Agricultural Energy Efficiency

Agricultural Energy Efficiency

***Has your agricultural operation been affected by COVID-19? Find helpful, agriculture-specific resources at Coronavirus and USDA Assistance for Farmers and the Colorado Department of Agriculture.***

Background

According to the Colorado Agricultural Energy Market Research Report, prepared for the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) in 2013, Colorado farmers spend more than $400 million annually on energy. This $400 million equates to ~7% of the industry’s total expenses with dairy and irrigation operators accruing the highest annual energy costs. In response to these findings, the CEO launched statewide the Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program (now referred to as the Agricultural Energy Efficiency or "AgEE" program) in the summer of 2015, which built on the success of its 2014 pilot initiative.

 

Over the past four program years, the AgEE program has continued to analyze and develop its turnkey approach which includes a no-cost energy audit and technical assistance to help Colorado Ag producers increase on-farm economic and environmental sustainability. More around the program's current offerings and structures can be found in the "Program Process" section below.

Process

Eligible participants include any of the following operations which also accrue $4,800+ in on-farm energy costs annually.

  • Dairies
  • Irrigators
  • Greenhouses/Nurseries
  • Cold Storage Facilities
  • Poultry & Swine operations
  • Feedlots

Please note Cannabis and Hemp operations are not eligible for this program and transportation energy expenses are excluded from the $4,800 requirement.

If you have determined you meet the eligibility requirements, please fill out the AgEE Program Application and return it via email (CEO_Ag_EE@nexant.com) or mail it to the Colorado Energy Office Attention: Wil Mannes, 1600 Broadway, Suite #1960, Denver CO 80203.

If you are having any trouble filling out the application please feel free to reach out to Wil Mannes by phone (303-866-2418) or by email (wil.mannes@state.co.us)

Once your application is received the program administrator, Nexant, Inc., will become your "Energy Coach", reaching out to collect historical energy use data and schedule a no-cost onsite energy audit. 

Your Energy Coach will come out to your operation and audit the sites outlined in your application to identify potential energy saving measures & collect operational data. After the site visit, your Energy Coach will develop and review your streamlined audit report with you.

This audit report identifies:

  • Potential energy efficiency upgrades
  • Estimated project costs
  • Estimated annual savings
  • Estimated available funding
  • Payback periods

 

    

If after reviewing your streamlined audit report you decide to move forward with a project, your Energy Coach will once again review potential funding sources (outlined below), help secure project quotes from potential contractors and guide you through the funding application process.

Potential Funding Options Available:

  • CEO Rebates (Incentives)
  • Utility Rebates
  • NRCS EQIP Grants
  • USDA REAP Grants
  • CDA ACRE3 Grants
  • CPACE financing
  • Private Loans through a variety of sources

 

 *It is important to note that to meet qualifications for ACRE3, EQIP, and REAP grants, your Energy Coach will need to develop a more in-depth audit report referred to as an Energy Management Plan or "EMP" before you can move forward with the application process.

Impact

  •  255+ audits conducted, spanning 40 CO counties
  •  2 million+ kWh avoided
  • 16 million+ kWh in savings identified
  • 30,000+ Therms avoided 

Application and Additional Information

You can download the AgEE program application here.  

If you have any questions please reach out to Wil Mannes of the Colorado Energy Office via email at wil.mannes@state.co.us