Northern California Indian Reservation

stonesThe issue: 
A small reservation in northern California had recently acquired a few older buildings and built new ones to house their administrative departments and Tribal members.  The older buildings were often uncomfortable, and utility costs for the newer buildings put a strain on budgets already stretched thin.  The Tribe was interested in sustainability, alternative energies, and conserving resources (including financial resources) while building a sense of tradition and community.

The Solution:  Current-C Energy [Systems] was contracted to conduct an energy efficiency assessment of 4 Tribal buildings, supply an alternative energy feasibility study, provide basic weatherization training to Tribal members; presenting these recommendations to Tribal Council.

Current-C Energy [Systems] reviewed previous reports and the Governing Documents of the Tribe, consulted with Tribal officials and Tribal members, performed a site visit, and consulted with Tribal officials and staff members.  The final site visit included training on weatherization concepts and techniques for staff members, as well as a report to Tribal Council on recommendations.  Those were:

  • Substantial energy savings could be achieved through improving the buildings and the way they are used
  • Tribal members and staff could achieve substantial cost savings and significantly improved comfort by having a small team weatherize buildings and institute other “low cost / no cost” programs
  • One building in particular used 50% more energy than other buildings of similar use in a similar climate, primarily in space conditioning; when a proposed addition is designed, a ground-source heat pump system was recommended
  • Two solar generation systems were recommended, a DC stand-alone system for a small water pump and grid-tied system as part of an outdoor community gathering space, providing power to 1 or 2 adjacent buildings.