Discounted Energy Efficiency Audits available for Utah Agricultural Operations & Rural Small Businesses

A farmer and technical service provider discuss an on-farm energy audit. Source: USDA NRCS

Recently, USDA Rural Development awarded 26 grants to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers across rural America conserve energy and develop renewable energy systems, ultimately reducing their carbon footprint, lowering overhead costs and helping to create jobs. The grants are made possible through the USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which helps farms and small businesses right-size their energy systems and helps with the installation costs for renewable energy equipment.

Are you a Utah farmer or a rural small business owner? Would it help your business to reduce your energy costs? The Utah Agricultural and Small Business Energy Efficiency Audit Program is offering discounted energy efficiency audits to help agricultural operations and rural small businesses save energy and money. The program is funded through a grant from USDA Rural Development and implemented by Panoramaland Resource Conservation & Development Council and EnSave, Inc. “We are working to ensure rural communities and citizens have the opportunities to integrate natural resource sustainability, strong local economies, and healthy living conditions into their everyday lives,” says Steve Clark, Chairman of the Panoramaland RC&D Board. “Decreasing energy demands through energy efficiency improvements can, over time, help lower energy costs and increase profits.”

The discounted energy efficiency audit will help these business owners identify and prioritize energy efficiency investments that can help their bottom line and can be used to access federal grants such as REAP. REAP offers guaranteed loans and grants up to 25% of a project’s cost. “This grant is a great opportunity for Utah farms and rural small businesses to identify ways they can reduce their energy costs,” says Jason Justesen of Utah’s USDA Rural Development office. “Our state’s farms and small businesses are busy running their operations and don’t always know how to navigate energy efficiency funding.”

Equipment identified in the discounted energy efficiency audit could include energy efficient lighting, heating/cooling systems, refrigeration, doors/windows/insulation, irrigation pumps and motors, and more.  Many of these systems present a reasonable payback period for businesses, especially when businesses can secure additional funding to install the equipment.  Learn more about how you can benefit from an energy efficiency audit. On August 2nd and 3rd, two workshops will provide an overview of the audit process, typical savings opportunities, and how to obtain funding to install equipment through the REAP. Workshops will be held August 2 in Salt Lake City and August 3 in Richfield from 1-3 pm each day.

The program is also seeking people located throughout Utah to work with EnSave to collect data at each audit site. EnSave has a 25-year history of assisting farms and rural businesses with energy savings. A free data collector training will be held in Richfield on August 4 and 5. Once trained, data collectors will contract with EnSave to provide on-site support and will be compensated on a per-audit basis.

An energy efficiency audit will help identify and quantify the energy savings opportunities for your business. The energy efficiency audit can be used to access federal grants such as the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and can help you prioritize your equipment investments by showing you which energy efficiency projects are most cost-effective.

Energy efficiency audits can identify opportunities such as:

  • Lighting
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Refrigeration
  • Doors/Windows/Insulation
  • Irrigation pumps and motors
  • Milk cooling and milk harvest

Through energy efficiency workshops, learn more to help you decide if an energy efficiency audit is right for you and discuss funding opportunities that can help pay for your energy efficiency project: 

  • Tuesday, August 2nd, 1-3 pm: Salt Lake City USDA Bld. Room #4216 125 South State SLC, UT
  • Wednesday, August 3rd, 1-3 pm: Richfield, USDA Center 330 North 600 East Richfield, UT

To apply for an energy efficiency audit or to register for the workshops and data collector training call EnSave at (800) 732-1399 or visit Registration not required to attend.

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