MONTPELIER — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks grant applications from rural businesses interested in increasing their bottom line through performing energy efficiency upgrades or installing renewable energy systems. USDA Rural Development is accepting applications until March 31st for funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
USDA Rural Development seeks to support economic development in rural areas through helping businesses invest in energy improvements. Rural businesses and agricultural producers are eligible to apply for either energy efficiency or renewable energy project funding through REAP. For projects that generate renewable energy, such as installing a solar array, applicants may apply for a grant of up to $500,000. For projects that increase a business’s energy efficiency, such as a dairy installing an energy efficient milk chiller, applicants may apply for a grant of up to $250,000. For both project types, grant funds can cover up to 25 percent of the eligible project costs. Large scale projects can apply for USDA financing through a REAP guaranteed loan throughout the year.
Vermont and New Hampshire businesses and producers interested in saving on their energy bills should contact Rural Development Energy Coordinator Ken Yearman at (802) 828-6070 or email@example.com to begin the application process. More information on REAP grants and guaranteed loans, including the Notice of Solicitation of Applications and a list of eligible projects, can be found on Rural Development’s websites for Vermont (www.rd.usda.gov/vt) and New Hampshire (www.rd.usda.gov/nh).
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of $217 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.
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