Dairies Invited to Help Craft Energy-Saving Plan
by Steve Brown
Capital Press, December 2, 2010
An energy conservation initiative is looking for Washington dairy farmers who want to determine how best to reduce energy consumption.
Producers in Thurston and Yakima counties can apply between Dec. 1 and Jan. 7. Landowners should contact their local USDA Service Center and ask about the "EQIP Energy Initiative."
Producers who are accepted will receive approximately $3,100, which can cover the cost of developing an Energy Conservation Activity Plan, offered through the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
"The ECAP will be developed to assess current dairy facility energy use," NRCS assistant state conservationist Dave Brown said. "A qualified energy management consultant will work with producers using a new energy assessment tool, tailored specifically for Washington producers, that will help evaluate energy conservation options and identify potential energy savings on those dairy facilities."
The initiative is one part of a comprehensive Washington Farm Energy Program being developed to help reduce on-farm use of electricity, fuel and other energy.
The dairy industry has been a key partner in developing the program and has volunteered to participate in the on-farm testing, Brown said in a news release.
Initial estimates of average energy savings, after implementing energy conservation measures, range from 10 to 30 percent, Brown said. "The on-farm testing of the new energy assessment tool during this initial phase will provide more accurate estimates of savings."
Selected producers will be notified by March 1. The activity plans will be completed by Sept. 30.
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