State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Energy Efficiency and Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions on the Northern Cheyenne Tribe Reservation
Northern Cheyenne Tribe Reservation, Montana
Federal Funding: $200,000
Project Timeline: February 2010 – December 2013
The Northern Cheyenne Tribe completed an energy audit and feasibility study for the Tribal Environmental Protection Department (EPD) office, which included a preliminary score indicating Gold Level Certification. The findings were used to develop a plan to retrofit and install green power products in the building. The building retrofit plan has been prioritized into phases and the EPD will continue to fundraise to ensure completion of phases that are not covered by the Climate Showcase Communities grant. A Request for Proposals for the energy retrofits in the Environmental building was posted by the Tribal Procurement Department in September. Additionally, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe held a community event to educate tribe elders about climate change and renewable energy. Upcoming activities include overseeing construction of the Tribal Energy Retrofit Project and holding an open house at the EPD building to educate the community once the retrofits are complete.
Demonstrating Energy Efficiency Leadership on a Central Community Building
The Tribal Environmental Protection Department Office on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation is the new home for tribal environmental staff. It is also one of the most energy-inefficient buildings on the Reservation, making it a priority for energy efficiency retrofits and green power. To reduce the North Cheyenne Tribe's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Environment Department has partnered with the National Wildlife Federation to turn this building into an energy-efficiency demonstration and training project.
To achieve its primary goal of reducing the Tribe's GHG emissions, the Tribal Environmental Department is updating a previous energy audit to fully account for building maintenance activities and use this audit to plan energy efficiency retrofits and green power projects. Recommendations from the previous audit identified solar panels, on-demand water heaters, and insulation upgrades as potential measures.
Contractors will implement these retrofits and green power projects with support from tribal college students and community members. A training program will cover three sessions on energy audits, energy efficiency, and small scale renewable energy. Participants will conduct audits and participate in retrofits of the Tribal Environmental Protection Department Office as part of a field training component.
The benefits of the project include costs savings from energy efficiency improvements, reductions in the tribe's GHG emissions, and improved employment opportunities for students and community members. By promoting the project as a replicable model, the Tribe is seeking to expand the project to other buildings on the reservation, and share lessons learned with other communities. To implement the program, they will also develop partnerships with multiple stakeholder groups, including the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, Greenweaver Inc., Lakota Solar Enterprises, Tongue River Electric Cooperative, and Montana State University Extension. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe has a strong cultural and historical connection to the land, wildlife, and waters on the Reservation, and this project is a vital opportunity for the Tribe to align its energy needs and use with its ecological and cultural values.
|Area:||318 square miles|
|Median Household Income:||$23,679|
|Reported Results (as of September 2012)||Projected Cumulative Results|
|Annual GHG Reductions||0 mt CO2e||30 mt CO2e|
|Job Training Participants||16||20|
- Northern Cheyenne Tribe: A Climate Showcase Community
- City of Denver, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and Salt Lake City Receive Grants to Combat Greenhouse Gases, 2/25/2010