The Oregon Department of Energy's Rural & Agricultural Energy Audit Program helps fund energy audits for Oregon rural small businesses and agricultural producers.
ODOE will be standing up our new Rural & Agricultural Energy Audit Program this spring, in anticipation of a July 1, 2021 program launch.
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About the Program
ODOE has been awarded a $100,000 Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant from the
U.S. Department of Agriculture
(known as a REDA grant). The funding will support at least 26 energy audits for Oregon rural small businesses and agricultural producers statewide. ODOE will use the grant funding to pay for 75 percent of the cost of an energy audit (payable to the auditor conducting the audit); program participants will be responsible for the remaining 25 percent of the cost.
An energy audit of an agricultural producer or rural small business is conducted by a licensed auditor, who inspects buildings, processes, and equipment to measure efficiency and identify improvements that can save energy. An audit will determine opportunities to reduce energy use and costs, and can help prioritize improvement projects based on energy savings, payback period, and other factors.
Federal, local, and utility funding
may be available to rural farms and small businesses for making energy improvements, and an energy audit is often a required step. For example, an energy audit is required when applying to the USDA Rural Energy Assistance Program, which offers both grants and loan guarantees to small, rural businesses and agricultural producers for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The cost of an energy audit can vary from about $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the size and scope, and can be a significant barrier for businesses. By covering 75 percent of that cost, ODOE hopes more Oregon rural businesses and farms can participate in an energy audit to identify potential improvements, and take advantage of USDA and other funding.
ODOE expects to launch the program on July 1, and will fund energy audits through June 30, 2023. We'll provide more information soon, including eligibility and how to apply.