Vilsack Proposes Rule to Encourage Energy Efficiency Improvements
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a proposed regulation that would help rural homeowners and businesses make affordable energy improvements to their homes and buildings. Vilsack says the effort is expected to help rural Americans save money on their energy bills - but also expand job opportunities in the construction industry and investment opportunities in rural communities. The upfront costs of energy improvements often preclude homeowners and businesses from investing in cost-effective, energy efficiency upgrades. Vilsack says this rule will help make those costs more affordable through increased lending opportunities.
The proposed rule would give USDA - through the Rural Utilities Service - the ability to establish policies and procedures to implement energy efficiency loan programs aligned with USDA's Rural Economic Development Energy Efficiency effort. The rule will also help leverage and expand rural cooperative energy efficiency programs. USDA says a variety of energy efficiency improvements could meet the criteria for funding proposed in the rule.
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