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2012 Annual Report Energy Success Story

2012 Annual Report - Energy Conservation: LED Bulbs, Insulation, Radiant Heaters Lead to Bright Future for Benton County Poultry Producer

A large part of raising chickens is controlling their environment and ensuring they conserve energy. This can result in high energy costs to the farmer and a negative impact on the environment.

But, thanks to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program(EQIP) Energy Initiative, one Benton County, Ark., poultry producer is cutting his propane and electric bill while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Stanley Lee, who raises more than 890,000 chickens a year in six chicken houses outside of Gravette, signed up for the initiative in 2012.

After an energy audit and Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AEMP) was written, Lee decided to install radiant heaters, LED light bulbs and attic insulation.

“I’m already seeing a return on my investment on the amount of propane required to keep the houses at the proper temperature,” Lee said. So far this flock, I’ve used about half the propane that is normally required by this time – the insulation and radiant heaters keep the houses warmer longer.”

Lee also expects to see savings with the new light bulbs he is installing. He is replacing 75-watt florescent bulbs with 10-watt LED bulbs.

“Although the bulbs cost more, they last longer and use less electricity – which will cut my electric bill. The LED bulbs are brighter and allow me to dim them more,” he said.

“The energy savings is going to be great. Without the financial assistance provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service I wouldn’t have been able to make these improvements,” Lee said.

“Through the Energy Initiative there has been an increased awareness of energy conservation and through the EQIP we are able to assist producers in implementing practices that conserve energy and decrease greenhouse gas emissions,” said Josh Fortenberry, soil conservationist at Bentonville.   “The AEMP estimates annual greenhouse gas emission will be reduced by more than 190,000 pounds CO2-equivalent a year by decreasing the amount of fossil fuels used for power.”