Rural Energy for America Program
(1) Provision of grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to promote energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems development. The program provides grants of up to 25% of project costs and/or loan guarantees of up to 75% of project costs to purchase and install energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. (2) Provision of grants to government entities or their instrumentalities, educational institutions, rural electric cooperatives, Resource Conservation and Development Councils, and public power entities to assist with the cost of performing energy audits and renewable energy development assistance for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Recipients of energy audits must pay at least 25% of the cost of the audit.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; F - Guaranteed/Insured Loans
Title IX of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, and the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79, Title IX, Section 9007, 7 U,S,C, 8107
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
To be eligible for renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvement assistance, an applicant must be an agricultural producer or rural small business. Rural small businesses must be located in a rural area. The applicant or owner must not have an outstanding judgment, delinquent on any Federal debt or debarred from receiving Federal assistance. Under the Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance programs eligible applicants include governmental entities and their instrumentalities, educational institutions, rural electric cooperatives, Resource Conservation and Development Councils, and public power entities
For energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems the program is for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. For energy audits and renewable energy development assistance grants, units of State, tribal, and local governments; land-grant colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives and public power entities; instrumentalities of a state, tribal, and local governments; and Resource Conservation and Development Councils are eligible for the assistance.
For applicants seeking renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvement assistance: agricultural producers must be directly engaged in the production of agricultural products, including crops, livestock, forestry products, hydroponics, nursery stock, or aquaculture, whereby 50 percent or greater of their gross income is derived from the operations. A small business must be located in a rural area and meet the Small Business Administration's Business Size Standards including all parent, affiliate, or subsidiary entities at other locations. For the Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program the entity applying must have experience in providing this service to qualify for the grant. All other application requirements and competitive benchmarks must be met in accordance with published Notices. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applicants must submit a complete application to the Rural Development Energy Coordinator in their respective State. A complete application includes Standard Forms 424, 424C and 424D plus Rural Development forms, scope of work, feasibility studies, energy audits, environmental assessment (form RD 1940-20), and written technical reports.
Rural Development (RD) personnel will review all applications. Ineligible and incomplete applications may be returned to the applicant and not evaluated further. RD personnel score applications based on published evaluation criteria. Applications will be funded at the State level first. A second review and nationwide ranking will be conducted by the RD National Office. Funding recommendations for National funds will be forwarded to the Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service for final awards.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 180 days after the application is filed with RBS dependent on the number of funding cycles offered per year.
Adverse actions made on applications are appealable, pursuant to 7 CFR part 11.
How are proposals selected?
(1) Quantity of Energy Replaced, Produced, or Saved (2) Environmental benefits (3) Commercial availability (4) Technical Merit - (5) Readiness (Grants only) (6) Small Agricultural Producer/Very Small Rural Business (7) Simplified application (8) Previous grantees and borrowers (9) Simple payback (10) State Director and Administrator priorities and points. (11) Loan Rate (Guaranteed Loans only:
How may assistance be used?
For renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, the amount of a grant shall not exceed the lesser of 25 percent of eligible project costs or $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. The maximum amount of combined grant or guaranteed loan made shall not exceed 75 percent of eligible project costs. For Energy Audit, the recipient of the audit must pay 25 percent of the cost of the energy audit.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Accounting records prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or financial statement in a format typically accepted by a commercial agricultural lender and supported by source documentation will be required for financial statements.
For Rural Energy for America Program applicant will provide a financial management system in accordance with 7 CFR Part 3015. The applicant will also retain financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other records pertinent to the award for a period of at least three years after final disbursement, except that the records shall be retained beyond the three-year period if audit findings have not been resolved.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching is voluntary. Matching Requirements: For Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement assistance: The applicant must provide at least 75 percent of leveraged funds if the request is for grant only funds. For a combination grant and loan guarantee and loan guarantee only, the applicant must provide at least 25 percent of leveraged funds. Other Federal grants may not be used to meet the 75 percent requirement for the grant. For Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance: The recipient of the energy audit must pay at least 25% of the cost of the audit. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grant funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis. Guarantees on loan will be provided once the project is complete and operational. Project should typically be completed within two years from the award. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: monthly or as needed. Monthly or as needed.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
For general information, write to: US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Energy Division, MS 3225, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250, or telephone 202-720-1400. For specific information, contact the RD State Energy Coordinator in your respective state: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Rural Development, Energy Division
511 W. 7th Street
Atlantic, IA 50022 US
(Loan Guarantees/Grants) FY 18$0.00; FY 19 est $25,000,000.00; FY 20 Estimate Not Available FY 17$299,030,000.00; FY 16$159,000,000.00; - (Project Grants) FY 18$25,000,000.00; FY 19 Estimate Not Available FY 20 FY 17 - (Guaranteed/Insured Loans) FY 18$530,000,000.00; FY 19 est $500,025,502.00; FY 20 Estimate Not Available FY 17 -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Grant Range $2,500 to $500,000; Average $45,000 Guaranteed Loan Range $5,000 to $25,000,000; Average $85,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Notice of Solicitation of Applications will be published in the Federal Register each fiscal year. Application, construction and serving requirements are outlined in 7 CFR 4280-B.
Examples of Funded Projects