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.
Application Guide | DOC
Fiscal Year 23 Fee Notice
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 Instructions (pdf)
- Application for Federal Assistance - Form SF-424 (pdf)
- Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs - Form 424-A (pdf)
• USDA Energy Investment Map
• USDA Energy Matrix
- Tribal Consultation: For projects that include excavations that have potential to disturb Native American archeological resources, tribes need to be contacted. Nebraska has specific policy to deal with this. This link will define what tribe to contact depending on the location of the project.
- Flood Plains: USDA Rural Development has specific policies regarding building in a flood plain. A map of the flood plain for your location can be found on the FEMA site.
- Endangered species in Nebraska can be found at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife site.
- Endangered species: Information on state endangered species can be found at the Nebraska Games and Parks site.
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.
Nebraska State Office - Business & Cooperative Programs
Federal Building, Suite 308
100 Centennial Mall North
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-3859
Bill Sheppard, Business Programs Specialist
402.371.5350 ext. 104
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