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Energy Solutions: A Guide for Agriculture

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Pitigliano Farms Pumped Up $80,000 Savings on Their Energy Costs

At 2,300 acres, Pitigalino Farms has immense energy needs, which translate into big energy expenses. The Pitiglianos realized that since 90% of their energy expenditure is used on irrigation, they decided to sign up for a Time-Of-Use (TOU) rate that would optimize their energy consumption. They saved $80,000 in 2013, nearly $60,000 saved on TOU rates and another $20,000 saved with the Agricultural and Pumping Interruptible (API), a Demand Response program.

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More Energy Management Success Stories


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Business Energy Advisor

Your business has unique energy needs, and we have customized recommendations to help you manage them. Take a survey to get information about your equipment and energy use habits, and then build an energy plan to help you achieve greater energy efficiency and better manage your bottom line.

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Finance Your Energy-Efficient Projects

Several agriculture businesses have already taken advantage of energy-efficient equipment. To help your business receive these same cost-efficient benefits, we offer low-interest financing for qualified energy-efficient projects.


Energy-Efficient Solutions and Tips for Agriculture

Here are just a few of the energy-efficient programs and suggestions that our customers have employed to increase their cost efficiency. You’ll also find more energy-efficient solutions in our Large Retailers Fact Sheet and Small Retailers Fact Sheet, and a complete list of all our qualifying energy-efficiency incentives and demand response programs by requesting our Solutions Directory.

Thinking of making your business more energy efficient? We’ve compiled a Contractor & Vendor Directory that connects you with the help you need. From lighting supply wholesalers to refrigeration specialists and even whole building consultants, these are the professionals that can help you reduce energy and costs.

Your facilities may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.


It requires a significant amount of energy to power a water pumping system. If any pump is not working to specifications, or if the pumping requirements have changed, it’s possible the pump could be using power inefficiently. We offer pump testing services to qualified businesses that provide you with information so you can assess your overall pumping performance. Testing helps identify current or potential problems, allowing you to take measures to improve operations and lower your energy cost.

  • Replace sprinklers to drip irrigation for field vegetables, deciduous trees, and vineyards
  • Upgrade to high-efficiency pumps
  • Install a variable speed drive (VSD) to your irrigation system equipped with oversized pumps or varying loads to receive optimum productivity with reduced energy usage as compared to valve throttling or bypassing
  • Install irrigation systems that use water and electricity more efficiently, then manage and maintain the system equipment


Motors and Compressors

Motor-driven equipment—such as pumps, air compressors and fans—can consume a large amount of energy. Making motors and compressors more efficient could reduce your energy costs.

Here are some ways to control your costs.

  • Install automatic shut-off devices to reduce peak demand
  • Install small air compressors for low-use periods
  • Install sequencing controls on multiple-unit compressor systems
  • Install variable-frequency drives to control motor speed
  • Replace old motors with high-efficiency motors
  • Optimize system efficiency through smart SCADA controls, condensers, premium efficient motors, compressors and compressed air


Your business may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.


Refrigeration can be a big energy guzzler for an agribusiness. Upgrades to optimize your units can make a big impact on your bottom line.

  • Replace worn or missing door gaskets on refrigerated units
  • Install refrigeration curtains, and/or auto door closers on refrigeration units
  • Add temperature controllers to your refrigeration units
  • Upgrade to high-efficiency fans and programmable thermostats


Lighting and Lighting Controls

Help improve your energy efficiency by better managing your lighting costs.

  • Use LED bulbs and LED exit signs
  • Install dimmable ballasts to lower energy use in fluorescent lamps
  • Install inexpensive occupancy sensors
  • Install sensory controllers on vending machines


Your business may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.

Demand Response Programs (DR)

With these programs, receive bill credits for temporarily reducing energy use upon request during periods of high-energy demand. Choose the ones that best fit your operational needs.


Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR)

Receive energy savings by using smart technology that effortlessly and temporarily reduces the amount of energy your business uses (known as “load reduction”) during a DR event. With Auto-DR, load reduction is automatic and reliable, so it’s easier to participate in DR programs to capitalize on program earnings and help lower your energy costs.


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No-Cost, Do-It-Yourself Tips

Here are some immediate ways to significantly reduce your business energy use.

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  • Shut off all or most pumps during TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Decrease use of aerators during TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Plan your irrigation to maximize lower cost time periods such as evenings and weekends
  • Pump water into a reservoir prior to TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Adjust variable-speed drive controls for fans and pumps
  • Reduce compressed air discharge pressure by 10 psi
  • Repair air leaks in hoses and pipe connections to extend life of compressor
  • Reduce or shift production tasks
  • Turn off vertical lifts, conveyor belts and non-essential process equipment
  • Shift use of non-essential electrical equipment to before or after TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Charge batteries and battery-operated equipment before or after TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Practice preventative maintenance on motor systems
  • Insulate bare suction lines
  • Pre-cool, then reduce or shift refrigeration load
  • Adjust employees’ schedules so energy-intensive production happens at TOU Off-Peak hours
  • Make comprehensive changes to industrial processes to reduce water consumption
  • Change industrial process water system to reuse processed wastewater

*noon to 6 p.m. June 1 to September 30


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