Carper, Coons, Carney announce more than $48,900 to boost energy efficiency practices in rural businesses

USDA awards grants to four Kent and Sussex farms and businesses

WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Representative John Carney (all D-Del.) today announced a total of $48,912 in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding to four agricultural producers and small businesses in Kent and Sussex counties. The grants are designed to encourage the integration of renewable energy sources and implementation of energy efficiency measures in their operations to reduce dependence of foreign oil, promote job creation, and spur the economic competitiveness of rural communities.

“It is important that we continue to support Delaware’s farmers, who work hard every day to put food on our tables and keep our economy going,” Senator Carper said. “Grants like these from the USDA are a great example of how the government and businesses can partner to improve our environment, help farmers save money, and create jobs along the way.”

“By investing in clean energy technology, Delaware’s rural businesses are investing in a sustainable, profitable future that will help them compete on a global level,” Senator Coons said. “Encouraging farmers and small businesses to increase their energy efficiency can have a positive ripple effect for the entire country. I congratulate the winners of these grants and applaud the President for leading in this effort to strengthen our agricultural communities.”

“With this funding, Delaware farmers and rural small business owners will be able to cut costs while bringing in the renewable energy technology to help them compete in a global economy,” Representative Carney said. “There are tremendous opportunities for American businesses to create jobs and become more energy independent through green, renewable technology, and I’m confident that the businesses receiving this funding will soon take advantage of the benefits and possibilities of this emerging industry.”

The grants, which were announced earlier this week during President Obama’s rural economic bus tour, are being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP offers funds for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other funding sources for small businesses, financing up to 25 percent of a project’s cost.

Wellspring Farms, Inc., of Laurel received $6,972 in funding for an energy efficiency project. R. Stanley Collier & Son, Inc. in Harrington received $20,000 for an energy efficiency project; Clothes to You Cleaners in Rehoboth Beach received $9,640, and Kiber Corporation in Selbyville received $12,300 for a solar energy project.

“These investments enable our farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners to develop renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements that will save them thousands of dollars in energy costs each year,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “This funding is an important part of the Obama Administration’s plan to conserve natural resources, create jobs and lead our country on the path to becoming more energy independent.”