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FY 2012 Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program

The Department of Health and Human Services made grant awards totaling $398,970 to one territory and seven tribes under the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH) for FY 2012.

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

INDIAN TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS

AND TERRITORY REACH AWARDS:
   $398,970

Association of Village Council Presidents (Alaska)

Choctaw Nation (Oklahoma)

Delaware Tribe (Oklahoma)

Eastern Shawnee Tribe (Oklahoma)

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians (Michigan)

Sherwood Valley Rancheria (California)

Tinglit Haida (Alaska)

Northern Mariana Islands

Association of Village Council Presidents  (Alaska)   $20,350

The project will address the recent extreme extended cold waves below zero degrees Fahrenheit by purchasing ceramic electric heating units for 50 households to use as "loaners" while families are waiting for heating fuel to be delivered. This will help mitigate the safety risks posed when households use their electric cooking ovens as a heating source when fuel oil or wood supplies run out.

Choctaw Nation (Oklahoma)    $45,143

The project will address the dangers of extreme heat and cold on low-income households with a vulnerable member who is elderly, disabled, and/or a young child and lack adequate heating and cooling systems. The project will repair and/or replace heating and air systems for at least eight eligible households and tailor energy education activities about safe home energy habits, energy conservation, and how to achieve energy self-sufficiency.

Delaware Tribe (Oklahoma)    $45,143

Delaware Tribe will work with the Delaware Housing Program to reduce energy costs and health and safety risks of low-income families with elderly, disabled, and/or young children by providing them with home repair services and energy efficient improvements. The project will provide up to $500 of REACH benefits for roof repair, heating and air unit repair/replacement, hot water tank replacement, and installation of Energy Star appliances. The project will also mail energy saving information packets to all Tribal members.

Eastern Shawnee Tribe (Oklahoma)   $48,334

The Tribe will work with the departments of maintenance, environment, and housing to conduct energy audits of eight low income families to improve health and safety risks. The audits will determine the efficiency of the home's heating and cooling systems to minimize the exposure of Oklahoma's extreme summer and winter temperatures by low-income families. The project will use up to $5,000 per home to provide energy improvements such as replacement of heating and cooling systems, seal/replace ductwork, windows and doors replacement, weather stripping, caulking, etc.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians (Michigan)    $60,000*

The project will focus on health, safety risks, and homelessness prevention of vulnerable households. The Tribe will help 30 vulnerable families to prepare for emergencies such as power outage by providing at least 30 portable generators. Households will also be provided with community education and weatherization materials, such pipe wrap, hot water blankets, window film and caulking. Home health and safety education will be offered to prepare families for seasonal storms, staying warm, and maintaining proper temperature of perishable food.

*Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education services. The Tribe will conduct safety and energy conservation classes, budgeting and financial planning education.

Sherwood Valley Rancheria (California)    $60,000*

The program will focus on increasing the health and safety of vulnerable households with elderly and disabled and families with children by assisting them with repair or replacement of inefficient and unsafe heating or cooling units. Households will also receive weatherization services such as Energy Star appliances, installation of ceiling fans and swamp coolers, weatherization of doors and windows. These services will help families avoid crisis situations and ensure healthy and safe homes.

*Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education services. The program will educate households on furnace maintenance, wood stove cleaning and safety measures and provide energy conservation tips and brochures and budgeting education.

Tinglit Haida Regional Housing Authority (Alaska)    $60,000*

The project will provide energy conservation and Healthy Homes Initiatives for at least 60 vulnerable LIHEAP households receiving an average of $1,000 in services, supplies, and products. Two trained technicians will spend eight hours in each household to assess energy consumption and evaluate health and safety needs. Training will also be provided to reduce energy costs and improve energy conservation/efficiency. REACH funds will be used to cover personnel costs for 14 trained home assessors spread across 16 communities throughout southeast Alaska.

*Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education services. The Tribe will provide energy conservation education to 400 low-income households; education to target behavior modification to reduce energy consumption, promote community awareness to minimize health and safety risks.

Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)    $60,000*

The REACH project will address health issues by targeting clients with critical medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. The negative health effects from the sub-tropic climate with high temperatures and high humidity causes mold build-up in dwellings. The CNMI expects to decrease health problems by providing clients with portable nebulizers, dehumidifiers, and window air conditioners.

The Department of Public Works will provide assistance with caulking and weather stripping of doors and windows to prevent warmer air from seeping into the homes of the affected clients. The REACH Program will also convert all LIHEAP recipients from regular power meter to prepaid meter. Households who have converted from regular meter to prepaid meter have saved 50 percent on their power bills. The program will coordinate with the Commonwealth Utility Corporation for the installation of prepaid meters to 450 LIHEAP recipients at a minimal fee to reduce home energy vulnerability and prevent disconnection.

*Includes $10,000 for energy efficiency education services. CNMI will provide educational services to address health and safety issues to be held on an installed informational booth in the on-going weekly educational campaign activities of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs at the Garapan Street Market held every Thursday night.