AEA seeks applicants for outdoor lighting grants

Applications are being accepted by the Alaska Energy Authority for grants to retrofit outdoor lighting of public buildings and facilities to LED technology in rural communities.

The application deadline is Sept. 20. Grants are to be awarded in October.

Funding for the latest program comes from a grant from Wells Fargo, plus additional matching funds from the state’s Village Energy Efficiency Program, with a goal of implementing energy saving efficiency measures for buildings and facilities in small communities statewide.

The most weight is given to communities with the highest cost for energy, that gives priority to some of the more remote communities in Alaska,” said Rebecca Garrett, project manager with AEA. “Recent past participation in an efficiency program does give an applicant a hand up, as does a current program, trying to take advantage of work being currently completed in communities,” she said.

Grant applications may be emailed to veep@akenergyauthority.org or mailed to the Alaska Energy Authority, Attn: Wells Fargo Outdoor Lighting Retrofits, 813 W. Northern Lights. Blvd, Anchorage, AK, 99503-2495, or faxed to 907-771-3044.

The VEEP program dates back to 2005, with establishment from funds from the Denali Commission as the Village End Use Efficiency Measures, or VEUEM. Initially the program focused on lighting upgrades and some weatherization.  Between 2005 and 2009, 49 communities participated in the program.  Between 2010 and 2012, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded energy efficiency improvement projects in an additional 118 communities through the Small Cities EECBG (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant) and VEEP programs. These projects, VEEP in particular, used the VEUEM model, but boosted the funds available for communities for building efficiency improvements.

According to AEA, the early EEP program saw a return on investment of over 300 percent.

In 2013 AEA codified regulations for VEEP, to allow for communities with a population not exceeding 8,000 residents to compete for funding.

The FY 14 VEEP application period closed in the fall of 2013, with 84 applications totaling over $10 million in requested funding.  Of that total seven communities were awarded a total of $1.4 million for energy and cost saving efficiency projects.

Communities with populations of 1,000 to 8,000 people may receive up to $50,000.  Grant regulations are online at http://www.akenergyauthority.org/About/Statutes