Program 101

What does this program do?

The Energy Resource Conservation (ERC) Program enables current Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers to make funds available to their consumers for energy conservation and renewable energy projects by deferring payment of principal and interest.  

Who may apply?

  • Participation in this program is limited to existing RUS borrowers with direct loans. Loans must not be Federal Financing Bank loan guarantees.

What are the terms?

  • Terms of deferments vary based upon the principal balance and terms of the existing direct loans.

How may the funds be used?

  • Amounts deferred in the ERC program can be used to cover the cost of labor and materials for energy conservation measures, and to finance renewable energy projects.

How do we get started?

Who can answer questions about this program?

  • Contact the GFR who serves your area.

What governs this program?

  • Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended in 7 U.S. C 901

  • Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR 1721 Subpart B

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

Nearly every rural electric cooperative utility nationwide has some form of energy efficiency program as part of its strategy to manage power costs, meet consumer demand and increase environmental regulatory compliance. Encouraging energy conservation and the use of renewable power sources have long been a part of the mission of the RUS Electric Program. The ERC program expands efforts to help consumers save money, reduce the need to purchase or generate energy, and reduce emissions from the generation of electricity.

NOTE: Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm you have the most current information by contacting a GFR who serves your area for assistance, or consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"