$250 million in federal money earmarked for rural energy efforts

The United States Department of Agriculture is allocating $250 million in federal funding to improve energy efficient systems in rural areas across the country. The goal of the Obama administration is to create or renovate existing renewable energy resources in areas where they might be lacking.

The new initiative is based on a system of loans regulated by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), which amended the Rural Electrification Act by creating the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program. Under this additional program, business and residents in rural communities can apply for loans with the sole purpose of using the money to make energy efficient improvements to their homes or commercial spaces. The government hopes to decrease demand for energy that is harmful to the environment.

This directly supports President Obama's Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce the emissions of power plants, which is the largest contributor of greenhouse gases to the environment in the entire country. The ultimate goal of this loan program is to increase energy efficiency, but the regulators at the Department of Agriculture also recognize the value in creating incentives that will also be beneficial to the atmosphere.

"RUS recognizes that there will be a reduction of green house gases with energy efficiency improvements," the department said in the announcement of its plan.

Tom Vilsack, the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, noted the value in retrofitting homes with energy efficient products. According to his statistics, this can reduce an individual house's energy consumption by as much as 40 percent, greatly reducing utility costs each month. With people saving extra money, they can put it back into the rural community, bolstering the local economy.

Even if  you are not receiving federal money, it never hurts to make your home energy efficient. To learn more, contact Alban Inspections, a home inspection company.