The Tribal Energy Program website is moving!

Content is not being updated during this brief transition.

For the latest information about funding opportunities, technical assistance, and training for tribes, please visit the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy website.

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Project Title: Sault Tribe Building Efficiency Energy Audits of 16 Tribally Owned Governmental Buildings
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005177
Project Amounts:
DOE: $75,509
Awardee: $0
Total: $75,509
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2014


The Sault Tribe will conduct energy audits of tribally owned governmental buildings located across three counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. To ensure consistency throughout the energy audits, resulting findings and recommendations, the tribe will follow the Comprehensive Technical Analysis process, criteria, and format as outlined by the State of Michigan Energy Office's Rebuild Michigan Program. The tribe will adhere to established tribal procurement policies and procedures to secure the services of qualified providers to conduct the energy audits, perform related analysis, produce and submit written findings per building as completed, and produce a final Energy Audit Summary Report to be submitted with their final billing. The energy audit findings will be reviewed as a basis for prioritizing and addressing building efficiency improvements and as a foundational component for the Sault Tribe's long-term comprehensive energy plan.

Project Description


In 2002, Sault Tribe was awarded a grant to conduct a feasibility study of wind energy as a renewable source of electricity for tribal buildings and housing sites. As indicated in the grant findings, the lower power costs and higher technological investment requirements at that time did not support further development. In 2009, the Sault Tribe renewed efforts to pursue resources for identifying and addressing building energy inefficiencies, to research renewable energy options for building heating and cooling, and to revisit the feasibility of wind energy, plus other sources of renewable energy, to generate electric power for the Tribe's governmental buildings and housing sites.

Subsequently, the tribe has been awarded two more grants—to conduct energy audits and to address energy inefficiencies in 20 tribally owned governmental buildings. Both grants are in progress at this time. The 20 tribally owned governmental buildings included in the 2009 and 2010 grant awards were selected based on size, age, and energy consumption. The 16 tribally owned governmental buildings included in this project represent the balance of the governmental building inventory owned by Sault Tribe. Conducting energy audits of the 16 governmental buildings in a manner consistent with those performed on the initial 20 governmental buildings will help define the extent and types of tribal energy efficiency improvements needed; establish a sound basis for long-term energy priorities, strategies and action plans; and provide a benchmark for measuring improvements from energy efficiency implementations.

Project Objectives

Project Goals

The Sault Tribe is working to reduce energy consumption and expense in tribally owned governmental buildings. As a basis for evaluating and selecting the technical and economic viability of energy efficiency improvement options, the Sault Tribe plans to conduct energy audits of 16 tribally owned governmental buildings. The energy audit findings and analysis reports will disclose areas to prioritize and address in order to make significant improvements to building efficiencies.

The buildings include a diverse mix of governmental use, such as construction offices, warehouses, and fleet buildings; building trades rental; a dental clinic; human services offices; youth education and activities facilities; governmental services and administration offices; environmental, fishery and hatchery facilities; and a rental house. Building locations span three counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—Alger, Chippewa, and Mackinac.

Long-Term Tribal Energy Vision

The Sault Tribe is formulating a long-term comprehensive energy plan to address energy consumption, expense and self-sufficiency for Tribally-owned facilities, housing sites and transportation vehicles across the seven-county Tribal service area. Interest in energy conservation and the feasibility of renewable energy options has been long-standing for the Tribe.

Project Scope

The project will be managed by the project director, who will be the technical contact for the grant; the tribal comptroller, who has assumed responsibility for oversight of the Facilities Management Department and will serve as business contact for the grant; and assigned project staff. While the project director will coordinate arrangements for facilities personnel interviews and site inspections, supply copies of supplemental building data, records, etc., as needed for the project; and ensure informative communications to the tribal membership, the project director will also provide administration of the project, monitoring achievement of planned objectives compared to the project management timeline and budget compliance, authorizing expenditures within signature authority, submitting required grant quarterly progress reports and final project reporting, attending and presenting at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) annual Tribal Energy Program Review, conducting regular progress sessions, reviewing materials submitted by the energy audit provider, and serving as communications liaison with the Tribal Board of Directors and the Executive Office regarding project updates.

The list of designated tribally owned governmental buildings and associated data will be utilized in the development of a request for proposals (RFP) to procure qualified providers to conduct the specified energy audits. The tribe will ensure continuity in conducting the energy audits of all tribally owned governmental buildings by following the comprehensive technical analysis process, criteria, and format as outlined by the State of Michigan Energy Office's Rebuild Michigan Program.

Additional objectives to be performed during the Energy Audit Project include, as per established tribal procurement policies and procedures, preparing and advertising the RFPs for qualified providers to conduct the specified energy audits; scheduling and conducting prebid building inspections; working with the Tribal Purchasing Department during the public bid opening; analyzing submittals and recommending award to Tribal Board of Directors for approval; working with the Tribal Legal Department for contract preparation and acceptance; conducting a preproject start-up meeting with selected energy audit provider to sign contract; reviewing administrative requirements and accounting procedures and finalizing project schedule; attending the 2011 DOE's Tribal Energy Program Review in Denver, Colorado, as required; working with the contracted provider to perform site inspections, provide building and pertinent energy data, supply contact information, and assist with energy audits as needed; conducting scheduled progress meetings with provider and project team to review project details, findings and analysis reports; developing action plan and strategies for addressing energy audit findings; processing billings; monitoring budget compliance; and preparing project communications, including written monthly updates to the Executive Office and Tribal Board of Directors, periodic press releases for publication in the tribal newspaper and on the tribal Web page, required quarterly grant progress reports, and attendance at the 2012 DOE Program Review in Denver; working with provider and project team to complete project close-out checklists, review final Energy Audit Summary Report from provider, finalize action plan and strategies for addressing energy audit findings, process final billing, close-out and prepare report on budget compliance, and prepare final project communications, including presentation of energy audit project and corresponding response action plan to the Executive Office and Tribal Board of Directors, project wrap-up press releases for publication in the tribal newspaper and on the tribal Web page, required final comprehensive grant report, and attendance at 2013 DOE Program Review in Denver.

Project Location

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is part of the Anishnabe or Chippewa people; this culture has spread over a vast area of the Upper Great Lakes in the United States. Of the tribal members in Michigan, the majority live in the seven easternmost counties of the Upper Peninsula (Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, and Schoolcraft), with the largest concentrations in the cities of Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace. The tribe has reservation or trust lands over which it exercises governmental powers in a number of locations within the seven counties.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2011 funding opportunity announcement "Energy Efficiency Development and Deployment in Indian Country" (DE-FOA-0000423) and started in September 2011.

The November 2011, November 2012, and March 2014 project status reports provide more information.

For current project status or additional information, please contact the project contacts.

Project Contact

Jeffrey Holt - Resource Specialist
523 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

William Connolly - Comptroller
523 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783