Energy Saving Programs for Agriculture
The State of Delaware has a diverse agricultural sector, which includes a variety of livestock, field crop, and perennial fruit crops. Delaware currently ranks higher than any other state nationally in terms of the value of agricultural products sold per farm and value of agricultural production per acre. Poultry represents the dominant agricultural subsector in Delaware, with the broiler production industry accounting for approximately 74% of the state’s agricultural revenue. Field crops represent the second most prominent agricultural subsector in Delaware, accounting for approximately 14% of the state’s agricultural revenue .
Energy is one or the largest operating expenses on a farm, with producers using propane, natural gas, and electricity to heat, ventilate, and illuminate their buildings. Energy used for irrigation and other farming operations is also significant. Fortunately, there is ample opportunity for energy efficiency on the farm, with many upgrades paying for themselves within a few years.
To support our farms and farmers the DESEU offers this web page as a clearinghouse for energy savings programs and grants available for Delaware’s agricultural sector. Here, you can find links and information about how to participate in these valuable programs, many of which are cash positive, paying for themselves through savings on utility bills. Below are descriptions of energy saving programs for agriculture:
The Energize Delaware Farm Program has been developed by The Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility ( DESEU ) and its partner EnSave to help producers secure loans up to $400,000 and grants up to $100,000 towards the installation of efficiency measures.
Administered by the USDA, the REAP program provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and small businesses in rural areas to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption and participate in energy audits, renewable energy development assistance and feasibility studies.
Also administered by the USDA, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP may also help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations.
Grants are available to Delaware Electric Cooperative members for conversion of the irrigation pumps from diesel to electric. The grant provides 30% of the total non-utility cost of the conversion.
The Revolving Loan Fund objective is to encourage the adoption and installation of end-user energy efficiency measures and customer-sited renewable generation and green house gas emission measures.