PUBLISHED: 5:21 PM on Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Palin signs energy relief package
ANCHORAGE - Gov. Sarah Palin signed legislation on Monday that will help Alaskans combat the high cost of energy. The Governor signed House Bill 4001 and Senate Bill 4002 into law at the home of an Anchorage resident who took advantage of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Weatherization and Home Energy Rebate Program.

SB 4002 uses revenues generated from the state's natural resources to provide a one-time special payment of $1,200 to every Alaskan eligible for the 2008 Permanent Fund dividend. The bill also raises by 50 percent the maximum amount of loans that bulk fuel bridge and bulk fuel revolving loan funds can make to communities and cooperatives. It also suspends the state's motor fuel tax on gasoline, marine fuel, and aviation fuel for a year and strengthens the Power Cost Equalization Program. HB 4001 is the appropriation bill.

"Alaskans who signed up for direct deposit will see these funds on September 12, along with their dividend," said Governor Palin. "In rural Alaska, particularly, many people are facing a choice between feeding their families and heating their homes, and they could use this payment from the state's energy-generated surplus to cover some of those bills."

Carol Geczy's home has been weather-stripped, insulation was added to the attic and crawl space, drafts were sealed and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors were installed. Approximately $5,000 was spent on the home with an expected energy savings of 20 to 30 percent. The improvements were made in part by AHFC's Weatherization Program.

"The Governor's resource rebate, along with AHFC's Weatherization and Home Energy Rebate programs, are putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the hands of Alaskans to help combat high energy costs," said Dan Fauske, AHFC's chief executive officer. "Investing money in making your home more energy efficient is just about the best bang for your buck you can get."