REAP Grants - Does Your Business Qualify? (Rural Energy for America Program)

Exciting News ~

We just learned our business address is eligible for a REAP Grant!!!!!

 

In researching to write this blog post, I casually entered our business/residential address and learned that we have an eligible address. Through the USDA, agricultural or businesses in a rural area can receive grants and loans for energy efficiency projects. We are thrilled to think we might have just gotten a little closer to making our solar and energy efficiency dreams come true. You can check your business address eligibility here:  https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

 

If you are eligible, we'd love to help you with completing your application and implementing your commercial energy efficiency plan.

 

 

Now, for the reason I was studying up on REAP Grants in the first place:

The Columns at Six Penny Farm

This expansive bed & breakfast and wedding venue is the reason I always ask potential audit customers their square footage. When they called to schedule an audit, I was not yet in the habit, so William pulled up to this gorgeous 11,000 square foot building expecting to perform our usual audit for an average size home.

 

Luckily, it turned out they needed an Electrical Usage Audit and Findings Report for a REAP Grant. This does not involve a blower door, but rather a meticulous analysis of the residential vs. commercial expenditure of energy for the building. With William's careful work and understanding of bureaucracy (he used to work for the National Labor Relations Board) he submitted the 18 page report that contributed to their grant and loan being approved by the USDA. The Columns at Six Penny Farm now boasts a second event structure with an impressive solar array from AltEnergy.

 

Responsible Space has been able to help local, small businesses complete over $100,000 in REAP projects to increase their energy efficiency. We'd love to help your business too.

 

 

REAP Grant & Loan Details from the USDA Site:

 

How may the funds be used?
Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)

  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use

  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts

  • Hydrogen

  • Small and large wind generation

  • Small and large solar generation

  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation

 

 

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)

  • Insulation

  • Lighting

  • Cooling or refrigeration units

  • Doors and windows

  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots

  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor

  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment

 

What funding is available?

  • Loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs

  • Grants for up to 25% of total eligible project costs

  • Combined grant and loan guarantee funding up to 75% of total eligible project costs

 

What are the loan guarantee terms?

  • $5,000 minimum loan amount

  • $25 million maximum loan amount

  • Up to 85% loan guarantee

  • Rates and terms negotiated with the lender and subject to USDA approval

  • Maximum term of 30 years for real estate

  • Maximum term of 15 years for machinery and equipment

  • Maximum term of 7 years for capital loans

  • Maximum term of 30 years for combined real estate and equipment loans

 

What are the grant terms?
Renewable Energy System Grants:

  • $2,500 minimum

  • $500,000 maximum

 

Energy Efficiency Grants:

  • $1,500 minimum

  • $250,000 maximum

 

Are there additional requirements?

  • Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost if applying for a grant only.

  • Applicants must provide at least 25% of the project cost if applying for loan, or loan and grant combination.

  • Projects greater than $200,000 require a technical report.

  • Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment.

 

Click here for the USDA REAP Factsheet


 

 

 

 

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Photo Credits: Kevin Blackburn