Sitka Conservation Society
Mar 29 2012

Weatherization 101: Caulking with Troop 4140

Girl Scout Troop 4140 has been learning all about energy during their Get Moving Energy Journey project as they work towards completing the requirements for their badge.  Part of their project was to share what they learn with the community.  In this video, join Girl Scouts from troop 4140 as they demonstrate the proper techniques for chalking your home.

Weatherization 101: Caulking from Sitka Conservation Society on Vimeo.

Weatherization 101 is a six part series produced by the Sitka Conservation Society and the City and Borough of Sitka Electric Department to help Sitkans increase their energy awareness, conserve electricity, and save money.

Video by Andre Lewis.

Mar 27 2012

Weatherization 101: Choosing the Right Type of Caulking for SE Alaska

The videos this week will deal with caulking.  Making sure that windows, doors, and seams are caulked and sealed will help save energy and money on home heating.  This video will teach how to choose the right type of caulk.

Weatherization 101: Choosing Caulk from Sitka Conservation Society on Vimeo.

Weatherization 101 is a six part series produced by the Sitka Conservation Society and the City and Borough of Sitka Electric Department to help Sitkans increase their energy awareness, conserve electricity, and save money.

Video by Andre Lewis.

Mar 22 2012

Weatherization 101: Lightbulbs

Girl Scout Troop 4140 has been learning all about energy during their Get Moving Journey, which focuses on energy. The journey consists of three prestigious Girl Scout awards, each containing several projects within itself. In addition to the regular Journey requirements, Junior troop 4140 took an additional task of recording weatherization videos to promote energy efficiency.  Join Girl Scouts from troop 4140 in this video to learn about light(two word)bulbs and how to choose more efficient lighting..

Weatherization 101 is a six part series produced by the Sitka Conservation Society and the City and Borough of Sitka Electric Department to help Sitkans increase their energy awareness, conserve electricity, and save money.

Video by Andre Lewis.

Mar 21 2012

The Future of Energy In Sitka

The Sitka Conservation Society released a report  today on the Future of Energy in Sitka that calculates how much energy Sitka uses in a year, how much energy will be needed to sustain the community over the next 20 years, and how much money will be spent on oil if there is not an investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The Sitka Conservation Society has worked in Sitka for 45 years to protect the natural environment of the Tongass and support the development of sustainable communities in Southeast Alaska.  This study is part of the Sitka Conservation Society’s sustainable communities program which seeks to power Sitka on renewable energy, implement thorough energy efficiency actions, and reduce Sitka’s carbon footprint.

Andrew Thoms, Executive Director of the Sitka Conservation Society, explains the rationale behind the study, “We did this study because we wanted to figure out how we could completely reverse our current energy mix in Sitka.  Right now, Sitka runs on oil:  75% of our energy comes from non-renewable energy sources while 25% comes from renewable energy.  We want to figure out if it is possible to completely reverse that within 20 years.  We know that oil prices are increasing because of reduced supply and increased demand.  We also know that burning fossil fuels causes climate change.  There is an urgent need to shift to renewable energy.”

For SCS board member Lexi Fish, the impetus to do this study is all about the future of the community.  “The 20 year projection gives us an idea of what the next generation of Sitkans will be dealing with. If a child is born today in Sitka, in 20 years they will be soon considering where to start their careers and family life. Will we have enough energy to sustain our community and economy? Will we have taken continual action to prevent the destructive impacts of climate change? This project gives us an idea of where to start now, so that our future generations will have a solid ground to stand on in Sitka’s community, environment and economy.”

The study found that Sitka, with a population of 8,881, currently uses approximately 1,585 Billion Btus of energy per year which is the equivalent of almost 275,000 barrels of oil or 465,000 Megawatt/hours of electricity.  According to Scott Brylinski, former City of Sitka Public Works Operations Manager and the principal investigator of this report, “Sitka will spend between $1B and $1.5B on oil over the next 20 years.  By making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects now, we can avoid much of those costs and keep dollars flowing within the local economy rather than leaking out of the community through purchase of oil.”

Garry White, director of the Sitka Economic Development Association, and member of the Southeast Conference, adds, “Having a viable energy supply is key to economic development and overall quality of life for Sitka.  The recently released Southeast Alaska Integrated Resource Management Plan provides some direction and potential paths.  Sitka has the opportunity to take information from both reports and shape the direction that works best for our community and our energy future.”

SCS’s report sought to find solutions that took advantage of local opportunities and proven technology with successfully demonstrated commercial applications.  Local business owner Gary Smith, who was interviewed in this study, comments that, “There is no silver bullet solution for meeting our energy needs.  It will take multiple initiatives and technologies working together.  This presents a huge opportunity for us to create local jobs and a local workforce installing and maintaining energy efficient technology like heat pumps.”

“Because of the scale and scope of the issue of energy, informed public and private sector investment is needed to ensure a viable energy supply for SE Alaska communities.  The State of Alaska legislature is currently working on legislation related to energy that includes oil tax structures, energy efficiency rebates and weatherization, emerging energy technology research, and renewable energy funds.  As can be seen from this report, it is critical that the legislature makes the right decisions on these issues because energy is a critical element for the sustainability of  Alaska communities and we know that our oil supplies are running out and we need to think beyond oil,” comments Andrew Thoms.

The full report outlines a range of scenarios for Sitka’s energy mix over the next twenty years and recommendations on actions that should be taken to ensure a viable energy supply.

The report can downloaded: here

To look at a timeline of the Sitka Conservation Society’s work on Climate Change and Renewable Energy, click: here

Feb 14 2012

The Better Bargain

Months have passed with hydroelectric shortage and the City of Sitka Electric Department has warned the community that the risk of having to use supplemental diesel fuel to run the town’s functions is high. In order to let this message sink in a bit further, Utility Director, Christopher Brewton, made this graphic meant to encourage electric users to switch to oil by using a visual that most people can relate to.

This simple graphic shows electric users that using an oil heater is over 2X as efficient as gaining electricity through the extremely inefficient diesel generators. Brewton hoped to encourage those with duel heating systems to switch since the diesel surcharge will add to every electric user’s monthly bill.

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Keep up to date on all of the issues. Check out "The Southeaster" Blog.

  • Hungry for Huckleberry Pie, Venison Stew, or Fresh Greens? Come to the Wild Foods Potluck Nov. 2!
  • Stand Up to Corporate Influence!
  • Kayaking Kootznoowoo: Report on SCS’s Final Wilderness Trip
  • Encouraging Local Natural Resource Stewardship on the Tongass: Kennel Creek
  • Teaching the Alaska way of Life: 4-H in Sitka
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