Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D

Making things happen for Northeast Georgia

Rural Energy for America Program: Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency


The REAP Program 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. USDA Rural Development created this program to help increase American energy 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 the cost of energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.

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

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

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. Check eligible business addresses. 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.

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.


  • $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, or useful life, for machinery and equipment.
  • Maximum term of 7 years for capital loans.
  • Maximum term of 30 years for combined real estate and equipment loans.



Renewable Energy System Grants:
• $2,500 minimum.
• $500,000 maximum.
Energy Efficiency Grants:
• $1,500 minimum.
• $250,000 maximum.


Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost if applying for a grant only.
Applicants must provide at least 25% of the project cost if applying for loan, or loan and grant combination.
Projects greater than $200,000 require a technical report.
Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment.

Applications for this program are accepted year round at your local office. For more information, contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator.

The Basic Program is governed by 7 CFR 4280, Subpart B and this program is authorized by Title IX of the Agricultural Act of 2014, (2014 Farm Bill)


NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled “What Law Governs this Program?” You may also contact your local office for assistance. You will find additional forms, resources, and program information at USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Last Updated March 2015

Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D Council

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