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Washington's 2016 Energy Initiative


NRCS Energy Initiative: A BRIGHT IDEA Image

It’s no surprise that energy is a major business expense. Fortunately, farmers and ranchers in Washington now have a significant opportunity through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) Energy Initiative, to conserve energy. You can benefit from practices such as improved irrigation systems, pumping plant upgrades, and tillage management.

The EQIP Energy Initiative is a unique, multi-faceted “whole-farm” approach that will help you find the resources that lead to major energy savings – for you!

This site is designed to help producers better understand the benefits and assistance of the EQIP Energy Initiative. Energy conservation can make you even more competitive by cutting fuel and nitrogen inputs, reducing energy use, and lowering operation costs.

Take the First Step = The AUDIT

Energy audits or whole-farm energy planning is the first step toward energy-saving opportunities. Through the EQIP Energy Initiative, NRCS will provide you with cost-share incentives for the development of an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP)– called an energy audit.

Operations will be evaluated on energy used in:

  • Cultivation
  • Protection
  • Harvesting
  • Processing
  • Storage of crops

As well as energy used in:

  • Feeding
  • Housing
  • Processing of animals and animal products

Any producer eligible for EQIP may apply for AgEmp funding through the NRCS.
Contact your local NRCS Field Office for assistance.

Two Ways to Save

To best meet the needs of the diverse types and sizes of Washington’s farms and ranches, there are two types of energy programs: Headquarters and Landscape.

  1. The Headquarters program will identify ways to conserve energy on farmsteads through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), commonly called an on-farm energy audit. This includes buildings and equipment used around the farmstead. More information can be found in Section III of the Washington eFOTG.
  2. The Landscape program analyzes agricultural operations (crop/pasture management, forestry practices, manure handling, and other farming activities) and provides financial assistance to implement NRCS-recommended conservation practices on your farm or ranch. More information can be found in Section III of the Washington eFOTG.

Both programs provide cost-effective alternatives and recommendations for energy conservation through an energy audit (AgEmp). Energy audits (AgEMPs) are developed by certified Technical Service Providers (TSPs). Once you have an approved AgEmp you will be eligible to receive assistance to implement recommended conservation practices.


Take the Second Step = The APPLICATION

Headquarters – Within your Conservation Activity Plan there are measures listed in the summary of improvements table showing ways to make your facility more energy efficient. You can select from this list which measures you would like to implement.

In 2016 NRCS can provide cost share assistance for the following measures:

  • Variable Speed Drive
  • Heating-radiant tube
  • Lighting-LED or CFL
  • Lighting-Linear Fluorescent
  • Refrigeration-Scroll Compressor
  • Vacuum Pump w/ VFD
  • Heat Exchanger (plate cooler)
  • Fan Replacement
  • Combustion System Improvements
  • Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
  • Attic and Wall Insulation
  • Plate Cooler
  • Automatic Controller System
  • Motor Upgrade
  • Sealant
  • Greenhouse Screens

Landscape – Encourage producers to sign up for a landscape AgEMP. The practices listed below are some that have shown potential energy benefits on WA farms:

  • 328 Conservation Crop Rotation
  • 340 Cover Crop
  • 329 Residue and Tillage Management, No Till/Strip Till/Direct Seed
  • 449 Irrigation Water Management
  • 533 Pumping Plant
  • 345 Mulch Till

This document requires Adobe Acrobat.

2016 EQIP National Energy Initiative Practice Payment List - COMING SOON


Ranking Criteria

EQIP National, State and Local Ranking Questions - COMING SOON



To be eligible for the program, applicants must be farmers or ranchers who earn a minimum agricultural income and meet other EQIP program requirements. For more detailed information, go to the EQIP Application Process FAQ. Eligible lands for the Organic Initiative are Cropland, Headquarters, Pasture and Rangelands.


 "Energy Initiative" Outreach Materials

Saving energy on your farm or ranch operation is the best way to ensure a better return on your investment. And ensuring energy savings begins with Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEmp). 

View the AgEmp Overview (PDF; 67KB)

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Alternative text is not available for these documents as it cannot be depicted in a narrative format. We apologize for any inconvenience. For readers requiring assistance with 508 issues please contact Leigh Nelson at (509) 754.3023  ext. 1121

Energy Factsheet Icon


  Energy Fact Sheet (PDF; 1.3 MB)




Energy Poster Icon


  Energy Poster (PDF; 1.2 MB)

   Designed to print at 11" x 17" but will print at 8.5" x 11"




AgEmp Fact Sheet


  Dairy AgEMP Factsheet for Washington State (PDF; 1.1 MB)




If there are other practices or measures in your CAP that are not listed above you may apply for other EQIP program funds. 


For questions regarding the Washington State Energy Initiative contact your local NRCS office or:

For additional irrigation or electrical assistance contact:

For additional agronomic assistance contact:
Leigh Nelson
NRCS Central Area Office
2145 Basin St. SW, Suite D
Ephrata, WA  98823-9451
509.754.3023   ext. 1121
Tracy Hanger
NRCS State Office
316 W Boone, Ste 450
Spokane, WA 99201