Energy Efficiency Grants Available Through USDA
Alabama farmers and rural small business owners are being reminded that energy efficiency grants — a program authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill — are available through USDA Rural Development.Ronnie Davis, state director of the USDA Rural Development in Alabama, says the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits.The maximum energy efficiency grant is $250,000 or up to 25 percent of costs, and may be used for improvements to buildings or facilities, upgrading equipment and processes that reduce energy consumption.Applications are filed in Alabama, but compete statewide and nationally for funding. Grants may be used to pay up to 25 percent of the eligible project cost. Loan guarantees cannot exceed 50 percent of the eligible project cost. The applicant must provide leveraged funds to complete the project. Leveraged funds will be verified from information provided in the application.Contact an Alabama USDA Rural Development office for more details or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs.