Your local electric cooperative, GDS Associates and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have teamed up with Hoosier Energy to offer member farms and small businesses a cost saving opportunity that could prove financially beneficial for their bottom line.


Rural Energy Audits take a detailed look at on-site energy-using equipment to see how much energy is being consumed on an annual basis and whether solutions exist to reduce that usage. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Tier II audit qualifications provide valuable reporting for future upgrades.


Upon application to the program, a certified energy auditor from GDS Associates will make an on-site visit to discuss operational energy consumption, equipment, and run-times. The energy review will be performed on electric, LP, natural gas, and additional fuel consumption for energy purposes. This will help determine if a more thorough review would provide cost-saving solutions for the member business.


Once approved, a price quote will be sent along with terms and conditions. If selected, seventy-five percent of the assessment would be paid for by USDA grant opportunities while only the remainder would be the responsibility of the farm operator or member business owner. This cost-sharing model allows opportunities for a deeper look and more potential for energy savings upon completion of the audit.


Hoosier Energy Manager of Energy Management Solutions Blake Kleaving says having the member pay a portion of the audit is important for follow-through. “When a member-consumer invests money into the audit, they are more likely to make the recommended changes to help reduce their overall energy use,” said Kleaving.


Most find great value in an energy audit.


The possible savings, grants, rebates, and low-interest loans along with energy efficient upgrades, and the production of reliable data could help members save money for years to come. If you or an electric co-op member you know is interested in the Rural Energy Audit program, please contact your local electric co-op or Hoosier Energy.


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