May 16, 2023 | View as Webpage

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rolls Out $10.7B in Loans and Grants for Electric Utilities  

USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator Andy Berke and Beneficial Electrification League President Keith Dennis at the White House for today's announcement of new Rural Utilities Service programs authorized in the Inflation Reduction Act. Read the BEL memo here!


RUS and DOE Program Overview

Monday, May 22

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM ET

Join the Beneficial Electrification League and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to hear how utilities can plan for and access these new rural funding opportunities.


Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced $10.7 billion in federal funding for rural electric cooperatives, the largest federal investment in rural electric infrastructure since electrification in 1936.

The Beneficial Electrification League (BEL) President Keith Dennis believes this funding will be central to advancing the goals of beneficial electrification.

“As agencies roll out their infrastructure programs, BEL has focused on providing utility partners actionable analysis and practical next steps. Thanks to generous supporters, we are committing significant resources to ensure broad, equitable access to this funding for any utility seeking to invest in its systems,” said Keith Dennis.

“Investments in the grid are investments in rural communities and improved quality of life; we are honored to be in a position to partner with the electric sector to implement this program.”

For more information and to stay up-to-date, please visit https//

Deenise Becenti of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority speaks to USDA RUS Administrator Andy Berke and other rural utility leaders, including Curtis Wynn of SECO Energy (on her right), and Lisa Johnson of Seminole Electric Cooperative (on her left), at the White House unveiling of New ERA and PACE.

USDA's Rural Utilities Service

The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service has a total of $10.7B in funding available under the IRA:  


  • Empowering Rural America ("New ERA") makes $9.7 billion available for loans, grants, loan modifications, and other financial assistance to support the purchase of renewable energy systems, zero-emission systems, and carbon capture systems (Section 22004). Funding also may be used to deploy these systems or to make energy-efficiency improvements to the generation and transmission systems of eligible entities. Read more in the Notice of Funding Opportunity here!

  • Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) provides $1 billion in RUS loans for developing renewable energy infrastructure (Section 22001). The funding is available to renewable-energy developers and electric service providers, including municipals, cooperatives, and investor-owned and Tribal utilities, to help finance large-scale solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower projects, and energy storage in support of renewable energy systems.

U.S. Department of Energy

  • In addition to the USDA funding, the U.S. Department of Energy's new Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program has issued a round of grant funding to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities with 10,000 or fewer people.  

Thanks to our sponsors! 

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BEL is a 501(c)3 organization. 

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