Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska: Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Central Council of the/Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority
Location: Juneau, AK
Project Title: Energy Efficiency Audit, Assessment, and Alternative Energy Study
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005179
Project Amounts:
DOE: $885,832
Awardee: $78,596
Total: $964,428
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: December 2014

Summary

The Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority (THRHA) will conduct a three-year project to:

  1. Provide energy efficiency audits, energy monitoring, energy usage assessments, and energy conservation proposed upgrades for approximately 51 low-income, multifamily residences (292 units) in 14 southeast Alaska communities and rural communities with extremely high energy costs; identify  funding options for potential energy upgrades, if found to be viable, to implement the resultant project.

  2. Complete home energy usage assessments and provide energy conservation education and energy use monitoring for about 400 rental tenant families. To complete this project, funding will be used to develop and provide tenant education and training specific to household behavior to reduce energy consumption.

Project Description

Background

Most tribal members of the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA), a federally recognized tribe, live in communities scattered throughout southeast Alaska's 600-mile archipelago. The high costs of energy in these remote locations (electricity over 60 cents per kilowatt-hour and diesel fuel over $6 per gallon) disproportionately and adversely affect tribal members. This project furthers the tribal government's responsibility to promote the well being of tribal members.

Economic decline in southeast Alaska's isolated towns and villages results in jobless rates for Alaska Natives of up to 90% in some communities. High energy costs not only discourage economic development but also impair the sustainability of the native way of life, as village residents increasingly move away from their families, communities, and traditional lifestyle, into larger hub communities with available work and lower cost of living. Out-migration stemming from the current economic decline has put southeast communities into, as one elder observed, a "death spiral."

The communities and residents to be served by this project are seniors and low-income residents throughout southeast Alaska, including the communities of Angoon, Craig, Douglas, Haines, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Juneau, Kake, Kasaan, Ketchikan, Klawock, Petersburg, Saxman, Skagway, Wrangell, and Yakutat. Electric costs for four of these communities exceeds 275% of the national average, making each one an extremely high energy cost community. Based on the 2000 U.S. Census, the total population of high energy cost communities in remote rural Alaska is 2,142.  The town with the greatest population of these communities is Hoonah, with 860 people.

Project Objectives

Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority's objective is to identify efficiency measures to reduce energy costs by 30% for low-income multifamily housing, by:

  1. Decreasing energy demand by increasing multifamily housing energy efficiency
  2. Reducing household energy consumption through energy conservation education and installation of energy upgrades
  3. Projecting energy savings based on fossil fuel reduction to environmentally and economically benefit tribal southeast communities.

This project supports the Alaska Energy Authority's State of Alaska Rural Energy Plan (2004) and the State Energy Plan (2008) by focusing on reducing energy demand. Determining the energy needs once energy efficiency measures have been undertaken assists the State of Alaska in determining the level of clean power generation capacity needed for southeast Alaska and may better position the state to determine priorities for upgrading distribution facilities to meet energy loads for long-term energy sufficiency. While interest in this continues, THRHA is committed to reducing the existing energy costs in the short term by conducting energy audits that can lead to weatherization of multi-family buildings and short-term energy conservation education and home upgrades.

THRHA seeks to make positive changes in the lives of tribal members. The Southeast Alaska Energy Efficiency Audit, Assessment, and Energy Study will provide energy saving improvements to members' homes while expanding needed employment opportunities in our communities. Providing much needed tribal weatherization services in members' homes creates jobs, reduces energy costs, and helps maintain our rural economies, our families, and our culture, while we pursue longer-term, less expensive, clean and renewable energy prospects.

Project Scope

Under this project, THRHA will begin to address the high-energy costs experienced by low-income families in multifamily buildings through energy efficiency audits and energy monitoring/analysis that are necessary in order to secure energy efficiency upgrades and rehabilitation funding.  As an added benefit this project will create and support community based jobs for conducting audits and assessments that will eventually lead to weatherizing buildings, and providing energy efficient appliances with funding secured based on energy audit outcomes. Tenants will participate in a mandatory energy conservation program on the importance of maintaining the efficiency measures and decreasing individual energy use through behavioral changes from employing energy use monitoring equipment in each unit.  This project benefits each community by reducing energy demand and helping to determine the existing community energy needs after energy efficiency measures have been taken.

Project Location

Most members of the CCTHITA, a federally recognized tribe, live in 24 communities scattered throughout southeast Alaska's 600-mile archipelago. Because these communities are not connected by road, residents rely on ferry, barge, and air service for personal transportation and delivery of goods.

THRHA is the Tribally Designated Housing Entity (TDHE) for the southeast region of Alaska and is considered a Tribal Consortium serving IRA designated tribes and over 1,500 resident tenants. THRHA, a nonprofit organization, provides housing to southeast Alaska Tribal communities.  THRHA owns and operates facilities for low-income families, including single family, duplex, and multifamily residences and community centers in eighteen of these communities.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2010 funding opportunity announcement, "Energy Efficiency Development and Deployment in Indian Country" (DE-FOA-0000423), and started 9/1/11.

The November 2011 project status report provides more information.

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

Project Contact

Joanne Wiita
Planning & Grant Administration
907-780-6868 x3158
jwiita@thrha.org
5446 Jenkins Drive
Juneau, AK 99802

Craig Moore
VP Development & Construction Mgr
907-780-6868
cmoore@thrha.org
5446 Jenkins Drive
Juneau, AK 99802