FY 2010 Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program

The Department of Health and Human Services made grant awards totaling $280,000 to one territory and four tribes under the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH) for FY 2010. This is the “first round” of REACH grants in FY 2010.

Three of the tribal winners received an additional $10,000 for Energy Efficiency Education Services (EEES) Plans.



Blackfeet Tribe (Montana)

Choctaw Nation (Oklahoma)

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (Michigan)

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (Michigan)

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

BLACKFEET TRIBE     $60,000*


The Tribe resides on a vast reservation where tribal members are isolated from neighbors. Since most tribal households use electricity to heat their homes, storms that cause electric disruptions put households who lose their heat in dangerous situations. The Tribe will select 30 LIHEAP clients to train on energy conservation, energy audit and energy related survival. The 30 clients will then teach what they have learned to 10 households that contain members who are elderly or have children. The original 30 clients will receive heating units that work without electricity.

The EEES Plan: The Tribe will develop and provide conservation videos to be shown to LIHEAP households.

 *Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education



The Tribe will coordinate with the Tribe’s Housing Authority to fully investigate the needs of households and select the neediest homes for repairs and energy efficient improvements. This may include the installation of the following: propane tanks and gas lines, central air conditioning and central heat, air and heat pumps, ceiling fans, room air conditioners, electrical outlets, insulation, wood burning stoves, heaters, and hot water tank and pipe insulation. The Tribe may also replace old refrigerators and cook stoves, storm windows, doors, blinds, shades, and install reflective solar control film.

The Tribe will also provide payments for crisis energy bills and provide information on payment plans, energy conservation, and dealing and communicating with fuel vendors. Information packets on program benefits will also be provided. The Tribe will focus on assisting the frail elderly, disabled, and very young children.



The Tribe will target REACH interventions to the elderly, disabled, and families with small children. The Tribe plans to provide interventions related to mercury products and may include replacing thermostats with programmable thermostats, and regular light bulbs with new CFLs that help reduce seasonal affective disorder. The Tribe may also replace outdated appliances with Energy Star appliances, replace old water heaters with tankless water heaters, and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

The Tribe will also provide budget counseling, referrals, and energy conservation education.

The EEES Plan: The Tribe will develop energy conservation materials in formats for both adults and children and provide them at several locations and through the tribal newsletter

 *Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education



The Tribe will target elders and households with small children and will provide conservation education, and energy smart light bulbs, as well as repair or replace heating units, doors, and insulation. The Tribe will provide programmable thermostats and teach clients how to use them to save money. The Tribe plans to update appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, and water heaters. Additionally, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers will be installed.

The EEES Plan: The Tribe will provide training to LIHEAP recipients to assist them on preparing budgets that help them save for high energy costs and to teach them about the importance of furnace inspections and filter replacement.

 *Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education


CNMI will provide a Village to Village house assessment and counseling. The Program will focus REACH interventions to households who have members with medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, dialysis, asthma, or cancer, and to households with a member who is elderly, disabled or contain infants or children. Interventions will include window air conditioners and compact refrigerators (for medicine) and written information dealing with health and safety issues.

CNMI will sponsor in-store vendor demonstrations where vendors will showcase energy efficient appliances and offer discounts. Additionally, in coordination with the utility agency, CNMI will provide workshops on various electrical safety issues. CNMI will also coordinate with the Department of Health and Bureau of Environment to provide workshops and home visits on water safety, food safety, and pest control.

An Energy Fair will provide consumers with easy access to energy-related information and will include vendors who discount energy saving appliances.