The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has received a nearly half a million-dollar grant to help reduce energy costs in some areas of Western Alaska, according to a press release earlier this morning.
The United States Department of Agriculture announced its plan to improve energy efficiency costs in remote rural areas in five states. Alaska is one of them.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium received nearly half a million dollars to assist with sanitation systems and train operators in the communities of Napaskiak, Nunapitchuk, Chefornak, Nightmute, Tuntutuliak, Newtok, Teller and Tununak.
These communities were chosen because they have high-energy costs, struggling economies and no road system, according to the press release.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack [Vil-sack] awarded a total of nine grants nationwide to help reduce energy costs for residents where the cost of producing electricity is extremely expensive.
The grants, which are approximately $8 million in total, will be distributed through the Energy Cost Grant Program.
The grant may be used to improve energy generation, transmission or distribution. The focus is on communities where the average cost of home energy exceeds the national average by 275 percent.
Vilsak says that energy conservation helps improve the environment by reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuels.
The project will aim to increase energy efficiency by upgrading lighting, installing new control for heating and laundry systems, and water storage, as well as weatherization improvements.