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Reduced-cost farm energy audits available through MU Extension


Jason Vance
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9731

Published: Thursday, June 4, 2015

Story source:

Don Day, 573-882-6385; 573-823-1570 (cell)

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Are you thinking about replacing your grain dryer with a more energy-efficient model? Or installing an alternative-energy system?

Have an energy audit before making a big investment in energy efficiency on your farm, says University of Missouri Extension specialist Don Day.

Farms and rural small businesses can receive energy audits at a reduced rate through MU Extension. Ordinarily, audits cost $450, but a grant from USDA Rural Development will cover 75 percent, lowering the price to $112.50.

An energy audit can help determine what upgrades will bring the biggest cost savings, Day said.

An energy audit is also required if you intend to apply for incentives through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

Grants are available for up to 25 percent of the cost of a renewable energy or energy efficiency project. REAP also provides loan guarantees for up to 75 percent of a project’s cost.

Eligible energy systems include solar, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digesters and renewable biomass. Energy efficiency improvements include grain drying and handling, lighting, refrigeration, heating and cooling upgrades, and motor replacements.

Missouri has almost $2 million in grant funding available for REAP. To be eligible, at least 50 percent of a farm’s gross income must come from agricultural operations, and small businesses must be in an area with a population under 50,000.

For more information about MU Extension energy audits, contact your local extension office. To learn more about REAP, go to