Educational Materials

All the information presented in this article is directed to farmers who are classified as "commercial" or "industrial" customers of electricity. If you are classified as a "residential" customer, this article does not apply to you because your price for electricity is based on a flat (or nearly flat) rate of x cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour).

Tractors and other diesel engines on the farm require considerably less fuel if properly operated and maintained. Achieving (and maintaining) peak performance of your engines will result in many benefits such as high fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance expenses, reduced downtime, and extended life.

As farms become larger and more mechanized, the need for larger electric motors also increases. Three-phase electrical power needs to be considered on all farms, especially if you are planning for any renovations or expansions.

The operating efficiency of a ventilation fan can be reduced 30-50% by the accumulation of dust on fan blades and housing or by shutters that do not operate freely.

The sulfur content of "on-road" transportation diesel fuel is regulated by the federal government. The sulfur content has been greatly reduced in recent months, and it is critical that you know the sulfur content of the fuel you are using in your diesel engines on the farm.

Fuel should be stored in a clean, dry, dark environment. Recommended materials for storage tanks include aluminum, steel, polyethylene, polypropylene, and Teflon, but not concrete-lined storage tanks.

This article applies to those farmers who buy fuel oil or gasoline to run their on-site generation equipment. This article does not apply to those farmers who can run their generation equipment with an on-farm source of methane from a manure digester or with natural gas that is available at little or no cost.

What if you are contacted by a company wanting to lease the wind (or any other energy resource) from your farm? Don't be too quick to sign away your potentially valuable resource. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You have probably heard about some farmers who have cashed in on selling the wind rights from their farms. How can you do the same? Obviously, you will need to be in a windy location. But there is far more involved to determine whether you have an attractive location for wind machines.

Energy is an indispensable ingredient for every successful farm. We use energy to heat, cool, plant, harvest, clean, and perform a wide variety of tasks. However, the price of energy can sometimes be a real obstacle to keeping a farm profitable.

Penn State’s Farm Energy Efficiency program is a statewide initiative of the Penn State Cooperative Extension service and part of Extension’s Renewable and Alternative Energy program portfolio.

The Horticulture industry is facing real opportunities for growth and success in the region. However, increasing pressure from rising energy costs is making it more difficult to operate profitably. Growers are looking for ways to reduce energy use, make their operations more ecologically friendly, and improve their bottom line. Because of this, energy efficiency is a key strategy for farm success in the coming years. Here we've assembled a variety of methods and tips to help horticultural producers improve their energy efficiency.

This page lists persons or companies that have successfully completed a Penn State Farm Energy Efficiency workshop. While we do not endorse or promote any one company over another, the following list may serve as a good starting point for finding the right energy experts to meet your needs.