The Sealion Corporation - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Sealion Corporation, The
Location: Hooper Bay, AK
Project Title: Hooper Bay Energy Efficiency Feasibility Study
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005178
Project Amounts:
DOE: $196,367
Awardee: $24,601
Total: $220,968
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2012

Summary

The Sea Lion Corporation (SLC), an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act village corporation, is to conduct an energy efficiency feasibility study with the goal to create jobs by providing funding to train staff to be energy raters as well as weatherization/energy conservation technicians that specialize in building construction and energy savings technologies; and to conduct a feasibility study that demonstrates a 30% reduction in residential/commercial energy usage and identify the economic benefits of implementing energy efficiency measures to the tribe.

The program consists of two major actions—an initial feasibility study followed by an ongoing implementation and retrofit program supported by additional grants obtained from various agency programs. A key element of the success of this project will be the training and development of the local capability to provide energy efficiency and conservation services, reducing dependence on the outside workforce.

Specifically, under this project SLC will:

  1. Hire and train two local energy assessors to conduct energy assessments

  2. Conduct energy audits of 24 homes in Hooper Bay by trained local personnel to conduct calibrated blower door tests for establishing the proper building tightness to accomplish the following outcomes:
    • Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage
    • Addressing moisture condensation problems
    • Addressing uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking from the outdoors

Project Description

Background

The project location is in Hooper Bay, Alaska. Alaska has over 200 remote, stand-alone electrical grids serving villages as well as larger transmission grids in southeast Alaska and the Rail Belt. The Rail Belt electrical grid follows the Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks through Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula and provides 80% of the state's electrical energy. Most of the rest of Alaska's power and heating needs are fueled by diesel that is barged from the lower 48 suppliers or transported from petroleum refineries in Nikiski, North Pole, and Valdez. After freeze-up, many remote communities must rely on the fuel that is stored in tank farms, or pay a premium for fuel flown in by air tankers. Prices for residential heating oil and regular gasoline have increased well over 100% (prices without taxes) since 2007 in many of the region's villages (Renewable Energy Atlas of Alaska July 2007). The Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP) Calista region's prices have followed national trends and will continue to be linked to world oil prices. Delivered prices in spring 2008 rose to $8/gallon for home heating fuel throughout the region.

Within the AVCP region, homes and community facilities and buildings are poorly insulated. Heat and electricity are generated by diesel, which is barged to villages during the short, ice-free, part of summer. Homes are heated by inefficient and outdated appliances. Windows and doors are substandard (of poor quality). The waitlist for an energy audit is extremely long, since only two energy raters serve the entire region of 56 villages.

Hooper Bay, Alaska, is the largest community in western Alaska, in the Wade Hampton Census Area 500 miles west of Anchorage. The 2000 U.S. Census indicated that 95% of the 1,014 population in Hooper Bay is Alaska Native. Of that, 285 were living below the poverty rate.

Hooper Bay Vision

Our vision for Hooper Bay is a village where our subsistence lifestyle is balanced with a sustainable economy, compatible with our Yup'ik traditions, respectful of our land and our heritage, and supported by a well-educated, trained workforce and first rate facilities. (Hooper Bay Community Plan January 2006).

Project Objectives

Goal: Create jobs in Hooper Bay, Alaska, by providing funds to train energy raters/assessors as well as weatherization/energy conservation technicians that specialize in building construction and energy savings technologies. An additional goal is to build partnerships—working relationships—between the Native Village of Hooper Bay, the Sea Lion Corporation, the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, and AVCP Regional Housing Authority (RHA).

Objectives: The project will fund a feasibility study to demonstrate a 30% reduction in residential/commercial energy usage and identify the economic benefits of implementing energy efficiency measures to the tribe through:

  1. Partnering with the AVCP RHA in the training and hire of two local energy raters to conduct energy audits of 24 homes

  2. Partnering with Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) to document current electrical and heating energy consumption and analyze data for a final feasibility report

  3. Assessing the economics of electricity and heating fuel usage

  4. Development of materials lists for energy efficiency improvements

  5. Projecting energy savings or fossil fuel reduction by modeling of improvement scenarios and cost feasibility

  6. Identifying financing options for the follow-up energy efficiency implementation phase.

Project Scope

The applicant will ensure that identified outcomes are achieved and will provide all necessary management and reporting to guarantee that outcomes will be tracked and completed within the contract period. The applicant will enter into written contracts with all development and business partners to clearly define roles, responsibilities, and tasks designed to meet the program objectives; the SLC general manager will be responsible for coordination of the contracts for review and approval by the SLC board of directors and president.

The proposed program consists of two major actions—an initial feasibility study followed by an ongoing implementation and retrofit program supported by additional grants obtained from various agency programs. A key element of the success of this project will be the training and development of the local capability to provide energy efficiency and conservation services, reducing dependence on the outside workforce.

  1. Training and hire of two local energy assessors to conduct energy assessments: Conduct residential/commercial building energy assessments with two local trainees in partnership with AVCP RHA, which will provide one energy assessor trainer.

    This project will conduct energy audits of 24 homes in Hooper Bay by trained local personnel to conduct calibrated blower door tests for establishing the proper building tightness to accomplish the following outcomes:

    • Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage
    • Addressing moisture condensation problems
    • Addressing uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking from the outdoors

    The outcome: Hooper Bay will acquire two trained energy raters and the tools (two calibrated blower door systems and a thermal imager camera) to conduct future energy audits of additional residential/commercial buildings.

  2. Documenting current electrical and heating energy consumption: Most homes are heated by diesel fuel and supplemented by wood stoves. The project will contract for the final energy efficiency feasibility report, whose tasks will include:

    1. Project kickoff meeting with village representatives and the housing authority

    2. Coordination with energy raters during the audit process and in-depth review of energy audit reports; and planning for field inspection

    3. Inspection and documentation of 24 homes selected by village and audited by energy raters

    4. Meeting and coordination with village representatives, energy raters, and local housing authority during the report compilation process

    5. Modeling of improvement scenarios and cost feasibility by CCHRC energy modeling specialist

    6. Analysis of data, creation of final feasibility report

    The outcome: The impacts of these costs as identified in the final report will be compared with the 2010 U.S. Census per-capita income data to assess the economic impact of the kW/Hour and Price/gallon of heating fuel consumption on the average disposable income of Hooper Bay households. This information will lead to a follow-up implementation phase to replace doors, windows, light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, weatherization and other energy efficiency measures to reduce the cost of energy for Hooper Bay residents.

  3. Assessing the economics of electricity and heating fuel usage:The project manager/technical contact will use the identified amount and the average kilowatt-hour consumption and heating fuel per household and compare the cost of energy to the average income per household to determine the percentage of disposable income that is consumed by energy usage and how it contributes to persistent intergenerational poverty in Hooper Bay. Each energy efficiency option ( i.e., installing replacement triple glaze windows, insulated fiberglass doors, weatherization, blow-in cellulose, or fiberglass attic insulation; replacing outdated ranges and other appliances) will have its R-value or energy efficiency measured and compared to its potential cost savings. The energy efficiency measures that provide the highest cost/benefit will be selected after a cost-benefit analysis is completed for each option.

    The outcome:This information will lead to a follow-up implementation phase to replace doors, windows, and light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, weatherization, and other energy efficiency measures to reduce the cost of energy for Hooper Bay residents.

  4. Development of materials lists for energy efficiency improvements:Project manager will create the detailed list of construction and energy efficiency material needed to increase the R-value of floors, walls, replacement doors, windows, and attics and identify which stoves, refrigerators, water heaters, and freezers need replacing.

    The outcome:To address the deficiencies in residential/commercial building energy efficiency and insulation after the results of the blower door tests are summarized in a follow-up implementation phase to install energy efficient weatherization and appliances.

  5. Calculation of projected energy savings: Project manager will calculate after the electricity and heating fuel consumption rates are identified and compared to the projected 30% reductions of electricity and heating fuel consumption.

    The outcome: The demonstrated 30% energy reduction potential will be used to propose a follow-up implementation project from future federal and state grant projects. The targeted outcome will include the implementation of alternative energy sources (i.e., solar panels and weatherization to achieve higher R-valued windows, doors, attic insulation, cellulose blow-in attic insulation, more energy efficient ranges, and other appliances.

  6. Assessing potential financing options: The program director/technical contact will assess the potential financing options for the follow-up implementation phase.

    The outcome: The follow-up implementation phase will consist of an installation project that will identify the existing buildings to be retrofitted with weatherization, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified efficient stoves, compact fluorescent light fixtures, and energy efficient appliances, among other measures.

Project Location

Hooper Bay, Alaska, is the largest community in western Alaska, in the Wade Hampton Census Area 500 miles west of Anchorage, AK. The 2000 U.S. Census indicated that 95% of the 1,014 population in Hooper Bay is Alaska Native. Of that, 285 were living below the poverty rate.

Project Status

This 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 and November 2012 project status reports provide more information.

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

Project Contact

William Naneng
General Manager
Main Airport Road, Hooper Bay, AK 99604
907-758-4015
will@sealioncorp.net

George Owletuck
Project Manager
PO Box 671103, Chugiak, AK 99567
907-720-5158
owletuck@gci.net