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Power Pledge Challenge

Background:  In 2013, Chugach Electric Association partnered with Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) and Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) to start the first annual energy challenge for middle school students leading up to Energy Awareness Month in October. It was originally called “Watt’s Up or Down” and was piloted in Goldenview Middle School. Since then, the name has changed to Power Pledge Challenge (PPC) and we reach 4 regions in the state. In 2016 the partners also included Municipal Light and Power (ML&P), Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) and Alaska Electric Light and Power (AEL&P) of Juneau. Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) also supports the challenge. In 2017, ENSTAR Natural Gas Company and Homer Electric Association (HEA) have joined the team to add more partners!

How it works:  PPC partners go to middle school physical science classrooms (6th, 7th or 8th grade depending on the district) and present about energy efficiency and conservation, including a hands-on activity to calculate electricity use.  The students then go online and pledge to do 3 things to reduce their energy use – such as turning lights off when they leave a room or having less “screen time” each day – to enter to win a regional prize for their class.  If more than 75% of a class completes the online pledge, then their class is entered to win the state prize. In 2017, each region is sponsoring a pizza party and a special guest and/or power plant tour. The state prize is the same plus the teacher gets $1,200 worth of curriculum from NEED! The 2017 pre-challenge media release can be seen here (PDF).

Statistics: The graph below shows the growth in the number of students and classrooms that participated in the Power Pledge Challenge over the past 4 years.

Current Partners:

Previous winners:


In 2017, the state prize was a tour of a power plant, a pizza party, and supplies from NEED worth $1,200. Each regional winner also got a tour of a power plant and/or pizza party. Press release here. Chugiak-Eagle River Star article here and Juneau Empire article here.

State: Johanna Tennant’s 6th period class @ Palmer Junior Middle School
Mat-Su/Eagle River (MEA Area): Brad Kirr’s 3rd period class @ Gruening Middle School
Anchorage (Chugach/ML&P area): Mitra Shanhazarian’s 6th period class @ Mears Middle School
Juneau (AEL&P area): Kevin Hamrick’s 1st period class @ Floyd Dryden Middle School
Kenai Peninsula (HEA area): Joanna Greene’s 1st period class @ McNeil Canyon Elementary School


In 2016, each region (Mat-Su/Eagle River, Anchorage, and Juneau) sponsored a pizza party and power plant tour. The state prize was an ice cream party with First Lady Donna Walker and the teacher won $800 towards energy curriculum and supplies. You can read about it in the Frontiersman article here.

State: Mayme Troutman’s 4th period science @ Wasilla Middle School
Mat-Su/Eagle River (MEA area): David Knopp’s 2nd period science @ Teeland Middle School
Anchorage (Chugach/ML&P area): Carol McKee’s 3rd period science @Northern Lights ABC
Juneau (AEL&P area): Chris Heidemann’s 2nd period science @ Floyd Dryden Middle School


State: Ben Walker’s 3rd period science @ Romig Middle School
Mat-Su/Eagle River (MEA area): Robin Mullican 4th period science @ Palmer Junior Middle School
Anchorage (Chugach/ML&P area): Lauren O’Connor’s 4th period science @ Hanshew Middle School

2015 State Power Pledge winner Ben Walker of Romig Middle School presents first Lady Donna Walker with a RMS t-shirt.


2014 had a different format where the cost of savings from pledges was calculated.  Anchorage was also the only participating region.  The top three teams won LED bulbs and the first place team was awarded a pizza party. The first, second and third place classroom teachers earned educational energy efficiency materials valued up to $1,000, $750 and $500, respectively, for their schools.

1st Place: Ben Walker, Romig Middle School

2nd Place: Carolyn Rudzinski, Romig Middle School

3rd Place: Katherine Schroeder, Mears Middle School


In 2013, PPC was called “Watt’s Up or Down” and only Goldenview Middle School participated. You can read the press release here. The top three classes were:

1st Place: Team Zogawatt, Mr. Noah Zogas’ 7th grade team

2nd Place: Watts Going Down, Ms. Kendra Miller-Jones’ 8th grade team

3rd Place: Electric Sliders, Ms. Ann Lynn’s 8th grade team