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Local Retail Business to Benefit from USDA Rural Energy for America Program

June 11, 2019
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Treats Suire ShopActing Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley Tuesday announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding 58 grants for projects in 17 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.

“Lowering energy costs helps businesses improve their bottom line and create jobs,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in rural communities across the country through strong partnerships with rural businesses.”

USDA is providing the grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects.

Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. They also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration, for example.

Here is a local example of how a retail business will use their grants:

Treat’s Squire Shop in Plymouth, Ind., is receiving a $1,500 grant to install LED lighting throughout the building. The firm sells men’s clothing and bridal attire. This project will lower energy costs by $4,081 and reduce energy use by 54,911 kWh (76 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power five homes.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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