Over the last year, Sitka Conservation Society (SCS) has supported Juneau nonprofit Alaska Heat Smart in doing local outreach for their Clean Heat Incentive Program, which is providing $100,000 in heat pump awards to qualifying Sitka households. An expansion of this collaboration came this winter, when SCS made a funding match to Alaska Heat Smart to support their Sitka-based Home Energy Assessor position through 2024.

Since May 2023, Sitka’s Maureen O’Hanlon has been providing home heat pump assessments to residents. Home heat pump assessments educate people on heat pumps, report likely cost and carbon emission savings, inform about technology and placement options, and provide support in navigating the installation process. The assessments help households make well-informed decisions and can result in easier and quicker heat pump conversions. 


Photos by Bethany Goodrich.

This service is available to all Sitkans interested in installing a heat pump. It is currently being funded by Alaska Heat Smart with supporting funds of $3,500 via SCS from a grant award from the Sustainable Southeast Partnership. Alaska Heat Smart works to reduce the cost of living and increase the use of clean energy in Alaska households by removing barriers to the adoption of energy efficiency measures and technologies. The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is a collective impact network uniting diverse organizations to strengthen cultural, ecological, and economic resilience across Southeast Alaska. SCS is grateful for the work of Alaska Heat Smart and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership to make heat pumps running on our renewable hydropower more accessible for Sitkans.

Says Chandler O’Connell, SCS’s Community Catalyst, “Embracing renewable energy technology and energy-efficient practices that reduce fossil fuel consumption is critical to building a resilient Southeast where people and place can thrive for generations to come. We hope that Sitkans will take advantage of the assessments and the Clean Heat Incentive Program. In combination with Federal tax credits now available for heat pumps, people can save thousands of dollars while improving the comfort of their homes. We are happy to help people understand what resources are out there! Call us at 907-747-7509 or visit sitkawild.org/energy to learn more.”

Heat pump awards from Alaska Heat Smart are still available, and applicants can get $1000-$2,500 depending on income. Sign up for a home heat pump assessment and/or apply for a Clean Heat Incentive Program at akheatsmart.org/clean-heat-incentive-program-sitka.