Solar for All
Even as Alaskans are prepping for cooler temperatures and darker days with the onset of winter, AHFC's Research & Rural Development staff are looking to solar to light the days ahead.
Federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act presents opportunities for the state, including a $100 million Solar For All application that the agency is working on collaboratively with its partners at Alaska Energy Authority.
If fully awarded, $50 million will come to AHFC sometime in 2024 with a focus on increasing residential and multi-family rooftop solar, with a focus on disadvantaged communities and low-income Americans as defined in the congressional legislation.
Infrastructure Symposium Presentation
Solar For All is one of several competitive grants AHFC is currently applying for or has recently received and is in the process of negotiating, and was spoken about during a stakeholder engagement session at Alaska Municipal League's Infrastructure Symposium in Anchorage on September 27, 2023. Other subjects included a presentation about AHFC's efforts to develop a framework to support local jurisdictions considering adopting or updating local building codes, federal energy rebates targeted at overall home efficiency, beneficial electrification upgrades and appliance replacements. Three AHFC staff members, Ethan Stoops, Michael Parker and Tom Benkert, shared information about AHFC’s efforts that they hope will have a great impact on the state and they collected feedback from participants.
One woman from Saint Michael on the western coast said many homes in her village of 500 people were built with cement floors that all but assure cold and drafty interior conditions that make living both uncomfortable and a health hazard, particularly for elders and young children.
An Opportunity to Improve Lives
"The federal funding Alaska is seeing provides a once in a generation opportunity to improve lives," says Stoops, the department's information manager.
"Proactively addressing best practices in building at a price that's affordable, coupled with improving and extending the life of the existing housing stock in our state, is partially why I was drawn to this job. Putting our heads together and rolling up our sleeves — we can make a real difference," he said.
The slide presentation used at AML is included below. As it becomes available, new information about AHFC's efforts on the programs mentioned here will be shared on AHFC's blog.
For more information about the work of AHFC's Research and Rural Development department, visit ahfc.us/efficiency.