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Trump Administration invests in Rural Kansas energy efficiency improvements

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Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 11:19 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Trump Administration has invested over $354,000 in energy efficiency improvements in Rural Kansas, helping 17 small businesses and agricultural producers lower their energy costs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its Rural Development State Director for Kansas, Lynne Hinrichsen, announced it is investing $558,552 in order to make energy efficiency improvements and reduce costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions in Kansas.

“By improving the energy efficiency of farms and businesses, energy expenses are decreased and new opportunities for improvement are created elsewhere,” said Hinrichsen. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural Kansas in building stronger and healthier communities through energy efficiency, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

The USDA said those receiving grants are as follows:

  • Conway Springs - Hired Man’s Grocery and Grill: A $28,856 grant will be used to purchase and install energy-efficient coolers and freezers. The project is estimated to save 68,041 (63.42%) kWh per year, which is enough energy to power six homes.
  • Sabetha - Gene’s Thriftway: An $82,682 grant will be used to purchase and install new energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers. The project is estimated to save 346,419 kWh (56%) per year, which is enough energy to power 33 homes.
  • Coffeyville - Berg ReInvigorations LLC: A $49,072 grant will be used to purchase and install energy-efficient lighting, garage doors, sawmill and handling components used to responsibly harvest and processes regional hardwoods from Oklahoma and Kansas. The project is estimated to save 176,135 kWh (65.78%) per year, which is enough energy to power 16 homes.
  • Emporia - Reeble’s Country Mart and Good’s Cash Saver grocery stores. A $60,766 grant will be used to purchase and install energy-efficient coolers and freezers. The project is estimated to save 298,810 (40.99%) kWh per year, which is enough energy to power 28 homes.
  • Additional projects will also be funded in:
    • Arkansas City – Steamy Joe Restaurant
    • Barton – Leon Hoffman
    • Caldwell – Red Barn Family Restaurant
    • Coldwell – Double J Foods
    • Ft. Scott – CJM Associates
    • Humboldt – Welch Market
    • Inman – Gordon Schmidt
    • Lincoln – Heller Chiropractic
    • McPherson – Salina Sunset
    • Mound Ridge – Eugene Goering
    • Newton – G5 Mainstreet Investments
    • Pratt – Schmidtberger Family Investments

According to the department, it is investing in 17 rural small businesses and ag producers through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants and Guaranteed Loans. It said investments may be used for renewable energy systems like wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower. It said REAP funding is also available to be used for energy audits and to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems, insulation, lighting and refrigeration.

The USDA said those interested should contact their Kansas area office for more information on funding, application procedures and eligibility details. To learn more about how the REAP Guaranteed Loan Program will be streamlined under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative starting on Oct. 1, click here.

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