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Coeur d'Alene Tribe - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Coeur d'Alene Tribe
Location: Plummer, ID
Project Title: Coeur d'Alene Tribe Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study Project
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005170
Project Amounts:
DOE: $172,722
Awardee: $0
Total: $172,722
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2012


The purpose of this proposed project is to assess and determine the technical and economic feasibility of energy efficiency improvements to existing tribally owned buildings. The goal is to establish the potential for reduction in energy use, sustainability, and the potential for economic and environmental benefits to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.

Project Description


The Coeur d'Alene Reservation has been the home of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe since time immemorial, and it is fitting that the tribe's name in the Coeur d'Alene language is schitsu'umsh, "the ones who were found here." Currently, there are approximately 2,100 enrolled Coeur d'Alene tribal members (Coeur d'Alene Tribe Social Economic Development Strategy 2009). The economy of the Coeur d'Alene has been based upon farming and timber harvesting for the past 100 years until the 1990s, when the tribe opened a successful gaming operation. The gaming operation, combined with U.S. government funding, has allowed the tribe to decrease pressure on its natural resource extraction and increase the services that it can provide to tribal members and reservation residents. The tribe considers the environment and natural and cultural resources in everything that it does and considers itself a caretaker of those resources. This project is an important part of the tribe's caretaking duties. The land and its diverse natural resources supported the spiritual and physical needs of the tribe for many thousands of years.  This continues to be true. The tribe has completed a preliminary Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy as a product of its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy. This project will build upon the work that has already been started In the strategy. Through the EECBG, the tribe established the following goals:

Goal 1: Establish energy use benchmarks and monitoring protocols

  1. Conduct electrical energy use audits in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration.
  2. Establish benchmark for primary tribal government facilities (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Portfolio Manager).
  3. Research energy performance goals for new or renovated tribal facilities.

Goal 2: Increase organizational commitment to increasing energy efficiency and conservation

  1. Develop an energy management plan.
  2. Develop a tribal energy efficiency work group.
  3. Develop an employee energy efficiency awareness program.

Goal 3: Evaluate cost/benefit of distributed renewable energy production on the reservation

  1. Evaluate the potential for development of distributed renewable energy production.
  2. Integrate renewable energy infrastructure into community planning, if viable.

Project Objectives

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has established goals to protect the cultural and environmental values for the Coeur d'Alene people. Specifically, the goals include preserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural resources, improving the quality of life and providing social and economic benefits across the reservation. Research, development, and promotion of alternative energy and fuel sources such as wind, solar, hydrogen, and others have been identified as important by the tribe (Coeur d'Alene Tribe Integrated Resource Management Plan Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement 2007). The drafts of the tribe's mission and vision statements are as follows:

Mission Statement
We shall preserve and maintain at all costs our inalienable right to exist as a sovereign nation of people, speak our language, practice our traditions and culture, serve as protectors and stewards of our Mother Earth, respect our elders in everything we do, endeavor to build a future for our children and coming generations that is improved and better than what we ourselves inherited, and promote proud, healthy and vibrant communities and families.

Vision Statement
The Schi'tsu'umsh, Coeur d'Alene Tribal Nation, forever guided by the traditional values of our great leaders of generations past, shall be the "model government" of the world, united as one under the K'olunsuten, with love for our tribe, harmonious with our natural world and the Mother Earth, proud in the strength of our community development, but remaining who we are, who we we're meant to be and who we always shall be: Schi'tsu'umsh, Coeur d'Alene Indians!

The main objective of this project is to complete a Coeur d'Alene Tribal Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study for tribal buildings in order to continue the tribe's path toward increasing energy efficiency and energy self-sufficiency. The tribe's Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study will include all of the information that is collected during the EECBG work and build upon that information. The Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study will include the following elements:

  • Conduct Energy Audits
  • Document Current Energy Consumption
  • Assess the Economics
  • Conduct Preliminary Engineering
  • Project Energy Savings or Fossil Fuel Reduction
  • Assess Potential Financing Options for Implementation

Project Scope

The tribe has started energy efficiency work through a Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). This project will build upon the work that has already been started by:

  • Filling data gaps in the energy audits that will be performed
  • Ensuring that the tribe completes establishing a benchmark for tribal government facilities
  • Completing research and establishing energy performance goals for tribal buildings
  • Bringing the tribe closer to developing an energy management plan by conducting the Feasibility Study for managing energy in tribal buildings
  • Continuing meetings with the energy efficiency work group that is being developed as part of the EECBG
  • Increasing tribal employee awareness of energy efficiency by involving key tribal staff in the development of the Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study for tribal buildings.
  • Addressing the potential for distributed renewable energy for tribal buildings as part of the Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study.

Utilizing the information gathered during the EECBG work, combined with the completed Energy Feasibility Study for Coeur d'Alene tribal buildings, the tribe will be poised to implement cost-effective energy retrofits to tribal buildings. Getting the tribe into position to implement energy efficiency improvements to tribal buildings will allow the tribe to have positive impacts on the environment and tribal budgets. Once the tribe has a clear Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study that shows what kinds of energy efficiency improvements are cost effective, the tribe will be able to pursue a variety of sources to fund implementation of the study. These potential sources will be identified and documented in the Feasibility Study and may include tribal funds, grants, loans, incentives, and rebates from energy providers and other sources.

Project activities and tasks include:

  1. Hold energy efficiency work group meetings —Continue convening the energy efficiency work group to provide input to the Environmental Programs Office staff and the consultant on issues such as strategies to reduce energy use and costs for the tribal government and provide input on education and outreach with regard to energy efficiency. Solicit input and incorporate work group comments into Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study.

  2. Solicit bids for energy consultant—The tribe will prepare a request for proposals, prepare a list of consultants to solicit proposals from, and solicit proposals from the list. The tribe may wish to advertise the request for proposals utilizing the tribe's website and/or print and online advertisements if appropriate.

  3. Hire energy efficiency consultant—The tribe will score the proposals, select the most appropriate energy consultant, and complete a contract with that consultant that is approved by the tribal council.

  4. Draft Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study—Complete a draft Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study, which will include the following elements:

    1. Conduct Energy Audits—Conduct additional energy audits of the tribe's buildings and facilities and fill any gaps from previously conducted audits from the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant audits. These audits will help define the extent of need for energy efficiency improvements, establishing a sound basis for long-term energy plan strategies and a benchmark for measuring future plan implementation success.

    2. Document Current Energy Consumption—Document energy consumption of the tribe's buildings and facilities.

    3. Assess the Economics—Identify the costs versus the benefits of energy efficiency improvements for each of the buildings included in this project.

    4. Conduct preliminary engineering—Provide the listing of funding, labor, and material resources needed for cost-effective energy efficiency improvements for each tribal building. Identify any potential health concerns that may surface during implementation.

    5. Project energy savings or fossil fuel reduction—Working with the tribal GIS program, the consultant will calculate potential energy savings for each tribal building using the cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that would be expected during implementation.

    6. Assess potential financing options for implementation—The tribe, energy providers, and the consultant will identify all potential options for financing implementation of the Tribal Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study.

  5. Review draft Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study —The energy efficiency work group and Environmental Programs Office staff will review and provide comment on the draft Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study to the EAP Coordinator to assist the tribe and consultant to finalize the study.

  6. Finalize EE Feasibility Study—The consultant, based upon comments from the tribe, will prepare a final proposed Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study for submission to the tribe. If the tribe's staff concurs with the final proposed EE feasibility study, then it will prepare the study for submission to the Tribal Council for review and approval.

  7. Submit the Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study to the Tribal Council—Submit the Tribal Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study to the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Council for approval.

Project Location

The 345,000-acre reservation is located in northern Idaho and comprises forest land, agricultural land, several streams, Coeur d'Alene Lake, and the St. Joe River and a small amount of developed land. The project area will be concentrated within the boundaries of the Coeur d'Alene Reservation. The population of the reservation is 6,451 (2000 Census).

Project Status

The project is complete. For details, see the final report.

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 contact(s).

Project Contact

Robert Matt
Administrative Director
850 A Street, Plummer, ID 83851

Tiffany Allgood
Environmental Action Plan Coordinator
850 A Street, Plummer, ID 83851