Approximately $1 million in federal grants is available to those in the District, Maryland and Virginia who want to demonstrate energy saving ideas.

The grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Appropriate Technology Small Grants Program are available to individuals, local nonprofit organizations and institutions, state and local agencies, native American tribes and small businesses.

The program was established to encourage eligible candidates to develop energy-related ideas and become involved in energy research and development and to explore some of the small-scale energy-related technologies appropriate to local needs. It is geared to projects which minimize the use of non-renewable or petroleum-based resources or technologies or processes that are not environmentally sound; encourage the use of local materials and labor skills to satisfy community needs while increasing self-reliance and energy understanding, and use new technologies or applications of existing resources to create durable, recyclable systems that are simple to install, operate and maintain.

Information on the program is available from the Energy Unit of the Office of Planning and Development. All applications must be received by April 30. To receive a copy of the grant application form, call the D.C. Energy Hotline at 724-2100. For more information on the grant program, call Gill James at 727-1830.