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 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.
In 2019, AEA received a $1 million grant from Wells Fargo to perform a solicitation under VEEP for outdoor lighting retrofits. The request for applications was released August 1, and applications were due September 20. AEA received 66 competitive applications requesting approximately $1.7 million, with nearly $519,000 in local match. The 47 selected communities will receive approximately $1.1 million, with local match at approximately $397,000. Additional matching funds are provided by AEA.
Wells Fargo VEEP Successful Applicants
Map of Successful Applicants
Community selection of the 2005-2009 Village End Use Efficiency Measures (VEUEM) Program was based on the status of the respective village’s Rural Power System Upgrade (RPSU); the community had either recently received or was slated to receive a new power system through this AEA program.
Alaska Building Science Network (ABSN) administered the grants on behalf of the communities. ABSN was able to leverage funds through in-kind contributions. As a result, significant progress toward community energy efficiency was achieved. Whenever possible, ABSN hired local labor and provided project-specific training along with boiler maintenance training.
Additionally, AEA partnered with AHFC, AVEC, AVCP-Housing, the community of Nightmute, Denali Commission, and Rural Cap to perform a "whole village" retrofit. This was a comprehensive look at the community's energy needs with the objective of capitalizing on all available energy efficiency funding opportunities, for both residential and public building improvements, from different agencies. Five years later AEA went back to study what the results were, and what could be learned from the project and applied to future efforts.
Between 2010 and 2012, Alaska Energy Authority distributed over $5 million of American Recover and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to 97 Alaska cities and boroughs through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program and 21 villages through the Village Energy Efficiency Program (VEEP) for energy efficiency improvements to public buildings and facilities.
Completed project reports for the ARRA funded VEEP projects are available below. Project Reports for the ARRA funded EECBG projects are available upon request.
Between 2013 and 2018, Alaska Energy Authority disbursed $1.3 million in State capital funds for VEEP projects in seven communities.