Learn about assistance available to Tribes through other federal energy programs in addition to the U.S. Department of Energy.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Energy Efficiency Opportunities
This white paper, published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, provides an overview of the various programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that address energy use in rural America. The paper examines changes to existing energy efficiency programs proposed in both the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, and offers a set of recommendations to make energy efficiency resources at USDA more accessible.
Energy Investment Map
The USDA Energy Investment Map contains information on USDA programs that provide assistance to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The maps display investment location, type of energy investment, amount of assistance provided, and the administering USDA program. The energy investment data is summarized by state, county, and congressional districts to display total number of investments and total dollar amounts obligated by USDA.
Energy Investment Report
The USDA Investment Projects Report provides access to all energy technology data associated with the Energy Investment Map. The data can be sorted by various project details including program, year of obligation, payment type, total dollar amounts, and state/county/district, and can be printed and exported in various formats.
Rural Energy for America Program
The USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants for energy audits and renewable development assistance.
Rural Business Opportunities
The Rural Development, Business and Cooperative (REDLG) program provides funding to rural projects through local utility organizations. Under the REDLG REDLoan program, USDA provides zero interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.
Rural Utility Services
USDA rural utility services include making direct loans and loan guarantees available to electric utilities to serve customers in rural areas; financing rural telecommunications infrastructure; and providing technical assistance, loans, grants, and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste, and storm drainage facilities in rural areas. Native American Tribes may qualify for assistance.
Biorefinery Assistance Program
The USDA Biorefinery Assistance Program works to advance biofuels through the development of new and emerging technologies to increase U.S. energy independence; promote resource conservation, public health, and the environment; diversify markets for agricultural and forestry products and agricultural waste material; and create jobs and enhance the economic development of the rural economy.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
U.S. Economic Development Administration
The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA's investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States.
Minority Business Development Administration
The Minority Business Development Administration (MBDA) actively promotes the strategic growth and expansion of minority business enterprises by offering management and technical assistance through a nationwide network of over 40 business centers.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Guide to Energy-Efficient and Healthy Homes
To help consumers better understand the strategies and product options available to them, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Policy Development and Research has developed a Guide to Energy-Efficient and Healthy Homes. The guide describes how to improve a home’s energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality, which can help reduce heating and cooling costs, save energy, and improve occupants’ health and comfort levels.
Healthy Homes Production Program
This program supports projects that identify and correct significant housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned, low-income rental, or owner occupied housing. HUD is especially interested in projects that integrate healthy homes practices into existing housing rehabilitation, property maintenance, weatherization, energy efficiency improvements, and other housing improvement programs. Native American Tribes are eligible.
Major Mortgage, Grant, Assistance, and Regulator Programs 2013
This manual briefly explains and updates the status of every program HUD operates, including public and Indian housing, community planning and development, and healthcare. View the online version.
Partnership for Sustainable Communities
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution. The partnership agencies incorporate six principles of livability into federal funding programs, policies, and future legislative proposals. Download the guide to Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities.
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Energy Programs are designed to help energy consumers in all sectors, state policymakers, and energy providers improve their knowledge about clean energy technology and policy options by providing objective information and technical assistance, and creating networks between the public and private sector. EPA also offers recognition to leading organizations that adopt clean energy policies and practices.
Climate Communities Showcase Grants
EPA is working with 21 local and tribal governments to establish and implement climate change initiatives, including the advancement of energy efficiency programs and policies.
Green Power Partnership
The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power (electricity produced from a subset of renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro) by offering expert advice, technical support, tools, and resources. Buying green power is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your organization’s environmental performance. Partnering with EPA can help your organization lower the transaction costs of buying green power, reduce its carbon footprint, and communicate its leadership to key stakeholders.
EPA is encouraging renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated land and mine sites when it is aligned with the community’s vision for the site. The Repower America initiative identifies the renewable energy potential of these sites and provides other useful resources for communities, developers, industry, state and local governments, or anyone interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development Tribal Energy Development
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP) provides funding to Indian Tribes with the goal of assessing, evaluating, and promoting energy and mineral resources on Indian trust lands for the economic benefit of Indian mineral owners.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Division of Indian and Native American Programs
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Division of Indian and Native American Programs provides general information and assistance to Workforce Investment Act Section 166 Indian and Native American grantees and others interested in economic self-sufficiency through employment and job training for Native Americans.
Green Career Program
The DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics Green Career program produces information on green jobs including wages, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, working conditions, and necessary education, training, and credentials.
Green Jobs Initiatives
The DOL Employment and Training Administration (ETA) provides labor market intelligence and works with core-constituencies of labor, industry, and education to identify relevant green jobs skills and develop competency models leading to meaningful career ladders. Through strategic partnerships, ETA fosters the development of green jobs by providing career information and guidance and developing education and training models in conjunction with apprenticeship programs and community colleges.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Treasury Department Fact Sheet: Tribal Economic Development Bonds
Tribal Economic Development Bonds or TED Bonds are tax-exempt bonds that Indian Tribal Governments can issue to finance any project or activity for which State or local governments could issue tax-exempt bonds. For example, TED Bonds could be used to finance water treatment facilities, sewage facilities, solid waste disposal facilities, and qualified residential rental projects. TED Bonds are not subject to the limits Indian tribal governments have in their use of tax-exempt bonds to the financing of “essential governmental function” activities that are customarily performed by State and local governments.
U.S. FOREST SERVICE
Woody Biomass Utilization Opportunities
The U.S. Forest Service provides links to opportunities for grants and financial assistance for woody biomass research, development, and projects.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Climate Change Adaptation Task Force
The Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, co-chaired by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and including representatives from more than 20 Federal agencies, produces annual reports with recommendations for how the federal government can strengthen policies and programs to better prepare the nation to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Better Buildings Challenge
The goal of the President’s Better Buildings Challenge is to make commercial buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.
Federal agencies are required to develop, implement, and annually update a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that prioritizes agency actions based on life-cycle return on investment. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2021, each plan shall:
- Include a policy statement committing the agency to comply with environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and executive orders;
- Achieve established sustainability goals and targets, including greenhouse gas reduction targets;
- Be integrated within each agency's strategic planning and budgeting process;
- Identify agency activities, policies, plans, procedures, and practices relevant to the implementation of Executive Order (E.O.) 13423;
- Identify specific agency goals, schedules, milestones, and approaches for achieving results and quantifiable metrics required by E.O. 13514;
- Outline planned actions to provide information about agency progress, performance, and results on a publicly available federal website;
- Incorporate actions for achieving progress metrics identified by the CEQ Chair and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director;
- Evaluate agency climate change risks and vulnerabilities to manage the effects of climate change on the agency's operations and mission in both the short and long term;
- Consider environmental measures as well as economic benefits, social benefits, and costs in evaluating projects and activities based on life-cycle return on investment;
- Annually identify opportunities for improvement and evaluate past performance to extend or expand projects that have net benefits as well as reassess or discontinue under-performing projects.
Tribes can learn more about meeting White House sustainability regulations on DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program website.