University of Missouri Extension

G1978, New January 2015

Energy Conservation and Efficiency in Farm Shops

Don Day
Extension Associate
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Amanda Marney
Extension Associate
Department of Biological Engineering
Joseph Kendrick
Extension Associate
Department of Biological Engineering
Brian Robertson
Extension Associate
Department of Biological Engineering

Energy losses in farm shops resemble those in homes, but we often ignore these losses. The farm shop is usually not heated to as high a temperature as the home and not as constantly, but energy savings in the shop are attainable with some conservation and efficiency practices.

The first step to consider is to obtain an energy audit, especially if you feel you have high energy use in the shop. The energy audit for a farm shop is similar to one for a home. An energy audit is an in-depth examination that determines:

To explain further, an energy audit evaluates the current energy usage, makes calculations of existing systems' efficiency and compares them to proposed new systems. The Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP) created afterward explains any energy-saving measures recommended for the shop. AgEMP reports may qualify for financial assistance from various funding sources, including but not limited to federal grants, loan programs or energy tax credits.

The MAESTRO program was created to strengthen the financial viability of Missouri's livestock producers through energy efficiency. All data on potential energy savings for shops were obtained through this program. Sixty farms representing beef, swine and dairy operations had their shops evaluated for energy usage. The energy savings came from updating lighting, insulating and sealing the shops from air leakage, and upgrading to more efficient heaters. Of the 60 farm shops evaluated, the projected electrical savings were 88,160 kwh. The estimated payback on renovations was 9.7 years, using the estimated savings detailed in Table 1.

Table 1
Average estimated savings per farm.

  Estimated savings (mmbtu) Installed cost Installed cost Electricity saved (kwh)
Total 783.48 $228,358.49 $23,464.97 88,160.41
Average per farm 13.058 $3,806 $391> 1,469.01

Low-cost energy-saving practices

Medium-cost energy-saving practices

High-cost energy-efficiency practices

Additional information

G1978 Energy Conservation and Efficiency in Farm Shops | University of Missouri Extension

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