The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development division. REAP is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 70, Part 4280, but reading federal regulations is boring, and it’s long, and it’s difficult to comprehend… and it’s boring. So that’s where we come in.
REAP is restricted to agricultural producers and rural small businesses that want to implement energy efficiency improvements or renewable energy systems. The Kansas Energy Program will assist you through the entire REAP grant application process. If there are phone calls that have to be made, we’ll make them. If there’s an unusual circumstance, we’ll investigate it. If we don’t know the answer, we know the people to ask. We spend the time, so you don’t have to.
Ready to start the REAP grant application process? Fill out the form at the bottom of our Energy Assessments page. Still have questions? We've answered some of the common ones below.
The USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy-efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.
The Kansas Energy Program will provide no-cost assistance by conducting an on-site energy assessment, calculating potential energy and cost savings, and completing the REAP application forms on behalf of the business owner or ag producer.
Take a look at USDA's REAP fact sheet. For energy efficiency projects, you must be able to show a reduction in energy consumption. Some businesses try to implement energy efficiency projects while expanding their facility or increasing the existing system size, making it difficult to show an overall reduction in energy use. For example, a business may decide they never had sufficient lighting levels and may increase the number of light fixtures installed. Although the new LED lighting decreases energy use, the increase in the number of fixtures offsets energy savings. Another example is a grocery store that decides to replace a small cooler with a larger cooler to increase storage capacity. While the new cooler is more efficient, the energy savings is negated by the increased size.
The small business size standard is based on either annual receipts or the number of employees, depending on your NAICS code. Once you have determined your NAICS code, visit the Small Business Size Standard table. Find your NAICS code to determine your accompanying small business size standard.
NAICS stands for the North American Industry Classification System, which is used by federal agencies to classify businesses by industry type. To determine your NAICS code, you can talk to your business manager, CPA, or tax preparer. Your business income tax will have the NAICS code listed. For a list of all NAICS codes, visit the U.S. Census Bureau's NAICS page.
Generally, only for-profit entities that meet the population and small business size standard are eligible for USDA REAP grants. The Kansas Energy Program can assist in determining your eligibility. In addition, we can assist non-profit or not-for-profit organizations with assessments and assistance with other grants. Take a look at the regulations for more details (CFR Title 7, Volume 15, Chapter XLII, Subpart 4280.103; see definition of Small Business)
Grant applications are generally due October 31 (projects under $80,000) or March 31 (all projects). These dates are subject to change based on available federal funding. Applications are accepted at any time and will be held by the USDA until the next appropriate deadline (based on project size). As soon as the complete application has been received by the USDA, you have the option of starting the project (for example, purchasing or ordering equipment). If you start on the project before USDA has reviewed and approved the application, you do so at your own risk, with the possibility that the project may not be funded. Any orders, purchases, down payments, etc., completed before the application is submitted to USDA are not eligible for reimbursement, even if the application is subsequently approved.
As soon as the complete grant application has been received by the USDA, you have the option of starting the project (for example, purchasing or ordering equipment). If you start on the project before USDA has reviewed and approved the application, you do so at your own risk, with the possibility that the project may not be funded. Any orders, purchases, down payments, etc., completed before the application is submitted to USDA are not eligible for reimbursement, even if the application is subsequently approved.
If your application was approved, you must first complete the project before requesting reimbursement of funds. Once the project is completed and you have submitted all necessary items to the USDA Rural Development Office, the reimbursement process should be completed within a few weeks.
If a project that costs less than $80,000 is not funded in its first application "round", that project can compete for as many as five different funding opportunities or rounds at both the state and federal award levels. These five opportunities for projects under $80,000 typically occur in a 12-month period, though it could be longer.