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Albany, NY (January 6, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $3.2 million in available grants through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to help farmers across the state reduce their energy use, save on operating costs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions through more efficient use of energy.
The program will provide financial incentives to support 75 percent of the cost of electricity and gas efficiency investments. Farms that are eligible for the grants include: orchards, dairies, vineyards, maple producers, egg and poultry farms, grain, specialty crops, and others. Upgrades covered in the grants include: process improvements, lighting upgrades, and high-efficiency fan, pump, and motor systems, and other measures. Small farms could be eligible for free energy audits to assist in identifying energy efficiency projects.
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy was joined by officials from NYSERDA and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets in Liverpool today to launch the new $3.2 million Agriculture Energy Efficiency program at the 179th Annual Meeting and Forum of the New York State Agriculture Society in Liverpool.
"The state's agricultural sector helps fuel our economy and put food on our table, and we have a plan to make New York farms even more competitive," Governor Cuomo said. "These grants will improve the energy efficiency of farming operations and lower costs for farmers. This not only protects farming jobs, it creates green jobs for the people making the improvements."
Past NYSERDA programs demonstrate that a typical dairy farm can save 20 to 30 percent of its energy bill with cost-effective energy efficiency improvements at an average seven-year payback. The Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program can provide a typical dairy farm with $2,700 to $4,000 per year in savings from a farm investment of $4,800 to $7,000.
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, "New York agricultural products are among the finest in the world, and Governor Cuomo and I are committed to helping our farmers lower costs and gain access to new markets. By helping farmers upgrade to more energy efficient equipment, we are protecting our environment and protecting jobs."
Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA said, "NYSERDA is pleased to add this new agriculture program to help improve productivity and reduce energy and operating costs for this critically important sector of New York's economy, and thank Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy for their support of this initiative. NYSERDA looks forward to working with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Farm Bureau, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Public Service Commission, and others to ensure that farm and on-farm production operations all across New York benefit from this important initiative."
Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau, said, "The cost of energy is one of the biggest barriers to success for farms. This program will help farmers afford new, more efficient measures to conserve energy and protect the farm's bottom line. The support for the agricultural industry by Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy is greatly appreciated, as it demonstrates that the new administration is focused on making farming a centerpiece of policy efforts to help revitalize the state's economy."
Deborah Grantham, Assistant Director for Environment & Natural Resources at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, said, "Cornell Cooperative Extension regards on-farm energy efficiency as a crucial element of energy planning for New York State and in ensuring agricultural sustainability and profitability. We are very pleased to partner with the Cuomo administration on this extremely important and timely effort."
For more information about the Agriculture Energy Efficiency program, visit www.nyserda.org/programs/agriculture, or call 1-800-732-1399.