Colorado’s agricultural industry faces direct energy expenses of more than $400 million annual that account for 7% of the industry’s overall expenses. Now there is a new statewide dairy and irrigation energy efficiency program available to ag producers.
The new initiative, geared toward dairies and irrigators, will provide energy services to a minimum of 80 agricultural producers annually for three years. Program participants will receive:
- A free energy audit
- Renewable energy assessment
- Technical support and access to financial resources that will help reduce the up-front cost of energy efficiency improvements.
The program is being offered by the Colorado Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Funding for the project will be provided by the state of Colorado.
Colorado Energy Office Energy Efficiency Programs Manager Michael Turner shares some of the results of those who participated in last year’s pilot program:
“Utilities savings for those producers were anywhere from 10 to 25 percent which is what we expect from the statewide version. Then the payback period on these efficiencies improvements was anywhere from one to three years. We will work with a minimum of 80 producers per year for the next three years.”
Turners speaks to the program’s ease of use and its benefits for producers.
“What our program does is it really provides a program that makes achieving energy savings easy. So overcoming some of the initial barriers that producers might have such as financial costs or bureaucracy. So it provides this streamline process for the producer and provides one contact throughout the entire process and really does the heavy lifting on behalf of the producer. So does the energy audit, guides them through the audit report. Our energy advisor will sit down with the producer and walk them through the outcomes and energy options they have going forward and the will help them apply for federal funding.”
For more information and to find the application, visit the Colorado Energy Office website.