On November 4, Dallas Tonsager, under secretary to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, made the announcement on behalf of Vilsack of funding to help reduce energy costs in remote rural areas are extremely high.
The announcement of the funds that will be provided through the United States Department of Agriculture’s High Energy Cost Grant program was made during the Four Corners Sustainable Futures Tribal Summit in Flagstaff, Arizona.
"In many rural areas, energy costs can be a significant part of household and business expenses. These grants will help home and business owners offset rising energy costs by financing energy efficiency and power generation improvements that will deliver energy more cost-effectively and help the environment," Vilsack said.
Recipients will use the funds from the program, administered by USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service, to improve energy generation, transmission or distribution facilities serving communities where the average residential cost for home energy exceeds 275 percent of the national average. Grants are available to businesses, non-profit entities, states, local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes.
The funding announced November 4 totals more than $21 million and individual recipients must meet the conditions of the grant agreement. The funds also can’t be used to pay utility bills, purchase fuel, or be used for sole benefit of the applicant.
USDA High Energy Cost Grant Recipients:
- Alaska Village Initiatives — $443,779
- Gwitchyaa Zhee Utility Company— $3,500,000
- Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority--$1,000,000
- Dineh Cooperatives Incorporated — $1,352,000
- Sacred Power Corporation — $2,500,000 (Serving customers in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah)
- Yurok Tribe —$4,959,456
- Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council — $1,218,791
- University of Maine — $2,617,569
- Marshalls Energy Company —$2,317,388
- Island Economic and Environmental Company — $1,395,525
Sacred Power Corporation — $395,000 (Serving the Lakota Reservations)