Program Description

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

Businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town.

Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

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
  • Small and large solar 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

Funding Thresholds:

Loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs

Grants for up to 25% of total eligible project costs

Combined grant and loan guarantee funding up to 75% of total eligible project costs

Loan Guarantee Terms:

  • $5,000 minimum loan amount
  • $25 million maximum loan amount
  • Up to 85% loan guarantee
  • Rates and terms negotiated with the lender and subject to USDA approval
  • Maximum term of 30 years for real estate
  • Maximum term of 15 years for machinery and equipment
  • Maximum term of 7 years for capital loans
  • Maximum term of 30 years for combined real estate and equipment loans

Grant Terms:

Renewable Energy System Grants:

  • $2,500 minimum
  • $500,000 maximum

Energy Efficiency Grants:

  • $1,500 minimum
  • $250,000 maximum

General Program Requirements

Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and Small businesses in eligible rural areas are eligible.

Tribal Corporations or Tribal Business Entities can be considered under REAP.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Application materials may be obtained by contacting one of Rural Development's Energy Coordinators, as identified via the following link: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf

Application materials can also be accessed online at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency

Applications may be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov or a hard copy may be submitted to the respective State Office of the proposed project. (See Energy Coordinator list above)

Fiscal Year 2016 Deadlines are as follows:

Applications may be submitted at any time throughout the year. Competitions for grant funds are scheduled as follows:

$20,000 or Less REAP Grant funds - Application window closing date is November 2, 2015

Unrestricted REAP Grant funds (Over $20k) and $20,000 or Less REAP Grant funds - Application window closing date is May 2, 2016.

Please contact your respective State Energy Coordinator for more information: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf

Program Contact Information

Additional Information

Length of ProgramPerpetual
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)1,000 Small Businesses and Ag Producers per Fiscal Year (Historically)
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations, Other Tribal and Native Entities, Non-Tribal Entities
Current Method of Tribal EligibilityProgram not specific to American Indians and Alaska Natives, but they are eligible
Type of Assistance ProvidedGrant
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Funding TypeMandatory
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number10.868
Matching Funds RequiredYes
Can the funding from the program be renewedYes

Didn't find what you were looking for?


Try using our Benefit Finder questionnaire to view a list of benefit programs you may be eligible to receive.