Utility rebates complement New Farm Bill energy conservation funding for farmers

The new Farm Bill increases funding for energy conservation practice implementation. Complementary funding can be obtained through utility rebates and technical assistance programs.

On-farm energy conservation emerged a clear winner in the new Farm Bill. Congress appropriated more grant and low interest loan dollars than the previous Farm Bill to assist farmers and ranchers in implementing energy conservation measures. Another source of funding to assist farmers in implementing energy conservation practices are utility rebate and technical assistance programs. According to Michigan State University Extension, all utility rebate and technical assistance programs are similar to each other. The following individuals can provide further information about rebates and technical assistance programs:

Consumers Energy
Craig Gravelin, Agricultural Program Advisor - Consumers Energy Business Solutions/Franklin Energy
600 Three Mile Road NW, Suite 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Office: 877-607-0737 x 2008 | Cell: 616-340-7866
Email: cgravelin@franklinenergy.com

Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Cloverland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative; Midwest Energy Cooperative; Ontonagon County REA; Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op; Thumb Electric Cooperative; Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative)

Bob Tinker, Energy Advisor - Energy Optimization
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation
403 Spring St., Saline, MI 48176
Office: 734-429-2925 | Cell: 734-353-5018
Email: bob@kelly-tinker.com

Efficiency United (Alpena Power Company; Baraga Electric Utility; Bayfield Electric Cooperative; The City of Crystal Falls; Daggett Electric; The City of Dowagiac; The City of Gladstone Department of Power & Light; City of Harbor Springs Electric Department; Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities; L’Anse Electric Utility; Indiana Michigan Power; Michigan Gas Utilities; The City of Negaunee Electric Department; The City of Norway Department of Power & Light; SEMCO ENERGY Gas Company; City of South Haven; Upper Peninsula Power Company; We Energies; Wisconsin Public Services; Xcel Energy)
Jim Coulter
Program Manager, Special Initiatives
Bldg 3-Suite 200
3100 West Road
East Lansing, MI 48823
Office: 517-999-2363 | Cell: 517-802-8408
Email: jcoulter@clearesult.com

DTE Energy
William J. Clemens
Manager, Energy Efficiency & Business Energy Services
DTE Energy
2000 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1279
Office: 313-235-7443 | Cell: 313-550-0044
Email: Clemensw@DTEEnergy.com

Access to utility rebates and Federal grants and loans starts with a completed Tier II energy audit. In Michigan, Tier II energy audits must be done by a certified auditor. A list of certified auditors can be found on the Michigan Farm Energy Audit Program web site.

A series of statewide workshops on March 11-13 will explain what agricultural energy conservation means and how to access rebates, grants and loans to pay for recommended energy conservation practices. To learn more about the workshops, including registration information, go to the Energy Conservation: Impact on the Bottom Line registration page. MSU studies have shown that, on average, agricultural operations can realize a 40 percent reduction in energy expenses over a 3.8 year payback period when recommended energy conservation practices are implemented. Implementing these practices will result in a cleaner, less expensive energy future. Improved efficiency should be the option of first choice for Michigan farms.

For more information about the energy conservation workshops contact Charles Gould at 616-994-4547 or gouldm@msu.edu. For more information on energy conservation programs contact Al Go at 517-353-0643 or goaluel@egr.msu.edu

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