FY 2007 Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program

The Department of Health and Human Services made grant awards totaling $290,000 to one territory and four tribes under the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH) for FY 2007. This is the twelfth distribution of REACH funds.

Three of the tribal winners and the one territory received an additional $10,000 for energy efficiency education proposals that met specified standards.



Karuk Tribe (California)

Grand Traverse (Michigan)

Pueblo of Jemez (New Mexico)

Tulalip Tribes (Washington)

Northern Mariana Islands

KARUK TRIBE    $50,000


The tribe plans to work with elementary school children to educate them on energy safety and conservation. This effort includes the development of a coloring book designed to teach young students about the importance of residential energy conservation. The Junction Elementary School will work with participating students and their families to develop an individual "residential energy conservation plan" that includes health and safety features, with guidance from LIHEAP and the Karuk Housing Authority. An additional effort is being made to reach out to tribal elders to educate them on the proper use of space heaters and electric blankets, the annual cleaning of swamp coolers, and ways to maintain health and comfort in the home while conserving energy.



The primary focus of the tribe's REACH program will be the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning. As the price of home heating surges, tribal members seek low cost alternatives to heat their homes, which often pose safety risks such as fire and personal injury. The tribe will provide outreach to tribal elders on carbon monoxide hazards, as well as services to detect possible carbon monoxide risks. The benefits and services will include heating equipment, chimney inspections and cleanings, inspection of wood burning stoves, and identification of ventilation problems in the selected homes.

 *Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education

PUEBLO OF JEMEZ    $60,000*


Most tribal members depend upon unsafe means to heat their homes, such as basic wood burning and fossil fuels like propane. The tribe's proposal will focus on educating its members about newer renewable energy-efficient alternatives for heating and/or cooling their homes, and new technologies that will target vulnerable households (elderly, disabled and young children). The tribe will outfit 2 homes with model systems-one with a pellet fuel appliance (stove) and evaporative air-conditioning (EAC) system; the other will have a geothermal heat pump system installed for year round climate control. The intent is to compare the savings and efficiencies of both systems, demonstrate reduction in energy crises and costs to the selected households from their previous heating/cooling methods, and put forth an active outreach campaign to publicize the expected, positive results from this testing.

 *Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education

TULALIP TRIBES    $60,000*


The tribe plans to install heat pumps for those low income households living on the reservation and compromised by health problems. Most tribal members use wood stoves as either their primary or secondary heating source. Not only are these stoves more than 20 years old in most cases, they also pose significant and pervasive health risks associated with wood smoke. The heat pumps are more safe and efficient, and the tribe will target the assistance to vulnerable groups. As part of this REACH effort, the tribe plans to provide all client homes with an energy efficiency assessment and health and safety information, and will provide heat pumps to those households facing the most serious health hazards.

 *Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education


Northern Marianas will provide multiple initiatives under its REACH program. Primarily, it will offer one-on-one client counseling-this is particularly important because most elderly are not well enough or have the means or the transportation to physically come into the LIHEAP office. This proposal will enable LIHEAP staff to conduct home visits to health challenged clients, identify any home energy problems and educate them on the risks to their health due to unsafe energy use. In addition, Northern Marianas will conduct health and safety workshops in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, and work with its sole utility company to put on an Energy Fair with information and various energy discounts for low income households.

 *Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education