Overview of the Farm Energy Efficiency Program

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.

Key to the success of this effort is the growth and development of a farm energy efficiency “community of expertise” within the state that is able to provide necessary advanced analysis and support to the agricultural sector.

Also vital is the development of an energy savvy agricultural population within the state that is able to recognize energy opportunities and manage their operations in an optimized manner.

Examples of the program's outputs and efforts

Farm Energy Efficiency Education

Educational programming aimed at agricultural producers who are interested in improving their energy efficiency and profitability.

  • Recent examples include an “energy on the farm” workshop in Lancaster county and “smart energy shopping” presentations in Montgomery and Berks counties.

Farm Energy Assessment Training

These workshops are designed to provide training to energy specialists and agricultural professionals who wish to develop a proficiency in on‐site farm energy assessment. They include a combination of classroom and hands‐on training, and require participants to carry out and submit an independent farm energy assessment before their participation is certified.

Farm Energy Assessments

Agricultural energy specialists within the program team provide energy assessment support to local farmers on an “available resources” basis. This can take the form of a phone or email discussion to support a farmer’s self‐assessment efforts, or can include a full audit of the facility in question.

In general the program seeks to complement available expertise in the private sector rather than compete.

Analysis Tools and Educational Materials

The farm energy efficiency program team continually develops and expands upon available tools and materials for farm energy efficiency. Materials include assessment handbooks, worksheets, fact sheets, and the energy selector tool.