In Sitka, about half of residents use heating fuel to keep warm in the winter. Another 40 percent use the electricity, produced by hydropower from a local dam. And there’s plenty of grumbling in town about an electric rate increase to pay for a recent hydro expansion project.
But one man in Sitka who has contentedly tinkered away at his own homegrown solution. Richard Parmelee warms his house with vegetable oil, donated by a local Chinese restaurant and McDonalds.
The Cost of Cold is a series from Alaska’s Energy Desk about how Alaskans around the state heat their homes. Reporter Emily Kwong produced this story in Sitka.
- Take a virtual 360° degree tour of the historic Gold Greek Hydro Plant
- Two residents and a dog made it safely out of a Mendenhall Valley house fire on Friday.
- Initiative supporters say it would actually lower costs for the state.
- The oxbow bend in the river has been eroding for years, until floodwaters broke through the river bank.