The Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, is a program announced mid-August from the USDA. It allocates $9.3 million nationwide for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses to add energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades. These steps will allow for rural residents to save money on energy and invest more in their businesses. According to the Los Alamos Daily Post, recipients of the grants will be able to fund renewable systems like biomass, hydro, and solar, and make efficiency improvements such as HVAC system upgrades, insulation, and lighting.
This represents another intersection between economics, renewable energy, and efficiency. The USDA is interested in funding these measures because they will help rural business owners save money, invest back in their own businesses, and build or maintain strong communities. The grant is an especially good opportunity for Coloradans in agricultural settings, as rural housing and commercial stock is hard to come by in the state, and improvements can be difficult to finance with funding sources few and far between.
The USDA’s website has all the information about eligibility, grant sizes, deadlines, and more. Farmers, ranchers, and other small business owners living and working in rural areas should seek out this opportunity, as it’s a great way to save money while also making capital improvements to their businesses.