The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund is a special project of Juneau non-profit Renewable Juneau. The Fund offers a unique Alaskan option for carbon footprint reduction and home heating assistance. The Fund offers a carbon footprint reduction tool for all lovers of the Last Frontier and directs offset purchase revenues towards the replacement of oil-burning heating systems with efficient and emissions-free air source heat pumps. These heating system replacements not only eliminate the burning of diesel heating fuel and the creation of tons of annual carbon dioxide, they also address affordable housing in Juneau by targeting lower-income Juneau families and slashing heating bills. The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund puts your offset purchases into action on the ground in Alaska’s capital city. Each heating system upgrade eliminates an average of 11,200 pounds/year of CO2, while more than halving the annual heating bills for lower-income homeowners.
Why the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund?
Each summer, well over one million cruise ship visitors experience the beauty of Alaska’s capital city and its surrounding wildlands. The impacts of this influx of visitors on a town of 32,000 reach far and wide. The fossil-fuel infrastructure required to support Juneau’s summer tourism activities is enormous, and fuel thirsty. In short, the majority of the fossil fuel that drives this industry has compounded impact, traveling nearly 3000 miles to Juneau — from Alaska’s north slope, to refineries in the lower 48 and back north to Alaska — a journey heavily dependent on the burning of additional fossil fuels solely for the purpose of moving fossil fuels.
Your purchase of our carbon offsets reduces the need for some of this high-mileage, imported fuel. Additionally, the homes of the lower-income families who clear our application process will derive their heat from Juneau’s rain-and-snow-fed hydropower and the magic of air source heat pumps. We are happy to note that wild Juneau’s hydropower resources do not effect wild salmon runs. Juneau’s reservoirs are either far above salmon spawning areas or utilize lake-bottom drain systems. For more information on the benefits of air source heat pumps, details on how they function and information on the Juneau businesses that install and maintain them, please visit Renewable Juneau’s heat pump page.
How We Calculate Our Offsets
Our carbon offset calculations are based on the gallons of heating oil that are saved (because they are not burned) once an air source heat pump is installed as the primary replacement to an oil-burning system. This is a forward-looking calculation that projects the annual average savings in carbon emissions across the number of years of estimated useful life of the heat pump. The average annual heating fuel use by Juneau Carbon Offset Fund heat pump households is 550 gallons of diesel #2. When burned, each gallon results in 22.4 pounds of CO2. Multiplying 500 gallons times 22.4 pounds / gallon = 11,200 pounds of CO2 each year.
Current data estimates the useful life of an air source heat pump to be 15 years (Fischerheating.com post on ASHP life spans). and the average expense for installation, parts, labor and electrical work of our projects to date has averaged $4,800. Our carbon offset cost, calculated using these values, is $0.015 per pound of CO2. Many other carbon offset programs from other parts of the world offer much lower offset prices. For residents of Alaska, this will come as no surprise. Nearly every commodity in Alaska costs more than its counterpart in the lower 48 states. All products, including fuels, travel 1000 miles or more to Alaska by ocean-going barge or jet plane.
For additional information on our calculations, as well as links to many of the resources that we’ve utilized in pulling together out numbers, please visit Our Calculations page.
Your Offset Purchase Does Make A Difference
The average offset purchase with the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund is roughly $100. At this rate, it only takes 48 purchases to to convert a lower-income family home to clean and renewable heat and eliminate just over 500 gallons of diesel heating fuel per year. Heating bills of successful applicant’s are cut nearly in half and allow more money to remain and circulate here in Alaska and not be ‘exported’ to large fuel vendors in the lower 48.
Renewable Juneau is a Juneau, Alaska based 501(c)(3). Through education and advocacy, Renewable Juneau works toward a clean energy future for Alaska’s capital city. Visit us at renewablejuneau.org or on Facebook. Juneau Carbon Offset is a project of Renewable Juneau and operated by its board of directors. The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund’s advisory committee assists the board with decisions about application of funds.
The Juneau Community Foundation acts as the Fund’s administrative assistant and manages the majority of Fund revenues. The Foundation’s EIN for tax deduction purposes is 52-2395867.