Case Studies




Success Stories with Measured Benefits of Farm Energy Efficiency

These case studies demonstrate the benefits of farm energy efficiency improvements. In each example, an energy audit was conducted before and after farm upgrades to quantify savings. Many case studies focus on dairy and greenhouse operations, but energy efficiency benefits and assistance are available for all types of farms. Explore the stories below and read more about energy efficiency improvements on farms similar to your own.

We encourage you to get started on energy efficiency and use no-cost, no-commitment energy assessments to guide improvements beforehand and to measure and demonstrate benefits after making improvements.

You can view additional case studies about New York State farm energy efficiency and conservation from NYSERDA and from Cornell Small Farms. Ag Energy NY is developing case studies for energy efficiency in the farm sectors we focus on. If you are interested in an energy assessment, technical and financial support for efficiency upgrades, or highlighting a success story, please respond to our interest survey.

Maple Lawn Farms, Garrison, NY

This dairy farm made improvements to lighting and water treatment systems based on an energy efficiency audit. Maple Lawn was also assisted by NYSERDA in planning and funding changes to a new milking system the farm had upgraded to, resulting in increased efficiency and reducing maintenance and energy costs.


Wheatfield Gardens, North Tonawanda, NY

Upgrading the light controller and installing dimmable LEDs resulted in lasting energy savings for this greenhouse operation. The reduced operating costs were enough to pay back the upgrade costs in less than a quarter of a year.


Ideal Dairy, Hudson Falls, NY

Preparing to expand operations, this dairy worked with NYSERDA to complete energy audits. Results from those energy audits guided National Grid in providing grants for priority efficiency upgrades, including Variable Speed Drive (VSD) fans and LED lighting.


Dygert Farms, Palatine Bridge, NY

A farm energy assessment was the starting point for this dairy to make efficiency improvements that save thousands of dollars annually. Assessment results help prioritize what upgrades offer the most benefits, how much different upgrades will cost, and how long it will take for savings to pay back the costs of upgrades. The assessment is also a starting point for many funding opportunities. On this farm, NYSERDA funded upgrades to lighting, motors, and pumps, and the installation of a plate cooler.


Sustainable Farm Energy by Cornell Small Farms

Sustainable farm energy programs were offered by Cornell Small Farms from 2011 – 2014, funded by Northeast SARE. Webinars and a report, NY Small Farm Energy Innovators, are available and tailored for both educators and farmers. These resources include stories of farms who have received energy audits and made efficiency improvements.


Firth Maple Products, Spartansburg, PA

A nationally available USDA Rural Development grant, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), helped fund the upgrade of Reverse Osmosis (RO) and evaporator efficiency technology on a maple farm not far from Western New York.