Here are some frequently asked questions and links to learn more about on-farm energy audits and how to get one done at a 90 percent reduction of the usual cost. Also read an overview of energy audits and how to access federal funding.
What is an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), and How do I get funding to have one?
Some additional materials from EnSave, one of the leading agricultural energy efficiency consulting firms in the United States:
• Overview of the AgEMP process
• How they collect the data
• An energy pyramid for steps to save money and energy
How do I find other certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) in my area, to conduct an AgEMP?
1) Access NRCS’s national database
2) Click on your state and county of residence
3) Under the ‘Catagory’ list, select ‘CAP – Agricultural Energy Management’ and either ‘Component 1′ or ‘Component 2′
With America’s farmers continuing to face high energy costs, help is on the way in the form of Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMPs), commonly called on-farm energy audits. Federal funding is available through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for farm energy audits and equipment upgrades. Through the available funding, a $2,000 energy audit can cost a farmer around $200.
Farm energy audits can generally identify energy savings between 10% and 35% of total energy use, which enables farmers to take more control of their energy use and increase their energy independence.
Although the New Year has barely begun, producers must act quickly in order to secure their AgEMP for 2012. National deadlines for AgEMP application cutoff are March 30 and June 1. Farmers should call or visit their local NRCS office to verify application deadlines and apply for the AgEMP.
The AgEMP includes a review of current energy use for all fuels, specific recommendations for energy efficiency, and payback periods for recommended equipment. The AgEMP can also be used to access additional NRCS funding for implementation of energy efficient equipment. Producers that are serious about upgrading their operation should contact their local NRCS office and a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) as soon as possible for eligibility of further funding to implement the recommendations from the audit.
Dakota Rural Action does not promote one specific business over another. However, there are only a handful of businesses certified through NRCS to perform an AgEMP in South Dakota. One of the nationally certified businesses that DRA has had contact with is EnSave. EnSave is one of the leading agricultural energy efficiency consulting firms in the United States.
Interested producers can call EnSave at (800) 732-1399 to learn more about the process or contact the local NRCS office to apply for an AgEMP.