300 barrels of oil

Two Juneau Home Sees Lower Heating Bills / Slash CO2 Emissions

The 16th and 17th Juneau lower-income families have jumped the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund (JCOF) hurdles and are now enjoying the clean, dry, inexpensive, and carbon-free heat of their new Daikin heat pumps! The heat pumps in these two homes will eliminate the need for roughly 900 gallons of diesel fuel annually, roughly 20 barrels of oil. The annual cost of this oil – $3000 and that’s only if the price stops rising! Our projected electricity cost of driving the heat pumps – $1500. $1500 in savings. Per year. For 15 years.

Independent studies suggest that these heat pumps have a life span of about 15-20 years. Assuming 15, these two Juneau Carbon Offset Fund projects should be responsible for the elimination of nearly 300 barrels of oil! That’s a big pile of barrels! The image at the top of this post shows roughly 200 barrels. One barrel of burned oil cranks out 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide. So here you have it. Carbon offsetting, carbon elimination, carbon reduction…whatever you want to call it. It’s working in Juneau and the Juneau Carbon Offset Fund continues to inch our town closer to meeting the Juneau Assembly adopted Renewable Energy Strategy goal of meeting 80% our energy needs with renewables by 2045.

A Strong Desire to Kick the Habit

RD, a single mom who lives with her son and daughter, was eager to stop burning oil. She expressed this carbon-kicking desire to us so we investigated the options of our standard one indoor air handler plan as well as a two-head model with an air handler downstairs and another upstairs. The quote initially seemed too high for RD. While a one-to-one heat pump could eliminate much of her oil needs, some oil would still be required for the lower rooms of their home. JCOF can only inject so much money into a project due to the need to balance cost with oil elimination.

It turns out that RD had some powerful lobbyists in her home and they worked her hard for the full package. These powerful influencers, namely her kids, spend much of their time downstairs and they worked mom hard for a first floor air handler too. I’m not sure if they’ll be helping to provide the extra funds or not, but RD was able to work with family and borrow about $2500 to cover the additional cost. The savings on her oil bills, bills which will essentially vanish, will cover this cost in about 2.5 years. In RD’s own words,

I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your help and assistance throughout the entire process. I never thought I could have a heat pump for my family. The kids are sooo excited to see how this all works out for us. Having the downstairs kept warmer, that’s a golden ticket right there. It’ll be more efficient and cost effective. Heck, we can get rid of all our floor fans! Ha! And, it occurred to me that I can now heat AND cool my home….and the best thing is that we’ll be reducing our carbon emissions. I’m very grateful!

Our Third Successful Trailer Installation

Project number 17 is our first trailer park home installation in Switzer Village. With the help of Alaska Heat Smart’s home energy assessment services and heat pump advisor expertise, we were able to verify that the trailer owned by Ed and Joanne would be a perfect fit for the addition of a heat pump. The electrical service to the trailer looked sound, the skirting around the base of the trailer was tight and well insulated, and the water and sewer pipes underneath were well protected from any chance of freezing. In some situations, a trailer’s furnace will provide heat, via loss, to these areas, protecting pipes from freezing during cold snaps. A heat pump will allow the furnace to remain off for all but the coldest weather and we need to be certain that the underside of the trailer will not experience freezing issues.

If a trailer is insulated well, we have learned that even during cold snaps like the recent one that dropped temperatures in the Valley to below zero, a 12K BTU heat pump can be all that is needed! We checked in with the Davis family in the Thunder Mountain trailer park and learned that even when the outdoor air dropped to 6 below zero, they never had the need of their oil furnace. The heat pump managed just fine, keeping the Davis’ nice and warm.

Other good news is that Ed and Joanne learned about the Carbon Offset Fund from a previous JCOF heat pump recipient! Word of mouth is a valuable marketing and educational tool in Juneau and we encourage all who read this to spread the word, direct people to our application page, and the share your heat pump success news with others!

Leave a Reply