N.H. House Bill Would Expand Grant Program To Include Farm Energy Efficiency Projects | New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. House Bill Would Expand Grant Program To Include Farm Energy Efficiency Projects

Dec 24, 2019

Credit Steve Richardson via Flickr CC

A proposed bill in the New Hampshire House would expand a grant program from the state's agriculture department to include energy efficiency projects on farms.

The grant program currently supports farmers to better manage their fertilizer and manure to cut down on water pollution.

This bill would expand those grants to support energy efficiency projects such as sugar house equipment upgrades or on-farm electrical generation and storage.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Craig Thompson of Harrisville, says it's one way to tackle climate change.

"Anything we can do to decrease fossil fuel consumption, anything we can do to increase energy efficiency, anything we can do to pursue electricity right here on the farm, we need to pursue those efforts,” he said.

Thompson, who owns a farm, says farmers are often operating on thin margins, so providing grants for these kinds of projects may help stretch their dollars.

“A lot of sugarhouses burn oil to boil the sap. If you run your sap through reverse osmosis equipment, you burn about a third as much oil,” he said. “So there's a real savings there for the farms that are producing syrup."