Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.
Uses and Use Restrictions
For renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, the amount of a grant shall not exceed 25 percent of eligible project costs.
The maximum amount of combined grant and loan made or guaranteed shall not exceed 75 percent of eligible project costs.
For a feasibility study, the amount of a grant shall not exceed 25 percent of the costs of the study.
For Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Assistance, the recipient must pay 25% of the cost of the service.
To be eligible for renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvement assistance, an applicant must be an agricultural producer or small business located in a rural area.
Individual applicants must be citizens of the United States (U.S.) or reside in the U.S.
after being legally admitted for permanent residence.
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, educational institutions, rural electric cooperatives and public power entities.
Farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses.
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 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.
Aplication and Award Process
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Environmental impact information is not required for this program.
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Applicants for Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement assistance must submit a complete application to the Rural Energy Coordinator in their respective State. A complete application includes standards forms 424, 424C and 424D plus Rural Development forms, feasibility studies, energy audits, environmental assessment (form RD 1940-20), and written technical requirements as published in Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA). Applicants for Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance must meet requirements of the NOFA published annually.
For the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement program, Rural Development (RD) State Office personnel will review all applications. Ineligible and incomplete applications may be returned to the applicant and not evaluated further. RD State Offices will score applications based on published evaluation criteria. A second review and nationwide ranking will be conducted by the RD National Office. Funding recommendations will be forwarded to the Administrator, Rural Business and Cooperative Service for final awards.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Title IX, Section 9007 Public Law version 6124 of the Farm Bill.
Range of Approval/Disapproval 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.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
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. In-kind contributions and 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 or renewable energy development assistance must pay at least 25% of the cost of the service
For feasibility studies the applicant must provide at least 75 percent of the funds required to complete the audit.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
For Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement 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 year from the awarding. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Post Assistance Requirements
For Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement assistance:A financial status report and a project performance report will be required on a quarterly basis (due 30 working days after end of the quarter).
Grantees and Guaranteed Borrowers shall constantly monitor performance to ensure that time schedules are being met and projected goals by time periods are being accomplished.
Once the project is completed annual reports will be required.
For renewable energy system projects, these reports are to be provided commencing in the first full calendar year after construction is completed and continuing for 3 full years.
For energy efficiency improvement projects, these reports are to be provided commencing the first full calendar year following the year in which project construction was completed and continuing for 2 full years.
Cash reports are not applicable.
Progress reports are not applicable.
Expenditure reports are not applicable.
Performance monitoring is not applicable.
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB 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 Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance: To Be Determined. For Feasibility Study projects, To Be Determined
For Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement assistance 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.
(Loan Guarantees/Grants) FY 08 $0; FY 09 est $303,014; FY 10 est $284,507 - Funding estimates have been updated.
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 Funds Availability will be published in the Federal Register each fiscal year. Application, construction and serving requirements are outlined in 7 CFR 4280-B.
Regional or Local Office
None. For general information, write to:
US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Specialty Lenders 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. Names and contact information are published annually in the Federal Register and are available at www.usda.gov.
Specialty Lenders Division MS 3225, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Phone: 202-720-1400
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
1) a $20,000 grant for the purchase and installation of a small solar system. (2) a $224,000 grant for the purchase of a large wind turbine. (3) a $50,000 grant to make energy efficiency improvements by replacing an old inefficient grain dryer. (4) a $171,386 grant for an anaerobic digester.
Philanthropy imparts a multitude of ways for small business owners to do social good – both for the community and for themselves.