What does this program do?
This program assists rural small businesses and agricultural producers by conducting and promoting energy audits and providing Renewable Energy Development Assistance (REDA).
Who may apply for this program?
- State and local governments.
- Federally-recognized tribes.
- A land-grant college or university or other institutions of higher education.
- Rural electric cooperatives.
- Public power entities.
- An instrumentality of a state, tribal or local government.
- A Resource Conservation & Development Council (as defined in 16 USC §3451).
How may funds be used?
The assistance must be provided to agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Rural small businesses must be located in eligible rural areas. This restriction does not apply to agricultural producers. Assistance provided must consist of:
- Energy audits.
- Renewable energy technical assistance.
- Renewable energy site assessments.
Eligible project costs may include:
- Salaries directly related to the project.
- Travel expenses directly related to conducting energy audits or renewable energy development assistance.
- Office supplies.
- Administrative expenses, up to a maximum of 5 percent of the grant, which include but are not limited to utilities, office space, operation expenses of office and other project-related equipment.
Funds may NOT be used for:
- Payment for construction-related activities.
- Purchase or lease of equipment.
- Payment of judgments or debt owed the government.
- Goods or services provided by a person or entity who has a conflict of interest.
- Costs incurred by preparing an application package.
- Funding political or lobbying activities.
What are the grant terms?
Applicants must submit separate applications, limited to one energy audit and one Renewable Energy Development Assistance (REDA) per fiscal year. The maximum aggregate amount of an energy audit and REDA grant in a Federal fiscal year is $100,000.
How do we get started?
- Applications for this program are accepted year-round at your local office.
- Program Resources are available online (includes forms needed, guidance, certifications, etc.) Please refer to the Forms & Resources tab.
Who can answer questions?
- Contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator.
What law governs this program?
- Basic Program – Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 4280, Subpart B.
- This program is authorized by Title IX of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, (2018 Farm Bill)
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
This program strengthens American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.
NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change, please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled “What law governs this program?” You may also contact your local office for assistance.
NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please refer to the application materials listed below to start the process of applying for a loan and/or grant. Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Rural Development Energy Coordinator before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in completing your application.
To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Unique Entity ID number if your organization doesn’t already have one. It should not take more than a few business days to get your number.
Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.
- Application for Federal Assistance - Form SF-424 (pdf)
- Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs - Form 424-A (pdf)
USDA Rural Development (RD), has drafted a Nationwide Programmatic Agreement (NPA) to address sequencing of RD’s responsibilities under Section 106 consultation as required by the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Under the existing regulations, RD must complete Section 106 consultation prior to approval of financial assistance, commonly referred to as obligation. The NPA would allow RD to obligate funds prior to completion of Section 106, but before funds are awarded and before construction begins. This will allow RD to conduct meaningful consultation with states, tribes, industry, and other consulting parties at the time when project and site specific information is available and adverse effects to historic properties can be appropriately mitigated and avoided and to ensure the timing of RD’s obligation and environmental review is coordinated, predictable, and transparent.
Rural Development (RD) is reaching out to interested parties as we begin nationwide consultation on the proposed programmatic agreement. RD has developed a YouTube video with slides and audio available, following is the URL: https://youtu.be/O8dytl_WS1w. This video provides information on the three agencies under RD, the need for an efficiency to address Section 106 sequencing, RD’s efforts to develop the NPA draft to date, and walks step by step through the parts of the draft NPA. A transcript is available directly below the video by clicking on the "More" tab. We have also attached the draft NPA and a series of fact sheets, including information about our grant and loan programs specific to tribes. You can find more information about the NPA and our program here as well.
In order to facilitate discussion and gather stakeholder comments, questions, and concerns about the draft NPA, RD has scheduled a series of listening sessions for State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), and Industry to discuss the information presented in the video. The dates, times, call-in number and passcode, information about accessibility accommodations, and RD contact information are as follows:
SHPO Listening Session
If your SHPO office is located in the following states, territories or commonwealths, your listening session is scheduled for, Monday March 5th, 2018 at 01:00 pm EST.
· MT, ID, WY, UT, CO, NM, and AZ.
THPO Listening Session
If your THPO Office or area of tribal interest is located in the following states, territories or commonwealths, your listening session is scheduled for, Monday February 26th, 2018 at 01:00 pm EST.
· MT, ID, WY, UT, CO, NM, and AZ.
Please note that the listening sessions will be recorded to ensure that we accurately collect all questions and comments.
Conference Line Audio & Web Primary Access Information
USA Toll-Free: 888-844-9904
USA Caller Paid: 816-423-4261
If you need further accommodation for the listening sessions, please notify Dr. Erika Martin Seibert, at the phone number or email address provided below at least 48 hours before the start of the listening session.
Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS)
Kelsey Owens–Federal Preservation Officer/Environmental Protection Specialist
Phone: 202.205.8242/ E-mail: email@example.com
Rural Housing Service (RHS)
Peggy Wade – Federal Preservation Officer/ Senior Environmental Protection Specialist
Phone: 202.875.3572/ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural Utilities Service (RUS)
Erika Martin Seibert, Ph.D. – Federal Preservation Officer/ Archaeologist
Phone: 202.260.9099/ E-mail: Erika.Seibert@wdc.usda.gov
Listed is the URL where you will find a copy of the 508 RD NPA Section 106 Final Draft - https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/CO508RDNPASec106Draft.pdf
There are no additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements related to the environmental review, the state will advise.
Please contact SM.CO.REAP@usda.gov for more information on this program in Colorado.
Kathy Spain, Business Programs Loan Specialist
(719) 456-0120, ext. 120, email@example.com
Cindy Chadwick, Business Programs Loan Specialist
(720) 544-2924, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert McElroy, Director, Business Programs
(720) 544-2916, email@example.com
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