Appalachian Lumbermen Learn About Energy GrantsALC

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The Rural Energy for America Program provides grant funding and guaranteed loan financing to rural small businesses with money available to Appalachian Lumbermen’s Club members.

The program was presented at the recent ALC meeting, held at the Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City, TN. The presentation was by Chase Lamb, US Department of Agriculture REAP specialist in Tennessee. He said the goal of the program is to help reduce energy costs overall for agricultural and rural small businesses.

In order to be considered, the USDA REAP Grant applicants must:
•Be financially solvent
•Not be delinquent or have outstanding federal taxes
•Be the owner of the business
•Have no judgment, or debarment in order to be considered.

Lamb said small businesses must be located in rural development areas, defined as an area not a city or town with 50,000 or more inhabitants as well as the urbanized areas surrounding the city or town.

The grant terms are:
•$1,500 minimum and $250,000 maximum
•Projects costing more than $200,000 must have a technical report completed
•Energy efficiency improvement projects require either an energy audit or assessment before the project begins.
•Applicants are required to provide at least 75 percent of the cost if they are applying for a grant, or 25 percent of the project cost if they are applying for a loan or a loan/grant combination.

REAP offers grants and loans for energy audits, the creation of renewable energy systems, and energy efficiency improvements. It serves farmers, rural businesses, state and local governments, tribal governments, universities, rural electric cooperatives, resource conservation and development councils, and electricity providers and transmitters.

The application is submitted through regional offices in each state. Funds may be used for the purchase, installation and construction of renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements.

Learn more at www.lumberclub.org.

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