Duke and Madeline Tomlin and their accounting business, Madeline Tomlin Associates, are among nine Maine businesses to receive Rural Energy for America Program grants totaling $190,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Madeline Tomlin Associates will receive a REAP grant of $5,750 for the purchase and installation of a new 7.5 kWh solar PV system, which is expected to meet energy demands of their small business, saving 7,927 kWh annually.

The Tomlins also will receive a REAP grant of $5,608 for energy-efficient improvements to their building, including a new window, insulation and mini-split heat pumps, to contribute to a combined energy savings of 40,243 kWh annually at their business.

USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said the grants will contribute to efforts by the nine rural Maine businesses "to make renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades that allow the businesses to reduce operating costs and conserve energy."

"These REAP funds help to sustain Maine’s thriving agricultural and business sectors, helping job retention and expansion, while promoting greater energy independence in Maine,” she said.

REAP was created by the 2008 Farm Bill and was reauthorized by the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill.

USDA Rural Development invested $462.5 million in rural Maine communities last fiscal year in the areas of home ownership, business assistance, energy and renewable energy development, water and waste water, and community facilities.

For more information on rural programs, visit USDA Rural Development's website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me.