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ANTHC energy efficiency efforts and operator training provides savings for Chevak residents

October 7, 2016

Recognizing the high cost to operate sanitation infrastructure in rural Alaska, the ANTHC Rural Energy Initiative works with communities to implement innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions, combined with local operator training, to make public sanitation affordable. Since 2010, ANTHC has completed energy projects in 66 rural Alaska communities.

In 2013, ANTHC completed energy efficiency work and operator training in Chevak, Alaska. The City of Chevak was struggling with debt and had no money in reserves for parts or repairs for their sanitation system. A combination of an energy efficiency project, a wind-to-heat energy project and an operator training effort resulted in huge yearly savings for the cost of operating the sanitation system. The combination of efforts lowered customer’s water and sewer monthly rates by 27 percent; customer rates have decreased from $165 per month to $121 per month. Additional rate decreases are expected next year.

The lower cost to operate the Chevak sanitation system has provided the city with enough money for repairs, parts, and routine maintenance. In coordination with the Rural Energy Initiative, Chevak will begin construction of a heat recovery system next year that will lead to additional savings for the community.

Since its inception in 2010, energy efficiency and alternative energy projects completed by ANTHC’s Rural Energy Initiative are saving rural Alaska communities an estimated $2.85 million every year.

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