Energy Audit Program

The SWAMC Energy Audit Program provides low-cost energy audits and grant assistance to small businesses, including commercial fishers. This program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy Development Assistance (REDA) grant program. Over 60 commercial fishing vessels and buildings have received or are currently working on energy audits through this program. Many of the fishers and small businesses who receive the low-cost audit also qualify for a USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant that will cover 25% of the cost of upgrading a vessel or building. Our program offers support to commercial fishers and building owners with the REAP grant application process. To date, the REAP grant program has awarded seven commercial fishers over $75,000 for refrigerated seawater (RSW) and other efficiency upgrades on their fishing vessels.

USDA logoAs of April 2020, SWAMC is actively recruiting and connecting fishers and building owners with low-cost energy audits and grant assistance. This program is now available to small businesses and commercial fishers anywhere in Alaska (outside the Municipality of Anchorage). Looking to make upgrades on a fishing vessel or building, you can register for an energy audit below or contact us at energy@swamc.org or call (907) 450-2461 with questions.

Many Alaskan business owners are already saving money by investing in energy efficiency for their businesses: You can too!

Kodiak fishing boat
KFC audity by Jim Fowler

Commercial Fishing Vessels

An energy audit of your commercial fishing vessel can target RSW upgrades, lighting, hold zoning, and more.* We will ask what your top priorities are and our energy auditor will determine eligibility for a USDA REAP grant that covers 25% of the upgrade cost. Registering for an energy audit does not commit you to doing the audit or upgrade on your vessel. It allows you to discuss your vessel with the energy auditor to determine the best way forward.

*NOTE: A commercial fishing vessel energy audit can focus on the propulsion system, but the USDA REAP grant will NOT cover propulsion system upgrades.

Commercial Vessel Sign Up

Commercial Buildings

SWAMC’s energy audit program is available to any Alaska small business outside the Municipality of Anchorage* who wants to invest in their business to lower their energy bills. The energy auditor can target the audit to specific building upgrades if desired by the owner. Many upgrades are eligible for a USDA REAP grant to cover 25% of the retrofit cost, including heating and ventilation systems, heat pumps, refrigeration systems, lighting, and more. Registering for an energy audit does not commit you to doing the energy audit or upgrade. It allows you to discuss your building with the energy auditor to determine the best way forward for you and your business.

*NOTE: Businesses located in the Municipality of Anchorage are not eligible because they are not considered rural by the USDA definition.

Commercial Building Sign Up

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I’m eligible for the USDA REAP grant?

  1. You confirm you are a small business in Alaska. For building owners, this means you hold an active Alaska business license. For commercial fishers, this means you have an active limited entery commercial fishing permit or an Alaska business license.
  2. You speak with the energy auditor to determine if the upgrades you are considering will score well on the USDA REAP application process.

Is there a cost to this program?

Yes, the energy audit costs between $500 and $750 for commercial fishing vessels and between $225 and $2,250 (depending on square footage and type of audit) for commercial buildings.

When do I have to pay?

You will be asked to pay for the energy audit after discussing your vessel or building with the energy auditor. A quote will be sent and you will be asked to pay.

Can the REAP grant cover upgrades I’ve already paid for?

No, the REAP grant will not cover any costs incurred before your REAP grant application has been submitted. Contact us if you are in a rush to order or put down payments on equipment. We will work with you, but any money spent before your REAP application is submitted are not eligible for reimbursement.

What’s the timing on getting the energy audit and REAP grant?

  • After you register for the audit, you will receive a call or email with 2 weeks to ask additional questions and connect you with the energy auditor.
  • Once you pay for the energy audit, the auditor will send info requests and/or schedule a site assessment.
  • After the information is collected on your vessel or building, it typically takes 2 weeks to a month to finish the energy audit report.
  • USDA accepts REAP grant applications year-round. Applications are reviewed twice a year – typically October 31 and March 31. The soonest you would be awarded after submitting a grant application would be in November 2020 or approximately May 2021. You will have two years after being awarded the grant to use the funds.

If I do this process, what are the chances I will get the grant?

The USDA REAP grant is competitive and has scoring criteria based on several factors. At present, there are more grant applications being submitted than funding available. If you are not awarded in the first round, your grant application will be considered for 4 rounds of funding

Can I use REAP grant funding to pay for my upgrade up front?

No, this is a reimbursable grant. This means you must show you have funds available to pay for the equipment/installation costs when you submit the REAP grant application. If awarded, you will then be able to submit your receipts and request a 25% reimbursement.

More Information

Sign up or contact energy@swamc.org or (907) 450-2461
to learn more about the commercial energy audit
and grant assistance program.

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