Utility grant funding available through DEED programOctober 5, 2015
Utilities looking for help funding an innovative project or interested in hiring a student intern can apply for funding from the Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Developments (DEED) program, available through the American Public Power Association (APPA). All Heartland customers are currently members of both DEED and APPA through membership fees paid by Heartland.
Heartland customer utilities can apply for grants of up to $125,000 to help finance projects to improve utilities by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, investigating new technologies, offering new services, and improving processes and practices to better serve customers. Scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 are available for hiring student interns.
Grants typically range from $25,000 to $50,000 and can support pilot projects, the development of best practices or new technology. Any issue encountered by a utility such as reliability, safety or energy efficiency is an appropriate topic for a grant. Applications are available online in a web-based grant management system. DEED has kept the application process as simple as possible so even those utilities with minimal staff resources are able to apply quickly and easily for project funding. Applications are considered twice a year with deadlines of February 15 and August 15.
Scholarships serve as a link between communities and utilities. They provide a way for utilities to attract new talent as well as mentor a student. Either a student or the utility can apply for the scholarship. Students must have a DEED member utility serve as a mentor for their scholarship. Utilities may apply with or without designating a specific student on the application. Deadlines to apply are February 15 and October 15.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, DEED was created with the belief that by sharing information and resources, public power systems could make great strides in researching, developing and demonstrating near-term, practical solutions to utility challenges. All APPA members are eligible to join the DEED program and receive funding.
“Heartland offers APPA and DEED memberships to our customers in order to help them improve utility operations,” said Heartland CEO Russell Olson. “We encourage all of our customers to take advantage of this funding as well as the wealth of information the program provides.”
DEED members receive a number of benefits other than grants and scholarships such as complimentary and at-cost products from the APPA Product Store including publications, software and videos. They also have easy access to more than 400 past and present DEED research reports, can attend free webinars to learn about projects funded through DEED and also earn points toward the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation.
Some innovative, valuable products DEED has helped develop since 1980 include:
- reliability tracking software
- safety videos and software
- publications on developing and evaluating energy efficiency programs
- the first guidebook for municipal utilities on telecommunications
- a series of primers on the smart grid concept and related issues
- NERC compliance plan guidelines and customizable template
- energy-related materials for teachers and students, including curriculum, website content, educational gaming software, etc.
- E-learning course for customer service staff