There are several ways you can improve the efficiency of your home's energy usage with state and federal assistance. The Florida PACE Funding Agency and USDA Federal Rural Energy for America (REAP) programs help homes and businesses with expenses related to renewable energy and improving energy efficiency.
Florida PACE Funding Agency
If you own a home or business in Walton County, the State of Florida offers a financial fund to qualified property owners to make energy efficient, renewable generation and wind mitigation improvements and repairs. These are repaid through and assessment included on owners' annual property tax bill.
Benefits of the PACE Program
- Not based on credit score
- Program pays contractors
- Stretch payments out over terms up to 30 years
- Fixed interest rates
USDA Rural Energy for America
The USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers loans and grants for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects.
The USDA offers a number of residential and commercial programs. This page highlights only the energy focused efforts. For more information about this and other USDA programs to assist rural areas, visit rd.usda.gov.
What does this program do?
It provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.
Who may apply?
- Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of gross income coming from agricultural operations
- Small businesses in rural areas
Note: Agricultural producers and small businesses must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgment or debarment.
Which areas are eligible?
- Businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town.
- Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.
How may the funds be used?
Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:
- Biomass (biodiesel, ethanol, anaerobic digesters, solid fuels)
- Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
- Hydropower below 30 megawatts
- Small and large wind generation
- Small and large solar generation
- Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation
Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:
- High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
- Cooling or refrigeration units
- Doors and windows
- Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots
- Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor
- Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment
You can find out more about these federal loans, grants and other federal rural programs by visiting the USDA website.