USDA accepting applications for the Rural Energy For America Program


Rural Development is accepting applications for the Rural Energy For America Program.  The next application deadline is March 31, 2020. This application deadline is for projects which request $20,000 or less and for projects which request up to $500,000.

In an effort to help applicants understand the program and submit an application, Rural Development is hosting two workshops which are designed to explain the program and discuss the requirements of the application.

These meetings are:

March 3, 2020   Time:    9:30 - 12:00

                 Findlay Area Office

                7868 County Road 140 Suite D

                Findlay, OH 45840

March 5, 2020   Time:    9:30 - 12:00

                Massillon Area Office

                2650 Richville Drive SE, Suite 102

                Massillon, OH  44646

In brief, this program is designed to assist rural, small, for-profit businesses and agricultural producers install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. These types of improvements can help eligible applicants control energy costs and improve the overall profitability of their operations. The grant program can cover up to 25% of the eligible project costs while the loan guarantee can cover up to 75% of the eligible project costs.  Federal participation cannot exceed 75% of eligible project costs.

Grants can range from $1,500 to $500,000 with loan guarantees up to $25,000,000.

Examples of the assistance provided in previous years include:

  • A grant for $49,950 to assist a North Central Ohio waste treatment and disposal business install a 124.74kW roof mounted solar array which offsets 90% of the company’s annual electrical usage. The expected annual electrical cost savings for the company will exceed $15,000.
  • A grant for $19,285 to assist a Northwestern Ohio manufacturing company replace outdated and inefficient florescent light fixtures within their manufacturing facility with state-of-the-art LED light fixtures and controls. The anticipated kWh saved will exceed 75% while the estimated financial payback will be less than 4 years based upon the energy savings alone.
  • A grant for $15,250 to assist a farmer in Western Ohio replace an outdated and inefficient grain dryer. The expected energy savings will provide a return on this investment of less than 10 years.

This program has helped farmers replace grain dryers; fans and lights for livestock operations; and install solar PV arrays to help offset electrical consumption. Small businesses have benefited through high efficiency lighting; improvements to HVAC systems; and the installation of a renewable energy system to help offset electrical consumption.

Additional information can be found at Rural Energy for America Program.

To discuss a specific project or in receiving an application for your project, contact Jennifer Brown at or call (614) 255-2423 or Randy Monhemius at or call (614) 255-2424.

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