Energy conservation: Impact on the bottom line
Helping Michigan farmers reduce their energy expenses is the focus of one-day workshops being held around the state.
Farming operations use an extraordinary amount of energy. According to a 2013 USDA report entitled “Agriculture’s Supply and Demand for Energy and Energy Products”, energy requirements can be as much as 34 percent of a farm’s total costs. Helping Michigan farmers reduce their energy expenses is the focus of a series of one-day workshops being held around the state. Farmers who have attended past meetings have:
- Reduced overall farm energy expenses.
- Leveraged utility company rebates and Federal grants and low interest loans to implement energy conservation practices recommended by an audit.
- Applied for and received renewable energy project funding.
Michigan farmers have enjoyed great success in getting USDA grant dollars. The spike in approved renewable energy and energy efficiency projects began in 2009 when USDA Rural Development required Tier II energy audits to be completed by auditors who were certified by the MSU energy auditor training program. MSU studies have shown that, on average, agricultural operations realize a 40 percent reduction in energy expenses over a 3.8 year payback period when recommended energy conservation practices are implemented.
At each workshop, attendees will hear from energy specialists from Michigan State University Extension. Utility and electric cooperative representatives will discuss rebate options and opportunities. Farmers will talk about their experience in implementing energy conservation practices during a panel discussion. Attendees will also receive practical instruction from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services and Rural Development personnel on applying for grant dollars for energy conservation practices. Please join us at the location nearest your farm!
Location: Smith Hall, 800 Sickles St, St. Johns, MI 48879
Location: DTE Energy North Area Energy Center, 4100 Doerr Road, Cass City, MI 48726
Location: Olive Township Hall, 6480 136th Avenue, Holland, MI 49424
Location: Hillsdale County Extension Office, 20 Care Drive, Suite B, Hillsdale, MI 49242