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When the Missouri Agricultural Energy Savings Team—A Revolutionary Opportunity (MAESTRO) first reached out to farmers to offer loans for efficiency upgrades, they were surprised to find the farmers often declined this offer. What MAESTRO soon realized was that they needed to find another way to generate initial interest.
MAESTRO decided to offer rebates for three levels of energy evaluations and recommended upgrades, in addition to loans. As the program adjusted to better reach its audience, agricultural participation went from one interested party to more than 30. Once the program has established a relationship with a farmer, MAESTRO then encourages the participants to look at deeper upgrades as an investment, offering them a 3% interest rate buy-down for up to $50,000.
With the price of agricultural goods dropping and operational costs continuing to rise, MAESTRO is working to show farmers the long-term benefits of energy efficiency improvements.