By Shawn Kish
What do the Denio Junction Motel, Fisher Space Pen, Wolf Creek Golf Course and Rising Star Sports Ranch have in common? They are all businesses eligible for and taking advantage of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
REAP is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture for rural small businesses and agricultural producers. The program is designed to offset costs and help finance the investments in energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. To qualify for REAP, a business must earn at least 51 percent of their income from farming or ranching – or operate a privately owned, for-profit small business located in a rural area or town.
Business owners often delay investing in renewable energy or making energy efficient upgrades because of the number of years it takes to recover the costs. The REAP grant and loan guarantee programs now make energy efficiency affordable for rural small business owners and agricultural producers. Some have recovered most of their investments in the first year through grants and energy savings.
Energy Conservation Measures (ECM’s) can be discovered with a commercial energy assessment performed by an energy expert. ECM’s include lighting retrofits, HVAC, building controls and water savings. These and more are improvements approved for receiving REAP benefits.
Following the assessment is a commercial energy audit to determine the most effective low-cost means of reducing energy use. An audit provides a clear breakdown of how, where and when electricity is used and how electric rates apply to the facilities in the business.
NV Energy sets aside a special fund to help businesses offset the costs of a professional energy audit. The fund amount and rules for application are slightly different each year and available on a first come, first served basis. Although they were not qualified to receive REAP funding, Shelby American and Gilcrease Orchard took advantage of the NV Energy audit rebate and reduced their energy consumption. Within a year Shelby American actually profited by the energy upgrades in their Las Vegas production facility and showroom.
REAP, the NV Energy rebate and the energy saving programs offered by Nevada Industry Excellence (NVIE) give Nevada businesses new opportunities for lowering energy costs and boosting their bottom line.
NVIE is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Nevada. The MEP National Network is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing. As a program of the Nevada System of Higher Education NVIE’s primary focus is serving industrial companies in Nevada.
Shawn Kish is a project manager for Nevada Industry Excellence and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Shawn possesses a degree in Chemical Engineering and has nearly thirty years of experience in manufacturing. He is a leader with the US Green Building Council and has expertise in: REAP, Energy Conservation Measures, Energy Audits, NV Energy Rebate Programs, New Market Tax Credit Financing, the Federal R&D Tax Credit and Nevada’s Green Tax Abatement Program for LEED buildings.