Deadlines have been announced for the REAP program, and we’re ready to help you apply

If you have plans for energy-efficiency or renewable-energy projects, you’ll be happy to hear that you have time to file your REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) application and collect loans or grants—or both! The official deadlines have been announced, and they’re much later than anyone expected—July 7 for grants (and grants combined with loan guarantees) and July 31 if you’re applying for only the loan guarantee program.

“This is great news for members,” said Sarah Aubrey, owner of Prosperity Consulting—our partner in assisting members with grant applications. “The program is open, and you have plenty of time to begin a project and get it completed to turn in an application for funds.”

The REAP program is a funding assistance program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and designed to encourage agricultural producers and rural small business owners to undertake improvements that make their operations more energy efficient. If you live in an area with a population of 50,000 or less (and not adjacent to a city), you may be eligible.

REAP funds are available for a wide range of projects that includes (but isn’t limited to) the following:

  • Solar or wind energy
  • Methane digesters
  • Grain dryers
  • Lighting
  • Greenhouses
  • Refrigeration
  • Recycling
  • Geothermal
  • Flex fuel pumps
  • Biofuels
  • Irrigation

Find out more about eligibility requirements here. And then get started! As Aubrey points out, “an idea isn’t necessarily a project.” You’ll need details about your plans to determine whether your project is eligible before you even get to the application process.

“To get funding,” Aubrey said, “you need a project that has measurable outcomes, and you need to have a firm idea of the cost of your project and a timeline for completing it.”

If you have questions, the rural development division of your state USDA office is a great place to start. Your local Energy Advisor can also help, and get in touch with Aubrey at (317) 996-2777 or if you want help with an application—just make sure you do so before June 17, Prosperity Consulting’s cutoff for getting the materials to process applications.