Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) efficiency programs address residential energy conservation, low-cost loans for energy-efficient structures, technical assistance, and weatherization.
Home Energy Improvement Program
In May 2008 the Alaska legislature appropriated $300 million to AHFC for three programs to help Alaskans reduce energy bills and make their homes more energy efficient. The three programs are:
1. Home Energy Rebate Program
The program allows homeowners who make their own energy efficiency improvements to receive a rebate for some or all of their expenditures. It requires a home energy rater to evaluate homes before and after the improvements. The rebates cover the cost of ratings up to $500 and cover the cost of improvements up to $10,000.
2. Second Mortgage Program for Energy Conservation
The program allows borrowers to apply to AHFC for financing to make energy improvements on owner-occupied properties. If the Home Energy Rebate Program does not fully cover energy efficiency improvements, the Second Mortgage for Energy Conservation program enables AHFC to loan up to $30,000 to qualified borrowers.
3. Weatherization Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. During the last 30 years, the U.S. Department of Energys (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program has provided weatherization services to more than 5.6 million low-income families. By reducing the energy bills of low-income families instead of offering aid, weatherization reduces dependency and liberates funds for spending on more pressing family issues. On average, weatherization reduces heating bills by 32% and overall energy bills by $358 per year at current prices. This spending in turn spurs low-income communities toward job growth and economic development.
Residential Energy Efficiency
AHFC also published minimum insulation requirements for buildings in Alaska based on the International Energy Code (IECC) 2006 Sections 402.1 through 402.3. IECC describes the prescriptive method for compliance and establishes minimum thermal envelope insulation requirements for buildings in general. AHFC encourages builders to exceed these minimums. For this reason, AHFC published a list of Alaska-specific amendments to the IECC 2006 and the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2004, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings, (ASHRAE 62.2-2004). These amendments shall be limited to new construction only.
AHFC established 5 new IECC climate zones and assigned a zone to each Alaskan community based on heating degree day ranges (Table 1).
Table 1: Climate Zones for Alaska