Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs for Farms

There are several programs and resources that can help farmers manage energy use and save money. Several of the programs may be combined to maximize incentives and lower costs. Please note that this is not a comprehensive listing of programs and program details are subject to change – be sure to consult each program’s official website for current and complete information on program details, eligibility requirements, and application process.

Where do I start?


Energy Management Flow Chart

Energy management can be broken down into three main steps. These steps should be continually repeated to identify further ways to reduce energy use and save money.

First, understand your energy use and cost by tracking energy bills, such as through EPA’s no-cost Portfolio Manager tool. A no-cost, no-obligation energy assessment can also provide important insight into how to reduce and manage your farm’s energy needs. The Farm Energy Efficiency Program (FEEP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) can both provide energy assessments.

Second, reduce your energy use through energy efficiency. The Rhode Island Farm Energy Efficiency Program (FEEP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Program (RIAgEP), and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) all offer grants and incentives to lower the costs of energy efficiency improvements. Additional incentives may be available through utility energy efficiency programs for businesses. Financing may also be available for remaining costs through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and/or Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program.

Third, offset remaining energy use with a renewable energy system. Programs that help cover costs of qualifying renewable energy systems include: Renewable Energy Growth (REG) Program, Renewable Energy Fund (REF), Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Program (RIAgEP), and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Financing may also be available for remaining costs through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and/or Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program.

Step 1: Track energy use and conduct an energy assessment


  • EPA Portfolio Manager – This free tool from EPA tracks energy use and cost. National Grid customers can automatically update Portfolio Manager accounts with utility bill information.
  • Farm Energy Efficiency Program (FEEP) – Participants receive a no-cost, no-obligation energy assessment. During which, an energy specialist will visit the farm, examine certain farming equipment, and provide a written list of recommended energy efficiency improvements along with available incentives.
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – Participants receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices, including the development of an Agricultural Energy Management Plan which can review energy use or other farm management practices.

Step 2: Reduce energy use through energy efficiency


  • Farm Energy Efficiency Program (FEEP) – Participants receive a no-cost, no-obligation energy assessment. During which, an energy specialist will visit the farm, examine certain farming equipment, and provide a written list of recommended energy efficiency improvements along with available incentives.
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – Participants receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices, including development of an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP). The AgEMP can outline energy management best practices specifically.
  • Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Program (RIAgEP) – Participants are selected through a competitive application process to receive grants up to $20,000 for qualifying energy efficiency improvements.
  • Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – Participants are selected through a competitive application process to receive grants up to $250,000 for qualifying energy efficiency improvements and/or loan financing for a portion of project costs.
  • Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) – C-PACE finances cost-effective energy efficiency projects through a loan tied to the property assessment that can be transferrable with ownership and is structured to be cash-flow positive. Farms must reside in a participating municipality.

Step 3: Offset remaining energy use with renewable energy


Energy Efficiency Resources for Farmers

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