Juneau Saves Electricity in a Hurry
July-August 2008 Editorial, Home Energy Magazine
By Alan Meier, Editor
What do you do when the price of electricity suddenly jumps fivefold? This was the dilemma faced by the residents of Juneau, Alaska, when an avalanche suddenly cut the transmission line to their source of cheap hydropower. The answer is conserve, conserve, and (in case you weren’t paying attention), conserve. In only a few weeks, Juneau’s electricity consumption fell 30% (see Figure 1).
This represents the largest and fastest regional reduction in electricity consumption without blackouts in recent history. Juneau easily surpassed the 2001 record held by Brazil—20% in a few months—and California’s 15% reduction in response to Enron and its friends.