FAQ - Energy Audits for Rural Small Business

Frequently Asked Questions

Energy Audits for Rural Small Business


How do I know if I will benefit from an energy audit?

If your facility has not been renovated in the past ten years and you have significant energy utility expenditures over $10,000 per year, it will be worthwhile for you to conduct an energy assessment.  WRP energy engineers typically identify energy efficiency measures which can save 10 to 20 percent of your total energy bills.  Most clients are able to implement half of the energy saving projects with little or no investments.   WRP engineers also will share other financing resources such as utility rebates and the USDA REAP Grant Program which may be able to support larger investment projects. Rural small businesses are eligible for these subsided audits.

How do I know if I am a “small business” as defined by the Small Business Administration?

The Small Business Administration uses a sliding scale to determine if you are small business.  This scale is based on your business industrial code (NAICS code) and number of employees and/or annual receipts.  For example, most independently-owned manufacturers under 500 employees are defined as small business.  Wholesale and retail small business definitions vary with number of employees and annual receipts.

How do I know if my location is defined as "rural" in North Carolina for the purposes of this program?

Per the USDA – REAP Program requirement, rural is defined as populations under 50,000.  Most farms are considered rural.  Type in your address at the USDA Property Eligibility web site to confirm your rural status.   If you have questions about whether or not your business is “rural” under this program, please call your USDA representative.

What will be covered in an energy audit?

The WRP energy audit will begin with a utility bill analysis and survey of all major energy-using equipment for efficiency opportunities.  The audit will provide a preliminary cost / benefit analysis for the recommended measures along with financing suggestions.

After the energy audit, how do I pursue a REAP grant or loan to implement the project?

If the energy audit identifies an energy upgrade project for which you would like to pursue USDA REAP funding, you can contact a USDA Grant Specialist to assist you with a grant or loan application.

Who is WRP?

Waste Reduction Partners is a team of staff and volunteer retired engineers who have provided energy and waste reduction assessment to business, industries, and institutions across North Carolina.  The team of over 60 staff has more than 2,300 years of experience in numerous business and industrial sectors.

Who will conduct my audit?

A qualified energy auditor or team of auditors will conduct the energy assessment.  WRP energy engineers have conducted over 700 energy assessments in North Carolina in a number business sectors.

How long does it take to complete the audit?

The typical energy assessment will be less than one day in length.  The assessment will begin with a one-hour meeting with key facility staff followed by a walk-through assessment of your business facility.

How can I share this energy audit opportunity with a peer?

WRP has a one-page marketing brochure in pdf format that you can share electronically or in print form.
Who should I talk to if I have other questions about the energy audits?

Russ Jordan, PEM, Energy Program Manager
Waste Reduction Partners
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