Frequently Asked Questions

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What does this program do?

Provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance (REDA) to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. This program helps promote American every independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements.

Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.

What law governs this program?
What is the maximum amount of assistance?

Applicants must submit separate applications for assistance, limited to one energy audit and one REDA request per fiscal year. The maximum aggregate amount of an energy audit and REDA grant in any given fiscal year is $100,000.

What are eligible projects?

Grants are provided for:

  • Energy audits
  • Renewable energy technical assistance
  • Renewable energy site assessments

Rural small businesses must be located in eligible rural areas. However, this restriction does not apply to agricultural producers.

How may the funds be used?

Funds may be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of 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.
  • 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 is a REAP energy audit?

An energy audit is an in-depth examination of a farm that makes several energy efficiency determinations.

  • If and how energy is being wasted
  • Which systems are operating inefficiently
  • What cost-effective measures can be implemented to improve energy-efficiency
  • Analyze the present energy use of the business and calculate the energy savings that could be expected from energy saving measures

Energy audits can take several forms. An audit can be for the total business and analyze all energy use and give recommendations for energy saving possibilities. Energy audits can also be done for some specific energy efficiency measure or alternative energy possibility. To start, we review your utility bills related to your goals then determine what areas of your operation may need to be audited to reach those goals.

Why Should I Get a REAP Energy Audit?
  • The audits are subsidized.¬†They are currently being offered for $112.50; full price audits can cost thousands of dollars.
  • The REAP audit qualifies you for access to a REAP Grant or low cost financing to retrofit your farm.
  • They can also be helpful for other sources of funding for energy projects.
  • Energy conservation though retrofits save your operation money.
Who May Apply for a REAP Audit
  • Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations
  • Small businesses in eligible rural areas

NOTE:  Agricultural producers and small businesses must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgment or debarment.

Where do I go if I have more questions?