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House legislation would provide loans to rural areas for energy-efficient upgrades

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Loans could be provided to help rural families install energy-efficient technologies on their homes.
Loans could be provided to help rural families install energy-efficient technologies on their homes.

Farm equipment users in rural areas may benefit from legislation passed by the House of Representatives.

According to the Associated Press, legislators approved a measure that would provide rural residents with low-interest loans, which could be used to upgrade their homes with energy-efficient technologies. The Senate has yet to consider the bill, however.

Representatives who supported the measure hope the bill will lead to an increase in construction jobs while also providing rural residents with lower costs for energy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would offer zero-interest loans to electric cooperatives that would then make the funds available to residents at a rate of no more than 3 percent.

"The loans would be repaid on the consumers' utility bills, with savings from the energy upgrades covering much of the cost," the AP said.

Grants were recently made available to educational institutions that help rural businesses and residents gain access to alternative forms of energy. Schools in a number of states will receive the funds from the USDA.

The department has a number of other loan opportunities available that may help farm equipment users add energy efficient technologies to their operations.

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