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Washington's 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 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 energy audit funding through the NRCS.
Contact your local NRCS Field Office for assistance.

How You'll Save

To best meet the needs of the diverse types and sizes of Washington’s farms and ranches, there are two aspects to our energy conservation activity plan (CAP) program: Headquarters and Landscape.

  1. The Headquarters program will identify ways to conserve energy on farmsteads through an an on-farm energy audit. This includes buildings and equipment used around the farmstead.
  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.

The program provides cost-effective alternatives and recommendations for energy conservation through an energy audit. Energy audits are developed by certified Technical Service Providers (TSPs). Once you have an approved energy audit you will be eligible to receive assistance to implement recommended conservation practices. For technical information, see the Washington State eFOTG.

Apply for an Energy CAP

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.

NRCS can provide cost share assistance for the following measures:

  • Pumps
  • Irrigation
  • Lighting System Improvements
  • Combustion System Improvement
  • Building Envelope Improvement
  • Crop Rotation
  • Cover Crop
  • No Till
  • IWM
  • Mulch Till
  • Farmstead Energy Improvements, including:
    • Ventilation - Exhaust
    • Ventilation - HAF
    • Plate Cooler
    • Scroll Compressor
    • Variable Speed Drive > 5 HP
    • Automatic Controller System
    • Motor Upgrade > 100 HP
    • Motor Upgrade 10 - 100 HP
    • Motor Upgrade > 1 and < 10 HP
    • Motor Upgrade ≤ 1 HP
    • Heating - Radiant Systems
    • Heating (Building)
    • Heating - Attic Heat Recovery vents
    • Grain Dryer
    • Washer-extractor
    • Water heater
    • Compressor heat recovery
    • Alley Scraper
    • Condenser

EQIP Energy Initiative Practice Payment List - See the EQIP Webpage 

Ranking Criteria

EQIP National, State and Local Ranking Questions - See the EQIP Webpage 



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.

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)





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:

State Point of Contact


Kelly Scott
NRCS State Office
316 W Boone, Ste 450
Spokane, WA 99201