Environmental Protection

Maryland Offers Audits, Equipment Advice for Farmers

A new program is now available for all agricultural producers in Maryland, according to a July 19 press release.

The Maryland Statewide Farm Energy Audit Program is funded by the Maryland Energy Administration, and administered by Eastern Shore Resource Conservation & Development Council and EnSave, Inc.

Farmers who qualify to receive a farm energy audit through this program will pay $300, just 25 percent of the normal auditing fee. This cost is fully refunded if they install any of the equipment recommended in the audit reports. A completed energy audit is not necessary for farmers to be eligible to apply for incentives on energy-saving projects in the program. Farmers who have recently installed qualifying equipment or are planning to do can apply.

The program offers incentives for such equipment as energy efficient lighting, heating, refrigeration, ventilation, motors, and more. The incentives cannot exceed 50 percent of the total project cost and are based on $0.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved for any lighting projects, $0.08 per kWh saved for any other electric saving projects, and $1.63 per British Thermal Unit (BTU) saved from any non-electric savings projects.

Other program partners include USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Rural Development, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Maryland Agriculture and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, and Washington County Soil Conservation District.

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