The Alaska Energy Authority is soliciting competitive applications from qualified applicants for the specific purpose of receiving grants for retrofitting outdoor lighting of public buildings and facilities to LED technology.
AEA has received funding from Wells Fargo to fund VEEP grants for outdoor lighting retrofits to LED technology. Additional matching funds are provided by the State of Alaska through the Village Energy Efficiency Program (VEEP).
The goal of the Village Energy Efficiency Program (VEEP) is to implement energy and cost saving efficiency measures in buildings and facilities in small Alaska communities. Service providers work with individual communities and school districts to determine the best energy saving measures for the amount of money allocated to the community.
The VEEP program began as the Village End Use Efficiency Measures (VEUEM) Program in 2005 with funding from the Denali Commission. Measures implemented under this iteration of the program were primarily lighting upgrades and some weatherization. Between 2005 and 2009, forty-nine communities benefited from this program. Between 2010 and 2012, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded energy efficiency improvement projects in an additional 118 communities through the Small Cities EECBG and VEEP programs. These projects, VEEP in particular, used the VEUEM model but increased the funding level per community for a deeper dive into building efficiency improvements. The early VEEP program saw a return on investment of over 300 percent.
In 2013, AEA codified regulations for VEEP. Communities with a population no greater than 8,000 residents are eligible for VEEP funding, which is competitively awarded after open application periods. The FY14 VEEP application period closed in the fall of 2013 and produced 84 applications totaling over $10 million in requested funding. Seven communities were awarded a total of approximately $1.4 million for energy and cost saving efficiency projects.