New round of Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant applications now open
The Rural Energy for America Program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.
Who may apply? Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and small businesses in eligible rural areas.
Deadlines Grants of $20,000 or less: October 31, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
Unrestricted Grants (up to $500,000): March 31, 2017.
Loan Guarantees are completed continuously throughout the year.
ENERGY AUDIT GRANTS An energy audit is required for a REAP application. The Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at UNL conducts energy audits to meet USDA Rural Development grant and/or guaranteed loan application requirements. Energy audits can be conducted at any time by Nebraska MEP staff but must be completed in advance of USDA application submission deadlines. The program’s focus is on areas where local electric utility providers do not offer free audits. Nebraska MEP, which received an Energy Audit Program grant from USDA Rural Development, will pay 75% of the cost of an audit. Applicants will be required to pay 25% of the cost.