USDA Proposes Simplified Application Process for Renewable Energy Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a series of changes to make it easier for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to apply for renewable energy and energy efficiency funding.

“These changes will streamline and simplify the application process and give businesses more time to do what they do best:  innovate, create jobs and serve their rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The proposed changes would affect applications for loans and grants through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Changes include: reduced paperwork, a more objective and uniform system, funding for refurbished and retrofitted renewable energy systems, a reduction of certain reporting requirements, and a quarterly application period for applicants seeking only guaranteed loans.

USDA is accepting comments on the proposed rule through June 11. To submit comments, visit