Farm Energy Assessment

One way to manage the costs on your farm is to have an energy assessment done. Most utility companies around the country offer the service for free or at a minimal charge. An energy expert will come out to the farm and find opportunities for savings.

Dan Huyser is a contracted energy engineer for Alliant Energy’s agriculture program. He says to start, they will look at the farm’s energy usage information and billing, and make sure you’re on the right rate.

"Once we get there, we usually see what they’re most interested in learning about," says Huyser. "If they want to do the whole farm, we’ll do the whole farm. Sometimes they’re more interested in say, a grain dryer or their milking equipment, or lighting. We’ll go through and look at everything we can, get the information off the equipment like motors, the horse power."

Huyser says they will write a report identifying where the energy waste is coming from, and offer energy-efficient solutions. Something as simple as replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs can save you money.

"Lighting’s probably our biggest thing. Grain dryers, get rid of the old dryer, get a more efficient dryer. Aeration fan control is a big one where there’s a weather station hooked up to the controller that will turn the fans off and on automatically. Some of the studies we’ve seen have shown energy savings of 50%-70% with those," he says. "Get into livestock, we promote energy-efficient fans. Some of them will cost you twice as much per-year to run as a more efficient one."

Huyser says anything with a payback of five-years or less is usually a good investment.

Learn more about farm energy assessments