USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers programs that provide much-need infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. These include water and waste treatment, electric power and telecommunications services. All of these services play a critical role in helping to expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents.

Utilities programs connect rural residents to the global economy by:

  1. Increasing access to broadband and 21st century telecommunications services;
  2. Funding sustainable renewable energy development and conservation;
  3. Financing reliable and affordable electric systems;
  4. Working to integrate electric smart grid technologies;
  5. Developing reliable and affordable rural water and wastewater systems.

These investments support the nation’s long-term prosperity by ensuring that rural communities have the infrastructure to compete in the global economy.

On behalf of Acting Administrator Jasper Schneider, we welcome you to browse through this site for information about programs and services to help you and your community. Thank you for visiting.

Water and Environmental Programs (WEP)

WEP provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes may qualify for assistance.

WEP also makes grants to non-profit organizations to provide technical assistance and training to help rural communities with their water, wastewater and solid waste problems.

Electric Programs

The Electric Program provides capital and leadership to maintain, expand, upgrade and modernize America’s vast rural electric infrastructure. The loans and loan guarantees finance the construction or improvement of electric distribution, transmission and generation facilities in rural areas. The electric Program also provides funding to support demand-side management, energy efficiency and conservation programs, and on-and off-grid renewable energy systems.

Loans are made to cooperatives, corporations, states, territories, subdivisions, municipalities, utility districts and non-profit organizations.

Telecommunications Programs

 The Telecommunications Program improves the quality of life in rural America by providing capital for the deployment of rural telecommunications infrastructure. USDA Rural Development is committed to ensuring that rural areas have access to affordable, reliable, advanced telecommunications services comparable to those available throughout the rest of the United States.  With this access, rural America will see improved educational opportunities, health care, safety and security and ultimately, higher employment.