USDA Rural Development is Seeking Applications to Provide Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Grants and Loans in Rural Areas

21 Oct 2015

USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for the Fiscal Year 2016 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  REAP is available to agricultural producers and rural small for-profit businesses in order to complete energy efficiency improvements, or install a renewable energy system, to their current farm or business operations.  Grants and Guaranteed Loans may be used for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency equipment and renewable eneryg systems, such as HVAC units, lighting, windows, pivots or sub-surface drip tape systems, irrigation engines or motors, variable frequency drives, grain dryers, geothermal systems, solar panels, wind turbines, and aneorobic digesters. 


Grants are for 25% of the total eligible project costs, and guaranteed loans are for up to 75% of the total eligible project costs.  Rural is defined as cities with a population of less than 50,000.  Applications are to be submitted to your local Rural Development office no later than close of business, 4:30 p.m., November 2, 2015 for the first deadline.  All applications submitted are selected based on a competitive scoring process, which is outlined within the application packet.


A Nebraska example project includes Wagner’s Supermarket, in Arapahoe, that received a REAP grant to replace existing freezers and coolers in their grocery store.  A 75% annual energy savings will be realized as well as the savings of 818,806,023 BTUs and $23,289 per year. 


REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2014, (Farm Bill) is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small buisnesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation’s critical energy needs.  USDA is accepting the following applications:

  • Energy Efficiency Improvements and Renewable Energy Systems GRANT applications, combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until November 2, 2015 and May 2, 2016;
  • Energy Efficiency Improvements and Renewable Energy Systems guaranteed loan only applications will be accepted continuously and compete monthly.


For more information regarding the REAP program, visit:


For further information, contact Kelley Messenger, Business Programs Specialist, USDA Rural Development, (308) 237-3118 ext. 120,