Passing On The Savings. I'm Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.
Farmers and ranchers plus rural business owners in Oregon have a partner when looking into energy saving projects thanks to the REAP program. Nathan Keeley, Ag Operations Manager for OSU's Energy Efficiency Center explains.
KEELEY: Last year we applied for a REAP grant through the USDA to expand what we used to call the Industrial Assessment Center into the OSU Energy Efficiency Center to now serve the agricultural community. The USDA basically gave us this grant to go out and perform these energy assessments at agricultural and rural small businesses.
OSU's EEC works with clients to make sure that their projects really are money saving and cost effective.
KEELEY: Everyone is going to care about energy efficiency but if its not cost effective, if the money isn't there really we understand that there's no possibility for small rural businesses and agricultural businesses to make that shift especially at this time and so we really focus on making cost effective recommendations.
Keeley says that through the REAP program they can now help businesses and farmers start the process at a cost savings.
KEELEY: The money that we got is basically a cost share program where the cost for us to perform and audit to pay students and all of our other expenses is around the range of 15-hundred dollars which is still pretty inexpensive comparatively to a lot of the private businesses and firms but the USDA allows us to offer the same energy assessment to the small rural businesses for only $370 dollars and they pay the rest of the audit so it makes it affordable and reasonable and actually pretty logical for the small rural businesses to be able to get these energy assessments now.
There are a number of restrictions imposed by the USDA and the EEC can help you determine if you really are eligible.
KEELEY: The company has to be in a rural area and either has to have 50% of their income from agricultural sources or is a small rural business as defined by the small business association.
You can get more information on their website. Just search for OSU Energy Efficiency Center.
And for additional information on clean energy, visit harvestcleanenergy.org. That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.