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New UNI website provides tips to farmers to help reduce energy consumption, costs

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 12:23 p.m. CST

A new online resource helps farmers on small to mid-sized operations identify potential energy reduction for their farms.

They also will learn how other farmers have achieved energy savings, and find resources for farm audits, utility rebates and funding opportunities.

The web site is

The Farm Energy Working Group is facilitated by the Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) at the University of Northern Iowa and supported by a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

The One Stop Shop resource is based on a request when the working group formed four years ago, according to FEWG coordinator Carole Yates.

“The resources on our website are comprehensive and based on information farmers told us they wanted in one place,” she explains in a press release. “One of my favorite resources is the farmer success videos – four short videos of Iowa farmers telling what they’re doing to reduce fossil fuel use and replace it with energy efficiency and renewable energy.” 

The resource also includes Farmer Success Stories in a printable format about farmers’ use of wind energy, solar hot water and solar electric, a corn-burning boiler, wood-burning boiler to heat an insulated greenhouse, and a passive solar vegetable storage space. The working group has supported small demonstration grants for several years and information from those projects also available.

“Many farmers want to know where to get a farm energy audit,” Yates notes, “so we have links to the list of Iowa energy auditors from the Rural Energy for America Program, links to private company auditors, as well as farm auditors from utility companies.”

Farmers also will find resources for energy efficiency and renewable energy grants and loans as well as federal and state tax credits. That includes Iowa’s new solar tax credit, which was initiated in July.

Finally there’s a link to all Iowa utility incentives/rebates through the Database of Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).