                                                               
saving  both  energy and  money,  creating  jobs and  yielding  a                                                               
timely and low risk return on state dollars.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:21:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARDENBERGH  read several testimonials; a  very favorable one                                                               
came from an elder in  Chevak where locally hired crews completed                                                               
work on 107  homes last year from the more  than 16,000 owners of                                                               
homes weatherized since 2009.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:22:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOFFMAN joined the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:22:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR BISHOP joined the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:23:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GORE said she is of Aleut  decent and her mother was born and                                                               
raised in the  village of Ninilchik, one of 12  siblings who grew                                                               
up in  a one-bedroom home.  Her great grandfather led  mining and                                                               
trapping  expeditions  at Cooper  Landing;  his  name was  Joseph                                                               
Cooper.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She has  worked with  Cook Inlet  Housing for  15 years  that was                                                               
making a huge difference in Mountain  View where she was born and                                                               
where  there is  a large  concentration  of very  low income  and                                                               
Alaska Native people.  During her time at Cook  Inlet Housing she                                                               
learned much about  the responsibility at both  the household and                                                               
statewide   levels   connecting   energy   consumption,   housing                                                               
affordability and fiscal responsibility.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She said  that Alaskan homes  use more  energy than homes  in the                                                               
Lower 48, but it is startling  to know how much more. On average,                                                               
Alaskan  houses use  nearly three  times more  energy per  square                                                               
foot  than   nationally.  Consumption   is  high  because   of  a                                                               
combination of  extreme climate and  poor quality  housing stock.                                                               
Most of  Alaska's housing  stock is  not energy  efficient having                                                               
been hurriedly  built during the  pipeline boom in  the 1970-80s.                                                               
Statewide,  nearly 20,000  homes  have an  energy  rating of  one                                                               
star,  the  lowest energy  rating  any  home  can have.  Even  in                                                               
Southcentral, which has the most  affordable energy in the state,                                                               
residential  energy costs  are 50  percent greater  than in  cold                                                               
climate regions in the Lower 48.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Across  Alaska,  high  energy costs  combined  with  high  energy                                                               
consumption have  put a  financial squeeze  on both  families and                                                               
the state. Families  in Interior Alaska pay on  average more than                                                               
$8,000 per  year in energy costs.  The state also bears  a fiscal                                                               
burden due to  the energy costs and consumption  in programs like                                                               
Power Cost Equalization and the Housing Assistance Program.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:26:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  GORE said  a  very small  program has  had  a long  standing                                                               
investment  from  the   state  from  the  late   70s  called  the                                                               
Supplemental Housing Development Grant  Program that is delivered                                                               
through Alaska  Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC).  This program                                                               
was designed to  encourage the delivery of  safe energy efficient                                                               
housing  throughout   Alaska.  Funds  can  be   used  for  energy                                                               
efficient design  features and basic infrastructure.  By statute,                                                               
the Supplemental  Housing Development Grant Program  may match no                                                               
more  than  20 percent  of  development  costs for  any  project.                                                               
Historically,  recipients  have  matched every  dollar  of  state                                                               
supplemental funding with  $5 additional and in her  case, it's a                                                               
9:1 match.  She said the  Supplemental Housing  Development Grant                                                               
Program plays a critical role  in ensuring that housing built and                                                               
rehabilitated in rural Alaska is energy efficient.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GORE said  that  Alaska doesn't  have  a statewide  building                                                               
energy code. However, the  Supplemental Housing Development Grant                                                               
Program  mandates   compliance  with  Alaska's   Building  Energy                                                               
Efficiency Standard  Program (BEES).   In rural  communities this                                                               
both triggers  energy efficiency  requirements and helps  to fund                                                               
some of  the costs of  energy efficient design  and construction.                                                               
In  turn, this  reduces dependency  on programs  like Power  Cost                                                               
Equalization and the Heating Assistance Program.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:28:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  GORE said  there are  clear examples  of the  impact of  the                                                               
Supplemental Housing Development  Grant Program. The Tagiugmiullu                                                               
Nunamiullu  Housing   Authority  (TNHA),  the   regional  housing                                                               
authority  based   in  Barrow   serves  Alaska's   northern  most                                                               
communities.  Recognizing the  harshness of  their climate,  TNHA                                                               
launched a  Sustainable Northern  Shelter Project to  address the                                                               
need for sustainable rural housing that uses very little energy.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Their  housing model  combines the  time-tested  method of  earth                                                               
banking   with  numerous   innovative  design   and  construction                                                               
techniques.  They  worked  with  Cold  Climate  Research  out  of                                                               
Fairbanks, which is also part  of AHFC's structure. The resulting                                                               
homes were  designed to last 100  years or more and  need just 18                                                               
percent  of the  heating fuel  consumed by  typical homes  in the                                                               
same climate.  Best of  all, the state's  investment was  just 15                                                               
percent of  total costs,  the remainder  being funded  by federal                                                               
grant  programs   and  federally  guaranteed   commercial  loans.                                                               
Sixteen of these homes are in their communities thus far.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The  impacts  of  the   Supplemental  Housing  Development  Grant                                                               
Program  in  rural  Alaska extend  beyond  housing.  Because  the                                                               
program  is  often  used  to  close  funding  gaps  and  advanced                                                               
developments that  are otherwise  infeasible, it  has significant                                                               
labor   impacts   throughout   Alaska.   The   regional   housing                                                               
authorities employ more than 1,000  Alaskans and their activities                                                               
support the employment of 2,250 Alaskans in total.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GORE said the impact  of the Supplemental Housing Development                                                               
Grant  Program  is not  limited  to  rural  Alaska; it  is  truly                                                               
statewide. In  Anchorage, Cook Inlet Housing  Authority will soon                                                               
break ground on  Grass Creek North, a  multi-phase development in                                                               
East  Anchorage that  will  consist of  100  apartment homes  for                                                               
families and seniors. Because of  the relatively small investment                                                               
of Supplemental  Housing Development Grant Program  funds of just                                                               
one-tenth  of the  total costs,  all homes  in Grass  Creek North                                                               
will be built to new six-star energy efficient standards.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:30:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  GORE  said  in  urban   and  rural  communities  alike,  the                                                               
Supplemental  Housing Development  Grant  Program helps  regional                                                               
housing  authorities secure  federal and  non-state resources  to                                                               
develop and rehabilitate housing to energy efficient standards.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:30:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR EGAN joined the committee meeting.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:31:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  GORE   said  for  example,  in   Anchorage's  Mountain  View                                                               
neighborhood,  Cook  Inlet   Housing  Authority  has  facilitated                                                               
approximately   $88   million   in   energy   efficient   housing                                                               
redevelopment. The state's portion  of that investment, excluding                                                               
the  debt that  came from  AHFC, has  been just  8 percent.  This                                                               
redevelopment  work made  possible by  a relatively  modest state                                                               
investment of  state funds  has stimulated  economic development.                                                               
Mountain  View  has   attracted  dentists,  a  telecommunications                                                               
store,  restaurants, a  health clinic,  a credit  union and  much                                                               
more.  The Supplemental  Housing Development  Grant Program  is a                                                               
small program that brings big  things for Alaska. It helps secure                                                               
non-state funding,  closes development gaps,  stimulates economic                                                               
development and most  critically it results in  the production of                                                               
energy efficient homes throughout the state.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  BISHOP asked  if Barrow  homes would  have the  same 18                                                               
percent fuel savings.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. GORE  answered probably  not as  much, but  they are  doing a                                                               
couple of things:  a new combination of two types  of solar - one                                                               
photo voltaic  and one  solo thermal -  and one  geothermal. They                                                               
have the  duty to  measure the  outcome and  they have  the Grass                                                               
Creek site to measure against, which  is only a five-star and not                                                               
a six-star property. She would get those details to him.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MICCICHE  noted that  the total  savings of  the program                                                               
have   amounted  to   $46  million   across  Alaska   for  16,000                                                               
weatherized homes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:36 PM                                                                                                                    
ETTA  KUZAKIN, President,  Agdaagux  Tribal  Council, King  Cove,                                                               
Alaska,  related  the  Weatherization  Program's  impact  on  her                                                               
family. She  is a recipient of  the program and is  proud to have                                                               
this opportunity  to share how important  it has been to  her and                                                               
others in communities across Alaska.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUZAKIN said she  had lived in King Cove all  of her life and                                                               
works  for  the  school  district.  She  is  married  with  three                                                               
children. King  Cove is located on  the south side of  the Alaska                                                               
Peninsula, 625  miles southwest  of Anchorage.  It has  an active                                                               
federally recognized  tribal government  like many  other Alaskan                                                               
communities,  an active  progressive municipal  government and  a                                                               
successful  village  corporation.  King  Cove  is  also  home  to                                                               
another federally recognized tribe.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:35:22 PM                                                                                                                    
She explained that  their economy depends primarily  on the year-                                                               
round commercial  fishing and  seafood processing  industries and                                                               
they have a history of severe  economic up and downs. Many in the                                                               
community, like in most rural  communities, struggle year to year                                                               
to make ends meet.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KUZAKIN  said  the  Weatherization  Program  is  "absolutely                                                               
amazing" and  she thought that  recipients and  community leaders                                                               
across would  say the  same thing  if they were  able to  be here                                                               
today.  She said  61 homes  have  been weatherized  in King  Cove                                                               
since  the program  began. Little  did  they realize  how such  a                                                               
relative  small investment  could  have such  a  large impact  on                                                               
energy efficiency, cash savings,  comfort and improved health and                                                               
safety. This is a gift that  keeps on giving. The average savings                                                               
in  diesel fuel  appears to  35 percent  and the  $80,000-100,000                                                               
that was  previously being spent  annually on diesel fuel  is now                                                               
available for families to spend on other critical needs.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KUZAKIN  said another great  program's success in  her region                                                               
is  Atka, a  small  very remote  community near  the  end of  the                                                               
Aleutian  Chain. It  very carefully  documented its  12-month pre                                                               
and  post-weatherization   community  fuel  use  for   homes  and                                                               
realized an average  of 43 percent savings, an  average of $4,100                                                               
per  household. She  provided a  data sheet  in support  of these                                                               
figures.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She  said  this  program  could mean  the  difference  between  a                                                               
community keeping  its school  open or being  forced to  close it                                                               
because  of lack  of students.  It  is hard  to overestimate  the                                                               
importance  this program  or imagine  a program  that has  a more                                                               
direct significant  impact on so  many households  in communities                                                               
across the state.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:38:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KUZAKIN showed a picture  of Agnes Gould, a handicapped elder                                                               
from King  Cove, whose  home was weatherized  this year.  She had                                                               
expressed to  Ms. Kuzakin  how grateful she  and her  family were                                                               
for  the reduction  in  utility  bills, but  also  how much  more                                                               
comfortable she  is, how  she feels  healthier and  basically how                                                               
her quality  of life has been  improved by the program.  Her fuel                                                               
use was cut in half by the improvements.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:39:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KUZAKIN also shared Janet  Wilson's positive sentiments about                                                               
the program and  concluded by asking the  legislature to continue                                                               
the  program at  a level  that allows  the thousands  of Alaskans                                                               
still  waiting patiently  to receive  the same  benefits she  and                                                               
others have received.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:40:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MICCICHE  asked if the  programs were  originally funded                                                               
at  $26 million  and if  the governor's  current budget  had $6.6                                                               
million.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. GORE answered that was correct.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MICCICHE said the benefits are obvious.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GORE commented  that she  knows  these are  tough times  and                                                               
tough  decisions need  to  be  made, and  she  wished them  great                                                               
wisdom.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MICCICHE  said that  Alaska has  a long  way to  go with                                                               
energy efficiency  and energy  availability, particularly  in the                                                               
rural areas.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GORE  added that  migration to urban  areas is  already being                                                               
seen.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR BISHOP agreed  and noted a meeting he  attended with the                                                               
Department of Energy for Alaska.  It was centered on rural energy                                                               
and delivery using everything in  the toolbox, including coal. He                                                               
noted a  study from a few  years ago that said  energy efficiency                                                               
would  save  Alaska billions  of  dollars.  The savings  she  has                                                               
presented need to be replicated.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:44:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MICCICHE said  he appreciated  all  their comments  and                                                               
finding  no  further  business  to  come  before  the  committee,                                                               
adjourned the Senate Special Committee  on Energy meeting at 1:45                                                               
p.m.