The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund is an environmental justice project of Juneau non-profit Renewable Juneau. The Fund offers an Alaska-centric option for carbon footprint reduction, personal and business carbon reduction services, and lower-income home heating assistance. We direct all reduction purchase revenues, as well as donations and grant awards, towards the replacement of oil-burning heating systems with efficient and emissions-free air source heat pumps, in the homes of lower income families. Utilizing Juneau’s abundant fish-friendly hydroelectric resources to heat homes not only eliminates the burning of diesel heating fuel and the creation of tons of annual carbon dioxide, it also addresses affordable housing in Juneau. Our projects target lower-income Juneau families, slash heating bills, and improve indoor air quality. The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund puts your carbon reduction purchases into action on the ground in Alaska’s capital city. Each heating system upgrade eliminates an average of 11,400 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. It travels nearly 3000 miles to Juneau — from Alaska’s north slope, to refineries in the lower 48 and back to Alaska — a journey heavily dependent on burning additional fossil fuels solely for the purpose of moving fossil fuels.
Your purchase of our carbon reduction options reduces the need for some of this high-mileage, imported fuel. Additionally, the homes of income-qualified families 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 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 and the resources available at Alaska Heat Smart.
How We Calculate Our Carbon Elimination
Our carbon reduction calculations are based on the gallons of heating oil that 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 quantity of heating fuel eliminated by a Juneau Carbon Offset Fund heat pump household is 510 gallons. When burned, each gallon results in 22.4 pounds of CO2. Multiplying 510 gallons times 22.4 pounds / gallon = 11,424 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). The average expense for installation, parts, labor and electrical work of our projects over 2022 averaged $6,341. These oil and project cost realities, combined with a balance of offset purchases and donations, bring our 2023 carbon offset cost to $0.021 per pound of CO2 eliminated. ($46/tonne). Other carbon offset programs from across the globe often offer lower carbon 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 heating fuel, travel 1000 miles or more to Alaska by ocean-going barge or jet plane. Equipment and contracted services in Alaska are not cheap.
For additional information on our calculations, as well as links to many of the resources that we’ve utilized in pulling together our numbers, please visit Our Calculations page.
Your Carbon Reduction Purchase Makes A Difference
The average carbon reduction purchase with the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund is roughly $100. At this rate, it only takes between 65 and 70 purchases to convert a lower-income family home to clean and renewable heat and eliminate over 500 gallons of diesel heating fuel per year. Heating bills of successful applicants are cut in half or better and allow more money to circulate in Alaska and avoi ‘export’ 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.