The Alaska Legislature recently appropriated funds to AFDF to create a fishing vessel energy audit pilot program. Although the Governor still has to approve the budget, AFDF is hopeful the funding will remain in place, because the program is perfectly aligned with the state’s goal to increase energy efficiency 15% statewide by 2020. The State of Alaska already has voluntary energy audit programs in place for residential homes, commercial buildings, and even seafood processing plants in Alaska. However, fishing vessels are the square peg that does not fit in the round hole; and they represent a gap in the efforts of the state to reduce energy consumption. Therefore, AFDF is working to design a voluntary fishing vessel energy audit pilot program. These audits would provide experts to analyze a vessel and provide advice for practical ways to save energy throughout all the systems on the vessel and reduce operating costs. The fishing vessel energy audit pilot program will be a statewide project which will benefit both fishermen and processors. Once the funding is approved, AFDF’s Energy Steering Committee will meet and begin to structure the program.
During Pacific Marine Expo 2011, AFDF helped sponsor a presentation by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP) regarding energy audits fishermen can accomplish by themselves on their vessels. A workbook and other materials were developed by MAP to help fishermen find the most bang-for-the-buck when looking at reducing energy use on their vessels.