01 Mar What are some resources for energy self-audits for my farm?
A.S.MississippiAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service regarding energy self-audits for your farm.Understanding the energy required and consumed by your farm is the first step to planning how to reduce energy consumption, invest in more energy efficient equipment, and select renewable energy equipment. There are a number of energy analysis tools which will help you audit your own farm and buildings. The Farm Assessment Toolkit will help you assess your farm’s energy efficiency as well as identify areas for improvement and suggestions for energy-efficient equipment. Each assessment will take about 10 to 20 minutes to complete. The assessments collect general information about your operation to help determine if you may be able to save energy. At the end of each assessment, you will get a report with your responses and any appropriate energy tips. After completing an assessment, you can print out the report and use it to guide decisions you make to improve the energy efficiency of your operation. http://www.soils.wisc.edu/foe/loginYou may also wish to use the Energy Tools available from NRCS http://www.ruralenergy.wisc.edu/. These tools allow you to assess improvements that can be made to things like lighting, a greenhouse, and ventilation. They also explain the basics of things like solar water pumping. The Alliant Energy Energy Efficiency Calculators page provides a list of energy efficiency calculators for residential, small business, commercial and industrial equipment that includes air conditioning and lighting. http://www.alliantenergy.com/UtilityServices/ForContractorsTradeAllies/NewsResources/013446More energy calculators are available on the ATTRA website at http://attra.ncat.org/energy_calculators.html.