The Remote Alaska Communities Energy Efficiency Competition (RACEE) empowers remote Alaska communities to develop reliable, affordable solutions using energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the $4 million initiative in three phases. The initiative meets some of the challenged posed by Alaska’s unique energy profile. Rural Alaska residents face high energy costs; saving energy helps free up household budgets for food, medicine, and other necessities.
In the first phase of the competition, 64 remote Alaska communities with population ranging from 34 to 3,200, pledged to reduce per-capita energy use 15% by 2020. Through these pledges, DOE heard directly from remote Alaska communities and Native villages about the impacts of high energy costs, which have been driven up to unsustainable levels by the limited accessibility of their remote locations.
The second phase of the competition provided funding for tailored technical assistance for 13 communities to measure energy use and create energy efficiency plans.
Currently seven communities are implementing projects as part of the final phase of the competition. These communities worked to develop plans to reduce their energy consumption in ways that support more affordable and reliable energy in the future, are effective in preserving their environment, replicable in other Alaska communities struggling to conserve expensive fuel, and above all, aligned with community priorities, so changes implemented are sustainable. The communities are:
- City of Galena
- Village of Holy Cross
- Village of Kiana
- Village of Klawock
- City of Noorvik
- City of Port Lions
- City of Ruby.