"An audit, huh? That sounds like fun! What's the value for me in having an energy audit? What's it going to cost and what do I get out of it?" Those are the common statements and questions we hear from landowners when we talk about participation in NRCS's new energy initiative. NRCS hired David Ryan, a National Center for Appropriate Technology employee and registered Professional Engineer in Montana to help us answer those questions and ‘walk the talk’. David produced a farm energy audit at the Bridger Plant Materials Center to give us practical experience with the audit process and dealing with the outcome. David met with Manager Joe Scianna to conduct the ASABE Level 2 audit onsite. Ryan identified historic energy use by category and type, evaluated alternative energy practices, and calculated potential energy saving opportunities in the Center’s headquarters and seed/plant production buildings. If all recommended measures are implemented, the estimated total cost would be $21,376. Total estimated savings would be $3,612 annually, and the payback period would be 6 years. Read the audit report to read a real life version of how farm energy expenses are inventoried and conservation opportunities displayed in the report.
Steve Becker, State Conservation Engineer