Farm Energy Planning

Save money tomorrow by making energy improvements today.

The Winneshiek Energy District is now offering Farm Energy Planning services to farmers across Iowa. 

f770ff9d-7167-4d9c-8b53-b1efab8d7653Agriculture is the dominant land use and economic mainstay of our Northeast Iowa counties. Can you believe area farmers spend well over $100 million per year on energy inputs? Major cost categories include Nitrogen inputs to cropland; electricity and gas usage in livestock facilities such as dairy, hog, and poultry, and in grain drying; and equipment fuels for field operations.

Much of that energy can be saved through efficiency practices, and much more generated right on the farm through renewables. Taking advantage of these opportunities will help the pocketbooks of farmers, contribute greatly to local economies, and reduce our regional contribution to climate change.

Apply for a Farm Energy Plan

Email us for more information.

The Planning Process

  1. Conduct inventory and analysis of all energy sources and uses, including energy efficiency AND renewable energy opportunities on your site.
  2. Develop a plan.
  3. Help with implementation
  4. Identify potential sources of financial incentives

The Financial Opportunity

  • Economic analysis identifies payback for efficiency upgrades and renewable energy
  • One-stop shop for making sense of the universe of options, including:
    • NRCS/EQIP cost-share and incentive payments
    • Utility rebates
    • Tax incentives
    • RD REAP grants
  • Energy planning can be supported through NRSC EQIP cost-share

Energy Savings Opportunity from Upgrading Metal Halide Lighting Fixtures (example)


Practice Opportunities on your Farm

  • Lighting – the LED era is here and now!
  • HVAC systems in facilities
  • Pumps, motors, milk handling systems
  • Grain operations including fuel and tillage, fertilizer, drying, and even cover cropping
  • Efficiency first, then RENEWABLE opportunities including on-farm solar, wind, methane, and more


Starting at $1,500 for a report that meets NRCS standards for plan-development cost-share.  We strive to offer competitive pricing and most producers can get an AgEMP without needing to pay a significant amount beyond what is offered as cost-share from NRCS. Larger, more complicated farms with multiple enterprises will cost more than smaller single-enterprise farms. An audit of a small grain dryer and machine shop will fall at the lower end of the cost spectrum. Any livestock facilities can add to the complexity of the report. Dairies especially require a longer time spend on the on-site assessment and more extensive energy modeling.

How it Works

  1. Start by collecting energy records for the past 12-24 months including electric, gas/propane, gasoline/diesel, and Nitrogen fertilizer.
  2. We’ll schedule an on-site visit, and possibly return for more data collection.
  3. We’ll take a look at the whole farm, but do let us know if there’s something specific you’re interested in.
  4. You’ll receive a report with details of the analysis and suggestions for further steps.