Continuing the discussion of converting an alphabet soup of acronyms into easy grant applications. Energy Improvement Matters (EIM) is covering the “A to Zs of Grants with Ease” to make applications easier for you and to increase your odds of winning grants and subsidies. We previously covered A-E, including advice, benefits, calculations, deeds, and EQIP. Today, EIM will cover funding, goals, hogs and HVAC.
Fun Funding: Here are some fun numbers and funding facts to spice up this acronyms soup. The REAP grant will pay up to 25% of your project total! This means a $200,000 grain dryer replacement project can be awarded up to $50,000. A $50,000 animal housing upgrade project can be awarded up to $12,500. EQIP can pay up to 80% of your project total on improvements recommend in an on-site energy audit, which is free to you if approved by the NRCS. That’s right: zero US dollars for farms with NRCS approval for the CAP 128! While no competitive grant is a sure thing, EIM has a strong history of writing successful grant applications.
Goals: It may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes plans translate a bit differently once thoughts are put onto paper. EIM helps you put your goals into writing. Having an actual documented plan for reaching those goals can help keep you on track and it helps grant writers determine what grant might be best for your farm.
Hogs and HVAC: What do they have in common? Both they are both animal housing upgrades: heating, ventilation and air-conditioning qualified for REAP grants so long as they are reducing utility bills and using more energy-efficient equipment. Putting a focus on your utility bills now can pay off down the road. Make use of all the grants and subsidies you can for exceptional insulation, increase in efficient lighting, heating and cooling. How do you know if new equipment is a good return on investment? Thorough analysis and numbers, you may ask NRCS to pay EIM to complete an on-farm energy assessment. If you want a quick idea of whether new equipment is a good investment, you may figure that if your grain dryer or other “energy-hog” is ten to twenty years old, there is probably more efficient equipment out there that will pay for itself in a few years and will have less chance of breaking down when you need it.
Look for our next issue where we’ll continue untangling the alphabet soup!
By Janet Stout Everly, EdD, COO at EIM