What does this program do?
Grantees assist 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% 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 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.).
Who can answer questions?
- Contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator.
What governs this program?
- Basic Program – Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 4280, Subpart B
- This program is authorized by Title IX of the Agricultural Act of 2014, (2014 Farm Bill)
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
This program helps increase 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 governs this program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance.