The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants to assist communities with high energy costs.

USDA Rural Development is making available up to $7.7 million in High Energy Cost Grants nationwide to assist communities where home energy expenditures exceed 275 percent of the national average. Grant awards range from $50,000 to $3 million.

The agency is also making available up to $1 million in bulk fuel grants to state entities to establish a revolving loan fund to provide a more cost-effective means of purchasing fuel that cannot be shipped by road or rail. Eligible areas include places where fuel delivery by surface transportation is not practical or is prohibitively expensive and where the area primarily depends on delivery by water or air.

Funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission or distribution facilities and to establish fuel transport systems that are less expensive than road and rail.

Applications are due Tuesday, Sept. 3. For additional information, visit rurdev.usda.gov/UEP_Our_Grant_Programs.html.

Eligible applicants include, states, local governments, businesses, federally-recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal entities, and other entities organized under state law.