Lincoln, Nebraska, Mar 23, 2012 -- Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul and staff of USDA Rural Development met with three Nebraska businesses today that were assisted through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for energy efficiency improvements. The visits stem from the release of a USDA report highlighting the impact of the REAP program on promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“Making energy efficiency improvements help businesses increase their bottom line,” said Moul. “The savings can help increase production, add employees or reinvest the money back into the local economy.” Moul also announced that Nebraska Rural Development has a March 30 deadline for applications for the 2012 REAP program.
Business visits were with Main Street Floral, LLC in Superior, which received a grant of more than $5,000 to install an energy efficient front door, windows and lighting. The improvements also gave the store a new main street updated curb appeal. Monson’s Garage in Sutton utilized a nearly $2,800 grant for energy efficient polyurethane foam roofing and replacing the interior lights. The business realized a savings of 64 percent in year one and 70 percent in the second year upon project completion. Greg’s Market in Exeter utilized a more than $11,000 grant to install energy efficient freezers, new compressor units and lighting. The business realized actual energy savings of 46 percent in year one and 33 percent in the second year after project completion.
The USDA national energy report highlights the Obama Administration’s progress in helping rural small businesses, farmers and ranchers improve energy efficiency and generate power from wind, solar, anaerobic digestion and other renewable sources. The report highlights how the REAP program has assisted individual applicants to control power costs and in some cases, generate power for sale. The program is part of President Obama’s “all of the above” approach for a new era in American energy policy which includes homegrown and alternative energy sources. The report can be viewed at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Reports/rdREAPReportMarch2012.pdf.
REAP provides grants, loan guarantees, and a combination of grants and loan guarantees to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. While applications for REAP guaranteed loans for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements are being accepted through June 29, 2012, applications for REAP grants and loan/grant combinations must be submitted to the Nebraska Rural Development office no later than March 30th. Funds may be used to purchase renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements. REAP also provides grants for feasibility studies for renewable systems, energy audits, and renewable energy development assistance for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. For additional information on how to apply for REAP funding, see Page 2948 of the January 20 Federal Register, http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/MN-RBS-REAP-AuditNOFA.pdf,
For more information on REAP in Nebraska contact:
• Lincoln State Office at (402) 437-5558 which serves statewide, all counties.
• Norfolk Office at (402) 371-5350 ext. 1002 which serves the northeast and southeast counties.
• Kearney Office at (308) 237-3118 serving the north and south central counties.
• Scottsbluff Office at (308) 632-2195 ext. 1132 serving the Panhandle including northwest and southwest counties.