USDA-funded energy assessments provide assistance
June 21, 2016 – Raleigh, NC – The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at North Carolina State University today announces its award of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP award of $49,787 to facilitate up to 14 energy efficiency audits over the next two years..
According to a white paper written by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, ‘farmers have many expenses, including chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides, farm labor, and seed, as well as energy expenses like lighting and diesel fuel for farm equipment.’ By applying energy efficiency improvements, farmers, including all agricultural producers and rural businesses alike, may increase their potential for profits.
Energy efficiency improvements are traditionally one of the most effective means to reduce costs and potential impacts to the environment. The USDA REAP program makes experts accessible to agricultural producers as well as rural areas that often see higher costs in fixed expenses like utility bills and shipping costs.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is currently accepting applications from agricultural producers and rural small businesses across the state, interested in increasing their energy efficiency and reducing costs through improvements. Experts from the Center will do an on-site audit to determine how energy is currently being used and prepare a report detailing the most cost effective upgrades. Applicants are asked to provide 25 percent of the cost of the audit. Funding for projects, including loans, may also be available through the USDA REAP program for implementation.
Since 2008, the Rural Energy for America Program, has provided almost $300 million in grants and guaranteed $228 million in loan capital for energy efficiency and renewable energy development in rural areas. Farmers and rural businesses have used REAP funding to replace irrigation motors and grain dryers, install solar panels, purchase and install wind turbines, and make energy efficiency upgrades. The program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.
About the NC Clean Energy Technology Center
The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech
Shannon Helm, N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, 919-423-8340, firstname.lastname@example.org