2019 proved to be a very successful first year for the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund! A global increase in awareness of the important benefits of carbon offsetting, combined with a strong market push for business carbon neutrality, spilled over into our Alaskan efforts to provide these services locally here in the capital city.
The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund went public on June 28 of 2019. It was the hope of the Renewable Juneau board that least two lower-income family home heat pump installations would be completed by the year’s end. While two homes did realize the elimination of their carbon-heavy oil heating and received heat pumps, two more homes will be completed by mid-January and a fifth will soon be chosen from over a dozen waiting applications.
The carbon elimination projects completed by the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund in 2019 have taken more than 1200 annual gallons of heating oil out of
the equation, for an annual CO2 reduction of nearly 13.5 tons. Once homes three and four are completed, purchased carbon offsets will be eliminating a total of nearly 2100 annual gallons of oil and 22.5 annual tons of carbon dioxide.
The Fund generated over $28,000 in both purchased offsets and donations, gained over 100 customers and now has the support of eleven businesses from Juneau, Gustavus and Sitka. Juneau’s Sentinel Coffee now offsets its carbon emissions from shipping of coffee beans from the lower 48 and Discovery Southeast’s Mendenhall Glacier Bookstore will be offering our carbon offset products for sale to over 600,000 summer visitors. Other negotiations are underway with businesses both large and small.
It is our hope that 2020 proves to be a big year for the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund! In addition to asking for your continued support, we hope that you share our work with your friends and neighbors and encourage them to first and foremost reduce their carbon footprints, prior to offsetting the remainder.
The board of Renewable Juneau and the advisory committee to the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund are still setting goals for 2020, but we feel it is possible that over the next 12 months we can reach 12 new lower income families, slash their heating bills, and swap out their carbon-heavy oil heat with clean and renewable heat from the magic of air source heat pumps.