USDA Rural Energy for America Program: Available Now
The USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers funds to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption. REAP actually delivers funding for three different purposes for these producers and businesses:
Who Is Eligible?
Agricultural producers and rural small businesses
When Is the Deadline?
March 30, 2012 (For loan guarantee applications, you have until June 29, 2012.)
What Is Eligible?
Funds may be used to purchase a renewable energy system, to make energy efficiency improvements, or to conduct a feasibility study for a renewable energy system.
What Is a Renewable Energy System?
A renewable energy system is a system that produces or produces and delivers usable energy from a renewable energy source, or is a flexible fuel pump. A renewable energy source can be from wind, solar, renewable biomass, ocean, geothermal or hydroelectric sources.
What Is an Energy Efficient Improvement?
Improvement to a facility, building, or process that reduce energy consumption, or reduce energy consumed per square foot.
What costs are covered?
Grant funding may cover up to 25 percent of the total eligible project costs. It can include purchase and installation of equipment, construction, energy audits, permit and license fees, feasibility studies, business plans, and retrofitting. Construction of a new energy efficient facility can be covered only if the new facility replaces one that is existing and is used for the same purpose, is the same size, and provides more energy savings than improving the existing facility.
What else do I need to know?
- To purchase or install renewable energy systems (RES)
- To make energy efficiency improvements (EEI)
- To conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems (FS)
Where can I get an energy audit done?
- The program will not cover energy improvements for residences.
- Either an energy audit or energy assessment is required for energy efficienty improvement projects.
- Check with your local energy provider. Some of them offer free or discounted energy audits and assessments.
- The University of Kentucky provides discounted energy audits for agricultural producers and small businesses. Click here for more information.
- The Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center at the University of Louisville provides energy audits in addition to other services. Click here for more information or contact Richard Meisenhelder, the Program Manager for Environmental Sustainability, at 502-852-1987.
What Do I Do Next?
- Multiple grant templates are available online. Check out this page that has links to many of them along with fact sheets. Begin filling out your applications or working with a grant writer now so that your completed application can be submitted by the deadline of March 30.
- Contact us. We are here to help answer questions and help guide you through the process of applying.
- Reach out to USDA Rural Development Kentucky's office.