The April 16, 2008 Avalanches

The avalanches that severed Juneau from its cheap and clean source of power affected all of Juneau -- families, business, and government.  Few of us were able to easily absorb such a massive increase in electric costs and we all were forced to take note of our habits.  The City and Borough of Juneau government conserved energy during those weeks and continues  to do so, and continue to look for ways to reduce energy consumption.   

See below for more NEWS items.  

Daily Energy and Fuel Use Statistics

Daily Water Use Statistics


News and Documents


Sept. 29, 2008 - Elgee Rehfeld Mertz, LLC Report to Assembly re: AEL&P's ECOPA program.

Aug 1 - AELP compiled energy use data through July 31.  Energy use still down from last year, though continuing its upward trend.  Click here for the graph.

June 15 - AEL&P compiled energy use data through June 14th.  Energy use is down 13% from last year at this time, in spite of the colder temperatures.  Click here for the data, including graphs.

June 12 -  Mayor appoints Lessons Learned Commission to review the CBJ, AEL&P, and community response to the April avalanches.  More info on the Commission's work available here. 

June 3 - Want to know when your household will be done with the 52 cent electriciy rate?  If you have received a bill at the high rate, you are onto the lower rate.  Everyone will be off the highest rate by June 16.   Go to AEL&P website for more info.

June 2 - Assembly amends resolution regarding emergency grants and loans so that the law conforms to the grant and loan programs that are being implemented following negotiations with the agencies.  Ordinance 2008-18(b) here.

June 1 - AEL&P announces that they completed repairs to the transmission lines and restored Snettisham hydroelectric power to Juneau at 9:17 p.m. Sunday evening.  AEL&P reports that "customers will not see the reduced rate until their next billing period. More information as to when customers will see reduced rates will be posted soon on AEL&P’s web site at"

May 29 - Applications for City-funded JEDC-administered Business Electricity Loan Program now available.  Press releaseApplicationPersonal financial statatement form.

May 27 - AEL&P releases report, "The April 2008 Snettisham Avalanche Cycles," by avalanche specialists Bill Glude, Don Sharaf, and Nancy Pfeiffer. 

May 22 - Revised applications for City-funded privately-administered temporary avalanche-related electric bill assistance now available.  Expanded program includes households at 300% of Federal poverty guidelines.  For example, a family of four with $79,500 annual income is now eligible for assistance.  See application form and materials here. 

May 20 - Senators Stevens and Murkowski introduce a bill to establish a program to monitor avalanche threats on federal land.  More information available here

May 19 - Links to AEL&P documents including filings and orders from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, Snettisham Agreements, repair photos, and more.  Here

May 16 - The U.S. Small Business Administration announces the availability of low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses economically impacted by the increased cost of electricity as a result of the avalanches.  Press release here.

May 16 - AEL&P offers to fund independent audit of the cost of power adjustment (COPA) and as well as a report on “lessons learned” from this disaster.

May 12 - “Juneau Unplugged:  Live more. Use less” is a community campaign in response to the electricity disaster. The campaign encourages individuals, community groups, and businesses to use the logo and slogan.  For more information, visit the Juneau Unplugged website.   

May 12 - Assembly met in Regular Session and reviewed and adopted
Resolution 2444 - Requesting State Reconsideration of its Decision Denying a Disaster Declaration for the April 15, 2008 Snettisham Avalanches.

May 9 - Re-energizing Juneau Marketplace:  buy a new energy-efficient refrigerator or freezer between May 10-17, and Waste Management will pick up half of the disposal cost for your old model.  Certificate here.

May 8 - Applications for temporary avalanche-related electric bill assistance now available.   Press Release    Application    FAQ    Do you qualify?

May 8 - Re-energizing Juneau (Saturday, May 10, energy forum) schedule

May 6 - Juneau Legislative Delegation launches website with links to newsletters and other documents

May 1 - Assembly met in Special Session and adopted Emergency Appropriating Resolution 2442(am) Appopriating $3,250,000 to the Manager for a Grant to the United Way of Southeast Alaska, and a Loan to the Juneau Economic Development Council, for Energy Assistance to Residents and Small Businesses, and for Energy Conservation Measures, Funding Provided by the Budget Reserve.

April 30, 2008 - Press Release: Some CBJ Libraries Closing/Reducing Hours for the Summer Schedule to Help Conserve Energy

April 29 - Assembly continued Special Assembly meeting to Tuesday, at 12:30 p.m. in Chambers to continue discussion on Resolution 2441, an Emergency Appropriation Resolution Appropriating $3,250,000 to Alaska Electric Light and Power, and For Energy Conservation Measures, Funding Provided by the Budget Reserve.   Assembly amended Resolution 2441, referred the Resolution to further discussion at a Special Assembly meeting on May 1, 2008, 5pm, Chambers.

April 28 - Assembly met in Special Session and adopted Emergency Ordinance 2008-17, providing a Temporary Sales Tax Exemption For Sales of "Cost of Power Adjustments" on Electrical Power.

April 28 - Lawrence Berkely Lab's Alan Meier, author of Saving Electriciy in a Hurry, visits Juneau.  For Meier's account of his visit, click here.  

April 25 - Juneau Commission on Sustainability announces "Re-Energizing Juneau:  A Community-Wide Conference on Energy Use," May 10, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Mendenhall Mall

April 24 - Assembly Finance Committe considers ways to help provide a safety net for immediate relief on electric bills

April 23 - Report on CBJ energy saving measures

April 17 - CBJ declaration of emergency


Energy Saving Info

Ways to reduce your energy bill (printable brochure mailed to all households in Juneau)

No cost: 

Low cost:

Tools to help you estimate your energy use

Quick calculations:  one month at 50 cents per kWh
Hours Per Day
Monthly cost at 50 cents/kWh
electric oven
water heater
clothes dryer
100 w bulb
100 watt CFL equivalent

CFL= compact florescent light

Amazing fact:  it takes over a half gallon of diesel fuel to generate the electrcity to run your clothes dryer for 1 hour!

Lists of the energy use of many household appliances:


More detailed recommendations and a lot more information may be found through the links, below.

Flex Your Power (California statewide energy efficiency outreach campaign)

U.S. Department of Energy -- info for consumers

Consumer Reports -- 20 free ways to save energy

101 ways to save energy

Alliance to Save Energy - Info for consumers

California Energy Commission - Energy Choices in the Home

California Energy Commission - links regarding energy conservation and efficiency

Energy checklist ffrom

Sustainable Juneau

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

AEL&P website

Brochures produced by the City of Sitka:


Want some help increasing the energy efficiency of your home?

State of Alaska Weatherization and Energy Rebate.  This spring, the legislature appropriated $300 million to AHFC for weatherization and energy rebate programs. The funding will help Alaskans reduce their energy bills by making energy-efficient improvements to their homes.  See the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation website for more information.

Who qualifiesYou if you own and occupy your own home, reardless of your income.

Maximum Rebate Amount:  Up to $10,000. Final rebate amount depends on steps and points achieved on Post-Improvement rating.

See the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation website for more information on how to get your $10,000.


Weatherization Deal or No Deal - quick info on what improvements are worth doing in your home and what might not pay off. 




Financial  & Other Assistance for Individuals

For information on the city-funded privately administered grant program for temporary avalanche-related electric bill assistance:  

Alaska 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, health and human services information and referral system brought to you by United Ways of Alaska.  Dial 2-1-1 from any phone; operators are available during weekday business hours.  United Way’s 2-1-1 operators can help you access information about where to get financial assistance for utility bills, food banks, emergency shelter and a host of other services.  You may also search their online data base 24/7.

Heating Assistance Program.  This federally-funded state-run program provides assistance to low income households to offset the high cost of home heating.  The deadline for applications is April 30.  See the State of Alaska's Heating Assistance Program website for more information and to see if you qualify.



Office of the City Manager, 155 South Seward Street, Juneau, Alaska 99801