Fair Housing Funding Opportunities
USDA Announces Funding for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects
Release No. 0034.15
Contact: Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384
REAP Program Reduces Energy Costs for Ag Producers and Small Businesses, Boosts Economy, Reduces Dependence on Foreign Oil
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2015 â Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that rural agricultural producers and small business owners can now apply for resources to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. These efforts help farmers, ranchers and other small business owners save money on their energy bills, reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, support America's clean energy economy, and cut carbon pollution. The resources announced today are made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill.
"Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America," Vilsack said. "The funding we are making available will help farmers, ranchers, business owners, tribal organizations and other entities incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology into their operations. Doing so can help a business reduce energy use and costs while improving its bottom line. While saving producers money and creating jobs, these investments reduce dependence on foreign oil and cut carbon pollution as well."
USDA is making more than $280 million available to eligible applicants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) . Application deadlines vary by project type and the type of assistance requested. Details on how to apply are on page 78029 of the December 29, 2014Federal Register or are available by contacting state Rural Development offices .
USDA is offering grants for up to 25 percent of total project costs and loan guarantees for up to 75 percent of total project costs for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. The REAP application window has been expanded. USDA will now accept and review loan and grant applications year-round.
Eligible renewable energy projects must incorporate commercially available technology. This includes renewable energy from wind, solar, ocean, small hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal and renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters). The maximum grant amount is $500,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant.
Energy efficiency improvement projects eligible for REAP funding include lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, fans, automated controls and insulation upgrades that reduce energy consumption. The maximum grant amount is $250,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant.
USDA is offering a second type of grant to support organizations that help farmers, ranchers and small businesses conduct energy audits and operate renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants include: units of state, tribal or local governments; colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning; rural electric cooperatives and public power entities, and conservation and development districts. The maximum grant is $100,000. Applications for these particular grants have been available since December 29 of last year and are due February 12.
The REAP program was created in the 2002 Farm Bill. Because of the success of the program, Congress reauthorized it in the 2014 Farm Bill with guaranteed funding of no less than $50 million in annual funding for the duration of the 5 year bill. The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers.
Since 2009, USDA has awarded $545 million for more than 8,800 REAP projects nationwide. This includes $361 million in REAP grants and loans for more than 2,900 renewable energy systems. When fully operational, these systems are expected to generate more than 6 billion kilowatt hours annually â enough to power more than 5.5 million homes for a year.
In 2013, owners of the Ideal Dairy restaurant in Richfield, Utah, used REAP funding to install 80 solar modules and two 10-kilowatt inverters, which convert energy from solar panels to electricity. The owners have saved, on average, $400 per month. These savings have helped them preserve their restaurant and livelihood.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way â strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
# -free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users.)
DEADLINE: February 17, 2015
RUS improves the quality of life in rural America by providing investment capital, in the form of loans and grants, for the deployment of rural telecommunications infrastructure. Financial assistance is provided to rural utilities; municipalities; commercial corporations; limited liability companies; public utility districts; Indian tribes; and cooperative, nonprofit, limited-dividend, or mutual associations. In order to achieve the goal of increasing economic opportunity in rural America, the Agency finances infrastructure that enables access to a seamless, nation-wide telecommunications network.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Shawn Arner (Deputy Assistant Administrator)
Loan Origination and Approval Division, Rural Utilities Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
phone: (202) 720-0800
fax: (202) 205-2921
The deadline to submit applications has been extended to January 9, 2015.
The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program provides funding for eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and/or public health issues within an affected community. The EJSG Program is designed to help eligible non-profit organizations and Tribal communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks at the local level. EPA recognizes the critical role of helping communities with localized strategies to avoid, lessen, or delay the risks and impacts associated with our changing climate. As a result, this year's EJSG program will have a special emphasis on proposals supporting community-based preparedness and resilience efforts (community climate resiliency).
In an effort to ensure that support reaches new areas, the Agency also is prioritizing funding to organizations that have not recently received an award under the EJSG Program. The total estimated amount of funding available for awards under this solicitation for fiscal year 2015 is approximately $1,200,000. EPA anticipates awarding up to four grants per EPA region in amounts of up to $30,000 per award for a two-year project period.
The FY2014 NOFA for Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants
Applications are due on February 9, 2015
Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants support the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans that are expected to achieve the following three core goals:
- Housing: Replace distresses public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood
- People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families
- Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kind of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families and choices about their community
The NOFA makes available approximately $76 million for Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants. At its discretion and subject to appropriations, HUD will use FY2015 Choice Neighborhoods funding to make Implementation awards under this NOFA. Individual grant awards may be for up to a maximum of $30,000,000.