On Farm Energy Management Plan - GDS Associates

GDS Associates has performed thousands of agriculture facility energy audits nationwide and serviced all types of agriculture facilities ranging from dairies and greenhouses to aquaculture and vegetable farms.

Agriculture Energy Management Plan

GDS engineers and experts offer comprehensive energy evaluations tailored to your agricultural operation with step-by-step suggestions on how to save energy and money, now and in the future. Over 3,000 farms and agricultural production facilities are currently using plans developed by GDS and are saving 5-30% in their energy cost, plus qualifying for public and private financing and incentives – a great return on a small investment.

NRCS-certified Technical Service Provider for Cap 128 (Ag EMP)

Our energy audit team also includes certified energy managers, engineers, and Michigan State University certified farm auditors who have developed plans for all types of agricultural operations, from dairies and greenhouses to aquaculture and vegetable farms. Our process, tools, and reports meet the standards of the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and hundreds of local and state utility requirements.

Take the Easy 1st Step Today

GDS has set the standard for evaluating energy use on farms due to our broad range of knowledge and expertise in farm energy management.

STEP 1: Contact GDS Associates to Discuss Eligibility
It all starts with a phone call. We will do a quick analysis of your situation via phone and help determine your best approach and next steps. It may be that your facility does not need a full audit, but just some proven techniques to implement. If a full-scale onsite evaluation will help your operation, we move on to the next steps.

STEP 2: Conduct Site Visit and Complete Your Plan
GDS energy experts will spend time on-site conducting the site visit, learning about your operation and will take an inventory of your equipment and operations. Some firms send only a “data collector” who then brings data back to a desk-bound engineer or consultant to prepare a plan—site unseen, literally. GDS’ on-site audit is conducted by the GDS engineers and experts who will also analyze the data and prepare the reports. We will produce a clear, concise, and easy to understand Energy Management Plan, including detailed steps on how to save energy and money.

STEP 3: Funding
GDS will provide you with a list of federal, state, local and utility funding to help move forward with implementation of the report recommendations. GDS can also help you find incentives to cover a portion of the required costs to complete energy efficient projects.

STEP 4: Implement Upgrades
Working with your preferred local contractors, GDS can provide guidance to implement the low or no-cost energy savings recommendations and equipment upgrades discussed in your agriculture energy management plan.

On-Farm Energy Audit Bottom Line: Increased Profitability

There are many benefits to having an energy management plan completed for your operation, including identifying and prioritizing energy efficiency opportunities to help you:

  • Save energy and save money
  • Enhance livestock comfort
  • Improve worker safety
  • Reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases
  • Gain eligibility for financial assistance to purchase and install recommended improvements

GDS’s evaluation of your operation, equipment, and energy use will provide you with:

  • Prioritized list of cost-effective energy savings opportunities and steps to design, purchase, and install projects
  • Analysis of your energy use, which equipment is using the largest amounts of energy, and what can be done to decrease your energy costs
  • Simple, no-cost operational changes that can save you money
  • Eligibility to apply for NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funding
  • Access to other technical and financial assistance opportunities

Beyond Agriculture Energy Management Plans

One of the main benefits of using GDS for your energy audit is our broad range of knowledge and expertise in other farm operation areas:

  • Crop advising
  • Waste handling and manure management
  • Sustainable agriculture and management
  • Greenhouse gas accounting and crediting
  • Power load management
  • Rate and billing analysis
  • Renewable energy assessment and feasibility studies

A Sample Audit Report

Please click to see a recent Agriculture Energy Management Plan Audit Report.

More Energy Audit Questions You May Have

How much will the energy audit cost?

The final cost of the audit will depend on the operation, but is typically between $1,500 and $3,000.

Will the energy audit help me determine if renewable energy (wind, solar) would be a good fit for my operation?

The AgEMP does not include renewable assessments or feasibility studies. Additional analysis could be included as an add-on. The audit will help identify energy efficiency opportunities that are likely more cost-effective than a renewable energy system. By starting with energy efficiency first, you will ultimately need a smaller renewable energy system to meet your goals.

What should I do to prepare for the energy audit?

  • Gather your last 24 months of utility bills; this information will need to be provided to the energy advisor.
  • Jot down some notes about your buildings and equipment, and note any future plans for improvement.
  • Block out about two to four hours to spend with the energy advisor, reviewing your equipment and operations.

What happens after the energy audit is completed?

  • The energy advisor will email a copy of the report to you and to the local NRCS office (if you desire). The report will contain recommendations for low- and no-cost projects to help save energy and save costs at your facility.
  • You may be eligible for funding to implement the recommended opportunities. GDS will identify eligible projects and recommend further funding sources.

Federal Programs

REAP— the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) —https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency

EQIP— the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)– https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/md/programs/financial/eqip/


Bethany Reinholtz
Mike Siska