7 U.S.C. § 8107 - Rural Energy for America Program

Cite as:7 U.S.C. § 8107
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-91 (12/19/2019)
 
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(a) Establishment

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall establish a Rural Energy for America Program to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development for agricultural producers and rural small businesses through-

(1) grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance; and

(2) financial assistance for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems.

(b) Energy audits and renewable energy development assistance

(1) In general

The Secretary shall make competitive grants to eligible entities to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses-

(A) to become more energy efficient; and

(B) to use renewable energy technologies and resources.

(2) Eligible entities

An eligible entity under this subsection is-

(A) a unit of State, tribal, or local government;

(B) a land-grant college or university or other institution of higher education;

(C) a rural electric cooperative or public power entity;

(D) a council (as defined in section 3451 of title 16); and

(E) any other similar entity, as determined by the Secretary.

(3) Selection criteria

In reviewing applications of eligible entities to receive grants under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider-

(A) the ability and expertise of the eligible entity in providing professional energy audits and renewable energy assessments;

(B) the geographic scope of the program proposed by the eligible entity in relation to the identified need;

(C) the number of agricultural producers and rural small businesses to be assisted by the program;

(D) the potential of the proposed program to produce energy savings and environmental benefits;

(E) the plan of the eligible entity for performing outreach and providing information and assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses on the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy development; and

(F) the ability of the eligible entity to leverage other sources of funding.

(4) Use of grant funds

A recipient of a grant under paragraph (1) shall use the grant funds to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses by-

(A) conducting and promoting energy audits; and

(B) providing recommendations and information on how-

(i) to improve the energy efficiency of the operations of the agricultural producers and rural small businesses; and

(ii) to use renewable energy technologies and resources in the operations.

(5) Limitation

Grant recipients may not use more than 5 percent of a grant for administrative expenses.

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