Improving energy efficiency and infrastructure in homes and communities across Idaho is critical for making our communities more resilient and sustainable. Since 2019, ICL has worked with Avista, the Public Utilities Commission, the Lewiston Community Action Partnership, Idaho Forest Group and Clearwater Paper to distribute energy efficiency assistance funding in northern Idaho. This year, dozens of families in Idaho will be helped by these efforts. 

As part of an electric rate request ICL helped negotiate with Avista, $1.6M will go towards energy conservation efforts in northern Idaho. This includes $297,000 now headed to the Nez Perce Tribal Housing Authority for home improvements for Nez Perce families, positively impacting our climate and Tribal communities alike. 

This funding comes from the Avista Energy Efficiency Assistance Fund, which provided $250,000 to the Lewiston Community Action Partnership in 2020 for repairs to 20 to 30 low income, high energy-burdened homes. This most recent funding for the Nez Perce Tribal Housing Authority comes after stakeholders reviewed proposals and negotiated terms for these innovative energy-saving projects. 

Unlike traditional home weatherization funding mechanisms, this particular fund addresses essential home repairs such as leaking roofs and missing windows or doors. After these basic repairs are complete, the homes will then qualify for existing weatherization programs that provide insulation and more efficient heating systems.

Clearwater Paper and the Idaho Forest Group also received funding for major efficiency upgrades at their facilities, including replacing motors, pumps, lights and other industrial equipment. Although these upgrades will be costly upfront, they will save both energy and money for decades – keeping these major employers competitive. Along with funding these projects, Avista is also administering the program. 

ICL has been collaborating on this project for years. By working together, this funding is leaving a positive impact on all Idahoans – directly improving the lives of the Idaho families living in these homes, while also impacting our public health by helping our climate through energy efficiency improvements.

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