The Juneau Carbon Offset Fund (JCOF) announces our 14th lower income family home heat pump installation – just in time for the holiday season – again, right on the heels of installation #13! Shortly after the heat pump started moving heat from the outdoors to the inside of the house, I received an excited email from Sharyn. “Our house is warm and the oil heat is off!” I can’t say how happy this sort of message makes me! Having met the two young men of the house, the heat pump sure seems to be making them happy as well!
It’s been 13 months since the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund installed its first emissions-slashing heat pump in a Juneau lower-income family home. 14 heat pumps, 13 months – we’re kinda liking this ‘more than a pump a month’ average and hope to bump it up to two per month in 2021! At an average of 500 gallons of annual oil elimination EACH, this latest JCOF project ups our yearly carbon elimination total to nearly 157,000 pounds of carbon dioxide!
A Larger Impact
A point I try to stress to families when I begin ‘bragging’ about their amazing new, hydro-powered heating system is that the heat pump’s impact goes well beyond the oil that it eliminates. A heat pump pulls its heat from the outdoor air right at the house, moving that heat a matter of 10-20 feet or so. Oil heat on the other hand, from an Alaskan perspective, must travel from the north slope to Valdez, sail to the PNW to be refined, return up the inside passage to the tank farm in Juneau, and then be driven to the home’s fuel tank. That’s an oil-burning, 3000+ mile journey, to bring warmth to your living room!
I have no idea of the size of the carbon footprint in moving each gallon of home heating diesel from the ground to the boiler, but it must be fat! And, in the case of the modern, low-cost-to-operate air source heat pump, that carbon footprint is just not necessary.
My point? Adding a heat pump to your home may be the most impactful climate action that any one individual can take. And, the reduced cost of operating the heat pump stays in Juneau and does not enter the profit-rich coffers of BP, Exxon, or other money-hungry fossil fuel companies. True, Avista Corporation, the owner of our local electric utility (AELP), benefits from our electric bill payments, but AELP does as well, right here in Juneau.
Renewable Juneau AGAIN thanks all of the carbon offsetters who help to drive this effort forward! These smiling boys wouldn’t be giving a thumbs up to their new heat pump without the continued responsible actions of so many. Roughly, between offset purchases, donations, and grants, we’ve seen a $100,000 first year of climate action. And, nearly 100% has either been applied to oil elimination, additional heat pump purchases, or is lined up for our next installations.
And, a big shout out to our partners at Alaska Heat Smart, ALCAN, and Panhandle Heat Pumps. You’re all helping to make these projects possible!