Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is accepting funding applications from eligible entities for grants to conduct energy audits under the Rural Energy for America Program. According to Vilsack, this first time program will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses obtain audits to identify ways to improve energy efficiency. The program is authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Audits are required for energy efficiency projects funded through REAP that exceed $50,000. States, tribal and local governments, land grant colleges or universities, other institutions of higher learning, and electric cooperatives and public power entities are eligible to receive funds to conduct the audits. Participants must pay 25% of audit costs.
Applications for grants must be completed and submitted on paper or electronically no later than June 9. Further details about eligibility rules and application procedures are available in the March 11 Federal Register.