Saving Energy on Your Farm
For all agricultural production and food processing systems, minimizing energy consumption and seeking out efficiency opportunities, particularly in relation to fossil fuels, reduces carbon footprints. For energy-intensive production systems, improved energy efficiency has the potential to result in substantial cost savings. Each operation will have different opportunities for energy efficiency. Farm energy assessments are available for eligible farms that have an up to date Environmental Farm Plan. Farms that qualify can receive an all fuels energy assessment including identification of energy savings opportunities. In some cases, producers will then be eligible for (Beneficial Management Practices Program) cost-share incentives. For more information, please call 1-866-522-3443 or click here: Environmental Farm Plan Program.
BC Farm Energy Assessment Tool
If you have an agricultural operation and you’re interested in better understanding your energy consumption, as well as identifying general energy savings opportunities for your operation type, consider using the BC Farm Energy Assessment Tool. As long as you have information on your recent energy consumption, you can input that data into the tool and receive recommendations automatically. DOWNLOAD the BC Farm Energy Assessment Tool (MS Excel). (Please note that Microsoft Excel versions no older than 2007 must be used to effectively operate the BC Farm Energy Assessment Tool. Macros in this workbook must be enabled for the tool to operate. If you have not already enabled Macros on the ‘Security Warning’ pop-up above, type ‘Enable Macros’ into your Excel Help menu to explain how.)
Energy Savings Opportunities
Below are Factsheets (and a Case Study) that highlight key energy efficiency opportunities and available incentives for various farm types. Download the Factsheet on your farm type for ideas about saving energy on your farm.
Factsheets – Saving Energy
- Energy Factsheet – DAIRY 2012
- Energy Factsheet – FIELD CROPS 2012
- Energy Factsheet – GRAIN 2012
- Energy Factsheet – GREENHOUSES 2012
- Energy Factsheet – NURSERIES 2012
- Energy Factsheet – ORCHARDS 2012
- Energy Factsheet – PACKING & COLD STORAGE – 2012
- Energy Factsheet – POULTRY 2012
- Energy Factsheet – VINEYARDS & WINERIES 2012
- BCFEA Factsheet 1 – Vegetable & Floriculture Greenhouses (2011)
Case Studies – Saving Energy
Additional External Resources
- BC Hydro Industrial Program
Information about incentives and rebates available from BC Hydro for various energy efficiency technologies for industry.
- FortisBC — Saving energy for businesses
Information on saving energy including tools, tips and success stories as well as Fortis BC’s Energy Assessment Program (available to customers using over 2,000 GJ of natural gas per year).
- Farm Energy
Although its information is primarily relevant to producers in the United States this website provides interesting resources including “success stories” highlighting innovative on-farm clean energy initiatives as well as links to other US sources that provide information on specific technologies (including solar, geothermal and wind power, biogas digesters, biofuels, biodiesel and energy efficiency).
- Farm Energy Calculators
The National (US) Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) website offers farm energy calculators and planning tools to help producers save electrical energy, fuel or fossil-fuel-based fertilizers. A number of the calculators apply only to the US — but the Oregon, Matindale and Wisconsin PSC resources are accessible for BC. There are also links to ATTRA publications and assessment tools.