Eastern Kentucky farms may be eligible to receive money for energy projects from the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy.
The Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy’s On-Farm Energy Efficiency Incentives Program provides incentives for Kentucky farm families to increase the energy efficiency of existing equipment or facilities.
For example, Lazy Eight Stock Farm in Garrard County received over $23,000 in 2015 for a wood fired boiler with $10,000 from the On-Farm Energy Efficiency Program and the remainder from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program. As a result, they are saving an estimated $3,160 per year in avoided energy use. The Mountain Association worked with them to complete their required third-party energy audit, and assist them in packaging their applications. In 2019, we again worked with Lazy Eight, as well as Southdown Farm, a maple syrup producer in Letcher County, on successful On-Farm applications for solar. Each was granted $10,000 plus $150 to cover energy audits.
In 2020, we worked with Four Petal Farm in Floyd County, who received $10,000 in GOAP funding for solar. We helped submit three other applications for the December 2020 deadline for Among the Oaks Herb Farm in Lee County, Homegrown Hideaways in Madison County, and Salamander Springs in Rockcastle County. These applications are currently being reviewed by the agency.
Some examples of eligible reimbursements include:
- New installation of, or conversion to, energy efficient grain drying / poultry / dairy systems
- Timers for tractor engine block heaters
- Energy free or low energy waterers
- NEMA labeled premium efficiency motors
- Low pressure irrigation systems, conversion from sprinkler to drip irrigation, or variable frequency drives for well pumps
- Energy Efficient Building Components & Renewable Energy Projects:
- Windows, doors, skylights, roofing, or other Energy Star building components
- Programmable thermostats and controllers
- Cool Roof system
- Tankless, solar, or water heaters
- Biomass fired boilers, hydronic furnaces, heaters and stoves
- Solar powered watering system, as well as equipment, structures or other supplies necessary to harness available solar to offset ag. related energy expenses
Successful applicants may receive up to 50% reimbursement of a qualified energy saving item (up to $10,000). Note: Though the program funds no more than 50% of your total project cost, the Mountain Association has affordable financing options which may cover any remaining portions.
Applicants must receive either at least $25,000 in Gross Farm Income, or 20% of gross income from farming for the previous two years. The 2021 deadlines are April 16, August 20 and December 17. Farms can put in additional applications even if they have received funding in the past (one application can be submitted per calendar year).
A third‐party audit is required with the application (applicants may be reimbursed an additional $150 for the audit). Renovations recommended by the audit and any installation expenses may also be considered. The Mountain Association is available to conduct your energy audit (we are currently offering free energy audits for small businesses in all EKY counties), as well as help you with your grant application. If you are interested in working on your farm’s energy needs, contact Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or (859) 671-0240.
To find out more about the program, please visit the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy website here.