NRCS Grant

Hope’s Edge Farm Conservation Innovation Grant

From Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Grant start and end dates date 8/31/12 to 8/31/14

Total project amount: $8,023

Contribution from grant $4,011


The Goal of our project was to demonstrate how to meet a farm’s energy needs while displacing fossil fuel usage and reducing its carbon footprint.


Our primary Objective was to reduce annual Farm energy usage by 15% to 25%. Usage at the time the grant was submitted was11,000 kWh. Proposed new usage objective was 9,000 kWh.


The Project, which will end in August 2014, has replaced old, highly inefficient cooling and freezing equipment with new, energy-efficient equipment. As shareholders may know, in the early days of the CSA we were grateful to receive donations of “retired” refrigerators and freezers, all of which were at least 15-20 years old. Those appliances helped the CSA greatly but also used too much energy. As shown in the chart below, these appliances were replaced with Energy Star-rated commercial models that use significantly less energy.


Old Cooling Equipment

New Cooling Equipment

Item Cubic Feet kWh/Day Item Cubic Feet kWh/Day
Beverage Air Glass Door Cooler (150 days/year)



Beverage Air 3 door cooler HR3-1G (150 days)



GE Fridge/Freezer(full year)



Whirlpool FreezerH185FXTQ (full year)



RCA Fridge/Freezer(150 days/year)



Not replaced
Montgomery Ward Upright Freezer (full year)



Frigidaire FreezerFFU21M7HW (full year)








(This chart incorporates a change we made mid-grant: purchasing a second freezer rather than a new fridge/freezer)


Results to Date (3/1/14)

  1. The new appliances are wonderful and fulfill our needs for refrigeration and freezing;
  2. Their energy usage is as indicated;
  3. Because of other non-grant related energy decisions we made last summer and just every day differences in how we use electricity in the farmhouse and on the farm, it so far has proved difficult to compare “before” and ���after” energy usage. However, now that all the new appliances are on line, we will be spending time this spring and summer reviewing energy usage figures to make an “apples to apples” comparison before the end of the grant period. These results will be posted here.
  4. The grant process has increased our awareness of our carbon footprint and challenged us to consider how we use energy on this farm.


  • “This material [on this webpage] is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-1218-2-25.
  •  “Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”


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