Available Funding for Rural Energy Programs

2013 funding is available for the Rural Energy for America (REAP) program from the USDA. This program gives financial assistance in form of loan guarantees and grants to farmers and rural small businesses for conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funds are also available for energy audits and assessments. Some eligible REAP projects include: solar panels, anaerobic digesters, installation of irrigation pumps or ventilation systems, as well as conducting energy audits and feasibility studies for such projects.

All grant and combination grant and loan proposals are due April 30th. Applications for feasibility studies are also due April 30th. Guaranteed loan applications (that don’t have a grant component) are due July 15th.

For more information about REAP, visit the USDA’s REAP portal, as well as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s REAP page.

Details on how to apply for REAP funding available in the Federal Register.

For help with the application process, contact National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).

New Online One-Stop-Shop for Energy Use Reduction

The Farm Energy Working Group at the University of Northern Iowa has created an online One Stop Shop to help small and mid-sized farmers reduce on-farm energy use. The website includes information on where to find energy auditors, utility rebates, and funding opportunities, as well as short videos of successful projects farmers have implemented to be more energy efficient. Some of their strategies to reduce fossil fuel use include wind energy, solar hot water and solar electric, corn or wood-burning boilers to heat greenhouses, and more.

To learn how you can increase your energy efficiency, visit the Farm Energy Working Group’s One Stop Shop at: www.uni.edu/ceee/farmenergy/onestopshop.