Skip the bouquet and go straight to the bottom line. Energy efficiency just got sweeter for wineries and other agricultural producers. With the passage of the Farm Bill, agricultural producers and other small, rural businesses, may be eligible for grants and guaranteed loans through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture.

With approved REAP applications, awards up to 25% of the total eligible project costs and assistance ranging from $1,500 and $2,500, respectively, to a maximum of $250,000 and $500,000 are available. A combination of grant and guaranteed loan for up to 75% of the total eligible project costs is also available for the following renewable energy resources: wind, solar, renewable biomass, hydrogen, hydroelectric, ocean, flexible fuel pump and geothermal.

Wineries are good candidates. Better Building Works has been talking with Virginia wine makers to help them find ways to reduce energy consumption. Starting with an energy audit, which examines the building envelope and systems interactions, winery management can streamline their energy usage and effectively add resources that lower operating costs and provide a handsome return on investment.

Reap the harvest of better energy efficiency. Give us a call today to learn more or visit the USDA website: The REAP application deadline this year is April 30, 2014, (but it’s not too early to get ahead of the curve for 2015.)



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