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Accelerated electricity conservation in Juneau, Alaska: A study of household activities that reduced demand 25%

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Energy Policy, Volume 36, Number 5, p.2299-2309 (2011)



An avalanche destroyed the main hydroelectric transmission line to Juneau, Alaska in April, 2008. Diesel-generated electricity was substituted, causing electricity prices to increase 500% for 45 days. Electricity demand fell by 25% during the supply disruption. Most of the reduction occurred before the higher rates were implemented. Some conservation ñ about 8% of historic consumption ñ persisted after the transmission line was repaired and prices returned to normal. Consumers reduced energy use through a combination of new habits and technical improvements. A survey of residential consumers indicated that the average household undertook 10 conservation actions, with major changes in lighting, space heating, fuel switching, and water and appliance use. We propose a method for prioritizing conservation actions for promotion according to their impact in electricity savings (as a function of popularity, effectiveness, and persistence) and a dynamic framework for electricity use before, during, and after a supply disruption (i.e., both the magnitude and rates of change in electricity conservation).