News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017008
ContactLarry Yerich(907) 271-2424 ext. 125
Anchorage, Alaska, Jun 28, 2012 --

@@ USDA-RD Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service is accepting applications for High Energy Cost Grants (HECG) grants to assist rural communities with extremely high energy costs across Alaska.

USDA Rural Development is making available up to $7 million in HECG’s during fiscal year 2012 to assist communities where expenditures for home energy exceed 275 percent of the national average. The maximum amount of grant assistance that will be awarded under this notice is $3 million.

“Applicants must demonstrate that proposed communities meet one or more high energy cost benchmarks, such as average total household energy costs that exceed $4,860 annually. HECG funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission or distribution facilities,” said Nordlund.

Extremely high energy costs in rural and remote communities typically result from a combination of factors, including high energy consumption; high per-unit energy costs; limited availability of energy sources; extreme climate conditions and housing that is not energy efficient.

Eligible applicants include, states, local governments, businesses, federally-recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal entities, and other entities organized under state law.

Applications are due July 30. For additional information, please see page 38570 of the June 28, 2012 Federal Register,,

or visit the USDA Rural Utilities Service website at:

USDA-Rural Development administers and manages utilities, housing, business and community facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing affordable health care, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing broadband access to 10 million Americans. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and improve the quality of life in rural America.

For more information, visit