Potential Loans for Craft Beverage Producers to Upgrade Energy Efficiency or Install Renewable Energy Technology
In December of 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that it was now accepting applications for its Rural Energy for America Program, a program to provide loans and grants to agricultural producers and small rural business for energy efficiency improvements or new renewable energy systems.
To qualify you must be an agricultural producer with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations or a small business in a qualified non-urban area. To see more detailed qualification requirements, review the program fact sheet here.
Qualifying rural business (which may include many of New England’s craft beverage producers) can apply for funds to install new renewable energy systems including, biomass, geothermal, wind generation, solar, and ocean (tidal, current, and thermal). The funds can also be used for energy efficiency improvements such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, updated insulation, lighting, cooling or refrigeration units, replacement of energy efficient equipment.
For craft beverage producers concerned with keeping a small carbon footprint while maintaining a healthy bottom line, these loans and grants may be a great way to install new energy efficient technology that will allow you to keep both.