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Funding Energy Projects in WNC

For farmers and rural small businesses in our region, we offer free guidance, professional connections, and application assistance for programs that provide cost-share funding for energy projects. Since 2008, we have helped 100+ WNC farmers secure grant funding for their energy projects. Through our over-the-phone consultations or site visits, we can help realize your farm's energy goals on your terms and connect you with the resources and people to make them happen.

If you would like our free guidance, get started by taking a quick survey through our Rural Energy Initiative.

For those looking to explore the available incentives on their own, the following list represents the most commonly used funding programs for residential and commercial energy projects in WNC. For an even more comprehensive list of available incentives, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).

WNC energyCAP AgEnergy Grants (GRANT)

Eligibility: WNC farmers only.

Technologies: Renewables, Energy Efficiency

For farmers in our 30 counties/units of Western North Carolina counties, 25-40% in cost-share grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, including greenhouse insulation, product cooling, solar wells. The AgEnergy grant be stacked with USDA-REAP's 25% cost-share grants on qualifying projects. Project costs must exceed $2,000.

Funded jointly by NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

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Application deadline: ROLLING APPLICATION
(2-3 week turnaround between submission of completed application and notification of award)


REAP - Rural Energy for America Program (GRANT)

Eligibility: Rural Small Businesses, Farms

Technologies: Renewables, Energy Efficiency

For farms or for rural small businesses, 25% cost-share grants for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures. Project minimum: $6,000 for energy efficiency projects and $10,000 for renewable energy projects.

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Application deadlines: April 1st, October 31st


EQIP - Environmental Quality Incentives Program (COST-SHARE PAYMENT)

Eligibility: Farms

Technologies: Energy Efficiency

Paid energy audits for all farm types, and cost-share contracts for specific energy efficiency measures identified in an audit, such as insulation, radiant brooders, lighting upgrades, typically restricted to commercial-scale poultry and tobacco farms. Applies only to existing farm infrastructure, typically 75% of the value of project costs. No funding is available for renewable energy.

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Application deadline: October


Duke Solar Rebate (REBATE)

Eligibility: Business, Farm, Residential, and Nonprofit ratepayers on the Duke grid.

Technologies: Renewables (Solar PV only)

20-40% rebate off the cost of a solar PV system. Each of the eligibility categories has their own annual funding allotments. This can be stacked with other renewables grants as well as federal tax incentives.

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Application deadline: End of calendar year


Duke Smart $aver Program (REBATE)

Eligibility: Business, Farm, Residential, and Nonprofit ratepayers on the Duke grid.

Technologies: Energy Efficiency

50-80% rebates off the cost of high-efficiency lighting, HVAC, commercial equipment, and more.

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No Application Deadline. Turn-key solutions on a rolling basis with quick turnaround.

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WNC Rural Electric Cooperative Efficiency Programs (REBATES/LOANS)

Eligibility: all members of WNC Rural Electric Cooperatives

Technologies: Energy Efficiency

The following electric cooperatives of WNC offer some kind of incentives for installing energy efficient upgrades to homes and businesses (usually in the form of rebates or loans that are paid off through your bill with your energy savings).


Federal Tax Incentives

Eligibility: Residential, Commercial

Technologies: Renewables

The federal government offers tax incentives for renewable energy systems, including a tax credit (for commercial as well as residential) and an accelerated depreciation schedule.

Please feel free to contact us to find out more about how these various incentives might line up for your particular situation.