Cover photo for ACRE3 Agricultural Energy Efficiency

ACRE3 Agricultural Energy Efficiency

Colorado Department of Agriculture

The ACRE3 program, in coordination with USDA NRCS-Colorado and the Colorado Energy Office, announces the availability of $250,000 for agricultural energy efficiency projects.

Many energy efficiency opportunities can be very economical, paying for themselves in two years or less. You may even find some practical ways to cut energy costs without spending a dime.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has partnered with the Colorado Energy Office, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-Colorado, and other partners to promote the EQIP On-Farm Energy Initiative for conducting on-farm energy audits. All EQIP-eligible Colorado dairies, irrigators, greenhouses, and cold storage facilities can receive technical and financial assistance from the ACRE3 program through the Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program.

An AgEMP starts with an agricultural energy audit that may include an assessment of on-site renewable energy resources if desired.


All EQIP-eligible Colorado agricultural producers and processors can receive technical and financial assistance from the ACRE3 program.

Eligible participants include any of the following operations which also accrue $4,800+ in on-farm energy costs annually.

  • Dairies

  • Irrigators

  • Greenhouses/Nurseries

  • Cold Storage Facilities

  • Poultry & Swine operations

  • Feedlots

Please note Cannabis and Hemp operations are not eligible for this program and transportation energy expenses are excluded from the $4,800 requirement.

Application Instructions

Step 1: Determine Eligibility and Submit the Application

If you have determined you meet the eligibility requirements, please fill out the AgEE Program Application and email it to

If you are having any trouble filling out the application please feel free to reach out to Wil Mannes by phone (303-866-2418) or by email (

Step 3: Gather Information & Schedule an Audit

Once your application is received the program administrator, Nexant, Inc., will become your "Energy Coach", reaching out to collect historical energy use data and schedule a no-cost onsite energy audit. 

Step 4: Guided Audit & Audit Report Performed

Your Energy Coach will come out to your operation and audit the sites outlined in your application to identify potential energy saving measures and collect operational data. After the site visit, your Energy Coach will develop and review your streamlined audit report with you.

This audit report identifies:

  • Potential energy efficiency upgrades

  • Estimated project costs

  • Estimated annual savings

  • Estimated available funding

  • Payback periods


Step 5: Determine Financing Options & Apply for Funding

If after reviewing your streamlined audit report you decide to move forward with a project, your Energy Coach will once again review potential funding sources (outlined below), help secure project quotes from potential contractors and guide you through the funding application process.

Potential Funding Options Available:

  • CEO Rebates (Incentives)

  • Utility Rebates

  • NRCS EQIP Grants

  • USDA REAP Grants

  • CDA ACRE3 Grants

  • CPACE financing

  • Private Loans through a variety of sources


It is important to note that to meet qualifications for ACRE3, EQIP, and REAP grants, your Energy Coach will need to develop a more in-depth audit report referred to as an Energy Management Plan or "EMP" before you can move forward with the application process.


Financial Instrument

Grant, Cost Share, Loan

Updated March 22, 2024

Image Credit: Colorado Department of Agriculture

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.

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