The U.S. Department of Energy is partnering with the Alaska Energy Authority to award $4 million to rural communities to implement energy efficiency projects.

The goal of the grant is to help rural areas reduce energy costs.

Any community with less than 8,000 residents is eligible to apply for the competition — That’s about 200 communities.

“Generally we’re talking about building insulation, less energy use in buildings including lighting and other equipment, also street lighting is a popular one — LED is so much more energy efficient than traditional lights. It can actually go to residential improvements too,” said Sean Skaling, Policy and Programs Director with the Alaska Energy Authority.

DOE also intends to make up to $600,000 available for technical assistance for up to 20 communities who pledge to reduce energy use.

Five communities will be chosen this spring to move forward with their projects.

For more information, or to apply, visit the DOE website. The deadline to apply is Jan. 26.