USDA ANNOUNCES NOTICE OF FUNDING AVAILABILITY FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY LOANS AND GRANTSWest Lafayette, Indiana - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the availability of $176.5 million in loan guarantees and $11.4 million in grants to support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and small businesses..“By promoting energy efficiency and development of energy sources that are farm based and renewable, we’re taking another step toward achieving the President’s goal of reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years,” said Johanns. “We hope to dramatically expand renewable energy programs like these, as reflected in our 2007 farm bill proposals.”USDA Rural Development State Director Banks commented, “USDA’s energy programs offer Kansas farmers and ranchers, along with rural businesses owners and public entities, the opportunity to receive funding assistance to harness the untapped renewable energy resources and achieve greater energy efficiency. Establishing renewable energy projects and enhancing energy efficiency can also provide additional economic development opportunities for Kansans ." State Director Banks also announced that the Agency is expanding the number of workshops covering USDA’s energy programs during March, April, and May. Details will be made available soon. The Agency workshops are being presented to inform agricultural producers, business owners, public bodies, lenders and individuals of the funding opportunities for projects eligible under USDA Rural Development’s various energy assistance programs. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency loan and grant program was established under Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill. It provides loan guarantees and grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems or for energy efficiency improvements.The Administration’s farm bill proposals recommend a more than $1.6 billion increase in renewable energy related funding. This includes a $2.1 billion loan guarantee program, a $500 million bioenergy and bioproducts research program, $500 million for alternative energy and energy efficiency grants, and other initiatives. Details are available at www.usda.gov/farmbill.The President’s FY 2008 budget proposal for USDA includes $397 million for energy projects, an increase of $161 million over FY 2007. Part of the increase, $132 million, is sought for renewable energy loans and grants. The remainder is sought to fund research and development activities to enhance bioenergy feedstocks and improve conversion technologies for cellulosic ethanol. Kansas applications for grants must be completed and submitted to a Kansas USDA Rural Development office postmarked no later than May 18. The deadline for submitting loan applications as well as for loan and grant combinations is July 2. For more information, refer to the announcement in the March 22 Federal Register or contact the USDA Rural Development state office in Topeka at 785-271-2744. --Dan Kahl firstname.lastname@example.org
When I bought my house, I was able to receive a rural development grant to install a high efficiency furnace and make some repairs. While these funds appear to be targeted to farmers and rural businesses, I believe they are also available to any rural home or business owner. I'll check into it and comment back.
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