What is REAP and How Do I Qualify?

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses lower their energy costs by providing grants that cover up to 50% of the costs for efficiency and renewable energy projects. If you want to upgrade outdated equipment and save on bills, REAP supports various upgrades that save kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Additionally, REAP also supports projects that quantify savings on natural gas (mcf), liquid propane (gal), and diesel (gal). To qualify, your new equipment must be more efficient than your current setup.


What Equipment is Covered?

REAP covers the replacement of any inefficient equipment, provided the new equipment is more efficient than what you currently have installed. Some common examples include:

  • LED Lighting:Upgrade to energy-efficient LED lighting systems, reducing electricity consumption and maintenance costs.
  • HVAC Systems:Upgrade to a more efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
  • Insulation:Improve your building’s insulation to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption.
  • Doors and Windows:Replace old doors and windows with energy-efficient models to minimize heat loss.
  • Cooling or Refrigeration Units:Switch to modern, energy-saving cooling and refrigeration units.
  • Sprinkler Pumps:Transition to solar, gravity, or electric-powered sprinkler pumps.
  • Electric Irrigation Motors:Install more efficient electric motors for irrigation.
  • Grain Dryers:Replace old grain dryers with more efficient models to save energy and increase productivity.
  • Solar Panels:Install solar panels to generate renewable energy and reduce reliance on non-renewable sources.


How is Efficiency Measured?

Efficiency isn’t just about using less energy; it’s about getting more output for the energy you use. For example, if a new system uses more kWh but processes more output per kWh, it is considered more efficient. This principle applies across all types of equipment.


What are the Compliance Requirements?

To comply with USDA regulations and avoid issues during an audit, the new equipment must fully replace the old equipment. Here are some key points to remember:

  • 1-for-1 Replacement:The new equipment should directly replace the existing equipment.
  • Relocation of Old Equipment:If you wish to relocate the old equipment to a different meter or building for continued use, that’s generally acceptable. However, ensure that this does not conflict with REAP guidelines or USDA regulations.


Can I Use REAP to Fund a Project Already in Progress or Recently Completed?

No, REAP does not cover any projects that are in progress or already completed. The program is designed to fund new projects that have not yet started, ensuring that the funding is used to support planned upgrades and improvements. If you have a project already in progress or recently completed, it will not qualify for REAP funding.

For the best chance of securing REAP support, make sure to apply before beginning your project and ensure it meets all program requirements. Viridi can be your trusted partner in this process, thoroughly assessing your eligibility and guiding you through every step of the application to maximize your chances of receiving funding.


Key Takeaway

The primary goal of REAP is to help customers improve energy efficiency by replacing equipment with newer, more efficient models. Not only does this reduce your energy consumption, but it also helps in cutting down operational costs and contributes to a more sustainable environment

By adhering to these guidelines, you can maximize your benefits from REAP (if eligible) and ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.


For more information on REAP, and other project funding opportunities email Claire Wilson (claire@viridi.eco).