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Utilizing $67,000 of EERE’s Tribal Energy Program funding, energy-efficiency upgrades were installed in five Nez Perce Reservation buildings that house a large portion of the Nez Perce Tribe’s governing entities. The upgrades included replacing lighting fixtures with T8 fluorescent lamps and windows with vinyl, low-e, with .30 shading coefficient, as well as adding insulation and motion sensors. As a result of the upgrades, the Tribe’s electrical energy consumption is estimated to be reduced by 30%, thereby reducing the cost to operate the Tribal physical plant and freeing up funds for other use. The upgrades will also provide a comfortable working environment for Tribal employees and are expected have a minimum annual energy cost savings of nearly $14,000.

In the first month after completion, a comparison between August 2011 and August 2012 (with an average temperature increase of one degree) electrical bills showed more than $1,200 in electrical cost savings to the Tribe. Based on this initial savings information, it appears that the project results may exceed the 30% savings goal that was initially set for the Tribe in these buildings.  The project began in September 2011 and was completed in December 2012.

The Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office (WIPO) provides funding and technical assistance to its partners in state and local governments, Indian tribes, and international agencies to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.

Positive Impact

The Nez Perce Tribe recognized lower energy costs by implementing three relatively simple efficiency measures.


Nez Perce Reservation near Lapwai, Idaho


Avista Utilities

EERE Investment

$67,000 (Tribal Energy Program annual funding)

Clean Energy Sector

Energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturing