Program Overview

Agricultural Energy Efficiency Initiative (AEEI):

A Farm Energy Program for Southside and Southwest Virginia
Funded by a 2014 grant from the
Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission
and is supported by
VCE Community Viability and the
Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering Department

Southside and Southwest Virginia farmers interested in energy efficiency improvements are invited to apply to the Agricultural Energy Efficiency Initiative (AEEI).  At least 60 farmers in the Tobacco Region who are accepted into the AEEI will be allocated a $5,000 energy account that will provide 1) access to and funding for energy audits and renewable feasibility studies and 2) a cost-share program for retrofit and/or renewable systems.  In addition, participants will have opportunities to participate in educational programs on energy efficiency practices and technologies. 


The goal of AEEI is to first find these energy-cost saving opportunities and then support the implementation of appropriate on-farm solutions to reduce operating expenses.  Together the outcome will increase the competitive advantage of each participating farm and the region’s production systems.

·         Raise awareness of opportunities to improve energy efficiency resulting in  reduced production costs.

·         Assist farmers in conducting an on-farm energy assessment to identify energy savings opportunities specific to their operation.

·         Provide financial incentives to upgrade to energy efficient equipment and systems identified by the energy assessment.

·         Provide energy efficiency resources required to pursue renewable energy and energy efficiency grants and subsidized loans through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program.

INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING? . . . Here’s how the program works.

Decide that you need an energy assessment of your agricultural operation in order to create a more energy efficient process.  Or, if a farm energy audit (ASABE S612 Farm Energy Audit Criteria or ASHRAE Level II) has been completed within the past two years, decide that you are ready to implement the audit’s energy efficiency recommendations.

If needed, an energy audit will be scheduled for your farm.  Once you receive the report, you will have the opportunity to meet with your Extension agent and discuss the recommendations.

Energy-cost savings opportunities identified in the audit report or in the renewable energy feasibility study are eligible for the 25% cost –share program. Participants may increase the cost-share to 50% (up to the balance remaining in the energy account) by participating at least one (1) educational programs.

For more information

Contact Dr. Martha Walker, Community Viability Specialist by calling 434.766.6761 or emailing to discuss your specific needs and complete the program application.