James Jensen: Welcome to everyone. I'm James Jensen, today's webinar chair. I'm a contractor supporting the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs' Tribal Energy Webinar Series. Today's webinar titled Energy Efficiency Basics is the first webinar of the 2020 DOE Tribal Energy Webinar Series. Let's go over some event details.
Today's webinar is being recorded and will be made available on DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs' website in about one week. Copies of today's Power Point presentation will be posted to the web shortly after this webinar. Everyone will receive a post-webinar email with a link to the page where the slides and recording will be located. Because we are recording this webinar, all phones have been muted.
We will answer your written questions at the end of the first two presentations and then we'll have a third and fourth presentation. Then answer questions again at the end of the fourth presentation. You can submit a question at any time by clicking on the question button located in the webinar control box on the screen and typing your question.
Let's get started with opening remarks from Lizanna Pierce. Ms. Pierce is senior engineer and deployment supervisor in the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, duty stationed in Golden, Colorado. Lizanna is responsible for managing technical assistance and education and outreach activities on behalf of the Office, implementing national funding opportunities and administering the result in Tribal Energy project grants and agreements.
She has 25 years of experience in project development and management and has been assisting tribes in developing their energy resources for nearly 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University and pursued a master's in business administration through the University of Northern Colorado. Lizanna, the virtual floor is now yours.
Lizanna Pierce: Thank you, James, and hello everyone. I join James in welcoming you to the first webinar of the 2020 series. This webinar series is sponsored by the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, otherwise referred to as the Office of Indian Energy for short. The Office of Indian Energy directs, fosters, coordinates, and implements energy planning, education, management, and programs that assist tribes with energy development, capacity building, energy infrastructure, energy costs, and the electrification of Indian lands and homes. To provide this assistance, our deployment program works within the Department of Energy and the cross-government agencies and with Indian tribes and organizations to help Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages overcome the barriers to energy development. Our deployment program is composed of a three-pronged approach, insisting on financial assistance, technical assistance, and education and capacity building. This Tribal Energy Webinar Series is just one example of our education and capacity building efforts.
This webinar series is also part of the Office of Indian Energy's efforts to support fiscally responsible energy business and economic development decision making and information sharing amongst tribes. It is intended to provide attendees with information on the tools and resources to develop and implement tribal energy plans, programs, and projects, to highlight tribal energy case studies into identified business strategies tribes can use to expand their energy options and develop sustainable local economies.
Today's webinar is titled Energy Efficiency Basics, and we're starting the 2020 webinar series with energy efficiency since it is generally considered to be the first and best place to start to reduce energy consumption and, more importantly, reduce energy costs. This is also true if you later choose to add generation, such a solar system, to a building as the size of that system will usually need to be much smaller if energy efficiency measures are incorporated into the building first. This webinar will be focused primarily on energy efficiency in buildings, however it is important to remember that energy efficiency is also important anywhere energy is consumed such as for industrial loads. For example, our last case study today – pardon me – discusses energy efficiency improvements in a vacuum sanitation system in rural Alaska, a good example in reducing consumption in other than buildings.
As the title implies, today's webinar will cover the basics of energy efficiency. Next month's webinar will build off of this and focus more on the how-to to execute energy efficiency projects. This how-to focus will be the theme of this year's entire webinar series. We do hope that the webinar and the series as a whole is useful to you. We also welcome your feedback. So, please, let us know if there are ways we can make the series better.
Before I turn it back over to James, I did want to personally thank the presenters for giving of their time, not only preparing for but also in presenting on today's webinar. Thank you. With that, the virtual floor is yours, James.
James Jensen: Thanks, Lizanna. Before we get to today's presentations, I will introduce all of today's presenters. For our first presentation, we will hear from Jimmy Salasovich. Jimmy has 20 years of engineering experience with a total of 16 years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. He specializes in energy efficiency and renewable energy analysis. He has been the technical leader for over 100 energy assessments in over 25 states and 17 countries. He has been working in tribal energy for over five years and he feels fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work directly with over 20 tribes.
Following Jimmy, we will hear from Carrie Nelson. Carrie manages the State and Tribal Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program for Bonneville Power Administration. She grew up in Idaho and attended the University of Oregon for her undergraduate degree, then completed a master's degree at the New School University in New York. She now resides in Portland, Oregon and is honored to collaborate with tribes and state agencies of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada to improve the health and safety of low-income households while reducing the impacts of energy demands on our environment.
Following Carrie, we will hear from Bryan Mignone. Bryan – excuse me. Bryan is associate general counsel in the Oneida Indian Nation's Legal Department. Bryan joined the nation in 2006 as an attorney and was promoted in 2014 to senior attorney and then general counsel, associate general counsel, with responsibility for the Nation's Grant Administration Department and Operations. Bryan has served as the DOE's point of contact for the Nation's awarded grants and overseas compliance with the terms of the grant for the project.
Prior to working for the Oneida Nation, Bryan worked as an M&A corporate attorney in the New York City office of the international firm Weil Gotshal Manges, LLP. I might not have pronounced all that correct, but I'm sure it got the point across. He graduated cum laude from York University School of Law and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University.
Following Bryan, our final presenter will be Dan Smith. Dan is a project manager with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, where he works in the energy program. He has a long history of working on energy efficiency and alternative energy projects in rural Alaska and he sees needs for energy considerations include boosting the sustainability and the resilience of sanitation services in remote and rugged conditions of Alaska. In many cases, communities will pay over $0.50 per kilowatt hour for electricity and over $6.00 per gallon of heating fuel, diesel fuel.
Thanks to each of our presenters for making the time to join us today. With that, let's get started with our first presentation. Jimmy, please proceed once your slides are up.
Jimmy Salasovich: Yeah. Okay. Thanks, James. So, as Lizanna mentioned, I'll be talking today about energy efficiency in buildings. So, the agenda for my presentation – first, I'll talk about some background on building energy efficiency. Second part of the presentation will be things to consider, just general considerations when you're looking at energy efficiency in buildings. The third section is actually identifying typical energy efficiency measures within buildings. So, that will be a lot of the more technical things in section three. Then, the fourth section will be just a summary of what I talk about. So, next slide.
So, why is energy efficiency in buildings important? So, there are a lot of different reasons why you should pursue energy efficiency in buildings. So, the potential benefits include to save a lot of money on utility bills. That's usually the most biggest factor that plays in. It makes economical sense. Then it typically gets done. It can also reduce maintenance costs. So, an example of that is if you replace a chiller and the chiller has less scheduled maintenance required for punching the tubes within the chiller, things like that. It could reduce your maintenance costs over the time of the life of the equipment. So, that's another potential cost savings with implementing energy efficiency measures.
The third bullet there is you can – implementing energy efficiency measures can increase comfort within buildings. So, an example of this would be if you're in a home and you install weather stripping and the house becomes a lot less drafty. You're saving energy but you're also more comfortable within the house. So, it has the dual benefit of saving energy money and making the house more comfortable. So, within that, as you make buildings more comfortable, it can increase productivity within humans. So, in a workplace setting, if you make the workplace more comfortable to work in, typically research has shown that the occupants within that building will be more productive. So, just another benefit.
The fourth major bullet there is it can lower the impacts on the environment. Then increase energy resilience in buildings for – in critical buildings. So, the last bullet there might not be intuitive. So, I gave an example. The picture kind of relates to that. So, a critical building can be any building that needs to operate if the grid electricity is down, whether that's caused by a storm or some other event. Doesn't matter, you just want that building to operate.
So, after a storm, a lot of – some of the tribes I've worked with have identified buildings that can be used as community shelters, places like gyms. So, if you make those buildings more efficient, the less fuel you'll need for the generator or if you have PV and battery storage associated with the generator, you could make the sizes of those generation technologies smaller and it can extend the length, the operating time of that critical building. So, just another benefit of energy efficiency.
So, then the common types of buildings within tribes – and by no means am I saying there are only three types. It's just these are like – the common types tribal buildings include homes, government buildings, and commercial buildings. So, within these buildings, you'd have to identify a person that could find the energy efficiency measures to implement. It varies depending on the type of building. In a home, it's usually up the homeowner to determine if they need new windows that are less leaky or more insulation in the attic.
In the government buildings, it's also a different person that would determine what energy efficiency measures need to implemented. Same thing for commercial buildings. The thing with commercial buildings that make them a little bit different is a lot of times it's a building, a bigger building. You'll have maintenance staff there who specialize in energy. So, they're typically better equipped. They do it for a living to identify where energy can potentially be saved in those bigger buildings. Same for some of the government buildings. A lot of times you will have, depending on size of the tribe, you might have a facilities person that maintains the building.
So, the nice thing – the last bullet there – the process for identifying energy efficiency measures is pretty similar for each building type. So, that's a nice advantage. So, next slide.
So, the first step with energy efficiency in buildings is doing energy management. So, compiling and tracking your utility bills. So, typically, we want to see what are the patterns of how a building is using electricity and, a lot of times, for buildings in hot climates, you'll see the electricity peak in the summertime when the air conditioning is high. In colder climates, a lot of times there is no air conditioning load. So, the electricity might be relatively flat throughout the year. But then you'll a high natural gas or fuel oil load in the winter and swing season months when there's heating needed.
So, it's important to compile those utility bills and see, basically, where are you spending your money on energy. It's good to track this energy use throughout time, energy use and cost throughout time to see, "Does it vary year to year? Are there anomalies where one month is much higher than the other? Can you figure out why?" Then once you have that historical energy use data, you can kind of benchmark your building compared to other similar building types in a similar climate to see how your building stacks up. Is your building using more or less than a typical building of that same type and size and in the same climate field?
You can also track greenhouse gas emissions, if that's important to the tribe. With all this information, you can set goals for the tribe to reduce energy use or maybe implement financially viable energy efficiency measures. I should note, anytime you see EEM, I forgot to mention that that stands for energy efficiency measures. So, those are the measures you'd be implementing in the building. So, another goal might be just to increase energy efficiency throughout the tribe. So, just some of the agency goals.
Then the next couple of bullets. So, the conduct building energy assessments and audits. So, once you have this historic data, the utility data that shows how your buildings are using electricity, energy, the next step would be to conduct building audits or building energy assessments. I have a slide dedicated to that. Then once you have the assessment information, the final bullet would be to implement the energy efficiency projects that are financially viable. So, next slide.
Okay, so, within the energy management, just some more information on tracking and prioritizing the buildings based on the energy use. So, again, analyze the tasks and current energy consumption of the building by gathering the electricity bill, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, whatever the energy might be. So, collect that data. Typically, it's on a monthly basis that you'd be tracking it. Then, identify any usage patterns within the building.
As I mentioned yesterday, is a particular building much higher than a comparable building type? Are certain buildings highest in the summer or conversely in the winter? Things like that. Then with that information, as I mentioned in the previous slide, you could start to prioritize what buildings to do energy assessments on. Then, ultimately, where to implement energy efficiency measure or implement energy projects. So, typically, again, we like to see at least three years of monthly utility data. It's not a necessity. But it's nice to have that to sort data.
Some other things to consider is to group buildings by building types. So, if you have a lot of different – a lot of office buildings that are of similar construction, similar use, you might group those together to see, "All right, which one's the highest? Maybe we'll focus on that one." Then some other things to consider is the building age. So, typically, the older the building, the more opportunities for energy efficiency exists. Just they weren't built up to the current code. So, you might have more opportunities in older buildings.
You could focus on buildings that are used more often. So, buildings that are only used once a week and are empty the rest of the time might not be a high priority because they don't use a lot of energy anyway. Most of the time, they're empty and not being used. Other things to consider is like, "Is the building fully conditioned?" A lot of times we'll go into warehouses and spaces like that where they're not conditioned. The lights are most of the time off. So, there's not a lot of opportunity to reduce energy use in those buildings. So, all things to consider when you're looking at energy efficiency. So, next slide.
So, with energy efficiency, the next step after you track the bills would be to actually conduct an energy audit or energy assessment. So, this is a process where you identify the opportunity to reduce the energy use in a building and look for ways that you could save costs through energy savings. So, it provides the building owner kind of a way to make decisions on what energy efficiency measures or EEMs to implement within a building. So, you could prioritize those EEMs for the building owner.
So, the typical steps within an energy audit or energy assessment, there are typically three. So, the pre-audit, the audit itself, and then the post-audit activity. So, within the pre-audit, you're doing that energy management. You're doing those energy management tasks, things like collecting the utility data, look at the building trends, and things like that. So, that's all done before you even go in the building, typically. Then the next step would be to actually conduct the audit.
So, during the audit, you want to collect as much information about the building as you can; what kind of heating system it has, cooling system, lighting system, when it's used, and all those kinds of things. I'd start to identify where there might be possibilities to implement energy efficiency measures. Then, once you're done with the audit, typically go back to your office and do the post-audit activities which includes doing the actual calculations to figure out whether or not it makes sense to implement an energy efficiency measure.
A lot of times, this could be done by having a local installer kind of look at the building. If you need a furnace replacement, have them give you your options on, "All right, if I install a standard furnace, it's going to cost this much, but it's going to eat this much energy." If you install the best highest efficiency furnace, it'll cost a little more but it'll save over the time of the life. So, you'll want to prioritize those measures that you identify in the audit in the report. Then, ultimate, report the results back to the building owner. So, next slide.
So, the next part of the agenda is some general things to consider. So, when you're implementing energy efficiency measures, there are a lot of competing interests within tribes. The other thing to consider is, a lot of times, people aren't experts in energy efficiency. So, what can you do to start identifying these measures, even though you don't do it for a living?
So, another thing to consider, it does take money to implement a lot of energy efficiency measures. Within that, a lot of times, building owners will focus on the capital costs of implementing energy efficiency measures. So, how much does it cost upfront? Do I have the money? Do I need to finance it? Things like that. A lot of times, people don't look at, "When will it pay off? How much money will I make over the next 20 years by doing this energy efficiency measure? Even though it costs more, it'll save me over the life of the project." So, it's starting to try to think in terms of net present value is an important thing to do.
So, other things to consider. The climate definitely affects what works well within buildings. So, there's no single best design for buildings. What works well in Alaska might not work well in Kansas. So, just very different climate. Luckily, there are some energy efficiency measures that pretty much make sense throughout any buildings. So, things like LEDs. LED lighting pretty much work well in any climate. EnergyStar equipment works well in any climate. So, those are things you could do just pretty much across any building.
Some other things to consider. There are rebates and grants available. A lot of times, they are complicated and you might have to wait for money. You might have to actually install the measure and then show that it's installed. Then you get the money a few months later. So, those are all things to consider.
Then, the bullet. Low electric rates or low utility rates can make it more difficult to justify implementing energy efficiency measures because you're not saving that on the energy cost as much as if you had higher rates. So, conversely, the higher the utility rates, typically, makes it easier to justify doing energy efficiency measures within buildings.
So, some other things to consider. So, an important one; is the building a small home or is it a larger commercial building? What's the type of building? So, the types of energy efficiency measures do depend on the size of the building. Again, some measures don't really as much. So, LEDs work well in pretty much any building type. But the size does matter in other measures.
Other things include is the building new construction or an existing building? I'll have a separate slide on this. But it's much easier to implement energy efficiency measures in new construction than in existing buildings. Once a building's built, things like adding insulation to the walls, replacing the windows, that just gets expensive. It's a lot easier to just do on just the first time you build the building. But it still is important to retrofit existing buildings, if needed.
Sequencing of projects in existing buildings can be an issue, especially if the buildings are occupied. If it's an office building and you want to replace the lights, you have to work with the occupants to figure out when to do that. With existing buildings, it can – a lot of times, if you're doing the energy audit, it can be different to figure out what exactly is in the building if there are no drawings that it fits. So, things like wall insulation, roof insulation. It's really hard to figure out how much is in there because there's drywall all over the walls. You can't really see it.
So, the bullet is, "How old are the buildings?" So, within this, sometimes we see that if you do any projects you have to, by code, bring the whole building up to code. So, that can be an issue with older buildings. Then things like lead-based paint or asbestos could become issues in older buildings. So, just something to be aware of. So, next slide.
Okay, so dedicated slide for new construction versus existing buildings. So, again, it is much easier to implement energy efficiency measures into new construction. So, on the top right there, I have an image of just a building as it was being built for a tribe. It was a housing building. So, we did some energy modeling for this building to figure out what are the best things they can do for this building before they even build it. So, it's much less expensive to do this, to design a building right the first time than to try to go back and retrofit it.
The other nice thing about new construction is you can do things like building energy modeling to figure out what is the best orientation of the building, how many windows should the building have, and things like that. I should note, I do have more information in the appendix slide. So, once these slides are distributed in AQ has more information on building energy modeling.
But it is still very important to retrofit existing buildings. So, again, some EEMs can't be as easily implemented. So, things like building orientation. Once a building's built, it's pretty much set as the way it's oriented. But one thing you should consider in existing buildings, if you do have a replacement coming up – so say you have an air conditioner that needs to be replaced. It's at the end of its useful life.
When you are replacing that air conditioner, you could consider looking at the most efficient air conditioner. Then, you'd have to pay for an air conditioner no matter what. To buy the more efficient one might cost slightly more, but it would pay back over the life of the equipment. So, there, you're only paying the incremental cost of that more efficient unit and not scrapping a functioning air conditioner and replacing it with a high-efficiency unit when there is an operating unit still. That's a really important thing to consider is replacing equipment at the end of the life versus replacing something that's actually functioning. So, next slide.
So, other things to consider. So, a lot of times tribes are located in remote regions. So, can be difficult to access high-efficiency equipment. We've seen where there can be limited access to a specialized labor force to implement energy efficiency measures. I've heard that it can be difficult to attract the specialized labor forces. But I should note there are many obvious benefits to living in these remote regions also. The next slide.
So, tribes sometimes are located in harsh climates with high utility rates. So, within the harsh climates, there might be a limited season for when construction can occur. So, that limits – maybe you can only build in the summer. So, things like that have to be considered. There might be high space heating or space cooling requirements. So, in really cold climates, there might be a very, very high space heating load. But this harsh climate does open up opportunities for doing energy efficiency measures. So, an example of this would be an extremely cold climate, increasing the insulation of the walls and roofs and putting in better windows might make sense economically because it is such a cold climate. So, tradeoffs, depending on how you look at things.
So, another thing to consider is, a lot of times, tribes are located in very high utility rate regions. It makes it hard to save extra money because, a lot of times, you've spending money on the electricity or energy itself. But then conversely, these high electric rates can make energy efficiency measures much more financially viable because you're getting that payback over the energy savings by implementing the energy efficiency measures. So, next slide.
So, the third section in the agenda is, yeah, the most technical one. So, this is actually identifying some of the energy efficiency measures. So, typically, within buildings, we have these different groups of energy efficiency measures that include passive design. So, building envelopes. Those are things like insulation in the roof, walls, windows, doors.
The next one, lighting. So, things like LED lighting, like _____ sensors. Plug loads or pretty much any equipment of products you plug into the wall. Then finally, heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, which we'll – excuse me – refer to as HVAC. So, these are the systems that heat and cool the building, ventilate the building, dehumidify the building, and so on. So, next slide.
The first thing to consider is passive building design. So, passive building design, though, is easiest to be done, again, in new construction because you can define the orientation of the building. But what is passive building design? It basically uses the local climate. So, things like the sun, wind patterns, things like that to minimize the energy from buildings – in the building – while maintaining a high comfort level. So, some of the strategies include building orientation with the long façade facing south. So, in colder climates, this allows the sun to penetrate into the building and heat it up during the winter months, but then if you design a building properly with its overhang, in the summer months, the sun won't be able to get in the building and the building will stay cool.
Other things to consider. It's much easier for daylighting to control glare from the sun on the south and north façade than it is on the east and west. A lot of times, we will see in passive design, they'll have a lot of windows on the south and north façade but not so much on the east and west. So, daylighting basically uses the natural light from the sun and kind of control the electric lights depending on how much light you are getting from the sun. So, you're saving energy by getting those electric lights or turning them off if they're not needed.
Also, another big component of passive design – I mentioned it, touched on this a little bit is a lot of times, the windows will have overhangs to allow for to control the solar gains of the space and to control glare into the space for daylight. So, properly designed overhangs so that you allow sun to penetrate in the winter and keeps the sun out in the summer.
Having operable windows is another feature. So, allowing the building's occupants to open the windows during maybe the swing seasons – the spring and fall – to allow for natural ventilation. So, you locate these operable windows where the predominant winds are – the direction and you allow the building to ventilate itself and cool it.
Then the final one is having a high thermal mass for the walls and floors. So, this kind of ties into allowing the sun to penetrate during the winter months. You want it to absorb into a high thermal mass or something like a concrete floor. Then that energy is stored and then released when it's cold at night. So, that's a safety error with a passive design. Again, passive design is much easier incorporated into new construction, but elements of passive design can also be incorporated into existing buildings. Next slide.
So, the next section on building envelope. So, on the right, I have a couple of pictures on increased attic insulation, better windows. I think these were double-pane windows that were being installed with a good seal. But building envelope measures include anything from roof or attic insulation. This measure is typically very cost effective, especially in cold climates. Roofs and attics are much more accessible than the walls. So, a lot of times, we can increase the insulation of the roof and attics spaces pretty easily. That's a great measure to consider.
Wall insulation, again, a little bit more difficult in existing homes or buildings. Ground insulation can also be difficult in build – it says homes but homes and buildings, just larger buildings in general. Air sealing can typically be very cost-effective. So, these are things like caulking around the windows, making sure there are seals around the doors. Typically, these measures are relatively inexpensive and pay off pretty well.
Then installing high-performance windows and doors. Then designing the buildings with overhangs and shading devices. So, those are measures to consider for building envelope. Next slide.
So, next element or energy efficiency measure would be lighting. So, my biggest one, I have it in big, bold, red font is install LED lighting. So, the cost of LED lighting has come way down. There are just many advantages. I have a separate slide just for LED lighting. But they're just so much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Even they have many benefits over CFLs. So, CFLs are the kind of curlicue-looking bulbs.
Then, also, you can replace the linear fluorescents. A lot of times, the T8 or T12 or T5 lamps can be replaced directly with LED lights and save a lot of energy. I should note the costs are constantly coming down for the LED lights since more and more manufacturers make them.
Other things to consider is just simply turn off the lights when you're not using the space and then implementing lighting or installing light occupancy sensors. There are limited use for lighting occupancy sensors in homes, but a lot of use can be – it can be used a lot in commercial buildings and in government buildings, things like that. Next slide.
So, here's the slide dedicated just to LED lighting, just to give you some highlights on why exactly you should focus on this one. It's much more efficient than incandescent lighting. For a 60-watt bulb, the LED light uses only 10 watts. You could use them in commercial or residential applications. You can use them for exterior lighting. They work well in cold climates.
There are more and more lamps entering the market. So, it's a pretty safe bet to assume if you have an existing incandescent light, a strange light bulb type, there probably is a manufacturer that makes an LED replacement for it. LEDs last a much longer time, about 50,000 hours. So, that's about six years if your operated continuously. The light isn't affected by frequent switching.
Again, they work well in cold climates. There's no mercury like in CFLs, so the disposal is easy. They have a great color range. So, the colors don't look weird under LED lighting. There's no warm-up time for the lights to get to full brightness. There's no breakable glass or filaments. So, just a lot of advantages to use LED lighting. Next slide.
Another thing to consider more so, again, in the commercial or government buildings would be installing lighting occupancy sensors. So, there's a photo of a wall switch lighting occupancy sensor that might be used in a private office. So, there are different types of lighting occupancy sensors. There's the infrared. So, this detects small amount of movement. These are typically the wall-mounted ones that you see there in the photo.
There are also ultrasonic. So, these are, a lot of times, in larger spaces. So, things like open office areas. They're installed on the ceiling. These detect small amounts of noise. So, the ultrasonic detect noise. Then they do make combination sensors that measure both infrared and ultrasonic. Again, basically, the thinking is the sensor will detect when humans are present and turn on a light and then turn them off when nobody's around. So, great technology to save energy. So, next slide.
So, plug loads. Plug loads are any device that can be plugged into the wall. So, any appliances, things like refrigerators, television. But then, also, things like office equipment. So, computers, monitors, printers. Basically, for any of these appliances or equipment, use EnergyStar for any of them.
The thing that I should note is there are different levels of EnergyStar. So, you could kind of try to look for the best of the best within a certain category to make sure you're saving as much energy out of a refrigerator as possible. I know, personally, when I bought a refrigerator last summer, I saved a lot of energy just by getting a refrigerator that didn't have an automatic icemaker. It was a convenience I didn't need. A lot of people do, but it's something to consider. I saw from the ratings like, "Oh, if I don't get an icemaker, I save this much more over the life of the refrigerator. So, I'll use trays." Things like that are good to consider.
Other measures within plug load is just turning off appliances when they're not in use. So, having smart power strips that turn off your computer station at offices. A lot of times, people ask about phantom loads. So, these are things like the clocks on your oven or microwave. So, if you have small loads, they can add up in larger buildings. So, again, you can consider trying to have a switch that turns all that off if that's important to you. So, that's the plug load slide. We can go to the next.
So, the next topic is heating ventilation and air conditioning equipment. So, probably the most complicated one. So, it does vary _____ depending on the building type. Probably what's in a home would be very different than what's in a tribal office or commercial building. But there are some similarities, too. So, on the right there, I have a bunch of different photos of pumps or boilers or thermostats. There's a mini split heat pump and then name plate – excuse me – data, name plate of the motor.
So, the biggest thing to consider with HVAC equipment is just to use the most efficient equipment possible. If you're replacing a furnace, make sure you're replacing it with the most efficient one. Same thing with an air conditioner. If you're designing a new building, put in the most efficient equipment first off, and you'll save throughout the life of the building. So, that's probably the most important one.
A lot of times through this measure, you'll work with the installer or the designer to figure out what are your options for the most efficient equipment. Usually, they're pretty good at telling you that, what the cost premium will be for getting the most efficient unit. Then they can help you figure out how much you'll save. A lot of times the name plate data on the equipment itself will say how much you'll save.
Another one is using programmable thermostats. So, I've got a slide dedicated to that, but that can definitely save a lot of money. For larger buildings, consider using high-efficiency motors that drive the fans or the pumps. And variable speed drives for the motors. So, the variable speed drives will vary the speed of the motor so you can save a lot of energy if a full load isn't needed. So, next slide.
So, when you specify high-efficiency equipment, again, this is a pretty broad category. It could be an air conditioner or it could be a furnace like the top photo. So, in a home, like if you look at the photos, there is this, a lot of times, this yellow EnergyGuide tag that tells you how efficient is the unit. So, it's important to look at this if you're considering buying a furnace of air conditioner for the home. For bigger equipment, a lot of times it's on a name plate. You'll have to go online to figure out, "All right, what's the efficiency of this unit? Can I get a more efficient one?" Things like that. But same general process is looking at the name plate.
So, you want to specify high-efficiency equipment. So, again, for air conditioners maybe flipped to _____ furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, whatever equipment it may be, you can install the most efficient one. Then, again, look at the name plate data or talk to an installer to figure out what are your best options for installing the most efficient equipment. Next slide.
So, programmable thermostats. So, the photos on the right, the top one is kind of an older programmable thermostat, but it still works. The photo on the right bottom is an older thermostat that you just set it and it doesn't change unless you go over and turn it off. So, some of the applications for programmable thermostats is you can set the temperature of the house for residential or for in commercial buildings you can set the temperature on certain zones based on whatever zone is on that thermostat.
Some of the requirements to look for is make sure they're easy to program. That's key. A lot of times, they're not and a lot of times people will just put them in override and manually set them. Having a minimum seven-day scheduling capability is important. So, you can schedule Monday through Sunday. Then having an adjustable set band so you can set a range that the equipment can turn on and off.
The other thing I realize I should have put in, it is nice to have the phone accessible, things like the Nest or there's other ones, Ecobee thermostat, that you can control when you're away. If you forget to change your thermostat and you go away for a few days, you can access it by phone, if you have Internet and change the settings. So, that's nice to have, too. So, some of the options you want, is just have occupied and unoccupied mode to be able to control heating and cooling. So, next slide.
So, water heating. So, this kind of goes into like you save energy by saving the energy it takes to heat the water. So, using heat pump water heaters or instantaneous water heaters or point of use water heaters can save a lot of energy depending on how much hot water you use. Insulating the hot water heaters is also a pretty good one. Then you can just reduce the hot water use at the load itself. So, using lower-flow shower heads, faucets, aerators.
Then specifying high-efficiency appliances. So, things like front-loading washing machines would be a great one. So, some of the photos on the right there kind of go along with those measures. So, next slide.
Then, the last one here is just considering an energy awareness campaign. So, the benefit there is it educates the general public on easy ways to save energy. So, the photo on the right is just one of the things we saw in the village that we went to a few years ago. It's just a little reminder to turn off the lights when you're not there. Then this also – it benefits the general public but it also can benefit local school kids that can get involved in helping create things like this. It educates the kids on energy use and gives them a fun way to learn more about it. So, next slide.
So, in summary, the next few slides are just a summary of what we talked about. So, some of the challenges are there are competing interests in buildings. Sometimes, within homes, it's difficult to justify doing measures if you're renting a home because you don't own it. Why should you do energy improvements if it's the homeowner's responsibility? Same thing if you're leasing a building. It's sometimes harder to justify, but not impossible. You just have to work with whoever owns the building. Installing energy efficiency measures does take time and money.
Another challenge is people aren't experts in energy efficiency, but I think anybody is – it's possible to learn the basics so you can just start the ball rolling and work towards those things and figure out the bright people to work with who can help you ultimately achieve your goals. There are different energy efficiency measures that work well in different climates, but things like, again, LEDs work well or EnergyStar equipment well in any climate. Some of the rebates and the grants can be confusing but they're still important to pursue. Then, having low utility rates can be a challenge, but conversely, if you have a high utility rates, it can be beneficial. Next slide.
So, when – identifying the energy efficiency measures. So, here are, again, a summary of those measures. So, passive design, looking at orientation, window placement, window to wall ratio, operable windows, thermal mass, the overhangs. Daylighting I forgot to put in there, but daylighting's important. So, all components of passive design. The building envelopes. So, increasing insulation levels in the roofs, walls, grounds, floor.
Then reducing infiltration. Putting in better windows, doors. Within lighting, installing LEDs using lighting occupancy sensor, utilizing daylighting, if possible. Within plug loads, again, just purchasing EnergyStar appliances and equipment. Then for heating, HVAC equipment, install the most efficient equipment. Consider programmable thermostats. Install variable speed drives under bigger building motors. Specifying the most efficient motors, things like that will be important. Next slide.
So, just some of the general considerations. So, again, the energy efficiency options depend on the type of the building, the size of the building. Are the buildings new construction or existing buildings? Again, it's much easier to implement new construction. But it's still important to retrofit existing buildings. Then, again, consider how old are the buildings and see if there are possible code issues that you might have to deal with if it is an older building. Next slide.
So, some of the challenges that are more specific to tribes is, again, located in remote regions. So, you might have limited access to equipment or labor force. The harsh climate, but this can be an opportunity, too. Can open up certain energy efficiency measures if you live in a – an example that I used is if you live in a very cold climate, installing additional insulation might make a lot of sense. Then living in regions with utility rates can greatly improve the economics, again, because you're saving more each utility bill cycle, because your rate are higher. The more you save, the more money you can save. Next slide.
Okay, so yeah, that's it.
James Jensen: Thanks.
Jimmy Salasovich: So, that's my presentation. I guess it sounds like there will be questions now or if anybody has any questions.
James Jensen: Yeah. Thanks, Jimmy. We did receive a few questions and I'll give them to you. But we are a little short on time, so please try to make the responses quick. First one, if a home is being constructed or remodeled, would the building inspector or permitting entity be responsible for identifying the EEMs versus the homeowner itself?
Jimmy Salasovich: Oh. So, the inspector might help you. I don't think it's necessarily their job. Their job is more to do – make sure it's up to code. If the codes do require, which a lot of times they do like to meet certain energy standards, they'll make sure it does. I know, like in Colorado, I had a certain amount of insulation that I needed to put in my walls. The inspector made sure I did. The thing the inspector didn't do was tell me, "Oh, if you put in this much more you'd save X amount of energy throughout the life of the building." So, I think they will, to a certain point, to meet the code. But after that, it's probably unlikely that it wouldn't be necessarily their responsibility. But they might be helpful, depending on what kind of relationship you have, how well you know the inspector and stuff like that. They could help you out.
James Jensen: Okay. Thanks. One more. We have other questions, but I think most of these other ones are better saved for the end of the webinar. Last one for you, Jimmy, is, "A concern about the cost of maintaining high-efficiency HVAC systems versus kind of the lower-efficiency ones and does it pay back when you have to pay those additional costs for the filters and the like?"
Jimmy Salasovich: Yeah. The maintenance is a very important considerate – HVAC is probably the most complicated one. Something I can say, I'm doing a lot of work in Guam right now. It's a remote island. Small. A lot of the things challenges you might have as a tribe. They're located in a remote region, hard to get equipment, hard to get specialized labor. They always emphasize, "Make sure it's maintainable." It does take a little bit extra effort to find high-efficiency equipment that you can be assured your maintenance staff can maintain. But yeah, it is a real thing that a lot – sometimes, the most efficient equipment isn't the easiest to maintain.
So, you'll want to make sure when your – if it's a new construction building, make sure, when you're designing it, that it's maintainable. Then, for a retrofit, a lot of times it's just talk to the installer and get their feedback. They're knowledgeable for the region. I think that would be a good path to take. But definitely, it's a great thing to consider. It's – honestly, in Guam, where I'm working a lot now, it's the biggest issue. They know they could put in the highest efficient, most advanced technology. That's fine. They could put it in. But can they maintain it is a whole other question that – yep, that's a great question.
I guess one something – okay, yeah. I was going to say, one final thing to add to that is maybe not be the first person to install a technology. Install like a step below the most advanced. Then you're not the test subject to see if it works or not. You install a high-efficiency equipment that's tried and true.
James Jensen: Thanks, Jimmy. A lot of good information. We appreciate your time and you're free to go. Just a reminder, Jimmy does have some extra slides that you can access on the website at the end of his presentation that he didn't have time to get to today on building modeling. Our next presenter is Carrie Nelson. Carrie, please feel free to proceed. Your slides are up.
Carrie Nelson: Thank you. Thank you for inviting me to speak on this webinar. Yes, good morning everyone. My name is Carrie Nelson. I am the program manager for our low-income energy efficiency grant program. Part of that program is working with tribes specifically. So, the energy efficiency stuff I'll be talking about today will be focused around low-income specifically, but it applies across the board as well.
The first few slides I'm going to go through pretty quickly because it's high-level just background. So, I'll probably just spend a few seconds on each. So, I'm with the Bonneville Power Administration. We are part of the U.S. Department of Energy. Our headquarters in Portland, Oregon. What kind of sets us apart from other agencies is that we are non-appropriated aside from our borrowing authority. That essentially means we are funded through rate payers. So, customers, public utility customers that buy their power from us and charge through rates pay us for the wholesale power that we sell and that's how we manage our budget. Next slide please.
This slide kind of covers how we get our energy sources. So, we have power plants. We're mainly a federally managed dams. We provide about a third of the electric power in the Northwest and we have 142 utility customers. Specifically, that's consumer-owned utilities. So, not investor-owned utilities. Next slide.
We also operate a large amount of the transition in the Northwest. So, about three-quarters of the transmission system is managed by the Bonneville Power Administration. Next slide.
This is a map of sort of what I'm describing. So, this is the area that we cover. A lot of our power comes from the Columbia River. This map just shows the dams that we get our power from, the other power sources, our transmission system. That purple line on the outside is our public utilities, our consumer-owned utilities and their territories in the residents and businesses they serve. Next slide.
So, now, I'll just get into the nitty-gritty of what we're here for, our energy efficiency program. One thing I like to kind of confess, I guess, is what makes our program easy to implement is that we are required through the Northwest Power Planting Conservation Act to adhere to certain standards. Some of those standards include fish and wildlife, making sure we serve low-income customers, and making sure we serve rural and smaller customers. So, with those sort of guidelines, that helps provide leverage for us to implement programs such as these. Next slide.
So, what I'm going to talk about today is our Tribal Set Aside program. So, in 1999, we had an existing low-income program, but because we're a federal agency and because we have a trust responsibility, the pulled out some of that funding to contract directly with tribes and a government to government relationship. So, at that time, we had a $5 million budget. Now we're almost to a $6 million budget. Ten percent of that budget is pulled out to directly contract with tribes and to directly serve low-income residential households. Next slide please.
This is another map that shows the tribes that fall within this qualifying area. There are a lot of tribes in Washington that we work with. I think there's 27 or 29 eligible tribes. Because we're public utility territory and some of those utilities are investor-owned and not all tribes qualify for our program because of that, but many do in Washington and Idaho and Oregon. We're in the most western part of Montana. I wish I had a better map. I've always tried to find one, but the pink areas are the tribal reservations that are within our territory.
This is a list of the tribes that qualify for this program. This is mainly just because these slides are another time so you can reference it. Next slide.
Now I'll just sort of talk about our program. So, like I mentioned, we're about at $5.7 million now. So, around $570,000.00 goes towards our Tribal Set Aside program. Within that $5.7 million, the States are also required to allocate a certain amount of funding to go towards tribes. So, in addition to the funding that we directly contract with tribes, the States also have a percentage that they do work with tribes as well.
Just a little bit about the program. So, the presentation that came before me was great because it kind of goes into the technical details. But this program started out as weatherization for residential end users, so customers, and for low-income specifically. Weatherization essentially means, as we sort of touched on, an auditor will go into a home. In this particular case, auditors can go into commercial businesses as well, et cetera. But they'll go into a home. They'll look around the home.
They will look at what that home needs to be better weatherized, meaning that it will retain the HVAC, the heating in that home efficiently. So, sometimes that audit will result in recommendations for air sealing to seal up all the cracks, for energy efficiency windows, for energy efficiency doors, for attic insulation, a more efficient furnace, all of those things. It's all based on how much money, with this sort of funding, the cost effectiveness, it's based on how much money that energy efficiency technology would cost compared to how much savings it'll get within the first year and the value of those savings. So, for example, in colder climates, more qualify because – for HVAC and weatherization often because you're saving more energy because you spend more money on HVAC in those colder climates in the winter.
So, we started out as weatherization program, but we have expanded it and/or simplified it to have standalone measures as part of our program, now. So, now we call it a Low-Income Efficiency Program. That just allows us to do – offer some appliances. That's basically just to move from non-EnergyStar to EnergyStar, to qualify for that, mainly refrigerators and clothes washers and microwaves. We also offer standalone heating. Mainly ductless heat pumps is a large part of our program right now. Heat pump water heaters. Heat pumps are the main sources for HVAC savings in there. Okay, next slide, please.
So, I _____ _____ _____ on some of this, but the main benefits of the Tribal Set Aside program is, again, as part of our trust responsibility and to support tribal sovereignty. This allows for government to government partnership with the tribe and to not require to send all that funding to State agencies. Directly funding tribes also is, I believe, a more effective way to reach Native American households. It's tribal members and tribal businesses going out to do the outreach and qualification for this program. I believe that's more effective.
We also allow a little bit more flexibility on the implementation of these programs, that I'll go into in another slide, to allow for variances in tribal capacity, meaning staffing, funding, the size of the organization that's managing the program. Our program is sometimes managed through an elder program. Sometimes it's managed through natural resources. Oftentimes, the tribal picks this up in whatever agency has the staffing to do it. So, we try to work to make that flexible so that any sort of organization within the tribe can manage it.
Then the other thing it does is that it can provide long-term employment opportunities for tribal members, whether they continue working for the tribe in this capacity or outside of the tribal offices. Specifically, as we all know, energy efficiency has become a bigger thing. Being a certified energy auditor or an energy weatherization installer, our program specifically uses DOE training offices. Having those qualifications is very employable right now. So, I like that there's long-term benefits that go beyond just that year of funding for the program. Next slide, please.
So, our grants essentially say – we follow the Department of Energy's Weatherization Program. We have a DOE certified auditor go in. They recommend what measures go in. Then a certified crew installs those measures. Then an inspector makes sure they did it correctly. We do that so that people can put our funding with DOE and just run a program without having to learn about our program as well.
The State part of this program contracts out to community action agencies, so county agencies throughout the nation that are already trained in all of these things and are already DOE certified. So, that's another reason why it's good to match with DOE. However, a few – a few? Gosh, now, over a decade ago, we started making small changes to our grants to limit the amount of walkaways, which is basically when you go into a home and you determine the cost to improve or fix a hole in a wall or improve plumbing, a lot of things that are very common in low-income households, those costs get so high that it doesn't become cost effective to put the weatherization measures in. So, we allow a higher percentage of dollars to go into the home just to make it healthier and safer or to set it up for repairs that are related to HVAC or weatherization so that more homes don't have a walkaway towards the end of it because the repairs are too expensive and allowable on the grant.
The other thing we don't require is that the house doesn't have to be a certain amount of years old and it doesn't matter if the house has just received services from DOE or another agency the year before. It still qualifies to do work again if need be. Next slide, please.
So, we have a variety of sizes and shapes of grants that go out to tribes depending on the capacity and what they want to do with the funding. So, some tribes have weatherization crews in-house or HVAC technicians in-house and they just apply for training grants. So, they submit the trainings they want to go to keep their staff certified. We give them a small grant. They use that to go and continue their training requirements. Some tribes work with community action agencies or they have a weatherization crews themselves and they need equipment either to provide for the agencies that they're working with locally at the tribe or to use themselves so they can just buy equipment. Those are also smaller grants.
Other tribes that have large weatherization programs, we pay for everything. Those are larger grants. So, we pay for the labor costs that go into weatherizing a home, the mileage. As we have already talked about, sometimes these are very rural areas and just driving is an hour or so from one house to another or even more. We pay for the materials. We pay for the whole program essentially.
Then for other tribes that really want to participate and give their households a way to purchasing these programs but they don't have the staffing capacity, we do these standalone measures. So, appliances are an easy one. We do a simplified grant. It goes out to them and they go through any house that doesn't have an EnergyStar appliance and they replace it with an EnergyStar one. So, for tribes, the application is simple. The implementation is literally they can sometimes just use the commercial entities to deliver and switch out the units. That's great for tribes that want to sort of dip their toes in this program but don't have the staffing.
HVAC is a little bit higher of an involvement meaning that you have to have a certified HVAC technician. But the tribes often just sub-contract out to the HVAC technician. They can sweep through and do a bunch of households and put in a ductless heat pump for a bunch of households in one year. The reason why I like those, even though they're a little bit more complicated – same with heat pump water heaters – is that the end user, which in this case are low-income households, they see a difference the first month. I mean some of them have been spending so much because their home is not weatherized and they have expensive HVAC. They can see a monthly savings that they can use that money somewhere else. So, that's a really nice one that is lower effort than a full-weatherization project.
Weatherization projects are still the best. Low-income households feel that difference in the quality of their air and their comfort and they see a change in their bill immediately. So, it's a wonderful public purpose program as well as a conservation program. But when they can't do that, there's other options. Next slide, please.
So, I mentioned this in the previous slide. So, essentially, a slide can implement the whole program on their own. Another option is we help them connect with their county agency if they're not already connected, and that's their community action agency. They have the funding in hand, the tribe does, that they can sub-contract out to the community action agency who's already certified in the DOE weatherization program and they will go do the work for them in the households, but the tribe does the outreach. They qualify the households and they manage the money.
Then a couple of our tribes collaborate with other tribes. So, to be an energy auditor through the DOE certification route, it's an investment of time and money. So, not everyone has an in-house auditor, but many of our tribes are within an hour of each other. One has an auditor and one doesn't. So, they'll contract out to that tribal auditor and that auditor will come over and audit a handful of homes then go back. Then they'll do the work and then they'll come back and inspect it. Next slide, please.
Now, one thing I wanted to mention that we – we go around the region every year and try to talk to most of our tribes and to get feedback on the language in our grant program. One thing – this is with tribes but it's also with just low-income households in general, we have heard feedback that the qualifying a house for low-income is not sensitive to tribal specific living conditions and low-income specific living conditions and to try to improve our language on that.
So, a couple of years ago, we did the first change where we said, "You do not need to follow DOE's income qualifying guidelines specifically. You can follow any federal or agency income qualifying guidelines." Sometimes that does make a difference. Some are two in percent of poverty. Some are at 150 percent of median income. Some are county-specific because counties have such a different cost of living. So, that allowed tribes to, again, leverage the money with other funding sources and qualify the same household but use a different financial source for different programs and already have a list that qualified for the program.
But then, further that that, we heard from tribes specifically like when tribes have members that want to live all on the reservation but they have limiting housing stock. So, more than the typical amount of people live inside a household. So, they have to include all those people's income for this income qualifying guideline but those incomes aren't necessarily going into the house or stay in the house. Sometimes people have people staying with them temporarily. But all of these things kind of tip that scale in a misleading way when you're doing income qualifying.
So, now, we offer if the tribe wants to write their own policy of how they would like to qualify a low-income household, and we approve it, they can use that policy. So, it is a longer route. Our contracting officers have to review it. It's newer, so we haven't really tried it out very much, but that is something we have put on our grants. We have one tribe that's just trying it out to date. I think that should help with the income qualifying side of things. Next slide, please.
This is a picture of one of our workshops. So, we have a couple DOE training centers in our region. This is inside a warehouse and it's sort of a makeup house, a model house to practice doing blower door testing, to practice a bunch of technologies to train in weatherization and HVAC certification. So, this is – I think we had seven different tribes send their – this is a program management training to this center. We meet for three days, we talk about each other's programs, we give each other advice. Then, usually, we'll either get a technical level training or, in this case, since these are all the program manager side of things, we got a high-level training and sort of what happens in a house, just for more of a grant oversight/grand understanding point of view. Next slide, please.
This is the Yakama Housing Authority crew. They do have their own in-house weatherization crew and they have for years. This is at a conference we had that was for tribes in the Northwest. They built this fake wall and put in a ductless heat pump so that they could take it on the road and train other tribal members on how to do best practices of installing ductless heat pumps. So, this is just them at the conference doing a training in collaboration with – the man on the far left is a DOE training center trainer. So, they worked together to do this. Next slide.
This is out in Yakama. So, another training we do is for the more technically-focused or construction-focused crews. We go out and we – Yakama is sort of – the Yakama crew is sort of the mentor. Then we bring in a DOE trainer. Then we weatherize a home for three days that qualifies for the BPA program. It's sort of a mentorship thing at the same time. They get some credits for doing the training and they get to do hands-on work and talk with each other while they do it. And a house ends up being weatherized. Next slide.
Then the last thing we do is we always try to offer to connect the tribe with the local utility because the local utility also has funding given to them that they're required to spend on conservation in our region, because of that Northwest Power Act. So, we always try to connect them with their local utility to see if they want to do work together to do residential or other larger projects. The grant program is confined to residential. But the utility are often doing larger commercial specifically projects. Sometimes we connect the tribes with them if they're interested in doing any of their businesses with an energy efficiency makeover. Next slide, please.
This is basically sort of what works. I think that meeting in person is always better. I think directly funding the tribes has been a major improvement to the program and to support our trust responsibility. Aligning the grants with DOE or with other funding sources always makes it easier. Connecting tribes to their community action agencies, if they wish to do it that route, works well if they have limited staffing. Providing training. Many tribes will always participate in the training part of this. Then we try to make our reporting really simple since this a public purpose program and not an acquisition program. That's easy for us to do. It's not always easy, but we do count the households but it's not as burdensome as trying to really articulate on a savings amount. Next slide, please.
Then I always just end on this because the thing I like about this program the most is that it conserves energy. So, it has amazing environmental benefits. But oftentimes, low-income people don't get to participate in these kind of efforts because a lot of times it's expensive to take – to be involved with conservation efforts. With this program, they are becoming involved with conservation efforts, but then they also feel something real with the state of their home. The quality of their home feels different when this work is done, specifically the weatherization.
So, I just always like to end on this quote to remind us that there's a lot of non-energy benefits that come along with weatherization that are hard to quantify, but that are real. We get these sort of letters all the time. I think that's my last slide. Yes. Thank you.
James Jensen: Great. Thanks, Carrie. Excellent program you have there. Interesting stuff. We do have a couple of questions for you, but they're kind of specific to your area. So, I'll just send those to you and you can answer those offline. So, thanks, Carrie. Our next presenter is Bryan Mignone. Bryan, you can proceed as soon as we get your slides up. Bryan you might be on mute. Or you are on mute. There you go. You were unmuted for a second. There you go.
Bryan Mignone: How's that? Can you hear me?
James Jensen: Yes. Thanks, Bryan.
Bryan Mignone: Okay. Okay, thank you, James. I'm going to be presenting, basically talking about Oneida Indian Nation's relatively recent experience with Department of Energy grant-funded tribal energy programs, which we've had tremendous success with to date. So, I think, for me, it just serves as sort of a case study of how the process should work in terms of a planning piece. Then moving on to implementation. Next slide, please.
The Oneida Indian Nation is located in Central New York State. We have an approximately 300,000-acre reservation that was created and recognized by the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. As a result of the Oneida's being the first – what's called the allies of the colonists in the American Revolutionary War of Independence. Over the past several decades, within that 300,000-acre reservation, the Nation has maintained and/or reacquired approximately 17,943 non-contiguous acres. So, it's checkerboarded, which makes centralization of operations somewhat difficult. But the map shows you sort of geographically where we're located. I'd also just mention that in Central New York, we have long and dark, gray winters and short, beautiful summers and falls. But that has an impact and implication for energy usage. Next slide, please.
The tribe is a federally-recognized self-governing sovereign Indian Nation. We have approximately 1,000 enrolled members, many of whom are located in Central New York State on or within or near the reservation. Our governmental structure, the Nation is governed by Council, which is comprised of up to three members from each of the Nation's clans. Council then selects up to three Nation representatives to represent the Nation in its governmental and business affairs. Currently, the Nation has one Nation representator. That's Ray Halbritter, and he served in that position since 1975. Next slide, please.
The Nation's Council has developed three long-range goals to guide the social and economic development of the Nation's community. These are to help the Nation members achieve their highest potential in education, physical, mental health, and economic development; to implement the legal and administrative structure necessary for the stability and protection of Nation sovereignty, treaty rights, and government to government relationships; and to acquire, develop, and secure resources to achieve economic, social empowerment, and self-sufficiency. It may not be entirely evident how this is related to energy usage, but the Nation's ability to preserve its environment and to preserve resources, including financial resources, all help it and its members achieve these three long-range goals. Next slide, please.
As I mentioned, the Nation's lands are checkerboarded. They're scattered. So, there are different uses throughout the reservation. Some of the properties support Nation governmental facilities like health, education, and cultural activities. There's also member housing throughout Nation lands. There are hunting lands and numerous non-gaming enterprises like our Savon and Maple Leaf market/gas station and convenience stores. We operate a few marinas up at Oneida Lake, as well as a hunting preserve and a car care operation. Operations are continuously expanding and diversifying. We also have multiple gaming facilities including Point Place Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, and a 3,200,000-square foot Turning Stone Resort Campus, which will figure prominently for some of the projects I'll be talking about in a little bit.
There are third-party businesses who operate on Nation lands. These include Dunkin Donut stores, retail shopping, a top supermarket, and dining establishments as well. Then, finally, there's approximately almost 7,500 acres in Madison and Oneida Counties in Central New York State of Nation land that are undeveloped or active in an active agricultural lands. Next slide, please.
The Nation, as I mentioned earlier, recognizes the need to be a responsible steward of its resources and reflective of cultural values. The long-term energy goal of the Nation is to embrace an environmental policy that uses sound environmental management practices to preserve and protect natural resources to ensure a safe, helpful, and productive environment for current residents and visitors as well as for the seventh generations to come. The Nation is committed to sustainable development and, to achieve this goal, has committed to pollution prevention, waste reduction, wise use of renewable and non-renewable resources, conservation of energy, and preservation of important aspects of its historical, cultural, and natural heritage. These values all are important factors in the energy projects the Nation have pursued in the past several years. Next slide, please.
Within the past five years, specifically, the Nation has pursued energy projects that have been supported by U.S. Department of Energy Tribal Grants and, specifically, have – there were three in the past five years. First was a $1 million community scale clean energy deployment combined heat and power grant that was awarded in 2015 and which finished up the end of 2019 and we're in the process of closing out, doing our final reports.
The second grant was a $153,977.00 first steps toward developing renewal energy and energy efficiency and tribal lands grant that was awarded in 2017 and completed in 2018. The third is a $1 million energy infrastructure deployment on tribal lands grant that the Nation received in 2019 and is currently working on. Next slide, please.
So, I'm going to go through those three projects one by one just to sort of talk about the linear evolution of how we got from 2015 to today. The first grant, the community scale clean energy deployment combined heat and power project was focused on the Nation's Turning Stone Resort Campus. This is sort of a birds-eye view. Just to give you a sense of how many different components of the campus there are, like I mentioned earlier, it's about 3,200,000-square feet of facility space and it involves attached and detached facilities and buildings that offer various amenities or serve various purposes. Recreational, entertainment, administrative, business support, and as well as non-gaming related businesses. If you look up to your left, there's a Savon, which is a convenience store and gas station and a car care, which is a car repair and inspection shop. Next slide, please.
The reason why I mentioned that Turning Stone features prominently is because Turning Stone is the area's, not just the Nation's but the local area's largest consumer of electricity. This slide gives you some of the data of how much electricity from the local utility is utilized by Turning Stone. I think the fact that always gets me is that, in a given year, the amount of electricity and natural gas purchased could light over 104,100 homes and heat over 7,600 homes in New York State alone. So, it was a prime location and facility for the Nation to focus on energy conservation. Next slide, please.
The ultimate project objectives for the Nation were to leverage the Nation's existing Central Utility Plant, which is located near the Turning Stone campus. That plant produces most of Turning Stone's energy and it utilizes natural gas. So, we wanted to leverage that to generate significantly more energy from a clean energy source and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and, in the same time, recognize significant cost savings associated with this project.
Specifically, what we wanted to do was utilize 100 percent of the thermal energy that was produced by our current gas turbine for additional energy usage and production. Prior to this project, the steam that was generated by this turbine was just released into the atmosphere and was a complete waste of energy. The other objective is to reduce peak electrical usage by the facilities on the Turning Stone Resort Campus and achieve additional energy cost reduction. In fact, during the winter months, Turning Stone is able to operate 100 percent on its Central Utility Plant and doesn't need to supplement with electricity from the utility. Next slide, please.
This is the pre-project system at the Central Utility Plant. I think it's just helpful because it gives a sense of how the system works. But, most importantly, when we look at the next slide, you'll see the change where the steam that used to be vented into the atmosphere is now recirculated, captured, pressurized, and put through a second steam turbine to generate additional electricity for purposes of heating and electrifying the Turning Stone Resort Campus. Next slide. Yep.
This was a project that had been in the works for some time for the Nation. It had kept coming up as a proposed capital improvement project but was consistently put off due to competing priorities and cost considerations. So, I always like to point out that the $1 million U.S. Department of Energy grant really pushed this across the finish line to make it a reality. It really has had an impact in terms of energy conservation and cost savings. Next slide, please.
As I mentioned, we're pretty much closing this out. It's currently the project and the new equipment is currently fully operational. As of last month, we've produced approximately an additional 3.7 million kilowatts per hour and each month we see continued increases in efficiency and capacity problems at the overall plant. Specifically, it's resulted – oh. Specifically, it's resulted in an increase in overall operational efficiencies, reduced dependency on the grid, and reduced electricity bills. Next slide, please.
Another non-quantifiable but equally important outcome of the project is the demonstration of the Nation's commitment to the stewardship of its resources for the benefit of its members and to the seventh generation to come, by making itself more self-sufficient and less reliant on energy from the public utility. Also, we're generating electricity using a previously wasted thermal energy and electricity – electric demand by Turning Stone has decreased, which has also resulted in less demand on the grid as an added benefit for the surrounding community. Next slide, please.
The success of this project really reinforced the Nation's interest in addressing energy needs as a way to further our environmental stewardship while producing fiscally sound results. We were looking for other opportunities to increase energy efficiency at about the same time that the Department of Energy's First Steps toward developing renewable energy and energy efficiency on tribal lands opportunity was released. Part of this was because I think prior to this time, a lot of our energy conservation efforts were really siloed. They were focused on locations or departments and there really wasn't a concentrated approach to doing this. Next slide, please.
So, for that project, that planning project, under the First Steps grant, we contracted with an energy consultant to provide an analysis for approximately 50 buildings, which more than 3.5 million square feet of space, and to develop a plan to move forward with the implementation of energy efficiency measures. It was performed up to ASHRAE Level 2 requirements and the requirements of the Department of Energy's First Steps grant. As part of this process, before the full audit was commenced, the Nation provided consultants with consumption data for gas, electricity, oil, propane, and building usage profiles for all of the facilities studied. Next slide, please.
Again, one of the maiden facilities studied was the Turning Stone Resort Casino. But other facilities included the Yellow Brick Road Casino, our gas stations and convenience stores, warehouses that are located throughout the Nation lands, administrative buildings located in different areas, the marina operations, and governmental and community facilities also located throughout Nation lands on the reservation. Next slide, please.
Part of the process for the planning and the audit was, one, to decide on boundaries to identify the buildings that would be studied. Almost, I would say probably about 95 percent of the buildings were identified as buildings to be studied as part of this project. Choosing a baseline year. We established a baseline based on the most recent year of utility bills that were available prior to the start of the project, which was October 2016 through September 2017, which aligns with the Nation's fiscal year.
The third step was to gather energy data. This included 24 consecutive months of utility data and it was entered into the consultants benchmarking program. Where we didn't have a complete building history for the baseline energy use intensity, it was based on the established benchmark and onsite observations made by Nation staff and the consultant. Next slide, please.
The next step was the actual energy audit, which was conducted on all the buildings identified in step one. The audit was used to determine how energy is consumed in the facilities and identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency. Step five was identifying the opportunities and outlining them. They were developed by the consultant based on the site surveys and were presented with estimated savings and implementation costs for each measure that was recommended as an opportunity.
Final step was for the Nation to review the audit and the reports and prioritize those opportunities where – for actions to be taken, which we completed in, I believe, late 2018. These were the deliverables. This is just a snapshot of the deliverables that were available that the consultant provided. It was a lot of information and they consisted of the analysis and the recommendations for the study properties. The Nation was able to also obtain the one-year free license for the benchmarking software tool which we continue to use today for purposes of measuring and implementing the energy efficiency measures. Next slide, please.
The report that we got from the consultant outlined feasible technology alternatives. These included LED lighting, electronically commuted motors for coolers for each facility. Each measure was described in detail, evaluating the compatibility or non-compatibility, in some instances, with the existing infrastructure operation and costs with assumptions clearly stated. Next slide, please.
This just gives you a snapshot of how long for the timeline for the project. I think it's helpful because, while it was a lot of work, there was a lot to be studied. We completed the project in a relatively quick amount of time. It was really just a year worth of work for the project to kick off to close out. It generated very valuable set of data and information for the Nation to pursue its next project. Next slide, please.
As I mentioned, that First Steps planning grant project, which was completed in 2018, really laid the foundation for the Nation's third, current, and most recent development of energy supported project. Late last year, we began implementing many of the recommendations from that plan and received a $1 million Department of Energy grant to support those efforts. Next slide, please.
The project for implementation encompasses 27 buildings located on Nation lands including offices, cultural centers, police facilities, convenience stores, and of course, the largest being our Turning Stone Resort and Casino, which include gaming space, lodging, spas, entertainment, dining and banquet facilities, as well as administrative and support offices. Next slide, please.
The project aims to further the Nation's ultimate energy goals to preserve and protect natural resources in order to ensure a safe, helpful, and productive environment for the current residents, visitors, as well as for the seventh generation to come. We've estimated that the project will produce over $450,000.00 in savings, a decrease of more than 4 million kilowatts per hour and 50,000 therms of energy usage, and a reduction of more than 3,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Next slide, please.
Some of the energy efficiency measures that are being implemented are interior and exterior LED lighting replacement or installation across 25 buildings. This will replace existing incandescent, fluorescent, and high-intensity discharge fixtures with LED fixtures. And exterior lighting, which will primarily be throughout the Turning Stone parking lots will be updated to be LED fixtures, which will include removal of existing features and installation of the new fixtures, as well as replacement of light poles to accommodate these new fixtures. In other facilities, interior lighting will also be converted to LED and, again, will consist of removal of existing fixtures, installation of new fixtures, and occupancy sensors to further enhance energy conservation measures. Next slide, please.
Remote HVAC management was another recommendation from the planning grant that is being implemented in about 19 buildings. This includes installation of programmable thermostats and a remote connection implementation of demand control ventilation, CO2 sensors, and remote terminal unit distributed controllers. Next slide, please.
Then the third category is to serve a hodge-podge of other energy efficiency measures which includes hot water upgrades, refrigeration condensing unit upgrades, walk-in evaporator fan, snowmelt boilers in one building, and HVAC replacement in another. So, as you can see, there's a whole very diverse array of measures to be implemented and a diverse array of buildings for those measures to be implemented in. The important piece for this project will be verification of energy and cost savings.
To do that, as I mentioned, we continue to use the benchmarking software from the consultant to – that helped with our planning grant. We're going to use that to compare energy usage for the 12 months prior to implementation of these measures to at least the 12-month period after implementation to demonstrate overall energy and cost savings. There are going to be some places where the software can't be utilized. For example, Turning Stone, due to the size of the facility and the fact that we don't have the – the different parts of the facility are not separately metered.
So, instead of using the software for that, we're going to calculate savings based on baseline data that was provided in the 2018 audit. For each EEM, project the annual energy savings, the time of commissioning, and calculate the cost savings based on the projected energy savings, multiplied by the current utility rates. Next slide, please.
This project, as I mentioned earlier, was just started last year. We kicked it off in September of 2019. We licensed that benchmarking software tool in October 2019, and are in the procurement stage right now, spending time with vendors reviewing samples and specifications in preparation for our formal bidding process for many of the materials that we'll need for the implementation measures. Next slide, please.
That's about it for my presentation. Thank you.
James Jensen: Thank, Bryan. We really appreciate it. What an interesting story and success story for your three projects there. Our last presentation, from Dan Smith, we're going to squeeze it in here. It looks like we're going to be a little bit tight on time. But hopefully we can just go a little beyond the hour and wrap it up. If we don't have time to get to all the questions today, I'll try to forward the specific questions to the individual speakers and they'll try to respond over email. So, go ahead, Dan.
Dan Smith: All right, thank you, James. So, as the introductions at the beginning of the webinar said, I am Dan Smith. I'm a project manager with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. We serve the rural sanitation and public health needs of tribes throughout the entire State of Alaska. Next slide, please.
So, our – we are a state-led tribal consortium, as I said. We have over 3,000 employees, mostly in the hospital epidemiology and health divisions. I work for the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, roughly 250 employees. The Rural Energy Initiative is a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction. We're only about seven employees at present. Next slide, please.
So, I apologize for not including this, but I have a real slick pie chart that shows energy costs make up over two-thirds of the cost of operating a sanitation system in rural Alaska. That – oh, I apologize. Not two-thirds, one-third. Over one-third. So, reducing the dependence on imported diesel fuels to power these rural water and sanitation systems, some of the easy options we have are energy efficiency, optimizing these microgrids because the vast majority – something like 99 percent – of the communities are not connected to an overarching grid. Then, once you have gotten all of the low-hanging fruit, that's when you will start exploring the integration of alternative energies such as wind or solar, in some cases hydro or geothermal. Next slide, please.
So, this is just a typical comparison of the operations costs associated with these rural sanitation systems. So, the blue portions of the bar, that's the average fuel and heating costs. As you can imagine, it takes quite a bit of heat to keep water liquid at 40 below. So, the vertical bars here, we have a circulating vacuum system, which is what we'll be talking about mostly today; circulating gravity system, which is your standard water and sewer systems that you would find in the Lower 48; and then the third bar there is the washeteria, which is a public laundromat/shower house. Then the last bar is typical conventional system that one might find in the Lower 48.
So, jumping back – oh, sorry. Yeah. The red portion of those bars is the average community cost of the electric share. Then the green portion of the bar is the power cost equalization, or PCE share. That's something that's unique to Alaska because, as James said during our introduction, many times Alaskan communities will be paying more than $0.50 per kilowatt hour. What the power cost equalization fund does, it's a State subsidy that will subsidize a portion of that electrical cost. So, they generally try and bring it in line with this, the weighted averages of our population centers. So, like Anchorage, the largest population center, we pay about $0.20 per kilowatt hour. So, the goal of the power cost equalization program is to equalize that cost for rural communities, bring it in line. Next slide, please.
So, just a quick overview of what a vacuum sewer system is. Typically, most homes are plumbed using gravity. The old adage of wastewater flowing downhill applies. So, it's very common that in places where you do not have the topography where you can use gravity to do the work for you to take the sewage away from a home, we will include a vacuum pump, similar to what you might find in an airline or an airplane bathroom, you know, where you flush the toilet and it pulls the sewage down to the collection point. To the collection point, it's then pumped to the local sewage lagoon or however a certain community is handling their sewage. Next slide, please.
So, a little bit more on this. It's not a new technology. It's been around since 1882. It's very uncommon in the contiguous U.S. Up here in Alaska, it's fairly common. A good chunk of villages have it. It's not every village, but out on the tundra where there are not very many hills or you have a lagoon that's above a grade. Next slide, please.
This is a typical overview. You have a collection tank right in the middle there. You have vacuum pumps off to the left that bring the sewage into the collection point. The control panel is the brains of the operation. It tells you how often your pumps are running, both the vacuum pumps bringing it into the system. Any heating that needs to be done, if you have a cold snap and it gets to 40 or 50 below 0, you want to avoid having that sewage freeze up for, I hope, the reasons are obvious. Then, on the affluent side, you have sewage pumps that then pump it to either the treatment plant or the sewage lagoon or septic tank or wherever the community – whatever their sanitation system looks like. Next slide, please.
So, first up on our list is Noorvik. It's located in the Northwest Arctic, about 50 miles east of Kotzebue. I want to say roughly seven miles north of the Arctic Circle, just about at the Arctic Circle. It's a population of 650 people. They pay $5.65 per gallon of heating fuel. This is in a place where there is no access to natural gas.
Solar thermal heating is – you can only really use it in the summer when you don't really need much heating. So, yeah, they have to either barge or fly in all their heating fuel. Then their electricity costs, alone the community must shoulder the burden of $0.65 per kilowatt hour. Then, with the State subsidy that covers a portion of that amount, it brings the cost down to $0.19 per kilowatt hour. So, their system is a mixture of gravity stations, common in the Lower 48, and vacuum systems, which was the focus of this project. Next slide, please.
So, for this project, we looked at three communities, total. Noorvik is just the first one. I'm not sure if I'll have time to get to the other two. But for Noorvik, we implemented – the main implementation we did was we put in new vacuum pumps, new controls. We also went through and – this is a picture of the oil-fired boilers that provide heat to the system. We actually did some boiler tuning where we gave them new controllers. You can kind of see it on the left boiler there. It's the little glowing controller there. We put a new controller on there that's programmable.
We also opened it up, cleaned out the heat exchangers to allow better heat transfer from the exhaust gas into the water that was circulated through the heating system. Something similar to this that you might find in the contiguous 48, the Lower 48, is if you have refrigeration units. If you're cleaning out the refrigeration or heat exchange coils, or there was some talk about heat pumps, if you're making sure those are cleaned probably once a year, or just at least check them once a year, make sure there's not a lot of build-up on there. Something that's very simple to do. It could take an operator maybe an hour, at most, to clean refrigeration coils, but the savings could be immediate.
So, the overall cost for these upgrades to Noorvik was about $200,000.00. That does sound like a lot, but keep in mind, this is a very remote village; 50 air miles from the local hub community which is, again, above the Arctic Circle. So, a good chunk of that $200,000.00 was the freight cost. I don't have figures on exactly how much that was.
When we were originally starting this project, we were anticipating savings of about $50,000.00 per year. If we look at the table – I apologize for jumping around. If we look at the table, we compared the electrical costs from 2013 at $39,000.00 per year compared to the 2018 costs was $41,813.00. So, that is a seven percent increase in cost over those five years. Then if you look at the low, at the average electric rate, the average electric rate increased by 34 percent.
So, over on the right-hand side, that variance, percent variance column is comparing how much more the electrical cost would have increased if we did not do these upgrades. So, that's a 24 percent variance. So, if we did not do these energy efficiency upgrades, the electrical cost would have risen by 24 percent as opposed to the seven percent that it actually did. So, the community is actually saving $10,000.00 just in electrical costs.
This is something I hope to touch on later, but the last bullet point you see on this page, data collection, we were only able to acquire electrical data for this period. The records keeping relating to heating fuel cost – so I have a picture here of the oil-fired boilers. We didn't have substantial data on how much oil was going into those boilers to say how much they were saving. So, it's really hard to gauge how much you're actually saving. We expected to save $50,000.00 per year, but it's really hard to say how close to that we got. We know we are saving at least $10,000.00 just in electricity but without those hard numbers, it's really hard to tell. Next slide, please.
So, this is just a picture of the – a before picture of the old vacuum pumps. You have the two vacuum pumps working in tandem or one is a backup in the foreground. In the background, you have a large tank. That is the holding tank. Next slide, please.
This is the after. We've got some very nice, slick, new vacuum pumps put in. They're a lot leaner looking. We didn't have to do any major overhauls with the overall infrastructure. Just replace in kind. Next slide, please.
This is an image of our updated vacuum pump controls. I couldn't find a before picture, but there was wires just hanging out everywhere, loose wires. This one, the controllers were also upgraded. Made them programmable. It's more an advanced version of a programmable thermostat that has been mentioned earlier in this webinar. Next slide, please.
One thing that is kind of unique to Alaska is heat add. The Oneida Nation that previously presented mentioned something about combined heat and power. We try to do that as much as we possibly can in rural Alaska, being that pretty much every single rural community has a diesel generator. We try and capture as much of that radiator heat coming off the diesel generator and use that radiator heat to offset the diesel heating costs in the water plant or in the water and sewer plant. So, what we're able to do is make sure those heat recovery systems, making sure the radiation system from the local generator is optimized. It's plugged in. It has up-to-date controls. Here on the left, you see two – I believe those are Honeywell controllers – that replaced old, outdated controls. Again, it's very similar to programmable thermostats.
That'll do it for Noorvik. If we want to skip over the next couple of slides. I'll just say next slide. Kotlik. This is, again, it shows that there is a – oh. Yeah, keep going. So, we also did similar work in Kotlik and similar work in Alakanuk. Next slide, please. Next slide. Oh, wait. Oh, yeah. Next slide. Next slide. Next slide. Yeah, so – oh, back one. Yeah, so our key figures are, first and foremost, is making sure operations training is addressed, making sure people are aware of the energy they are using in their daily work. So, making sure, in this case, our water and sewer plant operators know what pumps do what and what they have to turn on and what is critical for their operation.
Then beyond that, once you have the system working and performing its primary function is business training. A huge hole in this analysis that we performed for this project was finding the data. Without good bookkeeping and records keeping, that data is very hard to come by and it's very hard to make informed decisions on which energy efficiency measure will have the most impact. As we talked about in the case of Noorvik, we saved about $10,000.00 per year just in electrical costs, but we were anticipating $50,000.00. So, that means there's a $40,000.00 gap of savings that we're not sure if we are able to achieve that. If we were able to find good, solid data regarding their oil and heating usage, then that could probably account for most, if not all, of that $40,000.00 gap in Noorvik.
Another thing to consider is root cause analysis. When you're going out and getting an energy audit, join the auditor. Go with them. Walk through and bring any operators and maintenance staff with you. Get some anecdotal information that can tell the auditor what are the biggest drains and what are the weaknesses of the system. Are there any – do you have a drafty window? I have an example of a weakness on the next slide.
One last thing I want to touch on is this last slide here, this is the aggregate findings for each of those three communities; Noorvik, Kotlik, and Alakanuk. The overall findings found that we were able to save about a 24 percent variance in what the systems would have cost to operate without energy efficiency measures. They did experience a four percent increase, yes, but that was tied more to the increased electrical rate. Also, keep in mind these are sewage systems and they serve a population. In these cases, the population has been growing over those five years. So, there is going to be some expected demand change in that system. Next slide, please.
So, these are some of the main weaknesses that are unique to the Alaska situation. A lot of times, we're unable to bury our sewer lines due to permafrost considerations. So, on the left picture we have, that is a sewer line mounted in a utilidor running through the backyards of some of the houses. That first house on the left, you can see there is a pipe going up to it and a protruding structure. That protruding structure on that house is the arctic box. It's where the sewer and water connections both come into the house.
The picture in the bottom right is a – it's a completely different house, but it illustrates. There's snow on the ground, so you can assume it's probably very cold, definitely below freezing. That is an exposed sewer line that is exposed to below-freezing conditions. So, if you don't have sewage flowing through there keeping it liquid, that will freeze and it could endanger the entire system, the entire vacuum system. So, again, just walking through your entire system, walking through whatever process you have set up that is using energy, and finding any weak points you can identify. Next slide.
Yeah. Anyway, thank you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the folks at Department of Energy, or if you're in Alaska or just want to know more about the Alaskan energy situation, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to chat with you. Thank you.
James Jensen: Thanks so much, Dan. We appreciate everybody's participation today, all the presenters. We do have a very limited number of questions that I'd like to try to tackle in the next two minutes. Dan, what about flush or composting toilets?
Dan Smith: So, Alaskan Native Tribal Health Consortium is actually experimenting with – we call it the PASS system, Portable Alternative Sanitation System. It's a waste-separating toilet that is completely self-contained. So, it requires minimal outside connection. What it does is it separates the liquid waste from the solids and dries it in an onsite catchment system. When that gets full, it requires being manually emptied and taken to the local landfill or potentially compost pile. That is – it may sound fairly rustic, however in many villages throughout Alaska, that is an enormous upgrade over – we have something that we call Honey Buckets up here, which are definitely not as sweet as they sound. In many cases, they are essentially a five-gallon bucket with a toilet seat on it that needs to be emptied every so often. So, having a controlled toilet that is separating, drying the waste, it makes for much more sanitary waste-water disposal.
James Jensen: Great. Thanks, Dan. That was the last question for you. A couple questions for Bryan, if Bryan's still on.
Dan Smith: Thanks, everyone.
James Jensen: On the CHP plant, what was the total cost? There was a $1 million grant, but how much money did the tribe provide for that project?
Bryan Mignone: Yeah, I think it was – we had to – we spent about $2 million of our own money.
James Jensen: Okay. What was the ROI on that? Do you have those numbers? Kind of were the expected payback period for that CHP project?
Bryan Mignone: I think it was – if I think it was based on what – I'm trying to think about it based on the data that's coming in now from the operation. But I think it's between six and seven years, I think. It may be a little bit less.
James Jensen: Excellent. Excellent. All right. Well those are all the questions we have. There are a few more questions that came in from people that have left the audience. So, we'll try to address those over email. Thanks to all of our presenters. Oh, there is one more, and this is just a general one. Is there a recording? The answer to that is, yes, there is. The recording will be posted to our website in about a week or so. So, you can check back to find that recording when it is posted.
Getting back to our script. So, that wraps up our questions. But we are, in general, interested in your suggestions on how to strengthen the value of this and our webinar series in general. So, please, do send us feedback. Then our final slide here is the remaining schedule for the 2020 series. The next webinar, titled "Energy Efficiency Projects from Concept to Completion," will be held on March 25th of 2020 at 11:00 AM Mountain Standard Time. This webinar will build on today's webinar and focus more on how to actually execute energy efficiency projects.
Thank you again to our audience and our presenters. We look forward to you joining us on future webinars. This concludes the webinar for today. Good day. Thanks.
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