Working to reduce energy use on the farm

Focus on Energy is a statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by investor-owned, municipal and cooperative energy utilities in Wisconsin. They work with residents, businesses, schools, governments and agriculture to install cost-effective equipment and implement energy saving programs.

Jessica Anderson works with the Agriculture, Schools and Government Program, she focuses on reducing the energy use on farms, schools and government facilities. There are incentives for the installation of more efficient lighting, HVAC systems, commercial refrigeration and variable speed drives. For agriculture there are variable speed pumps, high-volume-low-speed fans for circulation, plate coolers, irrigation pumps and greenhouse climate controls.

Anderson says lighting is probably the quickest way a farm can cut its energy bill. Lighting accounts for 17 percent of the average farm’s electrical use. She says rapid changes in lighting technology provides new systems that put out more light, last longer and are becoming very affordable. Focus on Energy has a number of incentives in place for 2015 to help with the cost of converting to more efficient lighting. She points to Heartland Farms in Hancock which got a $35,000 check from Adams-Columbia Electric Coop and Focus on Energy for installing LED lights in their potato operation. In addition, the farm will save nearly $89,000 on its electric bill each year. Anderson talks about the program:

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