Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
At a Glance
Commercial Energy Efficiency
Erin Evans and Daniel Brookshire collaborated to identify energy efficiency projects at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. Prior to the fellows’ arrival, the tribe had conducted 36 energy audits, which needed to be consolidated and updated to help the tribe get closer to its 30% energy reduction target.
Evans and Brookshire analyzed energy cost and usage at hospitals, community centers, fire stations, visitor centers, a museum, and an emergency operations center. The fellows analyzed heating sources for tribal buildings and found that the EBCI could find easy savings by switching from propane to natural gas. The price of propane fluctuates throughout the seasons, while the price of natural gas is stable. This proposed project could save over $30,000 each year. Other identified projects included retrofitting old buildings and converting winter holiday lights to LEDs. Evans and Brookshire also looked into the potential for wind power, micro hydropower, district energy systems, and a solid waste-to-electricity facility.
Their recommendations, if implemented, would result in a 23% reduction in energy consumption for the tribe, which translates into annual energy cost savings of $57,000.