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REACH 2 Grant

(Residential Energy Assistance Challenge)

Past Project of A W.I.S.H.

Wind Power


Washington’s LIHEAP program only reaches 19 percent of eligible households. Electric and natural gas rates have soared as much as 50 percent in some counties, offsetting recent successes with utility-funded low-income programs. Washington now has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation. Low-income households are caught between rising rates and negative job growth.

To escape this bind, this project shifts away from a demand-side model of energy assistance, partnering with the growing wind power industry to develop supply-side solutions instead.

REACH 2 is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by a grant through the State of Washington Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development with A W.I.S.H as the prime contractor. The grant is for $1 million for a three-year period.


Increase self-sufficiency of low-income families by securing long-term fixed priced energy sources and nonfederal energy assistance by participating in the rollout of Washington’s wind power industry. Project impact will last for 20 years, the expected life of a wind power plant.


  • Develop 12 megawatts of wind power dedicated to low-income households through a partnership between utilities and the LIHEAP/DOE WAP/CSBG network.
  • Reduce the energy burden of 12,000 LIHEAP-eligible families by 20 percent.


Innovative low income energy assistance programs have impacted many families and communities throughout the country. Community wind projects have pioneered community collaboration in the Midwest. A W.I.S.H.'s Washington state based REACH project builds on previous efforts and creates renewable energy options for low income households in Washington.

NREL photos: top by Warren Gretz, bottom by Greg Christman

Related Links/Documents:

Sustainable Wind Development for Low Income Households (1.1 MB pdf file, June 2004)

Federal Funding to Promote Wind Power for Washington State’s Poor (Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development)

Wind Power Help for Low-Income Housing (Solar Access article, requires log-in registration)

Washington to Reduce Reliance on Energy Assistance through Wind (Wind Energy Weekly, October 17, 2003)


A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity
P.O. Box 2568
Bellingham, Washington 98227-2568
Michael Karp (360) 724-3215

A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity