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Energy

What is an Agricultural Energy Management Plan?
An Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP) is an analysis, or audit, of current farm infrastructure and management with recommendations about how to reduce energy consumption. These plans can be done for a variety of farm enterprises, for example a livestock production system, a field crop system, or specialized non-livestock operations such as greenhouses, cold storage, and syrup production. The AgEMP considers all facets of energy use in an agricultural enterprise except the home and living quarters. 

What Will I Gain?
The AgEMP is tailored to the individual farm. It determines and documents current energy usage over an annual cycle, and recommends cost-effective energy conservation alternatives for each farm enterprise. The evaluation of energy conservation activities includes energy used in the cultivation, protection, harvesting, processing and storage of agricultural crops and in the feeding, housing (lighting and heating), and processing of farm animals.

Who Will Develop My Plan?
Agricultural Energy Management Plans are not developed by NRCS but by a qualified professional. Applicants may choose from an approved list of certified, registered Technical Service Providers (TSPs) specifically trained to perform energy audits. Contacts are available from the Technical Service Provider Registry at http://techreg.usda.gov/ or from an NRCS office.

Who is Eligible?
Any agricultural operation, including individuals, legal entities, Tribes and Native Corporations, that has not previously received a USDA payment for an energy audit may be eligible as long as they qualify for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). Most agricultural producers qualify. 

What is the Application Deadline?
Applications are accepted continuously and ranked periodically throughout the year.

How Much Will a Plan Cost?
Landowners negotiate a price with a TSP to conduct the energy audit. Upon completion of an approved audit, NRCS pays the landowner a flat sum based on the type and size of farming operation. The NRCS payment may cover the majority of the cost.

What Happens After the AgEMP is Complete?
The AgEMP recommends tactics to save energy. Implementation of the recommended energy conservation measures is left to your discretion. Some recommendations may be quickly implemented at minimum cost. Other measures may require more time and funding. Your AgEmp will identify financial assistance opportunities that are appropriate for your situation. Financial assistance may be available through the NRCS EQIP program for implementation of recommended energy conservation measures. 

The AgEmp is specifically focused on energy conservation, not renewable energy production.

How Do I Apply? 
Contact an NRCS office for an application and more information.