Jo-Carroll Energy has been awarded funding through two USDA Rural Development programs – one designed to increase rural energy efficiency and the other to stimulate business growth and development. The announcement was made Monday by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos as she visited various USDA Rural Development projects conducted in her Illinois Congressional District 17.
A $770,000 loan through the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) program, awarded to Jo-Carroll Energy, will be re-lent to Stephenson Service Company to construct a new, unmanned, standalone fueling station. The station will be located on the west side of Elizabeth, just off of US highway 20.
USDA’s REDLG program provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities that in turn, lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. These revolving loan funds broaden the REDLG program's reach and create a multiplier effect for its impact.
Through the USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP), Jo-Carroll energy has also been awarded two grants totaling $126,665. One is a $36,665 grant to install energy saving measures, including a ground source heat pump system, new LED lighting, and wall and ceiling insulation at their newly expanded, current facility. The project is expected to save approximately $18,000 in energy costs per year – approximately enough to power 16 homes per year.
Using another REAP grant of $90,000, Jo-Carroll Energy is conducting energy audits for rural small businesses and agricultural producers in northwestern Illinois and neighboring counties in Iowa and Wisconsin.
“Today we have the privilege of recognizing just a few of the many ways USDA programs work to strengthen our rural communities,” said Colleen Callahan, USDA Rural Development Director in Illinois. “We’re grateful for partners such as Jo-Carroll Energy for their cooperative spirit and support.”