Farmers in Georgetown are being invited to apply for grants that will help subsidize the costs of replacing the light bulbs in their poultry houses with LED bulbs. An initiative of the Delaware Electric Co-Operative, approximately 60 poultry farms are expected to receive the grants. The grants will enable the farmers to make massive savings as it will charge them just $7 instead of the average $35 for each LED and that’s not to mention the long-term savings the farmers will make in energy bills.
The Delaware Electric Co-operative spokesman Jeremy Tucker said the motivation behind the grant program was to enable the farmers taking part to save substantial amounts on their energy bills. Tucker said: “The idea is to lower the cost to farmers. We think this is obviously a good thing; $7 is really cheap for lights, and they can save 80% in energy costs”. Tucker certainly isn’t wrong. A study by the University of Arkansas revealed that a poultry house which produces six flocks of chickens annually would save an average of $983 each year in energy costs if using LEDs in place of traditional light bulbs.
The poultry farmers were obviously thrilled with the programme. Bill Satterfield, executive director of the Delmarva Poultry Industry said of the initiative: “I think it will be very helpful. Electricity is the largest operating cost that most chicken farms have. There has been a lot of interest in alternative types of lighting for chicken houses for years”. The farmers’ interest in the scheme is not purely financial either but also environmental. Satterfield explained that another reason behind the enthusiasm for the programme is that concerns about environmental awareness are never far from farmers’ minds and so a switch to more environmental lighting obviously appeals. Satterfield said: “I think it’s two-fold. One, save money, that’s the bottom line. But they’re also demonstrating that they’re doing things in an environmentally sound way”.
Both the environmental and cost benefits of LEDs are unmistakeable and it has the farmers involved in the scheme extremely excited as Mack McCary, a poultry farmer in the area revealed: “I would be surprised if that wasn’t sold out in a matter of minutes. Every meeting we have about lighting is jam-packed. These farmers are like, ‘Wow, this is unbelievable’. I’m sure they’re going to jump on it like white on rice. They’ll sell out in no time”.
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