For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 9, 1999
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Loans Help Cut Costs at California Dairy Operations

California's dairy producers can improve their energy efficiency and cut operating costs with two new low interest loan programs available now from the California Energy Commission.

Up to $150,000 per applicant is available at 3.3 percent interest to dairy operators willing to use their facilities to demonstrate new energy efficiency technology.

Program one offers funds to purchase adjustable speed drives for vacuum and milking pump systems. Research by the University of California shows substantial cost savings when pump motors are run at variable speeds to match the needs of milking systems, instead of at constant high speeds. Loan applications are now available and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The second program offers funding for commercially available energy efficiency technologies not yet as widely accepted as variable speed drives. Creative ways to save energy are being sought for milking barn operation, design or construction. Suggested project areas include milk cooling, vacuum systems, ventilation, manure management, water use or other dairy-related operations. To be considered, project loan applications must be received by the Energy Commission in Sacramento by July 1, 1999.

All projects must be able to recoup their costs from the energy savings within seven years or less. The goal of the program is to improve not only the energy efficiency of dairy operations, but to establish educational sites that demonstrate to other dairy professionals the effectiveness of innovative new technology.

Applications may be obtained by writing, calling or e-mailing Elizabeth Boynton at the California Energy Commission's Energy in Agriculture Program, 1516 Ninth Street, MS-42, Sacramento, CA 95814-5512. Her telephone number is 916-654-4089; her e-mail address is

An on-line loan application can also be downloaded from the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

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