Rural Energy for America Program


  • Callie Heidbreder
  • Business Program Specialist
  • USDA Rural Development
  • 2118 W. Park Court, Suite A,
  • Champaign, IL 61821
  • Phone: (217) 403-6217
  • Fax: 855-832-8691
  • Email: Callie.heidbreder@usda.gov
  • Website Link:

Purpose of the Program

The purpose of this program is to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses in purchasing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements. In addition, the program provides funding for feasibility studies, energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Who is Eligible

Grants are restricted to 25 percent of the eligible project cost. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount that equals at least 75 percent  of the eligible project cost.  Business headquarters and the project to be funded must be located in a rural area.

Application Process

USDA solicits applications on a competitive basis by publication of a Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) that is to be published in the Federal Register.

Availability of Funds

Energy efficiency grants: 25% of cost up to $250,000; Renewable energy grants: 25% of cost up to $500,000; Guaranteed loans: 75% of the cost up to $25 million.

How Funds are to be used

Funds must be used for feasibility studies, energy audits, renewable energy development assistance. to purchase a renewable energy system or to make energy efficient improvements.

Types of Assistance

Grants, Loan guarantees

Year Program was established

2003