USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program

July 20, 2022


NOTE: The most recent solicitation for this program closed July 6, 2021. Please check the program website for information on future solicitations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers an ongoing grant program for the improvement of energy generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in rural communities. This program began in 2000. Eligibility is limited to projects in communities that have average home energy costs at least 275% above the national average. Retail power suppliers serving rural areas are eligible to apply for grant funding, including non-profits (cooperatives and limited dividend or mutual associations), commercial entities, state and local governments entities, and tribal governments. Under the most recent solicitation for projects, a total of $7 million was available for qualifying projects. Under this solicitation grants ranging from $100,000 to $3 million were available for a variety of activities, including:

  • Electric generation, transmission, and distribution facilities;
  • Natural gas or petroleum storage or distribution facilities;
  • Renewable energy facilities used for on-grid or off-grid electric power generation, water or space heating, or process heating and power;
  • Backup up or emergency power generation or energy storage equipment; and
  • Weatherization of residential and community property, or other energy efficiency or conservation programs.

This grant program is not limited to renewable energy or energy conservation and efficiency measures, but these measures are eligible for this grant program.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Federal
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Federal
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Administrator: USDA Rural Utilities Service
Start Date: 2000
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Thermal Process Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Hydroelectric
  • Yes; specific technologies not identified
  • Wind (Small)
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
Incentive Amount: $100,000-$3,000,000
Maximum Incentive: $3 million
Installation Requirements: Both grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy installations are eligible


Name: 7 CFR 1709


Name: High Energy Cost Grants Program
Address: 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Stop 1560, Room 5165-South
Washington DC 20250-1560
Phone: (202) 720-9545

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.