FY 2000 Tribal and Territory REACH Awards
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made grant awards
totaling $969,199 to one territory and six tribes under the Residential
Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH) for FY 2000.
This is the fifth distribution of REACH funds.
One of the tribal winners received $25,000 for energy efficiency education proposals that met specified standards.
TRIBAL AND TERRITORY REACH AWARDS: $969,199
American Samoa Government
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribe of Alaska
United Tribes of Kansas & Southeast Nebraska, Inc. (Kansas)
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (Michigan)
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (Michigan)
Blackfeet Nation (Montana)
Lumbee Regional Development Association (North Carolina)
AMERICAN SAMOA $124,304
G0VERNMENT TERRITORIAL ENERGY OFFICE
American Samoa, a U.S. Territory, is located approximately 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii. The latitude is 14ø south of the equator. The climate is tropical. Electricity is generated solely with diesel generators. The residential electric rate is $0.152 per kilowatt-hour. This is an extremely high cost compared to residential electric rates in the continental United States.
Low-income households are particularly affected by
the high cost of electricity. Even the cost of operating a light
bulb is extremely high in American Samoa when compared to cost on
the U.S. mainland.
The American Samoa Department of Commerce has determined that of the 7,760 households in the Territory, 4,500 qualify for low-income assistance. The Territorial Energy Office (TEO) was awarded financial assistance in Fiscal Year 1999 to distribute 8,400 Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) to 1,680 low-income households. Through lower than planned pricing, TEO is distributing 11,000 CFLs to 2,200 low-income households.
This project (Phase Two) will expand the REACH project started in FY 1999 and increase the number of households served by TEO from 2,200 to 4,500. Each household electric bill will be reduced by approximately 16 percent. Funds awarded for Phase Two will be used to purchase and distribute (free of charge) 11,500 Compact Fluorescent Lamps to 2300 low-income households. Completion of Phase Two will mean that all registered low-income households in the Territory will be served. This final project phase will be completed within 12 months and the intervention will last more than four years.
In Phase Two, for every federal dollar invested, $7.57 will be returned in benefits to low-income households. This represents a
benefit/cost ratio of almost 7.6:1. Anything over 1:1 is considered a worthwhile project by the U.S. Department of Energy.
INDIAN TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS
CENTRAL COUNCIL OF TLINGIT AND HAIDA INDIAN TRIBES OF ALASKA (Alaska) $175,000*
The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes has developed an innovative and cost effective REACH program that has delivered sustained regional impact in promoting energy self-sufficiency for low-income Native families faced with a household energy crisis. This project demonstrates how targeted energy outreach, household energy budgeting and financial planning, combined with energy payment incentives, can strengthen low-income families and communities. The project will provide linkages between energy program services and other Central Council programs and opportunities for which low-income families are eligible.
The Central Council has successfully carried out three previous REACH projects and is uniquely positioned to deliver REACH services to low-income Alaska Native/American Indian families within southeast Alaska using the FY 2000 REACH/ROMA program model. This model, refined over the past three project periods, is based on utilizing REACH program services for outreach and intervention for isolated low-income families, and providing these families with technical support, training, incentives to gain control of their energy payments and costs, and access to other Central Council programs.
The project has benefited from the development of the Central Council "one stop shopping" program database, in which intake and assessment forms can be used for eligible families regardless of the program services they are accessing, thus reducing paperwork and increasing service delivery efficiency.
The project has been careful to respect the values and circumstances of the Native families, and to deliver services in a non-judgmental manner. This model has been instrumental in achieving moderate but measurable energy benefits as evidenced by energy payment records and a reduction in energy crisis situations. The REACH program has been institutionalized as one of the primary outreach and service delivery vehicles in the region. The FY 2000 program will incorporate activities to increase the capacity for energy decision-making and self-help at the village level. Customer input and satisfaction will be used as the baseline for design and for the delivery of services.
The FY 2000 project will be improved by focusing on Head Start parents as a primary target group for REACH services. The project model will demonstrate how to utilize the LIHEAP and REACH programs as proactive outreach, education and counseling services to address household energy consumption issues while connecting these low-income families with other Central Council programs and services through an effective referral system.
The project award includes $25,000 for Energy Efficiency Education Services.
UNITED TRIBES OF KANSAS & SOUTHEAST NEBRASKA, INC. (Kansas) $70,000
United Tribes, Inc. will operate a seventeen (17) month Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option (REACH) Program that will provide energy conservation assistance to eligible Native Americans who reside within their designated service-areas of Brown and Doniphan Counties in Kansas and Richardson County in Nebraska. To be considered for REACH services, applicants must be approved for LIHEAP services.
During the first year of administering the REACH Program (1998), United Tribes, Inc. found that the program was an ideal approach to assisting eligible Native American homeowners with performing the following types of energy conservation services:
1) Professional inspection and replacement of furnaces and central air units that no longer perform adequately;
2) For Native Americans whose main source of heat is a wood stove, install new furnaces/central air which minimize health
and safety risks;
3) Replace exterior doors with storm doors, install insulation, and replace water heaters, etc.,to decrease energy usage;
4) Repair or replace roofing that has caused heat loss;
5) Purchase educational materials in both adult and children's formats which provide techniques for saving energy; and
6) Install health and safety materials such as carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.
Approximately 81% of the budget will be used for the cost of labor, materials and other direct expense(s) necessary to achieve the program objectives outlined in the application.
GRAND TRAVERSE BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS (Michigan) $149,895
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) will conduct a REACH Project entitled "Optimizing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Systems for Low Income Residential Housing" for eligible households within its six-county service area in the northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
The REACH initiatives of the GTB Tribal Plan will enhance and increase the ability of eligible households to meet energy costs
and achieve self-sufficiency. The proposed GTB energy system consists of a reliable wind and solar electric hybrid system to
provide electricity, and a central gas boiler and solar thermal heating system to provide heating and domestic hot water to six
households. The GTB proposes to demonstrate the most cost-effective way to provide optimal energy efficiency and renewable energy to low income residents in a manner that provides energy security, energy independence, and environmental benefits.
The work plan includes:
1. Combining a wind turbine generator with a solar photovoltaic electric system.
2. Combining solar thermal with a central gas boiler for hot water and heating.
3. Establish cost-effective wind power.
4. Comparison of fuel versus renewable energy costs.
5. Establish a revolving fund for duplication of the REACH Project.
6. The GTB Energy Department will provide oversight.
The REACH Project Director will network with GTB Governmental Services programs for assistance. Bay Energy Services, Inc. will serve as an energy consultant for the GTB, and provide input throughout the Project.
LITTLE RIVER BAND
OF OTTAWA INDIANS (Michigan) $150,000
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians will conduct a one-year Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH) for its low-income families who require assistance in becoming energy efficient. The target population will be Native American households whose income is less than 150 percent of the poverty guidelines. Priority will be given to households at or below 125 percent poverty level and within the nine-county rural service area in Northwestern Michigan.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Housing Commission will implement and operate the REACH Program. The Tribal plan is designed to increase the ability of eligible Indian households to meet energy costs and encourage self-sufficiency. Under the plan, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Housing Commission will provide educational, technical and financial assistance to low-income households that are committed to conserving energy and reducing energy consumption.
The program is intended to promote health and safety in the home, along with energy conservation and self-sufficiency in households that do not understand the importance of conserving energy and need assistance reducing consumption and minimizing risks. The objectives of the program are to focus on educating families to become energy literate and to promote long term energy and health conservation benefits.
The Tribe plans an innovative approach to assisting low-income families by offering consumer education services. Community meetings will be held at two project sites sponsoring "hands on" workshops that provide safety and weatherization kits allowing for immediate safety, health, and energy saving improvements in homes.
The LIHEAP/REACH Project will be operated by the Tribe's Executive Housing Director, thereby assuring close coordination between the REACH project and the current LIHEAP Program. Intervention services provided through office visits, home visits (inspections) and community meetings will benefit 90 past LIHEAP recipients and approximately 40 additional low-income households. A portion of the program funds will be used to identify inefficient appliances for replacement. REACH funds will be leveraged with other housing programs that provide extensive weatherization and home rehabilitation.
The most important aspect of this project is the expectation that families will participate in education, counseling and the development of an energy efficient plan that will sustain them for future generations.
BLACKFEET NATION (Montana) $150,000
The Blackfeet Nation of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation through its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will implement a Residential Assistance Challenge Option (REACH) Program for low income families in need and living on the Blackfeet Reservation. In analyzing data, the underlying assumption is that the Blackfeet low-income families who have or are receiving energy assistance lack access to a means by which to reduce energy dependency and to practice energy conservation.
The framework for the Blackfeet REACH Program is client-centered, outreach-based and incentive motivated to increase energy conservation awareness and education. Blackfeet REACH Program will be a three pronged approach to helping Blackfeet low-income families reduce energy dependency. First, REACH clients will be educated in energy conservation practices and techniques. Secondly, the Project Coordinator and Energy Auditor will provide outreach services to REACH clients in the form of home visits that will include hands-on training and in-home education and awareness. Thirdly, the Blackfeet REACH Program will provide non-monetary incentives to REACH clients who successfully complete the 17-month REACH Program and have complied with the requirements outlined by the program.
LUMBEE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (North Carolina) $150,000
The Lumbee Regional Development Association's (LRDA) REACH funds will be used to assist LIHEAP eligible households, primarily located in the Enhanced Enterprise Community Zone of Robeson County, North Carolina, to significantly improve their family stability. This will be accomplished by reducing their energy burden, decreasing the potential for a utility cut-off, increasing the likelihood of on-time utility payments, and increasing their potential for energy self-sufficiency.
Based on lessons learned from the low-income community and from experience with a previous REACH program, LRDA has reconfigured its mix of energy saving devices in recognition of what the targeted population needs. They will focus on rural isolated and very low-income elderly and disabled households: They will expand the service area to incorporate an area within five miles of the Enhanced Enterprise Community Zone of Robeson and reduce the number of participating households to 200 (considering factors such as distance, education, mobility and illiteracy).
The project will target LIHEAP eligible households in the Enhanced Empowerment Zone area that have incomes at 100 percent or less of the current federal poverty guidelines and have either an elderly person (60 years of age or older) or a disabled person in the household. This number of households represents approximately 5.25 percent of the total LIHEAP households served by the Lumbee Regional Development Association.
The program activities and interventions will result in a reduction in the home energy burden, an increase in the regularity of payments for home heating, a reduction in the waste of home heating through cold air infiltration, and greater stability for individual households as they are able to assume a larger responsibility for their own energy self-sufficiency.