Your Partner in Energy Efficiency
CT Farm Energy aims to provide information as it pertains to energy and agriculture in Connecticut through the CFEP website, email updates, publications, workshops and events it hosts and participates in.
The First Stop for Farm Energy Opportunities
CFEP serves as a resource and clearinghouse for information about on-farm energy opportunities in relation to grant opportunities, financial incentives, loans, audits, educational opportunities and events for agriculture producers & agriculture based rural small businesses located in Connecticut. CFEP works closely with federal, state and local partner organizations.
Grant Writing Assistance
CFEP provides technical assistance in the form of grant writing to eligible Connecticut agriculture producers & agriculture based rural small businesses in applying for USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants. REAP Grants which are part of the USDA Farm Bill, provide assistance to those who are eligible with energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Guidance for Additional Opportunities
In addition to the REAP grant writing assistance, the Connecticut Farm Energy Program can direct you to other appropriate state and federal programs with sources of funding, incentives and financing available to help you complete your energy project.
A History of Supporting Connecticut Farms
Since 2010 the Connecticut Farm Energy Program has helped CT farms & agriculture based rural small businesses secure over $2.41 million dollars REAP grant assistance and loans through USDA Rural Development. These grant dollars are 25% of project costs, when leveraged equals over 9.67 million dollars in energy efficient and renewable energy projects implemented in Connecticut. Additionally, the Connecticut Farm Energy Program also assists with securing other incentives, rebates, grants and financing to help CT farms and rural small businesses become energy sustainable.
The Farm Viability Grant (FVG) (C.G.S. Sec. 22-26j) is a competitive matching grant program open to municipalities, regional planning organizations, association of municipalities, and agricultural non-profits. The maximum grant award is $49,999.
The Farm Transition Grant Program (FTG) (C.G.S. Sec. 22-26k) is a competitive matching grant to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives. Producers and agriculture cooperatives applying for this grant may be awarded up to $49,999 in matching funds.
Committed to making green energy accessible and affordable to everyone in the state. By creating a flourishing green energy marketplace, we contribute to a better quality of life, a better environment and a better future for all. We create jobs. We grow businesses. We help people thrive. We innovate, educate and activate to accelerate the growth of green energy.
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a program of the Connecticut Green Bank. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, we leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale up energy efficiency and clean energy deployment in Connecticut. The Connecticut Green Bank launched C-PACE in January 2013.
The CT Green Bank, formerly known as the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), offers incentives and innovative low-cost financing to encourage homeowners, companies, municipalities and other institutions to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Contact: 877-947-3873 (877-wise-use)
Energize Connecticut is an initiative dedicated to empowering Connecticut to make smart energy choices, now and in the future. We provide Connecticut consumers, businesses and communities the resources and information they need to make it easy to save energy and build a clean energy future for everyone in the state. It is an initiative of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities. The initiative has funding support from a charge on customer energy bills.
Expert advice is provided to help your facility operate more efficiently, including rebates for energy savings and renewable energy improvements. We also connect you with funding resources for clean renewable energy or to make energy efficiency improvements (lighting, motors, heating, refrigeration, programmable thermostats, and energy management systems).
In addition to retrofitting programs New Construction Programs are also available. An example includes a project recently completed at Oakridge Dairy Farm in Ellington, CT.
Contact: NRCS, 860-871-4011
The Energy Initiative is designed to help producers improve energy efficiency on their agricultural operations. This initiative provides funding for individual on-farm energy audits, and results which will allow participants to save both money and energy when fully implemented.
Financial assistance is available for site-specific energy analysis of eligible farmsteads and irrigation systems. This analysis, known as an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), is completed by NRCS-certified Technical Service Providers. With a completed AgEMP or other qualifying energy audit, eligible producers can apply for EQIP assistance for the purchase and installation of improvements including but not limited to:
- Plate coolers
- Ventilation and fans
- Irrigation pumps
- Grain dryers
- Greenhouse improvements
- Maple syrup evaporators
- Heating and refrigeration units
- Insulation and building envelope sealing
- Motor controls and variable speed drives
Applications should be made through a Connecticut NRCS office
USDA Rural Development: Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
Contact: Windsor Area Office, 860-688-7725
Tri-State Energy Coordinator’s Office, 508-295-5151
- Energy Efficiency funds available: Grants to $250,000 – cannot exceed 25% of total project cost. Guaranteed Loans up to $10 million with rates and terms negotiated. Uses: Energy efficient improvements, including, machinery and equipment for a variety of farm uses.
- Energy Generation funds available: Grants to $500,000 maximum – cannot exceed 25% of total project cost. Guaranteed Loans up to $10 million with rates and terms negotiated Uses: The purchase & installation of renewable energy generation systems, including: biomass, geothermal, solar, wind and hydropower.
CL&P and United Illuminating will accept bids from renewable energy project developers /owners on the energy their system will produce. This LREC/ZREC program creates a market-driven bidding process for projects to compete to obtain a 15-year revenue stream from the sale of RECs to the electric utilities. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved CL&P and UI’s LREC/ZREC Program solicitation process, contracts and additional methods in Docket No. 11-12-06 on April 4, 2012.
Low Emission Renewable Energy Credits (LREC) and Zero Emission REC (ZREC): Most farms fall under the "small projects" category launched by the utility companies in 2013. Farms will get a set amount of credits based on the energy produced over a period of fifteen years.
Connecticut’s Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs) currently offer Net Metering (NM) for electricity generated by a customer from a Class I renewable energy source (i.e., solar, wind, etc.), through a billing credit, that has a nameplate capacity rating of two megawatts or less. For additional information on NM, please contact the EDC that services your area, United Illuminating (UI) or Eversource.
Production from the generator is first used to reduce the electric consumption of the Customer Host. Surplus production can then be assigned (virtually) to reduce the electric bill of one or more Beneficial Accounts. Section 121 of Public Act 11-80 originally authorized virtual net metering for Connecticut’s municipal customers. Section 35 of Public Act 13-298 expanded virtual net metering to include state and agricultural customers. Surplus production from the Customer Host, referred to as Virtual Net Metering Credits, is assigned to the electric bill of the Beneficial Accounts. Virtual Net Metering Credits equal the generation charge and a portion of the Transmission and Distribution charges of the Customer Host. Virtual Net Metering Credits, which are applied monthly, will appear as a credit on the electric bill of each Beneficial Account. If the Customer Host produces more kWhs than the Host and the Beneficial Accounts together use in a billing period the excess kWhs, referred to as Unassigned Virtual Net Metering Credits, are ‘banked’ and can be applied to a future electric bill within the calendar year. Any Unassigned Virtual Net Metering Credits that remain ‘banked’ at the end of the calendar year are credited to the Customer Host’s electric bill.