Agricultural energy efficiency, demand response and other distributed energy resources pose unique challenges—and opportunities. That’s always been the case, but it’s never been truer than today, as innovation takes hold across the agriculture sector.
Traditional farms are major consumers of resources. According to the USDA, farm businesses account for 90% of fuel and electricity consumption in the agriculture sector, while only comprising 41% of all U.S. farms. Whether through direct energy consumption in the form of gasoline, diesel, electricity and natural gas or indirect consumption from energy-intensive fertilizers and pesticides, farms are ripe for innovative grid optimization strategies.
Franklin Energy has completed thousands of assessments across eight states since we began implementing agricultural programs in 2004, and exceeded our clients' energy savings goals every year since then. We were the first implementer to deliver on-site, same-day assessment reports to farmers when a leading agricultural University chose us to field test their dairy auditing tool, and they later chose us again to field test their greenhouse auditing tool.
Over the years, we've developed strong relationships with agribusiness leaders throughout the country and have extensive experience in the dairy, beef, swine, poultry, equine, fruit, vegetable, grain, greenhouse and aquaculture sub-markets. Our agricultural experience even includes CAFO, cannabis and food processing facilities, and new construction projects.
The agriculture market is uniquely poised to embrace grid optimization. Some farms already produce renewable energy themselves. Others lease out land for wind turbine, solar, geothermal, oil or gas development. And a small but growing number of farmers are growing biomass fuels.
Add to that the recent rise in indoor agriculture, urban agriculture and vertical farming, and it's clear that the time for pioneering agricultural programs is now. Today's comprehensive, integrated agricultural programs need to include emerging technologies, like spectrum-shift LED poultry lighting, grain dryer heat recovery retrofits and robotic milking systems, maintenance of energy-intensive systems like compressed air and irrigation, and renewable energy. They need to incorporate sustainability goals and the water-energy nexus needs to be considered in drought-prone states such as California and Arkansas. Our approach to innovative agricultural programs includes outreach staff, energy advisers and account managers, all uniquely experienced in and focused on the agricultural sector, working together with our centralized engineering team and strategic partners to design cutting-edge solutions.
By staying on top of industry trends, finding synergies and carefully considering your customers' unique needs, Franklin Energy is working to design the agricultural programs of the future. Our customized energy auditing tools and industry-specific knowledge will help your agricultural customers save energy and strategically reduce peak demand to keep resources flowing across the board. Franklin Energy has a track record of successfully generating savings on a larger scale than is typically seen in the agricultural sector and our average customer service score in the sector is 92%.