Agricultural Energy Efficiency

Farm irrigation

Funding Announcement
The ACRE3 program, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service-Colorado program and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, announces the availability of $350,000 for agricultural energy efficiency projects. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, December 15.  Click here for the application.

The Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program

Click here for the Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program Application.

The Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program was launched statewide in the summer of 2015 as the Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program, building on the success of its 2014 pilot initiative.   According to the Colorado Agricultural Energy Market Research Report, prepared for the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) in 2013, Colorado farmers spend more than $400 million annually on energy, equaling 7 percent of the industry’s total expenses, with dairy and irrigation farming having the highest energy costs.

CEO created the Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program as a partnership, approaching energy efficiency not only as a utility operations strategy but also as  a way of improving the financial standing of Colorado agricultural producers. The program addresses barriers that prevent producers from investing in energy efficiency by bringing existing resources and partners together and leveraging new funding with a turnkey approach. Program participants receive a free energy audit, a preliminary renewable energy assessment, technical assistance, energy coaching, and support for financing and implementing projects.

Program Success to Date:

  • 107 producers have been approved for the program.
  • 29 producers are in the process of implementing projects and will leverage over $400,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds.
  • CEO was selected for a $1.1 million USDA award to help finance energy efficiency improvements for Colorado farmers. The award comes through USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and is matched through a $1.3 million contribution from CEO, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and utility and industry partners. 

The 107 producers currently enrolled have identified over 2,900 MWh of potential electricity savings. The program will expand to 200 producers during the next two years and is expected to generate more than $4.5 million in potential savings in only five years.

The program will help Colorado producers be more competitive by providing efficiency investments with substantial returns on the investments, thus reducing the operating costs for the participants. 

Over the next two program years, the efficiency improvements are expected to achieve over 5,250 MWh of electricity savings and 524,000 gallons of water savings annually, and will provide additional environmental benefits to Colorado's agricultural producers.

For more Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program information, contact Michael Turner at michael.a.turner@state.co.us.

For more agriculture energy efficiency information from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, click here.

Click for Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program Interview with KayDee Gilkey on AgInfo.net. Also Click for interview with Brian Allmer-BarnMedia.