Nez Perce Tribe - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Nez Perce Tribe
Location: Lapwai, ID
Project Title: Nez Perce Tribe Energy Efficient Facilities Installation Project
Type of Application: Deployment
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005175
Project Amounts:
DOE: $67,756
Awardee: $67,757
Total: $135,513
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2012

Summary

The project will implement energy efficiency measures that include updates of several different elements in key Nez Perce tribal buildings in the town of Lapwai, Idaho. The project includes the replacement of interior lighting fixtures, an increase in building insulation, installation of motion sensors and/or daylight dimmers, and window replacements. Specifically, the four older buildings will receive vinyl double pane Low-E windows with .30 shading coefficient, increased blown-in attic insulation to a rating of R-38, and replacement of outdated lamp fixtures with two-lamp, T-8 electronic ballast fixtures. The one newer building will receive new four-lamp, T-5 electronic ballast fixtures with motion sensors. All buildings are heated, cooled, and lit with electricity.

The five buildings are:

  • NPTEC/OLC OFFICES – This building houses the offices of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee (NPTEC), which is the elected, governing body of the Nez Perce Tribe, and the offices of the tribe's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The original building was built in the 1970s. An addition was constructed in 1992 for a total of 5,972 square feet.

  • VETERAN'S MEMORIAL BUILDING – The Vet's Building houses the tribal offices of the Executive Director, Administration, Human Resources, Finance and Information Systems (IT). The building was constructed in 1977–78 and is 10,890 square feet.

  • PI NEE WAUS COMMUNITY BUILDING – The PNW houses the Office of Land Management, Tribal Employment Rights Office, and a small restaurant, and serves as the foyer for the PiNeeWaus gymnasium. It is 20,112 square feet. The original building was constructed in 1963 and expanded in 1992.

  • WATER RESOURCES BUILDING – It was built in 1978. It is 3,020 square feet and was originally designed to house the Tribal Head Start (ECDP) program.

  • BOY'S AND GIRL'S CLUB – One of the newer tribal buildings is both masonry and frame construction. The building meets energy code requirements but, for security purposes and at the request of the police department, all interior and exterior lighting remains on twenty-four hours a day. The building houses two offices, a teen center, a reception area, a play area, and a gymnasium.

The total estimated annual kilowatt-hours (kWh) savings of these energy measures is 342,175, which equates to approximately 35% kWh savings.

Project Description

Background

Established by treaty with the U.S. government in 1868, the current reservation consists of 770,000 acres, of which only about 124,000 are tribally owned. Part of four Idaho counties—Nez Perce, Lewis, Idaho, and Clearwater—are located within the reservation boundaries. The cities of Lapwai and Kamiah serve as tribal centers on the east and west ends of the reservation. Smaller, rural communities include Orofino, Sweetwater, Culdesac, Winchester, Craigmont, Nez Perce, Greencreek, and Kooskia. The Nez Perce Reservation lands consist of productive dry-land farms that border on the Clearwater National Forest. In addition to arable hilltops and river bottoms, the reservation includes forested river canyons and steep, nonarable hillsides.

The Nez Perce Tribe is Nez Perce County's third largest employer, with approximately 1,200 employees housed in approximately 40-plus buildings (located in two states). In 2010, major revisions were made to the tribe's strategic plan, and one of the goals was to "set priorities for new energy efficient facilities."

The Nez Perce Tribe is a federally recognized Indian tribe and, as such, has established a strategic plan of operation that is updated annually. As defined in the strategic plan, the tribe has outlined several energy goals. To help implement these goals, an Energy Committee formed in 2009. Federal funding to add an energy technician position to the staff was received in 2010. The energy technician heads up a committee composed of tribal employees from the Utilities Planning, Construction Planning, Economic Planning, and Grants offices. The first task of the Energy Committee was to provide a Strategic Energy Plan for the tribe. Because of the work of this committee, in mid-2010 the tribe received funding to explore the feasibility of a waste-to-energy facility on the reservation, and work to bring in a consulting firm to conduct that study is progressing, as is the work on the Nez Perce Tribe's Strategic Energy Plan.

Project Objectives

The objectives of the proposed project are as follows: 1) Reduce the tribe's electrical energy consumption by 30%, thereby reducing the cost to operate the tribal physical plant and freeing up those funds for other use, 2) provide a more comfortable working environment for tribal employees, 3) reduce consumption to reduce impact on the earth's resources whenever and wherever possible.

Project Scope

The proposed project will implement several different energy-saving measures in key tribal buildings, at the Nez Perce Tribe's Lapwai, Idaho, complex. The older buildings will receive vinyl double-pane low-E windows, increased blown-in attic insulation, and replacement of outdated light fixtures. The newer building will receive new light fixtures with motion sensors.

Each of the individual projects will be managed through two departments. The project's installation will be overseen by the Plant Maintenance office, which is part of the Administration Department.

Once funding has been secured, the Nez Perce Tribe's Construction Planning Office will implement the following procedures for each of the three phases (windows, insulation, and lighting) of the work:

Project Implementation Plan (Windows/Insulation/Lighting):

The tribe's Construction Planning Department will issue a separate solicitation for bids for each aspect of the project, to all Certified Indian Businesses (subcontractors). The solicitation for bids will include a scope of work and a description/specification for each product to be used. No less than three subcontractors (and more, if available) will be invited to bid. The solicitation will include other bidding requirements and information. A separate walk-through for each trade (windows, insulation, and lighting) will be conducted prior to the date set for bidding.  The project will be described and questions answered. Bids will be accepted prior to a specified time/date and opened immediately thereafter. Bids will be compared for accuracy, consistency, and bonding requirements. All subcontractors will be notified of the outcome of the bidding procedures.

Once the contract is finalized, a meeting of the maintenance manager, representatives from Avista Utilities, the tribe's energy technician, and the subcontractors will be held to go over scheduling and any other aspect of the work that might affect the subcontractor's work or the building's occupants.

A notice to proceed will be issued that will include a specific number of calendar days for completion of each project by the subcontractors. This will be overseen by the maintenance manager and progress reported to his superior, the executive director, who, in turn, reports to the NPTEC.

Payment to contractors will be processed through the Nez Perce Tribe's Finance Office, as defined in the tribe's Finance Manual, and the individual contracts. The standard contract specifies that once the work is complete payment will be made at final project acceptance. For lengthier contracts, payments may be made on a monthly basis.

Funding Secured/Sub-Contracting

  • Establish communications with the Department of Energy Golden Office
  • Work with Avista Utilities to compile a scope of work for each element of the work
  • Issue a solicitation for bids
  • Conduct a walk-through of each project with subcontractors
  • Receive and open bids
  • Analyze bids for accuracy and completeness
  • Begin contract process
  • Send final draft of each contract to the Finance Department and Office of Legal Counsel for approval
  • Issue contract for subcontractors signature
  • Forward signed contracts to Budget and Finance Subcommittee for review and approval
  • Present contracts to Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee for resolution vote
  • Forward approved contracts to chairman to sign
  • Send copy of signed contracts to subcontractor
  • Issue notice to proceed for all trades

Implementation

  • Work with subcontractors to establish time line and completion stages
  • Supervise plant maintenance and inspect each element of subcontractors' work and disposal of debris
  • Report to executive director/NPTEC on progress of work
  • Prepare and forward requisitions for payment to Finance Department
  • Record and issue checks to subcontractors
  • File and maintain record of Department of Energy, tribal, and subcontractors' participation.

Project Closeout

  • Upon completion, request operation and maintenance information (especially for new lighting) and written one-year warranty from subcontractors
  • Issue acceptance of work letters and final payments

Project Location

The current Nez Perce Reservation consists of 770,000 acres in Idaho, of which only about 124,000 acres are tribally owned. Part of four Idaho counties—Nez Perce, Lewis, Idaho and Clearwater—are located within the reservation boundaries. The cities of Lapwai and Kamiah serve as tribal centers on the east and west ends of the reservation. Smaller, rural communities include Orofino, Sweetwater, Culdesac, Winchester, Craigmont, Nez Perce, Greencreek, and Kooskia. The Nez Perce Reservation lands consist of productive dry-land farms that border on the Clearwater National Forest. In addition to arable hilltops and river bottoms, the reservation includes forested river canyons and steep, nonarable hillsides.

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 2012 project status report provides more information.

Project Contact

Rebecca Miles
Executive Director
PO Box 365, Lapwai, ID 83540
208-843-7324
rebeccam@nezperce.org

Rich Ramsey
Director, Nez Perce Tribe Plant Maintenance
PO Box 365, Lapwai, ID 83540
208-843-7405
richr@nezperce.org