UNL CropWatch April 22, 2011 Learn About Funding Options for More Energy Efficient Farms

UNL CropWatch April 22, 2011 Learn About Funding Options for More Energy Efficient Farms

April 22, 2011

A workshop has been scheduled for this Tuesday in Red Cloud to provide farmers and other rural Nebraskans with information on financial incentives to become more energy efficient.

The Rural Energy for America - Energy Efficiency Workshopwill be 7-9 p.m. April 26 at the Red Cloud Community Center.

Are your energy bills “gobbling up” your operating funds? Can you make building or irrigation system improvements that will lower your energy bills? Grants, loans and cash incentives are available for a variety of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy development projects. Funding providers will present information and answer questions on their programs, participant eligibility, and how to apply.

The workshop is being co-sponsored by the City of Red Cloud Utilities and the Red Cloud Chamber of Commerce.

Presenters will include:

  • Kelley Messenger, area specialist for USDA-Rural Development
  • Andrew Ross, resource planning engineer with Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska
  • Bob Meade, utility services representative, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska

Kelley will discuss the “Rural Energy for America Program” that is part of the 2008 Farm Bill. Small for-profit businesses and ag producers can apply to receive a 25% grant on energy efficiency improvements. Funds can be used for new energy efficient HVAC Systems, windows,
doors, lights, and insulation, and to convert gravity to pivot irrigation, and diesel/natural gas/propane to electric. Kelley also will discuss the Renewable Energy funding for buying and installing a renewable energy system for the business or ag producer.  These include geothermal systems and solar panels, but can't include residential improvements. 

Ross and Meade will discuss the value of making buildings more energy efficient and  partial funding for commercial customers, churches, government buildings to upgrade and replace lighting. There will be information on the 3% Dollar and Energy Saving Loan program
through the Nebraska Energy Office. This is available for residential, commercial, farm/ranch, government buildings, and schools, etc.
Program information and project application forms are available at http://www.neo.ne.gov .

Duane Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator, Webster County