The Cost of Cold: Keeping warm in Unalaska

Unalaska resident Travis Swangel heats his small home with a Toyo stove. (Photo by Zoe Sobel / Alaska’s Energy Desk)

In Unalaska, it can cost more than $500 a month to heat a typical home in the winter. Because the treeless island is 1,000 miles from Anchorage, everything is shipped in — including heating oil. It’s the source of heat for the vast majority of houses in the city.

Unalaska resident Travis Swangel heats his small home on the island with a Toyo stove.

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The Cost of Cold is a series from Alaska’s Energy Desk about how Alaskans around the state heat their homes. Reporter Zoe Sobel produced this story.

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Zoe Sobel is a reporter with Alaska's Energy Desk based in Unalaska. As a high schooler in Portland, Maine, Zoë Sobel got her first taste of public radio at NPR’s easternmost station. From there, she moved to Boston where she studied at Wellesley College and worked at WBUR, covering sports for Only A Game and the trial of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.