(INDIANAPOLIS) – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Indiana Michael Dora today encouraged farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key USDA program that provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses lower their energy costs.
“Federal funds can assist businesses with lowering their energy costs to improve their bottom line,” said Dora. “Energy saving measures can reduce the operating costs of a business and allow them to invest in equipment, products and services to expand their operation.”
USDA accepts applications for REAP funding year-round. Potential applicants can contact Robert Hill, Business Programs Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 295-5780 for additional information.
REAP funding can be used for renewable energy systems such as anaerobic digesters, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar. It also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. Below are some examples of USDA’s REAP investments:
- Home Sweet Home Properties, LLC, received $1,669 to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED lighting throughout the building. Home Sweet Home Properties, is a small business, leases commercial buildings with office space available for lease to tenants for commercial uses.
- Home Sweet Home Properties, LLC, received $14,109 to purchase and install a 22.44 kwh solar array. Home Sweet Home Properties, which is a small business, leases commercial buildings with leased office space to tenants for commercial uses.
- Premier Roofing & Construction, LLC, received $14,476 to purchase and install a 12.6 kW solar array.
Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative received $25,000 to invest in projects throughout central and southern Indiana. Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a generation and transmission cooperative serving 18-member electric cooperatives in central and southern Indiana and southeastern Illinois.
Dora’s announcement is in coordination with the recent announcement made by Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has more than $400 million still available for Energy System and Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.