Co-ops roll out new farm energy management program

Agricultural producers are the focus of a new energy audit program that is now available to members of Great River Energy’s 28 member-owner cooperatives.

Qualified participants will receive one-on-one assistance in identifying and prioritizing energy efficiency opportunities to ultimately come away from the experience with an energy management plan to implement.

“We understand that each operation is unique and requires personalized assistance,” said Jill Eide, key account executive at Great River Energy. “This program will take the guesswork out of where you should spend your time, money and efforts when it comes to energy management.”

Audit outcomes will provide information ranging from simple, no-cost operational changes that can save consumers money to in-depth analysis of energy use.

This opportunity is being offered to consumers with assistance from Great River Energy which was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (USDA-REAP) to conduct these audits. Program participants will only need to pay 25 percent of the cost of their agricultural audit, with the other 75 percent being covered through grant funding. Average audit costs are approximately $2,500 but can vary based on operation size.

The United States Department of Agriculture has additional financial resources available for both energy audits and energy efficiency project through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP audit funding can be applied for through your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office and applications are due August 2018 for review and approval of 2019 audit funding.