Limestone Valley has a history of assisting on energy audits for poultry operations within Northwest Georgia. These audits involve data collection at poultry houses to look at where farmers could save through energy efficient upgrades. Allowing farmers to see what improvements are essential to their operations, due to significant savings on their electricity and gas bills, is important for its own sake. However, the completed energy audits also allow farmers to apply for energy efficiency implementation funds through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and USDA NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). When farmers apply for and rank high enough to be awarded cost-shares under these programs, the energy efficient upgrades are cost-shared on at rates of 25% through REAP and 75% through EQIP. REAP can cost-share on almost anything that is shown to be significantly more energy efficient. EQIP has a more narrow list of upgrades that it can cost-share upon. If you are interested in these programs, please visit your local USDA Service Center. Ultimately, getting an audit will show what upgrades are necessary to improve a farmer’s bottom line. These changes can also lead to improvements in air quality and reduce electricity and gas consumption as well as carbon emissions.
A local poultry farm whose operator had an interest in finding out which upgrades made the most economic sense.