EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative
USDA has expanded its energy initiative to help farmers and ranchers conduct energy audits and improve their overall energy efficiency. The initiative continues to provide assistance to producers who have not yet conducted an on-farm energy audit, and now also provides assistance to help producers implement the energy conservation and efficiency recommendations that result.
"On-farm energy audits are one example of the many ways USDA is supporting rural communities and helping rural families thrive," USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, said. "Providing producers with the opportunity to assess their energy usage and make needed improvements can result in significant cost savings while also benefitting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
On-farm energy audits are tailored to each agricultural operation's primary energy uses. The audits help producers determine the amount .of energy used by the entire operation and also identify short- and long-term measures producers can implement to conserve energy and achieve greater energy efficiencies.
USDA's On-Farm Energy Initiative is offered through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The on-farm energy audits are offered as EQIP Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMPs) and must be conducted by certified technical service providers (locate a Technical Service Provider in your area). Producers who have had an on-farm energy audit conducted that meets or exceeds the criteria of an EQIP AgEMP may apply for technical and financial assistance to implement the audit's recommendations. Interested producers should contact their local NRCS office for payment schedule information and assistance.
Former NRCS Chief, Dave White, announced that the Agency has partnered with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to support the launch of a new web resource to help dairy farmers find and implement proven energy conservation techniques. By helping farmers conserve energy, NRCS is helping to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint; helping to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; and saving farmers money – improving their bottom lines. Click on Chief White's video message to learn more about this great resource: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8GmtB1osrM. You can also visit the US Dairy website at www.usdairy.com/saveenergy.
José Castro, Assistant State Conservationist - Programs, 787-766-5206 x. 117
Jaime ValentÍn, State Resource Conservationist, 787-766-5206 x. 121