Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities
Assistance to rural communities with extremely high energy costs.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Rural Utilities Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended, Title I, Section 19, Public Law 106-472, 114 Stat. 2058, 7 U.S.C. 918a.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Eligible applicants include States, political subdivisions of States, for-profit and non-profit businesses, cooperatives, associations, organizations, and other entities organized under the laws of States, Indian tribes, tribal entities, and individuals. The governments and entities located in any U.S. Territory/possession or other area authorized by law to receive the services and programs of the Rural Utilities Service or the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended, are also eligible.
Projects must serve rural communities in which the annual average residential expenditure for home energy is at least 275 percent of the national average. Energy cost eligibility benchmarks are included in the published Notice of Funding Availability.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Grant applications are accepted in response to a Notice of Funding Availability published in the Federal Register and Grants.gov. Application requirements are described in the published notice and on the agency web site. Application materials may also be requested from the Agency.
Grants will be awarded based on competitive ranking of applications according to published evaluation criteria for technical merit and community need.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days. Typically from 120 to 180 days. Selection of grant finalists will be announced approximately 90 to 180 days after the application deadline. Final Grant awards will be approved after completion of environmental review and other pre-obligation requirements.
Applicants may appeal rejections of ineligible applications to the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service under procedures in program regulations at 7 CFR Part 1709. Applicants may not appeal numerical rankings of competitive grant applications.
How are proposals selected?
Grant applications will be ranked competitively based on published evaluation criteria. All projects must serve rural communities with extremely high energy costs.
How may assistance be used?
Funds must be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, and improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities in which the average annual expenditure for home energy costs is at least 275 percent of the national average. Energy efficiency and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems are eligible. Not more than 4 percent of amounts made available in grant funds may be used for planning and administrative expenses. Funds may not be used to pay utility bills, fuel costs, or operating expenses.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Grant recipients will be required to file periodic financial, expenditure, progress, and performance reports as specified in the grant agreement and program regulations. Cash reports are not applicable. Grantee will typically be required to file quarterly or semi-annual progress reports and a final project report as specified in the grant agreement. Applicants are required to file quarterly or semi-annual expenditure reports and a final report as specified in the grant agreement. .Grantees will be required to report on progress of their projects using performance metrics proposed in the grant application and incorporated into the grant agreement as approved by RUS.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements, Subpart F, Audit Requirements (Revised, December 26, 2013)nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Subpart F. Annual audit or Management Report
The Grantee must maintain records in accordance with requirements of program regulations, the grant agreement and 2 CFR Part 200.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grant agreements will typically run for three years; extensions for good cause shown may be granted at the sole discretion of the RUS. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: After signing of the grant agreement and compliance with any additional conditions, the grantee may request advances and reimbursements for eligible expenditures. Advances and reimbursements will be disbursed over the term of the grant on request of the grantee.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Assistant Administrator, Electric Programs Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 1560, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Phone: (202) 720-9545.
(Project Grants) FY 14 $9,872,126; FY 15 est $10,000,000; and FY 16 est $0
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Minimum award is $50,000 and maximum is $3,000,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 1709, 7 CFR Parts 1767 and 1773, and 2 CFR Part 200,
Examples of Funded Projects