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Regional Energy Conservation Drill Reduces Load

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Oct. 22, 2009 - Regional Energy Conservation Drill Reduces Load by 2-4 percent Anchorage/Mat-Su/Kenai- Municipality of Anchorage officials and representatives from regional utilities estimate an initial energy load reduction of between 2-4 percent Oct. 21 between 6-8 p.m., the timing of the first Energy Watch conservation drill.

The estimate is based on initial data analysis. More specific numbers will be available once utility experts factor in variables such as weather, daylight, potentially unrelated load reductions from large energy users, etc. A final report about total energy saved is expected next Wed., Oct. 28 after utility experts review and analyze the data.

"I am immensely pleased with the response to the first energy conservation drill from the community and indeed, the entire region," said Mayor Sullivan. "Because this has never been done before, we had no idea what to expect but all indications show that citizens would conserve in the event of a real emergency."

Of particular note are Homer Electric Association and Elmendorf Air Force Base, whose efforts reduced energy loads by 6.5 percent and 4-5 percent, respectively.

"I want to thank everyone who participated in this exercise," said Mayor Sullivan. "The tagline for the Energy Watch campaign says 'Together we can make a difference.' That was proved last night. It's pretty impressive that on a fall evening enough people took enough steps that we could measure the impact of their actions."

The conservation drill was designed to gauge how much energy could be saved during a gas delivery shortfall. Should such a problem arise, residents of South central Alaska would be asked to voluntarily reduce energy use by turning down the thermostat, postponing laundry and dishes, lowering the water heater to "warm", minimizing use of gas ranges and turning off unnecessary lights and electronics. A cooperative conservation effort will hopefully mitigate the last resort need for rolling blackouts.

Utilities and organizations that participated in the drill include, Chugach Electric Association, ENSTAR, Municipal Light & Power, MEA, Homer Electric Association and the Municipality of Anchorage.

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