Whether to lower emissions or save money – or both! – many Alaska homeowners would like to make their homes more efficient but have questions about various home heating options and their costs.
Enter Alaska Heat Smart, a non-profit Juneau organization that helps eliminate confusion about home heating options and offers programs that can provide money for heat pumps or home energy efficiency remediations.
“Alaska Heat Smart acts as a bridge between homeowners and energy efficiency contractors,” says Executive Director Andy Romanoff. “Our programs and services seek to eliminate confusion around energy-efficiency upgrades, educating and empowering homeowners to move ahead with confidence as they embrace money-saving, climate-friendly home improvements.”
Programs include free home heat pump assessments, a Healthy Homes Remediation Program, and the Clean Heat Incentive Program.
Heat pump home assessment
Alaska Heat Smart’s energy assessors will share information about your home’s heating needs, teach you how a heat pump will integrate with your home’s current heating systems, inform you about probable cost and emissions savings and help you navigate the installation process – at no cost.
“The heat pump home assessment really helps homeowners understand their home heating options and how to proceed with money-saving upgrades,” Romanoff says.
Healthy Homes (HH)
Funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Healthy Homes program tackles health, safety and comfort issues in the homes of qualified applicants. The program supports home remediation for up to 90 lower-income Juneau families, prioritizing homes with residents older than 62 and younger than seven.
This program considers the extent of hazards or issues present in the home and can provide up to $15,000 in improvements to a qualified home.
Eligibility requirements stipulate that household income must be below 8o percent of Juneau’s median area income.
(See HH page for full requirements and to apply.)
Clean Heat Incentive Program (CHIP)
Supported by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, CHIP provides a financial boost to households earning between 80 and 125 percent of median area income, with incentives ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 toward the purchase and installation of a heat pump.
“CHIP targets incomes between those of our HH program and our home heat pump assessment program. CHIP incentives help families clear the financial hurdle often in the way of energy efficiency savings,” Romanoff says.
Inflation Reduction Act tax credits
Tax credits under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act are now available. With no income limits, you may be eligible for these catalysts for energy-efficiency action. Since credits are not limited to just 2023, by organizing home improvement projects, you may be able to take $1,200 in tax credits for a number of years, and an additional cap of $2,000 for heat pump installations.
Credits, or money subtracted from your annual 1040 tax bill, are available for heat pump, electrical panel work, insulation, air sealing, new doors and windows, and more. Visit akheatsmart.org for detailed information.
“There has never been a better time to bring a heat pump and energy-efficiency into your home. Money is available from a wide variety of sources, allowing all homeowners and even renters to move ahead with upgrades that will slash heating bills and keep homes warmer, drier, and healthier!”