President’s FY 2014 Budget Emphasizes REAP

April 10, 2013 President Obama released a FY2014 budget proposal that would renew the commitment to funding diverse farm energy under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

The president’s proposed budget “supports a discretionary program level of $45 million in loan guarantees and $7.4 million in grants and a mandatory level of $70 million for some combination of grants and up to $159.5 million in loan guarantees.” This would represent a revival for REAP, which suffered drastic budget cuts in recent years.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, provides grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to incentivize energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy systems, energy audits and feasibility studies. The public wins with more clean energy production, lower energy demand and an enhanced environment.

Though the future of the Farm Bill in Congress is yet uncertain, the president’s initiative demonstrates commitment to a strong Energy Title, with REAP as the cornerstone.  REAP supports the full range of energy efficiency and renewable energy options for agriculture and rural small businesses: biogas, wind and solar and small hydro power. Today these programs remain critical to tap the vast potential for energy efficiency and clean, locally produced energy.

REAP serves all sectors of agriculture and has funded projects in every state in the nation.