USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program (Federal)

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Last modified on December 17, 2014.

Financial Incentive Program

Place United States

Name USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program
Incentive Type Federal Grant Program
Applicable Sector Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Tribal Government, Municipal Utility, Institutional
Eligible Technologies Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Small Hydroelectric, Yes; specific technologies not identified
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector Federal
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs, Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs
Amount 50,000-3,000,000

Start Date 2000

Installation Requirements Both grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy installations are eligible

Maximum Incentive 3 million

Program Budget $7 million (June 2014 solicitation)

Program Administrator USDA Rural Utilities Service

References DSIREDatabase of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency[1]


NOTE: The most recent solicitation for this program closed August 1, 2014. Please check the program website for information on future solicitations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers an ongoing grant program for the improvement of energy generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in rural communities. This program began in 2000. Eligibility is limited to projects in communities that have average home energy costs at least 275% above the national average. Individuals, non-profits, commercial entities, state and local governments (including any agency or instrumentality thereof), and tribal governments are eligible for this grant. Individuals must work on a project that will benefit the community in order to qualify. Under the most recent solicitation for projects, a total of $7 million was available for qualifying projects. Under this solicitation grants ranging from $50,000 to $3 million were available for a variety of activities, including:

  • Electric generation, transmission, and distribution facilities;
  • Natural gas or petroleum storage or distribution facilities;
  • Renewable energy facilities used for on-grid or off-grid electric power generation, water or space heating, or process heating and power;
  • Backup up or emergency power generation or energy storage equipment; and
  • Weatherization of residential and community property, or other energy efficiency or conservation programs.

This grant program is not limited to renewable energy or energy conservation and efficiency measures, but these measures are eligible for this grant program.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Kristi Kubista-Hovis
Department U.S. Department of Agriculture
Division Rural Development, Electric Programs
Address 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Stop 1560, Room 5165-South
Place Washington, District of Columbia
Zip/Postal Code 20250-1560
Phone (202) 720-9545


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: 7 CFR 1709

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DSIRE" defined multiple times with different content