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WI farm sows energy efficiency, reaps early benefits

Wisconsin State Farmer
St. Croix County dairy and crop farm Ter-Rae Farms, Inc. collaborated with FOCUS ON ENERGY®, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program, and Trade Ally contractor Lodermeier’s, Inc. to purchase and install a more energy-efficient grain dryer.

A forward thinking St. Croix County dairy and crop farm is already reaping the benefits of installing a more energy efficient grain dryer that will save them more than $15,000 on their energy bill each month.

Ter-Rae Farms, Inc., established in 1949, collaborated with FOCUS ON ENERGY®, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program, and Trade Ally contractor Lodermeier’s, Inc. to purchase and install the grain dryer.

According to Focus on Energy, the farm received an incentive check for $35,040 from Focus on Energy, paired with an additional $4,000 from its utility provider, Xcel Energy, for implementing energy-saving measures.

Tim Bartels, a utility representative at Xcel Energy, shared with farm owners the number of incentive opportunities available through Focus on Energy for making energy-efficient upgrades and tune-ups. With grain processing equipment expertise from Lodermeier’s, Ter-Rae Farms met with Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy representatives to discuss best-fit grain dryer options.

“Ter-Rae Farms took the first step on its journey into energy efficiency,” said Kevin Weiler, an Energy Advisor for Focus on Energy who worked with the farm on this project. “After explaining the benefits behind installing energy-efficient equipment, including the energy and cost savings, Ter-Rae Farms proceeded to purchase the new grain dryer.”

By making this upgrade, Ter-Rae Farms will save 20,112 therms of natural gas in the first year – equivalent to enough electrical energy to power 18 Wisconsin homes for an entire year. Combined with the incentives, these energy savings will produce an estimated $250,000 in avoided energy costs over the lifetime of the grain dryer, saving the farm more than $15,084 on its energy bills each year. 

“This has been a great experience,” said Dennis Mitchell from Ter-Rae Farms. “Focus on Energy worked with us every step of the way, including identifying the incentive opportunity and calculating the energy savings we could expect to see after purchasing a more fuel-efficient model.”

Focus on Energy partners with 107 utilities across the state to offer energy expertise and financial incentives to residents and businesses that choose to reduce energy waste. A third-party evaluation last year revealed Wisconsin runs the most cost-effective energy efficiency programs in the nation, in terms of energy savings per dollar spent. An evaluation released this year found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates $4.80 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs and reduced pollution.   

Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.