Residents use less energy on Day 2 of diesel power

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2009

The effects of Juneau residents' energy conservation may already be showing.

The city electrical grid used 7 percent less energy on Tuesday than on Monday, according to data from Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. That's even though the average temperature, which tends to correlate strongly with energy use, was the same both days.

Juneau has been diesel-powered since Monday afternoon, when an avalanche cut off the line that supplies Juneau's cheaper hydroelectric energy. Residents are expecting that electricity rates may rise sharply to cover the cost of diesel.

The city used 84,000 gallons of diesel Tuesday, the first full day on the generators, to supply 949 megawatt-hours of electricity.

That's a lot more than last spring. When Juneau was last on emergency diesel, the city used an average of 653 megawatt-hours a day and 47,808 gallons of diesel.

"I think it's January versus April," said AEL&P spokesman Scott Willis. "We have much shorter days, so lights are on more, and it's colder."

He suspected that was most of the difference. The new high school might account for some increase in daily usage, as well as a few other large buildings, he said.

The lowest daily usage since the April 2008 avalanches was May 25, when the city was on diesel, at 540 megawatt-hours. The highest was 1,281 megawatt-hours, on Jan. 10 this year.

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For complete coverage of the Snettisham avalanches including tips on how to conserve energy, video reactions and links to local resources go online to juneauempire.com/powerline.



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