Why the Mass Farm Energy Program?
MFEP provides the Commonwealth’s agricultural community with resources and methods to reduce energy use and produce renewable energy on farms. These on-farm energy upgrades improve farm viability and the environmental performance of the agricultural industry in Massachusetts by reducing energy consumption, operating costs, emissions, and dependence on fossil fuels.
Farm viability and practical savings The average net income of a Massachusetts farmer is just over $12,000 according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. At the same time, average annual energy savings from efficiency projects facilitated through MFEP averaged $12,000 per farm in 2009–2010. Energy efficiency improvements are a sound business decision that can have a significant impact on overall farm viability. The economic benefit of these savings is multiplied as farmers reinvest in the local economy as they maintain and grow their businesses.
Supportive climate and leadership Forward-thinking energy policies in Massachusetts have combined with supportive agencies and utility programs, financial incentives, national agricultural programs, and good partners to provide fertile ground for farm energy projects in our state. Since its inception in 2008, MFEP has helped farmers save over $800,000 annually on energy costs. Massachusetts’ farmers can set an example for other industries in the region by making viable business decisions that improve operations and profitability while minimizing negative environmental impacts of “business as usual.”
As a result of partnerships between farm business owners, government agencies, for-profit practitioners, and public programs, farm energy upgrades are contributing to the region’s environmental goals and resilience of our agricultural communities.