Energy Watch test shows small savings

Last week’s energy conservation test showed a decrease in energy use of around 2 percent throughout Southcentral Alaska.


Households throughout Southcentral were asked to conserve electricity and natural gas on Oct. 19 to see how residents would respond to potential natural gas shortages this winter.

Joe Gallagher, public relations coordinator for Homer Electric Association, said electricity use on the Kenai Peninsula was similar to the regional results. Use during the test period was less than one percent less than the day before, and about two percent less than the day after.

“The reductions were minimal but one of the goals is to make people aware of the issue and the Energy Watch program even if they don’t participate in the test,” Gallagher said in an email.

According to an announcement from the Municipality of Anchorage, a survey conducted by Hays Research Group showed that about half of the 402 respondents were aware of the conservation drill, with about a quarter saying they participated. A larger portion — about 63 percent — said they were aware of a possible natural gas shortage.

Anchorage partnered with the Kenai Peninsula Borough and Matanuska-Susitna Borough on the test. The participating utilities were Homer Electric Association, Enstar, Chugach Electric Association, Municipal Light and Power, and Matanuska Electric Association.