USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program

August 21, 2018


Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development periodically issues Notices of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in the Federal Register. The program accepted applications for the FY 2018 solicitation through March 2018. The next Notice of Funding Availability will be published in the Federal Registry and on the USDA website.

The Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program (EA/REDA) provides assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy audits and renewable energy technical assistance including renewable energy site assessments. 

Applicants must submit separate applications for assistance, limited to one energy audit and one REDA per fiscal year. The maximum aggregate amount of an energy audit and REDA grant in a Federal fiscal year is $100,000. Approximately $2 million in EA/REDA grant funding is available on an annual basis.

Eligible project costs for eligible applicants includes salaries directly related to the project, travel expenses directly related to conducting energy audits or renewable energy development assistance, office supplies (e.g., paper, pens, file folders), administrative expenses, up to a maximum of 5 percent of the grant, which include but are not limited to utilities, office space, operation expenses of office and other project related equipment.

Land grant colleges and universities are referred to above as schools, public universities, and institutions; K-12 schools are not eligible for this grant.

Application due dates are published annually in the Notice of Funding Availability. For more information on the REAP EA/REDA Grant, visit the USDA website.


The 2014 Agricultural Act (2014 Farm Bill) authorized the Rural Energy for America Program with $50 Million in mandatory funding each fiscal year. USDA overhauled the Rural Energy for America Program although the core program remains largely the same. One major change includes a 3 tiered application structure including 1) total project costs of $80,000 or less, 2) total project costs more than $80,000 but less than $200,000, and, 3) total project costs of $200,000 or greater. Grant applications of $20,000 or less will compete in 5 competitions (Congress required 20% of funding to be used for small grants of $20,000 or less).

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (H.R. 2419), enacted by Congress in May 2008, converted the federal Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program, into the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Similar to its predecessor, REAP promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy for agricultural producers and rural small businesses through the use of (1) grants and loan guarantees for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems, and (2) grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. Congress has allocated funding for the program in the following amounts: $55 million for FY 2009, $60 million for FY 2010, $70 million for FY 2011, and $70 million for FY 2012. REAP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to these mandatory funding levels, up to $25 million in discretionary funding may be issued each year. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) extended discretionary funding for FY 2013. 

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Federal
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Federal
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:


Name: 7 USC § 8107
Date Enacted: 05/13/2002
Effective Date: FY 2003
Name: H.R. 8 (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)
Date Enacted: 01/02/2013
Effective Date: 01/02/2013
Name: Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law No. 113-79)
Date Enacted: 02/07/2014
Effective Date: 02/07/2014

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.