Arlington, VA.; July 17, 2012 – Today, CEO of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Glenn English, applauded the announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack of a proposed Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loan program that will help rural homeowners and businesses make affordable energy improvements to their homes and buildings and pay back these low-interest loans with the savings on their electric bill.
“The nation’s rural electric cooperatives welcome the opportunity to work with the Rural Utilities Service to help consumer-members overcome the cost barrier of energy efficiency improvements,” said English. “This program will unleash a new resource for our consumer members, their businesses and their communities.”
Member-owned, not-for-profit cooperatives lead the electric utility industry in developing creative programs to help their consumer-members better manage their energy use. 96 percent of the nation’s co-ops already have an energy efficiency program in place. The proposed program offers a significant new tool for helping consumer members get over the hurdle of up-front investment costs in energy efficiency improvements.
The proposed rule would allow USDA through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to establish policies and procedures to implement energy efficiency loan programs aligned with USDA’s Rural Economic Development Energy Efficiency (REDEEE) effort, which is designed to create jobs in the energy efficiency industry, and builds upon the work that Rural Development has done in providing funding and support for improving the energy efficiency of single and multi-family housing, businesses, farms, and utility companies.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.