Sample Grant Proposal: Low-Income Wind Energy Project 5
detailed wind map is included as Appendix K). In Walla Walla County, the State Line Project
(the largest wind project in the world) has shown that wind power is competitive with fossil
fuels. Technology and cooperative buying power have brought down the cost of wind turbines.
State and federal legislation have increased incentives for developing renewable power sources.
The wind industry is primed for rapid growth.
There are several assumptions we have made about the needs of our target population and the
economic environment around them. The first is that the LIHEAP-eligible population is not
going to decline. In fact we assume that given high unemployment projected to persist through
at least spring 2005 (“Economic dark cloud lingers over Washington,” Seattle P-I, 6.20.03), this
population will increase, making the need to find a permanent solution for reducing the energy
costs of low-income households even greater. Our second assumption is that the amount of
money for federal and state energy assistance programs, both LIHEAP and weatherization
programs, will decline, again increasing the need for our proposed approach. Our third
assumption is that costs for non-renewable electricity-generating resources (coal, natural gas)
will rise over time.
Summary of Assumptions/Problems to be Addressed
Demand for LIHEAP far outstrips the need. 80% of families eligible for LIHEAP are
unserved. Many of these families include vulnerable members.
Electricity rates have risen sharply, erasing many of the gains made by development
of new nonfederal energy assistance funds.
73% of Washington’s low-income households heat with electricity.
Conversion from electric heating to natural gas heating is expensive.
Natural gas is increasingly used to generate electricity, linking the price of natural gas
to electricity and making them rise in tandem.
Natural gas prices are likely to continue rising as production in North America and
Mexico peak over the next 10 years.
Conversion to natural gas is at best part of the solution for low-income households
stranded in housing built for energy markets of three decades ago.
Low-Income Inclusion in Planning Process
From the beginning
his project has been designed as a collaborative project between the
Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development; Washington State
Association Community Action Partnership (representing the CSBG/DOE
weatherization/LIHEAP network); A W.I.S.H; and utilities. Community involvement, including
the direct involvement of low-income representatives, has been built into the project. The project
Steering Committee has majority representation from Community Action Agencies, whose
boards of directors are mandated to have one-third low-income membership. As members of the
Steering Committee, low-income representatives will have an on-going role in developing the
project and in recommending changes as necessary. Each of the thirty CAA’s partnering on this
project, under the coordination of A W.I.S.H, has reviewed the project proposal all the way
through the process leading to submittal to DHHS, and has had the opportunity to submit
suggestions about the project design.