ODE Grant Awarded to Support Rural Businesses

Oregon Department of Energy Awarded $100,000 Grant to Support Energy Audits for Agricultural Producers and Rural Small Businesses

SALEM – The Oregon Department of Energy has been awarded a $100,000 Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ODOE will use the grant dollars to support energy audits for Oregon agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

An energy audit may include inspection of buildings, processes, and/or equipment to analyze energy consumption and identify efficiency improvements to reduce a business’s energy use and costs. Energy audits can help prioritize potential improvement projects based on energy savings, payback period, and other factors.

Federal, local, and utility funding may be available to Oregon agricultural producers and rural small businesses that want to invest in energy efficiency improvements, and an energy audit is often a required first step in funding applications. But the cost of an audit, which can range from $5,000 up to $20,000, can be a significant barrier. ODOE will use its grant funding to pay for 75 percent of the cost of energy audits conducted through the program.

ODOE is working to stand up the program this spring for a summer 2021 launch. The grant dollars must be spent within a two-year period, but ODOE may be able to apply annually for additional funding from the USDA. More information, including how to sign up for program updates, is available on ODOE’s website.

UEC's Business Development Manager and Member Services team are also helping to make this program a success for any member interested in applying.