Forest County Potawatomi – 2017 Project

Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs

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Project Overview

Tribe/Awardee

Forest County Potawatomi Community

Location

Crandon, WI

Project Title

Developing Residential Energy Usage Baselines and Energy Efficiency Options

Type of Application

First Steps toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands

DOE Grant Number

DE-IE0000065

Project Amounts

DOE: $146,466

Awardee: $16,275

Total: $162,741

Project Status

See project status

Project Period of Performance

Start: August 2017

End: April 2019

Summary

Under the Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) project, funding will be used to develop residential energy-usage baselines and energy options for homes within FCPC’s communities of Stone Lake, Carter, and Blackwell. Under this project, the Tribe will establish baseline energy usage for all reservation homes, as well as conduct home energy audits for 90–100 tribal residences. These assessments will serve as another important step toward furthering the Tribe’s energy mission of achieving 100% carbon-neutral energy independence.

Project Description

Background

FCPC is a federally recognized Indian tribe, formally organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, which exercises governmental authority under a Constitution last adopted and approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior on July 14, 1982.

Since a tribe’s membership is its most important asset, FCPC’s proposed project goal is to take the first steps toward developing and implementing energy solutions that will directly impact the tribal members and homeowners. Along with identifying efficiency options within the tribal community, FCPC also seeks to increase tribal member knowledge regarding efficiency and sustainability, and it will promote homeowner investment and initiative toward more energy efficient practices.

Through this project, the Tribe will further reduce its carbon footprint. This mission aligns with the Tribe’s overarching energy goals and achievements, for which FCPC has become an energy leader, both locally and nationally. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranked the Forest County Potawatomi Community 11th in its Top 30 Local Government List as a result of the extensive measures the Tribe has taken toward the goal of achieving 100% carbon-neutral energy independence. Prior efforts include the reduction of the tribal government workweek to four days instead of five, the purchase of renewable energy certificates to more than offset the Tribe’s annual energy consumption, the installation of solar photovoltaic systems, and the completion of energy audits of tribal government facilities.

In pursuit of its long-term energy goal of reducing its carbon footprint to zero, the Tribe adopted an integrated renewable energy deployment plan that includes the installation of solar, biogas, and biomass energy systems to heat, cool, and power its tribal facilities. See how the Tribe is cutting emissions and promoting green growth through the installation of renewable energy.

Project Objectives and Scope

The Developing Residential Energy Usage Baselines and Energy Efficiency Options project is a two-pronged approach to home energy analysis on homes located on FCPC tribal lands: 1) establish baseline energy usage and 2) identify energy efficiency options.

The Project Team will first conduct community outreach to educate tribal homeowners about the overall goal of the project and the components within it. Following outreach efforts, the Energy Specialist will work with energy service providers to obtain and analyze baseline energy-usage data for all homes on the FCPC reservation The next step in the project entails conducting comprehensive home energy audits on about one-third of all FCPC reservation homes. Once home energy audits are complete, the Energy Specialist and Project Coordinator will create a master Tribal Home Energy Action Plan, taking into consideration the efficiency options identified during the auditing process. Individual action plans will be created for each tribal home that is audited, and this information will be reviewed with each homeowner so that efficiency measures can be explored and potentially implemented.

With a home efficiency cost-sharing program developed independently from this project, the Tribe will further assist homeowners in making the recommended improvements by incurring some of the associated expenses. The Tribe is seeking a 15% decrease in energy consumption for each audited home once implementation of these efficiency options are applied. The Project Team is also prepared to work diligently with concerned tribal members, as well as with energy service providers, to ensure that any data collected during the scope of the project are only used for project-specific purposes.

Project Location

The FCPC reservation lands consist of 12,000 acres in rural Forest County, Wisconsin. The Tribe's reservation lands are "checker boarded," meaning that non-Indian-owned land and tribal reservation land border each other in several locations, resulting in a visual "checkerboard" of Indian and non-Indian lands. The proposed project will be entirely located in Carter on the FCPC reservation, near the town of Wabeno, Wisconsin. The Tribe consists of more than 1,400 members, many of whom reside in the tribal communities of Stone Lake, Carter, and Blackwell, located in rural, northern Wisconsin.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Fiscal Year 2016 funding opportunity announcement “First Steps Toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands – 2016” (DE-FOA-0001621) and started in August 2017.

The November 2017 and December 2018 project status reports provide more information.